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.
A major initiative is a project that is adopted, promoted, and supported by the clergy and congregation. It is a bi-annual project chosen by a Selection Committee made up of clergy, staff, Tikkun Olam (TO) trustee and CBB leaders. The aim of a major initiative is to provide an opportunity to work together and to support one or two causes that will make the world a better place. The focus is on initiatives that can have a large impact and encourage wide engagement from the congregation.
To suggest a project for consideration by the Selection Committee, a minimum of three congregants, including one who acts as leader, may submit a proposal. If selected, these congregants will serve to carry out the project, while getting support from the TO trustee to recruit more volunteers. Proposals that are not selected as Major Initiatives will still receive support from the TO trustee. To submit a Major Initiative Proposal please use this link (TO COME).
Givat Haviva International School (GHIS)
Givat Haviva International School (GHIS) 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. GHIS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are accepted through CBB’s online donation form (select GHIS from the designation menu).
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. Donations are accepted through CBB’s online donation form (select NEFESH from the designation menu).
CBB volunteers provide a mid-morning meal every 2nd Tuesday of the month, in collaboration with a new Neighborhood Navigation Center (NNC) on the corner of Cabrillo and Carrillo. The NNC brings together multiple service organizations to be a central location to easily access a variety of resources. To get involved, contact Rabbi Brenner at email@example.com.
Join other CBB members on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 8 AM to serve hot breakfast meals for the homeless at the new NNC at the Rescue Mission. After 20 years of serving at Pershing Park the group has decided to join in the efforts of other local organizations and concentrate all services in one place. We meet at the Rescue Mission’s entrance. Volunteers are needed to cook and/or provide supplies, serve, and contribute financially. Contact Diane Abel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transition House is an organization dedicated to addressing family homelessness. Since 1984, it has helped families end their reliance on public assistance by providing family-centered support services. For more than 30 years, CBB members have helped prepare and serve a hot dinner to approximately 25 families every month (60 people). Please join us to help provide meals to the residents on the second Thursday of each month. Currently we are only delivering home-prepared food. To learn how you can be part of this effort, contact Glen Serbin at email@example.com.
Dignity Moves is a new private/public partnership that provides transitional housing to Santa Barbara residents. It can take years for new permanent housing solutions to come to fruition, yet we have hundreds of individuals on the streets. Dignity Moves seeks to create a space for an individual to transition from a survival mentality to being ready to move into permanent supportive housing. It hopes to shelter more than 200 individuals in the first three years of service. To get involved, contact Rabbi Brenner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 contact Barbara Greenleaf at email@example.com.
ECO Faith 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 to learn more or participate, please contact Jeffrey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Donations are accepted through CBB’s online donation form (select Ubumwe School from the designation menu).
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Ellen Hunter at email@example.com or Pam Gunther at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. If you would like to be a project leader or are interested in helping to coordinate the program, please contact Mariela Socolovsky at email@example.com.
Mitzvah Day 2022 is on December 18th. Click here for updates.
READY TO TAKE ACTION?
If you would like to participate in any of these projects or if you have an idea for a new project, contact Tikkun Olam Trustee, Lynn Altschul, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working together, we can help make the world a better place.