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About the Tikkun Olam Volunteers

As Reform Jews, tikkun olam (repairing the world) is not just something we do, but it is central to who we are. We recognize that we live in an imperfect world and are obligated to try to repair it. At Temple Shalom, the efforts of tikkun olam are spearheaded by the Tikkun Olam Volunteers (TOV).

In many other congregations, we are known as the Social Action Committee. But the concept of tikkun olam goes further than that. A broader definition of tikkun olam includes not just social action, but also concepts of social justice and advocacy.

  • Social action generally refers to direct activity projects such as mitzvah day, collection drives, and education programs about current issues. For example, in terms of food insecurity, social action is collecting food for the food bank.
  • The concept of social justice is less specific and refers more to the bringing of Jewish values and ethics to the public arena. This is the idea behind the ‘Golden Rule’ of treating others as we would like to be treated, with equal dignity and value.
  • Advocacy is the active encouragement of applying Jewish values to the large number of overwhelming issues which confront our society. For example, in terms of food insecurity, advocacy seeks to change policy so that the causes of food insecurity are eliminated.
  • These are all parts of tikkun olam.

TOV currently runs a wide variety of activities at Temple Shalom, the best known of which are Mitzvah Day, food drives, and clothing collections. But did you know that we are also involved with a couple dozen other projects during the year? Click here for a list of our many projects, and here for more information about the Tikkun Olam Volunteer's mission.

TOV hosted a Hunger and Food Insecurity Forum. Held across three zoom sessions, the goal of the forum series was to: 

1. Understand Jewish values as they relate to our individual and obligation to address neighbors in need
2. Learn about the overall status of hunger/food insecurity in Collier and Lee Counties and how it affects seniors, veterans, children, working families
3. Learn about some of the programs that government, schools and nonprofits offer to address this issue.
4. Share opportunities for Temple members, their families, and groups like chavurah, Sisterhood, Men’s Club etc. to volunteer
5. Discuss any opportunities for systemic change that would address the issue.

Repairing the World Tikkun Olam graphic with photos of various volunteer activities

The complete forum series can be viewed on Temple Shalom's YouTube channel.
The PowerPoint slides used in the presentations can be found here:

Public School Nutrition Services
Community Foundation of Collier County
Harry Chapin Food Bank
Hunger Homeless Coalition of Collier County
Madison Mitchell United Way
Older Adults Food Insecurity

“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 
Anne Frank (1929-1945)

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” 
Albert Einstein

For more information, please contact our Tikkun Olam Volunteers Chair at

Sat, September 30 2023 15 Tishrei 5784