Tikkun Olam responds to the coronavirus crisis
We have no idea where we all will be next week or next month. We pray that all of you are safe and healthy and that we will all be back together celebrating Shabbat at our Temple Beth Am with our extended family looking back on the most challenging time in our world. Tikkun Olam is needed today more than at any time in our recent past.
While you're "stuck" in the house, it doesn’t mean we can’t use this time to help others and to do the holy work of Tikkun Olam!
Below are some ideas of ways you can help:
• Make a mask! Hospitals are running low, and we want them to have all the supplies they need, so make masks for other workers who need to leave the house (farmers, lawn workers, restaurant owners, grocery store clerks, and the Food Bank) or for yourself on a grocery run. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube and Facebook.
• Plant an organic garden! Now is the time since we have time and need an excuse to be outdoors in our yards.
• Begin a compost. No better way to help reduce our waste. Plus it gives you great compost for your organic garden! Here's a link
• Call friends, call fellow congregants (access the TBAM directory or download the TBAM App), call neighbors and let them know they are not alone.
• Doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are required to go to work in times like these. To show your support, display a red/pink heart on doors and mailboxes so all healthcare workers can see them on their way to work! Share the love: #HeartsforHealthcareWorkers
• Offer a free class. What do you like to do? Cook? Dance? Paint? Are you good at algebra? Facebook Live and other platforms are excellent ways to share your talent with the homebound (and if you have things that will entertain kids, parents will thank you!).
• Study Torah and create or participate in a learning session offered by TBA — it could be the start of a regular study which is good for your soul and a great support for others at the temple
• If you are healthy and not in an at-risk group, offer to shop for your neighbors and friends who may be at risk.
• Order take out and support local restaurants.
• Continue to pay your lawn care workers, cleaning staff, etc. Even if they are no longer allowed in your home.
• Give! Many food pantries are running low. Please donate food and, especially, money to charities you value.
• Donate desperately needed blood for those who need it.
• Volunteer to deliver food to the elderly and homebound poor through JCS Kosher Foodbank. JCS is looking for additional volunteers to work — in a very carefully-managed environment — to support the staff at the Kosher Food Bank in preparing food packages for their clients. To volunteer, click this link and select the time and date that works for you.
This is the time to show our gratitude and help those in need in our community and our world. Get involved in politics and let your voice be heard. Rethink your own passions (and talents) and choose something that you can do to make a difference in this world. Feel free to reach out to the Tikkun Olam committee if you want some ideas of how you can become involved.
Rabbi Rachel Greengrass, Clergy Advisor
Carolina Gurland, Vice President, Tikkun Olam
Shelley Jacoby, Committee Chair