Social Justice Issue

55% of 4th graders read below grade level. 43% of SF public high school students do NOT graduate. The nation-wide average for high school graduation is 70.6%. 75% of those on welfare and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. 54% of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only 1/5 feel adequately prepared to teach them.


Jewish Response to Literacy

"Do not let him slip until he falls completely, for then it will be difficult to raise him; rather, strengthen him as he begins to fall." (Rashi, Leviticus 25:35 Cf. Torat Kohanim, Sifre Behar, Chapter 5)

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy." (Proverbs 2:10)


Tutor with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy

Volunteer at a school or after-school program throughout San Francisco, the East Bay, and the Peninsula. Before, during, and after school hours are available. For information, contact Kelsey Youngman, or call (415) 369-9978 x 100.

San Francisco
Thursday, August 28, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, JCC San Francisco, Room 205, 32000 California St.
Wednesday, September 10, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, JUMA Ventures, 121 Steuart St., Suite 201

Thursday, August 14, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto
Thursday, September 18, 1:00 pm - 4:00pm, Congregation Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Redwood City

East Bay
Wednesday, September 10, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Paden Elementary School, 444 Central Ave., Alameda
Wednesday, September 17, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Congregation B'nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Register for upcoming tutor training workshops

Tutor with Back on Track

An interfaith collaborative effort between Third Baptist Church and Congregation Emanu-El. Provide long-term tutoring and mentoring to underserved youth in San Francisco at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister Street, Monday – Thursday 3:30 – 5:30 pm or Tuesday – Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Email Regina Herbert, Membership Coordinator, or call (415) 346-9316.


  • Are you a lifelong learner? If you are not a professional teacher, what can your role be to teach your skills and knowledge to those in our community?
  • How does participating in this type of service reflect the values of Judaism, social justice, and human rights?
  • How are you evaluating or processing your experiences in order to grow, or at least understand them better?
  • Do you recall a specific occurrence from your service that involved some degree of conflict/difficulty? How did you deal with that?
  • Did your service empower the recipient to become more self-sufficient?
  • In today's world there are millions of people slipping and millions more who have already fallen completely. Knowing this, and keeping Rashi's commentary in mind, how can we help those in recovery or prevent more people from struggling? How does this idea connect with Tikkun Olam?
    For inquiries regarding any of the above, please contact Community Engagement Director Sandy Rechtschaffen at (415) 751-2541 x 177

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Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511