Tikkun Olam

A group of people posing for a photo in a kitchen.

What Is Tikkun Olam?

Tikkun olam (Hebrew for ‘world repair’) has come to connote social action and social justice. The phrase has origins in classical rabbinic literature and in mysticism.

The term ‘mipnei tikkun ha-olam'(perhaps best translated in this context as ‘in the interest of public policy’) is used in the Mishnah(the body of classical rabbinic teachings codified circa 200 C.E.). The phrase tikkun olam was first used to refer to social action work in the 1950s and remains connected with human responsibility for fixing what is wrong with the world.

Contemporary usage of the phrase shares with the rabbinic concept of mipnei tikkun ha-olam a concern with public policy and societal change, and with the kabbalistic notion of tikkun the idea that the world is profoundly broken and can be fixed only by human activity. Now, tikkun olam is most often used to refer to a specific category of mitzvot involving work for the improvement of society.

Sleeper Pods

The Tikkun Olam Committee decided to build sleeper pods for unhoused people in Lane County. The first is currently in TBI’s parking lot, awaiting the selection of its occupant. These pods are insulated, waterproof, off the ground, have exterior and interior locks, are mobile on bike wheels, & lightweight. Come take a look at the one in the TBI parking lot.

If you’d like to join a work party contact email TOC. To donate, go to the TBI website or send a check to TBI, with ‘TOC homeless pods’ in the memo line.

We are looking for the county, city or reputable 501c(3) to take ownership of our pods and manage them effectively for people in need. Ideally, they would be placed in spaces with porta potties, trash pick up, and access to water. Can you help in this effort?

Two people wearing masks standing next to a large object.
A green and white trailer is parked on the ground.
A small room with a bed inside of it
Two people building wooden blocks on a table.
A small trailer with a green roof and window.
A green and white barrel sitting in front of a building.

Climate Change Activism

The Tikkun Olam Committee has sponsored a number of Town Hall events on local Climate Change Solutions. We recently won second place in the city wide carbon challenge, coming in second place only to LCC. We are continuing to organize events and affinity groups to support congregants in their efforts to lower their own carbon footprints.

A group of men are working on a portable toilet.

Conestoga Hut

TOC contributed to funding the conestoga hut that now stands in the TBI parking lot. The Conestoga Hut Project of St. Vincent de Paul’s Car Camping Program helps to provide transitional shelters to unhoused people in our greater community.

A large pipe sitting on top of a wooden pallet.

Dakota Access Pipeline

TOC, working alongside 4J educators, BLM, Native American Student Union, 350 Eugene, and 4J Natives Program, organized two recent fundraising dinners that raised over $6,500 for direct relief to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A table with some different types of toiletries

Refugee Relief Kit Drive

Despite uncertainty about refugees entering the U.S., we have not stopped caring about refugee families. Conditions in refugee camps are even more difficult because of this uncertainty and hopelessness refugees face regarding the future.

We at TBI can bring help and hope to a refugee family by providing a relief kit or making a monetary contribution that will help fund these kits. A relief kit supplies the most basic items such as towels, soap, toothbrushes and shampoo.

Please see the information posted in the TBI lobby. Geraldine Moreno is representing TBI in the Refugee relief kit drive sponsored by the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County, TBI’s Tikkun Olam Committee and other faith communities. Additional information, an example of a relief kit, and a collection bin are available in the TBI Lobby. Please contact Geraldine if you have questions, would like to make a donation or need a kit to be picked-up. We encourage you to work with others to prepare kits. All donations are tax deductable and Geraldine can provide a receipt. Thank you for supporting this effort.