Congregation Rodeph Shalom


Philadelphia, PA

In 2014, Rodeph Shalom partnered with The Food Trust to create the Common Ground initiative. With the goal of addressing food insecurity, poverty, lack of access to adequate medical care, a lack of access to valuable social services, struggling schools, and stressed communities, Rodeph Shalom is building on the Common Ground initiative to create the Farmer’s Market Youth Initiative. This project will work to provide the next generation of Rodeph Shalom congregants with hands-on experience dealing with the challenges and complexities of an urban environment. Beit Mitzvah and Confirmation students will design, implement, and evaluate their own social justice initiative(s) that will be carried out at the market. With rabbinic guidance and supervision, their students will decide as a group which project they are going to undertake. The project(s) will provide their students with valuable life skills such as coalition building, project design and management, objective evaluation, and resource management; training that is lacking in secular and religious schools today. Students will understand what it means to do good work in the real world and finding meaning, even in the challenges. If Tikkun Olam begins with the young, this type of activity will shape the Judaism of the next generation.

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