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

​Annual High Holy Day Canned Food Drive

Monday, September 18 through Monday, October 16
Help stock The ARK's food pantry by donating kosher, non-perishable food. Please place all donations in the large collection bin located outside on the south side of NSCI's front lawn. Click HERE for a list of needed items.

Donation Drive for Cradles to Crayons

Monday, September 18 through Monday, October 16 
Please place the following items in the large storage container located outside on the north side of NSCI's front lawn: Gently used children's clothing sizes 0 - 20 & child appropriate adult clothing sizes S - M, Children's sneakers, sandals, and boots, Baby & Children's books, toys, arts & crafts, and school supplies, NEW safety, feeding, bedding, diapering and health supplies, and NEW socks, underwear and pajamas for babies & children.

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: October 18, November 15 and 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.

Adult Mitzvah Corps

Thursday, October 26, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Target in Highland Park
Join our Adult Mitzvah Corps, where men and women congregants enjoy volunteering together during the week! We have more room for volunteers to join us as we shop for coats and assorted winter wear for Jewish Child and Family Services’ (JCFS) clients in need at Target. Clients are screened for their level of need and complete a wish list indicating sizes and items needed as well as style and color preferences. To insure client privacy, clients are listed by number instead of name. We will handle the shopping from the list of clients’ preferences, while JUF will pay for the purchases. To volunteer with Adult Mitzvah Corps, contact Tracey Meyers at 847-242-1234.

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].

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.