You are not obligated to complete the work of perfecting the world, but neither are you free to desist from it.

-Ethics of Our Fathers, 2:21

Our Jewish tradition doesn’t expect us to single-handedly repair the world. However, if everyone contributes, even in small ways, we can make a powerful difference.

The Tikkun Olam Committee, formerly called the Social Action Committee, exists to support the efforts of our congregation to make this a better world.

There are many opportunities to take action with other CBB members. The current Tikkun Olam projects are listed below.



Following a call to our congregation for Tikkun Olam initiative submissions, we have selected “Our Family in Israel” as our major initiative. This initiative supports members of Kibbutz Kfar Aza as they go through the healing and rebuilding of their community.

Led by Rabbi Belle Michael and Lisa Raphael, this project is comprised of several components aimed at strengthening the population of Kfar Aza and building relationships with our Israeli brothers and sisters. It also deepens our relationship with our new family in Israel who visited our congregation earlier this year.

If you’d like to make a gift to support CBB’s ongoing effort, please click here and select “Our Family in Israel – Kibbutz Kfar Aza” from the Type drop down menu.


Join CBB in championing inclusivity and combating ableism within our community! By supporting the Grace Fisher Foundation’s “Camp ME,” a groundbreaking local Tikkun Olam initiative, you can help provide a transformative week-long summer haven for children with special needs. The inaugural year is dedicated to embracing youngsters aged 5-10, bridging the profound gap in summertime care and support. Fueled by the poignant realization of how often these remarkable children are sidelined or sent home from mainstream camps, “Camp ME” stands as a beacon of hope and belonging. Let’s unite to create a sanctuary where every child’s spirit can soar, where barriers dissolve, and where joy happens. Together, let’s create a unified community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive!

To get involved, contact Jana Brody at janabrody44@gmail.com.


YOUNITED (formerly Givat Haviva International School) gathers 100-130 10th through 12th graders from around the world to learn, live, work, and volunteer together in Israel while earning a prestigious International Baccalaureate diploma. The student body is composed of 25% Israeli Arabs, 25% Israeli Jews, and 50% international students. YOUNITED strives to build a community of young leaders who understand the power of diversity, envisioning a future where these young leaders build bridges of understanding and empathy.

If you’re interested in learning more or volunteering to tutor students, please contact Richard Silver at rbsilver@hotmail.com.

NEFESH (Neighbors Ensuring Food, Equity, Safety, and Housing)

NEFESH encompasses CBB’s projects in these areas of need in our community, including Pershing Park, Transition House, partnerships with the Neighborhood Navigation Center (NNC), and Dignity Moves.

CBB volunteers provide a mid-morning meal every 2nd Tuesday of the month, in collaboration with a new NNC on the corner of Cabrillo and Carrillo. To get involved, please complete this form.

Eco Team

Led by Barbara Greenleaf, Eco Team encourages individuals to make small changes that can help to slow climate change and heal the planet. Collectively, these little things can have a large impact. Team members educate themselves on environmental matters through member research and reporting, outside speakers, and field trips. Eco Team meets on the first Tuesday of each month at a centrally located private home.

For further information, please visit this website.


ECOFaith is a program of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County, a nonprofit of which CBB is a founding member. We are a collaboration of local interfaith individuals including Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Native American, Baha’i, and Buddhist traditions. Monthly speakers present topics related to the spiritual side of creation care and the environment, as well as on social action items.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit this website.

Ubumwe School

The Ubumwe Preschool Project began in the Fall of 2010. Our goal was to build a preschool for the children of Gisenyi, Rwanda, and to raise awareness at CBB about the ongoing effects of the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994. We raised funds to build a sister preschool and elementary school, but continued help is needed to support the school and the teachers with scholarships and supplies.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Ellen Hunter at ellenhuntersb@gmail.com or Pam Gunther at pamsantabarbara@gmail.com.

Mitzvah Day

Mitzvah Day is our community-wide event to make a difference locally and beyond. Hands-on projects take place both at CBB and at other non-profit organizations in town. Visit the Mitzvah Day website for more information. Support for Mitzvah Day is always appreciated. Click here to make a gift by selecting “Mitzvah Day” from the Type drop down menu.

If you’re interested in learning more about Mitzvah Day, contact Phoebe Light, Engagement Coordinator, at phoebe@cbbsb.org.

Evely Laser Shlensky Tikkun Olam Award

For energetic devotion to the healing and restoration of our world through service in the program for Social Action of Congregation B’nai B’rith.

1996                Ellen Goldman & Judi Weisbart – Empty Bowls

1997                Andee Duvendeck (Gaines) & Glen Serbin – Transition House

1998                Janet Laiches & John Teton – International Food Security

1999                Amy Martinez (Locke) & Fred Martinez – Food Bank Drive

2000               Rick Heimberg – Church Rebuilding

2001                Art & Cindy Klempner

2002                Helen Curhan & Lynnette Glasman – Spiritual Care Team

2005                Sissy & Bernie Taran – Jewish Community Picnic

2006                Elizabeth Gaynes & Yael Brennan – Mitzvah Day

2007                Don Wolfe, Rick Heimberg, Linda Phillips – Church Rebuilding

2010                Audrie Krause – Pershing Park

2013                Ellen Hunter & Pamela Gunther  – Rwanda Preschool

2022                Steering Committee (rep by Richard Silver) – Givat Haviva International School

2022                Amy Katz & Kira Weiss – Pershing Park