Tikun Olam

A key component of Judaism is striving for social justice for all. In the words of Rabbi Hillel, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” Join us in helping to repair the world one step at a time by assisting with an existing initiative or creating your own. It can be a one time event or ongoing. Some of the current opportunities within the Tikkun Olam Committee are as follows:

Transgender and Gender Identity Learning Series
CJC is providing a year-long series on Transgender and Gender Identity issues. Please click here for program details.

CJC’s Green Team – The mission of CJC’s Green Team is to demonstrate and implement CJC’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Its activities are framed within Judaism’s responsibilities to protect creation, which invokes Jewish values or laws. The Green Team is dedicated to raising the awareness of environmental issues and in taking action-oriented steps in improving environmental concerns. In undertaking this work, the Green Team is committed to working with the CJC community, other CJC committees, CJCS, the Meeting House, and with the greater community. 

CJC is currently researching a fiscally responsible way to place solar panels on our roof.

Cooking for Grassroots: We provide 51 meals (an entree and 2 sides) on the 4th Sunday of each month to the Grassroots Homeless Shelter. Committee volunteers purchase, cook and deliver the meals each month. We are always looking for volunteers. No cooking experience needed! If you have any questions, please contact Marlene Trossman, trossmans@verizon.netClick here to sign up to volunteer online.

Fair Trade Gift Shop: In keeping with the spirit of Tikkun Olam, CJC has created a gift shop that features fairly traded and eco-friendly items. In doing so, we are honoring our commitment to the notion that the highest form of tzedakah is to provide opportunities for a person to become economically self-sufficient. We are also honoring the mitzvah to be shomrim adamim (Hebrew meaning guardians of the earth.)

Initiative to End Homelessness in Howard County: There are more than 200 people in our community living in shelters, cars or in the woods. It doesn’t have to be this way. The mission of this sub-committee is to carry out CJC’s commitment to our neighbors in need by supporting a variety of organizations that provide services to homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless. Activities include providing monthly meals to local shelters, volunteering at centers serving homeless people, advocacy efforts including CJC support for the Plan to End Homelessness and in-kind support for local organizations providing services to those in need. Donations of canned food and new or gently used clothing are always welcome. The Homelessness sub-committee is committed to working with CJC members, other CJC committees and the greater community to ensure everyone in our area has a place to call home. Each year, CJC works with Bridges to Housing Stability by fundraising and participating in their annual Chili Cook-Off. While eating well, enjoying the sense of wider community, we also help place this important organization on solid ground.

Periodically, our teens host Cardboard City at The Meeting House. During Sukkot 2019, this was joint venture with Columbia Baptist Fellowship. The students built cardboard shelters, slept outside, learned about being homeless and studied the Jewish perspective on helping those who are poor and

Help for Trauma Survivors: CJC has teamed up with the Shofar Coalition of Baltimore to provide information for trauma survivors of all ages. The mission of Shofar Coalition is to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect of children and to aid adults, adolescents and children who are suffering from the impact of traumatic experiences. The Shofar Coalition strives to create a healing community in a safe and confidential environment responding to abuse with action rather than silence, shame and denial.

In 2017, CJC adopted a JSafe Policy which strives for best practice to protect the children in their programs. Please review our JSafe Policy by clicking here.

Shepherd’s Table: CJC has been volunteering at Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring for approximately 15 years. We go there on the fourth Sunday of every month. CJC provides paper products and juices. We also set up the dining area, serve the meal, bus tables, wash dishes and clean up. Our time commitment on those Sundays is from 4:30p.m. to 8:00p.m. We welcome all willing participants but ask that you call Lois Savar-Rock at 410-715-2151 about 2 weeks before so we don’t have too many volunteers on a given Sunday. Any questions can be directed to Ronee Rothman at 410-730-8162. Click here to volunteer online!

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness: CJC works hard to increase knowledge around mental illness, the many signs of and the opportunities for coping mechanisms and professional help. Annually, we host a dinner for the mentally ill to come together for company and sustenance. In the of Spring 2020, we are co-sponsoring a program on suicide and the wanting signs for both teens and adults with the interfaith community of The Meeting House.

Annual Events

  • Rebuilding Together – Participate with others in local religious organizations with helping to repair the home of a selected needy individual family. You can have great skills or no skills, just a willingness to help out.
  • Red Cross Blood Drives – Give the gift of life. Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. This need can only be met through the willingness of donors, such as yourself. Blood Drives are held every few months at CJCS. Schedule your donation with us or visit www.redcrossblood.org/ to learn more about blood donation opportunities.