Who we are

Many Jews all over the world are deeply committed to social justice and human rights in Palestine and are looking for ways to express this commitment Jewishly. The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute provides a space for people to be able to act Jewishly without the constraints put on social justice activists by the Jewish establishment.

The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute empowers the Jewish movement in solidarity with Palestine. We do this by making Jewish tradition relevant politically and spiritually in the lives of Jewish activists.

We strongly believe that it is possible to be Jewish and be in solidarity with Palestine. We aim to create an inclusive and diverse space, committed to Jewish learning, arts, culture, ritual, and social justice activism. We offer and support community events, life cycle events, rituals, rabbinic services, counseling, art, culture, research, and education.

We stand firm in our support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel, until it fully complies with international law and ceases its systematic violations of Palestinian human rights.

Goals & Objectives

The goal of the Jewish Liberation Theology Institute is to empower the Jewish movement in solidarity with Palestine.

We believe that it is possible be Jewish and be in solidarity with Palestine. Young Jews all over the world are deeply committed to social justice and human rights in Israel/Palestine and are looking for a way to express this commitment Jewishly. The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute will provide a space for people to be able to act Jewishly without the constraints put on social justice activists by the Jewish establishment. We will serve the Ontario community of Jewish social justice activists who work for social justice and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people today. This community includes the many Jewish activists who have ultimately abandoned the Jewish tradition and in particular the Jewish religion. Jewish activists are estranged from the organized Jewish community and feel excluded. Some have even spurned their own Jewish identity.

The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute will:

  1. leave behind a historical account of the existence of Jews who worked for justice and stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people at this point in time;
  2. make Jewish tradition relevant politically and spiritually in the lives of Jewish activists;
  3. develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation between different national and faith communities;
  4. support Jews to work for justice and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people;
  5. find in the Jewish tradition the search for justice and concern for the oppressed;
  6. equip activists and community organizers with awareness and skills needed to shape a transformed and transformative Jewish tradition that can help create a world of peace, justice, and healing;
  7. weave the human experience of our own day with Jewish spiritual tools, such as sacred texts, midrash, liturgy, and ritual,
  8. pursue ways of finding answers to ongoing instrumental questions about the sanctity of life, justice, and peace.

The Jewish Liberation Theology Institute will create an inclusive and diverse space, committed to Jewish learning, arts, culture, ritual, and social justice activism. We will offer community events, rituals, counseling, rabbinic services for life cycle events, art, culture, research and education.

Our team

Photo of Rabbi Lucia Pizarro

Lucia Pizarro, Founding Spiritual Director

Lucia was born in Mexico City, where she became qualified to practice law. She completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Essex in the UK. She followed her academic passion for Jewish thought with four years working for social justice in Palestine. She recently became a mother and a Rabbi.

Photo of Sandra Ruch

Sandra Ruch, Founding Ritual Director

Sandra is a mother and grandmother, a choir member, after school teacher and lay leader in her Temple community. Today she is working toward her ordination as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess). She lives in the Toronto area and works as a Holistic Health Care practitioner, human rights activist, and Teacher/Facilitator. She has traveled extensively for both work and pleasure.

Photo of Robert Allison

Robert Allison, Founding Executive Director

From a very early age, Robert Allison has been involved in community organizing. In 2006, after the brutal Israeli attack on Lebanon, he found himself becoming involved in the Palestinian solidarity movement. He is one of the co-founders of the Toronto Palestine Film Festival. He is a new father.