Justice, Religion

T'ruah publishes handbook on fighting mass incarceration

From our friends at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call to for Human Rights, comes an amazing new resource:

T’ruah’s Handbook on Fighting Mass Incarceration

Dear Ben,
Thirteen months ago, T’ruah declared, “The foundations of our world–truth, justice, and peace–are at risk,” and launched our campaign to end mass incarceration. Since then, we have organized rabbis in key states to advocate for federal sentencing reform, helped Jewish communities to engage in service including writing to people in solitary confinement and hosting families on their way to visit family members in prison, provided materials for rabbis to speak about mass incarceration on the High Holidays, and mobilized Jewish community members to ask for a Department of Justice investigation into Tamir Rice’s death.
Today, we are proud to offer a preview of T’ruah’s Handbook for Jewish Communities Fighting Mass Incarceration. Download it now.
T’ruah is proud to be the leading Jewish organization working on mass incarceration reform in the United States. This handbook aims to help you–as a rabbi, cantor, or Jewish community member–talk about and work on mass incarceration within your own community.
The first part of the handbook, available online now, includes:

  • 90 pages of background material in bite-sized, accessible chunks of a few pages apiece, covering all major aspects of the system (including policing, prison conditions, barriers to reentry, and connections to race and poverty).
  • Jewish texts embedded throughout.
  • A few selected Jewish resources to jump-start deep conversations on policing, incarceration, and reentry.
  • Beautiful full-color layout that makes the handbook a pleasure to use. The handbook will also print well in black and white.

Part two of the handbook, which will be ready later this spring, contains many more Jewish resources, including lesson plans for youth, and a guide to taking action on mass incarceration. Whichever part of the system your community might be interested in addressing, this handbook will help you to do so effectively and in a way that is deeply grounded in Torah.
The incarceration of more people than any other country in the world is not only unjust. It is a denial of the unique, divine image within every human being. With you and your community’s help, we believe we can turn the tide so that our criminal justice system will cease being simply an instrument of punishment and instead become a means of providing solace for teshuvahand personal transformation.
Thank you for your partnership in this work of justice,
Rabbi Ayelet Cohen and Rabbi Eric Solomon
Co-Chairs, T’ruah Board

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