Tikkun Olam: Opportunities to Better our World

Vol 11What is Tikkun Olam?
*Before God created the World, there was only God. When God decided to create the World, God pulled back in order to create a space for the world. It was in that space that the universe was formed. When God created light and placed the light inside of Creation, special containers were prepared to hold it. But there was an accident. A cosmic accident. The containers broke. The universe became filled with sparks of God's Divine light and shards of broken containers. Our tradition teaches us that one of our tasks is to gather the sparks of God's light back together. In this way the work of Creation will be completed.

This is called Tikkun Olam, repairing the World. (*a paraphrasing of the teaching of Jewish Kabbalist Yitzchak Luria by the Ziv Foundation)

Many modern commentators understand the broken shards to represent the broken pieces of our world – the inequities, the destructions, the struggles, the hardships.  And so the interpretation follows that, as God created us b'tzelem Elohim, in the Divine Image, our actions should mimic those of God as well. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to gather the shattered shards and piece them back together again, so that our world can be what God originally intended to be: whole.

Current Tikkun Olam Opportunities

NSCI's Winter Holiday Collections

November 5 - December 17 
Help keep Chicago Public Schools high school students warm this winter by donating GENTLY USED or NEW winter coats, hats, mittens and boots. In addition, we're collecting NEW unwrapped children's gifts and gift cards to be donated to Jewish Child & Family Services and Mary Lou's Place (Evanston). Please place donations in the appropriate white collection bins located near the Religious School Office. Questions? Contact Rabbi Daniels: [email protected] or (847) 835-0724.

Feed the Homeless

Sunday, December 3
Be a part of this amazing mitzvah! Food delivery drivers and food preparation volunteers are needed! Sign up HERE to support those in need. 

Adult Mitzvah Corps

Monday, December 4, 10:00 am - 11:30 am, Elaine Kersten Center, 255 Revere Dr., Suite 200,

Adult Mitzvah Corps will be the "clean up crew" for Jewish Child & Family Services' Holiday Gift Drive! When JCFS has their gift drive, nothing goes to waste. Any extra presents are collected and kept at their locations to be used for birthdays and therapy incentives throughout the year. Volunteers will bag items up for distribution to their assorted locations. If you would like to volunteer, contact Tracey Meyers at 847-242-1234.

Cookies from the Heart at Ronald McDonald House

Do you like to bake cookies? What could be better than to have fresh homemade cookies awaiting children and their families upon returning from the hospital? We can make that happen! How does it work? Bring ingredients for your favorite recipe and join us one Wednesday a month at Ronald McDonald House: December 20 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. 6-8 volunteers are needed. Carpooling from NSCI is available. For more information and to RSVP, contact Lois Davis, [email protected] for more information.

Mitzvah Opportunity: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)

Moraine Township is currently looking for volunteers to help offer free income tax preparation for low-and-moderate-income taxpayers from February 1 - early April 2018.  Volunteers are provided material by Moraine Township and will be trained and certified by the IRS. If you or someone you know might be interested in training to help for the next tax season, please contact Anne Flanigan Bassi at [email protected] or 847-432-3240. 

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth to age 12, living in low- income and homeless situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. Drop off gently used toys and clothes in the white collection bins next to the religious school office.

Cartridge Recycling Program at NSCI

Ruthie & Bill Katz Archives are still collecting empty laser, ink jet, and copy machine toner cartridges. We are recycling the cartridges and earning money to help support our efforts. Please bring your empty cartridges to the synagogue office.

The ARK Food Campaign

We are participating on an ongoing basis with The ARK’s food campaign. They maintain the only kosher food pantry in the Midwest and are experiencing severe shortages. Donate nonperishable kosher food items whenever you come to NSCI. Bins are located in the arcade. Items which need replenishing most often: applesauce, vegetarian baked beans, breakfast cereals, tomato sauce, canned fruit, canned corn and canned peas. Tuna and salmon are also appreciated. All items must be kosher. Please be sure your items have the proper kosher symbols and have not passed their expiration date! Thank you. The ARK also needs blankets, towels and pillows. New, or clean and gently used. For more information, visit www.arkchicago.org.


Help Bring More Tikkun Olam to NSCI
Got an idea for a great hands-on Tikkun Olam project and want to make it real?  Let's find a way to make it happen through the synagogue! Contact Rabbi Geffen at 847/835-0724, [email protected], or better yet, in person! 

Click HERE for a list of donation and volunteering opportunities in the community.