Tzelem was conceived in late 2013 to organise Jewish clerical voices on social and economic justice issues in the UK. It is unique in its conception as a clerical cross-communal campaigning organization. It is founded on the Jewish principle that we are all created b’tzelem Elokim – in the image of God. Tzelem seeks to continue the proud Jewish social activist tradition by taking action and providing a critique to the problems at the root of our society, our economy and our treatment of the vulnerable.
As an activist organization Tzelem provides education and training for its rabbinic and cantorial members by bringing in outside speakers and their expertise. It also provides educational material for the wider community on issues of social and economic justice. Tzelem has access to skilled advisors who are experts in their field and guide us in our campaigning and work with other organisations.
Tzelem acts as a point of contact between clergy and provides a space for them to communicate, share resources, and join together in campaigns, actions, and other social justice activity. It will exist as a sophisticated virtual network allowing conversations and problem solving between Jewish clergy who would not otherwise have the opportunity to discuss these issues, with physical meetings as members see fit. It also provides support for congregations, if they so wish, in linking them with social justice initiatives and activists. It helps direct rabbis to useful resources and has a strong bank of such resources on issues of working towards social and economic justice.