Tikkun Olam

In Pirke Avot, the Ethics of the Fathers, we are told, “Do not keep aloof from the community (2:4).” Tikkun Olam at Beth Sholom is our commitment to making “repairing the world” - an integral part of our congregational life.  We are guided by our passion to work together to build community within our synagogue and the world outside our doors.  To get involved with the Tikkun Olam Committee, contact Susan Moinester.

The Tikkun Olam Committee provides opportunities to engage in meaningful ways with our communities.   In addition to our semi-annual blood drive and our annual Tikkun Sholom in-house Mitzvah Day, our Tikkun Olam programs focus on three core areas: education, food security and the environment.

Education:

  • Beth Sholom adopted Coleman Elementary School in 2002 where we have tutored children, started an after-school Art Club, built a playground and donated uniforms, computers, and school supplies. The highlight of our year is the Coleman Holiday Gift Shop, where we “give the gift of giving” by offering children the opportunity to select gifts for their parents which are beautifully wrapped by volunteers and are ready for giving.
  • Beth Sholom Synagogue is a Team Read partner, a Shelby County Schools volunteer reading coaching program for 2nd grade students.  Research has shown that students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are four more times as likely to leave school without a diploma compared to proficient readers.
  • Beth Sholom supports the TnAchieves Mentoring program, a key component of Tennessee Promise. Tennessee Promise is a scholarship program providing two years tuition-free education at a community college or technical school in Tennessee.  However, while removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist students in navigating the college admissions process.

Food Security:

  • Beth Sholom is the East Memphis Drop Site for the Mid-South Food Bank, collecting barrels of food and diapers each week.
  • We have a long history of supporting MIFA, the Metropolitan Inter-faith Association, delivering meals on Martin Luther King Day and Christmas Day.
  • We work with the First Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen. It is the oldest, continuous soup kitchen in Memphis serving 150 homeless men, women and children each week. This provides our congregation with a wonderful cross-generational opportunity to assist in serving meals and interacting with some of the most vulnerable people in our greater Memphis community.
  • Bring It Food Hub is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting community development by increasing access to healthy, affordable local foods and strengthening farmer livelihoods. Beth Sholom has supported The Food Hub since its launch in 2013 by promoting its CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Congregants in the program enjoy weekly deliveries of healthy, local fruit, vegetables and eggs at competitive prices while supporting local farmers

Environmental Conservation:

Environmental preservation is an integral part of Jewish tradition. Judaism teaches that humans are stewards of the earth, that each individual has a responsibility to leave the world a better place for future generations.

The Tikkun Olam Committee leads in “greening” Beth Sholom.  We eliminated Styrofoam and started a recycling program in our offices, classrooms and kitchen. Fabric tablecloths have replaced plastic at our Kiddush tables which volunteers wash every week.  

Thursday, May 25 2017 29 Iyyar 5777