Tikkun Olam (Perfecting the World)

mini VCTRY youth group recycling
Mini-VCTRY Youth Group recycling

Social Action at TBT

Tikkun olam (Hebrew: תיקון עולם‎) is a Hebrew phrase that means “healing the world” suggesting humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair, and transform the world.  In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period and has developed over the millenium. For TBT, tikkun olam means that Jews are not only responsible for creating a model society among themselves, but also that we are responsible for the welfare of the society at large. This responsibility may, to varying degrees, be understood in religious, social and political terms.

Our Social Action Committee works to meet the challenges of those in need in our community, support Israel and Jews throughout the world, address social issues and to improve the lives of local school children.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support and participation of our congregants.  Every member of TBT is a member of our Social Action program.

Please join us with your ideas.

Here’s our current focus. You can help now: 

The Social Action Committee is now meeting on Zoom. Our next meeting is Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m. If you are not already on our email list and would like to join us or receive our minutes and news please contact lynngeller@gmail.com to be included.

Ongoing Projects:

  • The Social Action Committee is adding to our monthly dinner food commitment for River Haven, the transitional living program for homeless residents working towards permanent housing. Due to Covid, food supplies have been limited and they are in need of shelf stable food items not needing refrigeration, canned or packaged, such as soups, vegetables, fruit, fish, pasta, peanut butter and jam, etc. We invite you to participate, this will be an ongoing project. Please drop the items off at Temple in the big clear plastic box in the administration hall, or deliver to Ira and Esther Sorkin’s residence. Email lynngeller@gmail.com for the address.
  • Collecting furniture and household goods to furnish apartments for the homeless who move into permanent housing. Email lynngeller@gmail.com for information and to make arrangements.
  • Collecting old or unused computer equipment, printers, etc. to be refurbished and distributed to those in need of a computer. Please contact Ira Sorkin: ira@ecologyfund.net for donations and more information.
  • We are still collecting gently used and clean clothing, socks, shoes, etc. for the farmworkers’ families of all ages and others in need. Please drop the items off in the Social Action collection box in the administration hall or contact Ira who will be delivering them, ira@ecologyfund.net, or lynngeller@gmail.com for more information.

Even COVID 19 could not stop us!

Our SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE worked to meet the needs of those in our community, support Israel and Jews throughout the world, address social issues and to improve the lives of our congregants. These are some of our projects during the COVID 19 Pandemic (March 2020-May 2021):

  • Sponsored the cookie sale at the Purim Carnival to raise $300 for camper scholarships.  COVID restrictions were just beginning.
  • Provided monthly dinners for the 25 residents of River Haven.
  • Donated 50 tarps for the unsheltered homeless.
  • Sponsored ongoing collections of clothing for farm worker families, sundries for  River Haven residents and furniture and household goods for homeless who were moving into housing.   
  • Matched congregants vulnerable to COVID with volunteers to help with shopping. 
  • Matched seniors living alone with telephone partners.
  • Created a Hanukah display at an interfaith, charity Holiday Drive-by.
  • Donated refurbished computers and parts to those in need.
  • Conducted the High Holy Day Food Drive that collected 3,100 pounds of food for farm worker families and Brotherhood Distribution.  Donations of $2,500 were made to Food Share.
  • Provided a  battery recycling bin.
  • Continued the Helping Hand project that lends wheelchairs, walkers, commodes and other medical devices to congregants for short term needs.
  • Provided a Zoom speaker for the Reproductive Rights Roe v Wade event.
  • Donated funds to two families to provide for Thanksgiving dinners .
  • Assigned a representative to link TBT with the Union of Reform Judaism  Racial Justice Initiative for future action.
  • Made monetary donations to organizations involved with Jewish refugees,  Israeli advocacy, immigrant relief, gun reform, the Teaching Tolerance Fund,   Frontline Covid workers at VCM, farm worker families and other community and   civil rights issues.  Your generosity made this possible.   

Looking ahead!  As COVID 19 restrictions are lifted, SAC will return to many of our previous projects and use your ideas to start new ones.

Look for the return of tutoring as many as 50 school children, petitions and letters, being active with the Ventura Social Service Task Force,  attending City Council meetings and rallies, hosting the Roe v Wade event and a table at the Reproductive Rights “Write for your Rights” event, working through the RAC’s Racial Justice Initiative and supporting youth activities.  Please join us on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm.  We welcome your input.