Jimmy Taber

Jimmy Taber

Jimmy Taber is the New Israel Fund's associate director in New York. Previously, he worked in Israel for the Joint Distribution Committee's Center for International Migration and Integration, managing Israel's Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Program for asylum seekers and migrant workers. Prior to his work at the JDC, Jimmy received his MA and MBA from Brandeis University's Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership. Jimmy can be reached at jamesetaber@gmail.com.

Nitzavim-Vayelech

When I was eighteen, my grandfather enlisted me in a signature-gathering campaign. We advocated for the addition of an amendment to Oregon’s state constitution that would declare health care a fundamental right. Working alongside him, I found myself captivated by his tireless insistence that we each have the responsibility to care for the vulnerable. “We …Read More

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Va’etchanan

We know the price of an air-conditioned hotel and a plane… [Short-term overseas volunteer trips to the developing world are] an act of affluent tourism masquerading as community service.” —Senior executive, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers[1] Like this wary university administrator, I have harbored suspicions toward service-learning programs to the Global …Read More

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Korach

“…and we argued passionately but always rested assured that our arguments were indeed ‘for the sake of heaven.’” These words, used to close the graduation ceremony for my cohort from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program, struck me as especially thought provoking. The quote references a passage in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of the …Read More

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Naso

The conversations at the seder table tend to stay with me long after the proclamations of “Next year in Jerusalem” have stopped echoing in my ears, as I draw new inspiration every year from the Israelites’ bondage-to-freedom narrative. This year, I found myself confronted with an issue that dug deeper than usual. Helping us relate …Read More

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Kedoshim

Everyone is crying out for peace None is crying out for justice I don’t want no peace I need equal rights and justice.[1]                                     -Peter Tosh Peter Tosh’s revolutionary lyrics in his 1977 song “Equal Rights” challenge some of the core assumptions of social justice activism. Critical of the tendency of his era’s dominant activist culture …Read More

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Shmini

At times, I find that my fellow social justice activists are tired. Tired from the barrage of need they face daily. Tired from the uphill battle against intractable social problems. Tired from the wearing down of their expectations that sustainable change is possible. Eventually, their emotional capacity for social justice work becomes exhausted. Sometimes it …Read More

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Tetzaveh

On the surface, the international community’s response to the devastation wrought by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti appears to have been exceedingly successful. Americans donated over $1 billion to organizations that quickly funneled food, water and other basic necessities into the affected areas.[1] According to a survey by Charity Navigator, the majority of donors approved …Read More

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Vaera

“Look, I am holding a ten-dollar bill in my hand. I propose to walk around the Biltmore Hotel, a total of four blocks and try to give it away… My guess is that everyone will back off, look confused, insulted, or fearful, and want to get away from this nut fast.”… I found myself back …Read More

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Vayeshev

Over and over in the Torah, widows are singled out as a group meriting special protection by God. Along with the stranger and the orphan, the widow is recognized as an especially vulnerable member of society.[1] Tamar’s story, as told in Parshat Vayeshev, can help us understand why the Torah focuses specifically on the widow, …Read More

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Vayera

This week, in Parshat Vayera, Avimelech, king of Gerar, faces a grave threat to himself and his household. Avraham enters the town and repeats his prior ill-fated decision to present Sarah as his sister instead of his wife upon arriving in a foreign land. Unaware that Sarah is married, Avimelech takes her for himself. To …Read More

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