Tikkun Olam

Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. These words are embedded in centuries of Jewish tradition. But, how do we, living in the 21st century with all the injustices that need to be addressed, know which to act upon, or how to proceed?

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam (LMTO) Committee provides the congregation with many opportunities to practice the mitzvah of repairing the world by participating in community service projects. Through education and advocacy, Tikkun Olam also focuses on public policy issues of concern to us as members of the Jewish community.

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The underlying premise of our work is the Torah’s call for justice. Our major focus is on issues of local concern to the greater Asheville and Western North Carolina communities. Much of our work is informed by the Religious Action Center (www.rac.org) of the Commission on Social Action, an arm of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The LMTO committee is always on the alert to see where injustices exist. As they are identified, the committee responds in a number of ways:

  1. The committee identifies a key focus or foci for the year that allow for broader congregational learning and action.
  2. The committee pursues ongoing projects that seek to repair injustices in specific areas within the greater Asheville area, such as immigration/sanctuary movement, food justice, affordable housing, literacy and other education needs, etc.
  3. The committee contacts the congregants with ‘Tikkun Alerts’. Since it is important that each concerned congregant fully understands why there is an injustice, each Alert clearly spells out the Issue, Concerns, Rationale, and Action to be taken. If you wish to receive future Tikkun Alterts, click on the button.
  4. The committee develops a plan of action to address an issue of injustice. These plans can consist of contacting legislators or news media, having learning forums, aligning with community efforts, and even protest marches.

Comments from our congregants identifying issues of injustice that we should pursue are welcomed. The Tikkun Olam Committee welcomes all CBHT congregants to participate in any of its initiatives, projects, and advocacy. For more information, contact chair Sam Hausfather (tikkunolam@bethhatephila.org).

Read more about the Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee, its Focus and Projects

Brit Olam – Covenant with our World

Across North America and around the world, vulnerable populations face profound challenges. The Reform Jewish Movement is dedicated to meeting this urgency of now through moral leadership and congregational and community-based action. To this end, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism developed the Brit Olam, a moment of recovenant that articulates our long-term vision of a strong, networked Reform Movement acting powerfully and together to bring upon the world we want – a world filled with justice, compassion, and wholeness. CBHT has joined this Brit Olam group to publicly reaffirm its commitment to meaningful social justice work, grounded in our sacred and enduring Jewish values. This commitment, and the network it creates between congregations working in concert to repair our world, will live beyond any individual event or campaign. For more information, see www.rac.org/brit-olam-covenant-our-world-0. Brit Olam’ translates to ‘covenant with our world.’ The Brit Olam reminds us of the words from Pirkei Avot: “Study alone is not enough, our tradition demands action.”

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