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

Adult Mitzvah Corps

Join our Adult Mitzvah Corps, where men and women congregants have fun volunteering during the week. Feel free to join us every time or just once in awhile.

This month, we will be helping out with two very worthwhile volunteering opportunities that will take place right here at NSCI. We are looking for volunteers to help provide meals for the Family Promise families that NSCI will be hosting from June 11 - 24. We would also like to provide volunteers to be greeters for Mazon’s This Is Hunger exhibit in the NSCI parking lot. Various times are available on June 12, June 13 and June 15. Come July, we will be volunteering at The ARK’s kosher food pantry. On Monday, July 17 we will shelve food at The ARK, 6450 N. California, Chicago from 1:oo pm - 2:30 pm. Carpooling is available.For more information about signing up, please contact Tracey Meyers at 847-242-1234.

Family Promise is Returning to NSCI!

June 11-25, 2017
NSCI is thrilled to be entering its second year as a participating member of Family Promise, a national organization that helps temporarily homeless families achieve sustainable independence. We need NSCI volunteers to prepare dinners, dine with our guests, engage with them after dinner, provide food for their lunches and sleep overnight at NSCI. Sign up HERE to be a volunteer!

Beth Emet Soup Kitchen Lunch and Dessert Making

Tuesday, July 25, 4:30 pm
NSCI Families: Come after camp & help feed the hungry. We’ll make lunches and decorate desserts for the Beth Emet Soup Kitchen. Each family will be asked to bring items for lunch/dessert making. RSVP to Leslie Rosen, Leslie.n.rosen@gmail.com. We will assign you specific lunch items.

Beth Emet Soup Kitchen Serving

Wednesday, July 26, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Families will cook and serve at the Beth Emet Soup Kitchen in Evanston. Do this family mitzvah! Involves food shopping, cooking and serving, and welcoming Soup Kitchen guests. Children must be 7 or older. Space is limited. To sign up, contact Karen Silbar, k-search@comcast.net, 847/433-5887.

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 fth@nsci.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, cookies@nsci.org 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, rabbigeffen@nsci.org, or better yet, in person! 

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