A basic principle of Judaism is Tikkun Olam, repairing the world through mitzvot, tzedakah, and g’milut hasadim. In the MUS, Tikkun Olam has been a cornerstone of our school for many years. We have participated in many highly-publicized projects supporting recovery efforts for major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. These projects were wonderful events that brought the SDJA community together with a common goal.
As a top independent pluralistic Jewish day school, we felt the need to re-imagine our approach to Tikkun Olam. Over the past two years, an incredible amount of thinking and action went into this initiative. Within the framework of our school’s mission of “Furthering academic excellence, social responsibility, and active Jewish living,” a more robust program was designed. A major focus in our new approach was for students to be deeply involved in the ideating, planning, and executing of the projects. As a result, all MUS Tikkun Olamprojects have three components: learning, action, and reflection. Through this process students learn about issues facing society that need support, including organizations and processes to address these needs, design and implement an action plan, and then reflect on that action.
In order to move the MUS in this new direction to carry out the obligation of Tikkun Olam,Nicole Trotta and Maya Silberstein designed, established and implemented the structure and vehicle for a student-centered program. At the beginning of the year, they formed a student committee comprised of both middle and high school representatives. This group of skilled and dedicated students spent countless hours volunteering their time and effort to make sure that every student in our school had at least one opportunity to take part in a Tikkun Olam project or event. Their results are extraordinary. Below you will see the fruits of their labor — a robust and thoughtful MUS Tikkun Olam program that is dedicated to the true essence of repairing the world.
Some of our projects that were completed this year include: Coastal Roots Farms, Feeding San Diego, JFS Safe Parking Program, clothing drives, plastic water bottle drive, hygiene packs for the homeless, supporting and outreach for the Pittsburgh shooting, building homes in Houston and Portland through Habitat for Humanity and Tivnu, blood drives, Three Square Food Bank in Vegas, blanket making for the homeless, Seacrest performance, and making dog toys for the Helen Woodward Foundation. All of these events and projects were a direct result of SDJA student ideas, brainstorming, planning and execution and we couldn’t be more proud of their work.