TAKUM: Social Justice Beit Midrash



Beit Midrash TAKUM

Now recruiting for spring 2016 cohort 

For more information (Hebrew) click here.


Beit Midrash TAKUM (Tikun u’Mishpat/restoring justice) is a nine-month, international service learning program integrating in-depth Jewish study with social activism. In the beit midrash, students access biblical, rabbinic and contemporary teachings to better understand religious, legal, or moral dilemmas embedded in classic Jewish narrative. TAKUM brings together individuals eager to engage in intensive partnered and group study of Jewish texts as a means of informing and directing their own serious activist efforts in their communities and/or on a global level. 

The project was launched in October, 2013 and takes place in different locations, mainly Israel and the UK.

The Content

TAKUM engages individuals eager to participate in serious study of Jewish texts while volunteering, or working professionally in their communities to facilitate social change and social justice. As catalysts of change, participants will identify and address issues of their communities’ disregard for human dignity and freedom. Texts will be chosen which examine concerns of the parameters and policies of power, privilege and responsibility.

For example, TAKUM Fellows explore the ways in which Jewish texts conceive of the other and how our society relates to them, be they the migrant worker who cleans our home; the factory worker across the world who manufactures our clothing; or the person we identify as barely surviving on the margins of our society.  TAKUM facilitates conversation about recognizing inequality, privilege and societal power dynamics, whether between migrant and citizen, man and woman, or those with access to food and water and those deprived.

Participant Commitment     

Each TAKUM cohort/havrutas to be comprised of 12 individuals already involved in, or willing to take on a project dealing with similar concerns. It is the responsibility of these individuals to bring their experiences into the beit midrash to provide a personal dimension to these political and textual conversations. Beit Midrash sessions will consist of weekly shiurim (learning sessions) presented by members of the beit midrash and teachers, and weekly havrutot (study dyads).

Participants must commit to:

  • Participate in all shiurim (facilitated lesson) for the duration of 9 months
  • Engage, either as a volunteer or a professional, in activism within one’s local community, or with a national/international project directed to securing human dignity or freedom of others. This project should be specified at the beginning of participation in TAKUM and will be considered “tuition” for Beit Midrash TAKUM, (see application below).
  • Bring to TAKUM’s attention Jewish activists who will discuss the benefits and failures of their work to bring greater dignity to the human condition. TAKUM will film those discussions, “TAKUM Talks”, to be accessed at TAKUM Fellows’ convenience.

Fellows will also be requested to submit an initial and post-program written evaluation.

Pending funding grants, TAKUM hopes to facilitate an international colloquium for all TAKUM participants.   

 For more information, please contact Keren Siksik – kerensiksik82@gmail.com