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

Feed the Homeless

Ongoing dates
One Sunday a month for nine months each year, the Feed the Homeless Program feeds 750 members of the Chicago community. Volunteers from the congregation give their time participating in a meticulously planned food operation that, in just one day, produces meals for 10 Chicago-area social service organizations. Click HERE for more information and to register for an upcoming date. Questions? Contact Dave Rothschild at [email protected].

Adult Mitzvah Corps

Friday, March 24 from 10:30 am -1:00 pm, The ARK, 6450 N. California
We will help serve at a Women of NSCI-sponsored Shabbat luncheon at The ARK, 6450 N. California, Chicago.  We will put out place settings, plate food, serve and assist with a light clean up. This is a great opportunity for ARK clients to socialize and welcome Shabbat while getting a hearty kosher meal.  The ARK serves many less fortunate people in the community, providing health care, medications, dental care, job assistance, food, toiletries, and social work services.

Carpooling is available from NSCI.  To sign up for Adult Mitzvah Corps, please call Tracey Meyers at 847-242-1234.

Family Promise

Wednesday, April 5, at 7:00 pm, Tross Family Education Center
Please join us for an informational meeting and Volunteer Training. NSCI will host families for two consecutive weeks this year: June 11-18 and June 18-June 25! These families are like ours; circumstances have just brought them to a point of financial crisis and they have become homeless. To make this program work, we will need NSCI volunteers to prepare dinners, dine with the families, engage with them after dinner, provide food for their lunches, and sleep overnight at NSCI. Families with children as well as individuals can volunteer. Congregants may also participate by donating material goods or food items that will be needed during the week. For questions, email Terri at [email protected]. To learn more about Family Promise, visit: www.fpcnorthshore.org.

Cookies from the Heart

Calling all bakers and mitzvah enthusiasts! Seeking 6-8 volunteers to bake homemade cookies for children & families residing at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital one Wednesday a month. Bring ingredients to make your favorite cookie recipe and joins us in Ronald McDonald House’s kitchen. Carpooling from NSCI is available. For more information and to RSVP, contact Lois Davis, [email protected] for more information.

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.