When Rabbi Alex Weissman applied to rabbinical school in 2011, he estimates that there were just a handful of rabbis working at social-justice organizations. Fast-forward a dozen years and that number now exceeds several dozen — too many for Weissman to name.
Why the dramatic shift? Many advocacy organizations now recognize the role that clergy can play in helping activists maintain spiritual and emotional health. (Burnout is all too common among people trying to fix a broken world.) Additionally, many progressive organizations have sought to reclaim the moral, prophetic voice, refusing to surrender the religious label to political and cultural conservatives, says Weissman.