Temple Emanu-El Tikkun Olam Committee Mission Statement:
A basic principle of our faith is Tikkun Olam, repairing the world through mitzvot, tzedakah, and g’milut hasadim, values deeply rooted in Jewish traditions. To assist our Temple Emanu-El family to work together in carrying out this obligation, the Tikkun Olam Committee coordinates Temple activities concerning Social Action and Social Justice. Social Action activities plan and carry out the mitzvot and charitable actions that help and assist those in need in our community. Social Justice activities work to address issues related to the root causes in our society that lead to the need for charity and assistance by trying to change the political environment that fosters disadvantages within our community.
Although the committee may be relatively small, we are making big plans based on our motto taken from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Our catchphrase comes from Pirkei Avot, “Rabbi Tarfon said: ‘It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it.’” It all goes to prove that we can and must take action to improve our community for the betterment of us all.
The committee is composed of Temple Emanu-El members who volunteer their time and efforts to reach out to the congregation, engage their interests and lead their participation in our activities, to successfully achieve our goals. Some of our acts of Tikkun Olam at the Temple include: food drives, winter clothing collections, participation in Mitzvah Day, sponsoring Shabbat Services and other programs that help the hungry, the homeless and the oppressed and advocate for social change. The committee has listened to our members and has identified some issues of interest to the congregation that can be pursued in order to lead to a betterment of our Temple and our community.
Social justice actions at Temple Emanu-El are implemented with the help of the organization People Acting in Community Together (PACT). PACT is an inter-faith, grassroots organization of over 20 congregations that empowers everyday people to create a more just community. Through PACT, people from different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds learn to work together to try to solve some of the pervasive social problems of our day. By way of examples of actions, PACT members have worked to resolve failing public schools, create affordable housing, provide low cost health care and improve safety in our neighborhoods.
We encourage all members to participate in Tikkun Olam. If you are interested and would like to help with this interesting and valuable work, please contact the Chair of the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Temple Office at (408) 292-0939.