The Rodef Shalom Communities Program engages North American synagogues and other Jewish institutions in the study and practice of the mitzvah of redifat shalom (pursuit of peace) and the art of mahloket l’shem shamayim (sacred and constructive disagreement). Through Jewish text study, training in conflict resolution skill and development of middot (qualities of soul), the program focuses on conflict resolution in individual, family and community life.
The program highlights redifat shalom as a core value of North American congregations and Jewish organizations, making Jewish institutions into places where we learn to be our best selves in all of our relationships. The result will be healthier, more loving and more sacred communities in which the mitzvah of “seeking and pursuing peace” (Psalms 34:15) is honored and practiced in every aspect of communal life.
Read more: The Call to Rabbis and Lay Leaders to be Pursuers of Peace by Daniel Roth
The Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program includes study and practice of the following:
Recently, communities in America and around the world have shared with us the increasing challenges they face in balancing opposing political and ideological views both within their own community and between communities. Too often, communities feel stuck having to chose between either engaging in volatile destructive interactions or attempting to avoid such conversations altogether in favor of communal harmony.
However, there is a third option. In Judaism this may be referred to as mahloket l’shem shamayim, literally ‘disagreement for the sake of Heaven’ which means disagreeing constructively in a manner that allows opposing sides to learn from one another and even strengthen their relationship, instead of damaging it.
The 9Adar Project is inviting rabbis, educators and community leaders to lead their communities in an intriguing 90 minute event on disagreeing constructively and a corresponding exercise. Click here for more information on the 9Adar Project 2018.
The Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program offers tailored study and practical on-site workshops to engage rabbis, educators and community leaders in study of sample Jewish texts on redifat shalom (pursuit of peace), constructive and destructive conflict, Jewish ethics of speech and middot (qualities of soul) for the practice of redifat shalom.
During an evening, half a day or more, we will develop an inspiring program which combines text study with skill-building exercises for the art of sacred and constructive disagreement and an introduction to the soul work of peacemaking. Leaders will have the opportunity to learn from best practices in the field and from successes and failures of other communities and envision their home congregations and organizations as communities of practice around the value of redifat shalom. In so doing, they become part of an emerging nation-wide network of Rodef Shalom communities.
To bring a workshop to your community, contact Elisheva Blum at email@example.com.
The 9Adar Project: Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict (February 18-24, 2018) is a global week of action to promote constructive conflict in interpersonal, inter-religious and intra-Jewish contexts. See 9adar.org for more information.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, first woman ordained as Conservative rabbi, accomplished theorist and practitioner of interfaith and intra-Jewish dialogue, author of From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace (Orbis, 2014).
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, founding director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution.
Contact Elisheva Blum, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program and to explore the best ways to bring Rodef Shalom texts, principles and practices into your community.
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To receive information about observing 9Adar in your community, sign up here.