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Home / Newsletters / May 5, 2019 MUS Division Newsletter / A Recap of Our Year of Tikkun Olam

A Recap of Our Year of Tikkun Olam

Thank you to all of the students and staff who have spent and poured countless hours, dedication and love into the act of giving back to others and repairing the World through the many Tikkun Olam projects recapped below:

 

Dog Toys for Helen Woodward

Our 6th grade students took donated t-shirts and sweatpants from our recent clothing drive and spent their time during EXCSEL, making dog toys for the Helen Woodward Animal Center.  Helen Woodward Animal Center is a unique, private non-profit organization in San Diego County that has been committed to the philosophy of people helping animals and animals helping people for over 40 years. Located on 12 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, California, our nationally recognized Center provides a variety of services that benefit the community through educational and therapeutic programs for people, and humane care and adoption for animals.

 

Coastal Roots Farms

On March 28, 2019, our 6th grade students traveled up to Coastal Roots Farms and engaged in an educational Service Learning Tikkun Olam program, with the focus on “Pursuing Justice Through the Corners of our Field”. The students engaged in activities on the farm that exemplified a number of important Jewish agricultural values, including ma’aser (tithing a portion of one’s produce for the needy), pe’ah (leaving the corners of one’s fields unharvested to provide for the needy), and leket (leaving behind the gleanings of the harvest for the needy). It was a fun morning learning about the ancient Jewish wisdom around sustainable agriculture, food justice, and the importance of Tikkun Olam.

During Experiential Education week, our 7th graders spent several hours at Coastal Roots Farms learning about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and ancient Jewish wisdom. While the students were there, they helped do some weeding and harvesting. 

 

Feeding San Diego – Food Pantry

Our 7th and 8th graders provided the equivalent work of more than 21 full time staff during their volunteer efforts at the Food Pantry. They gleaned thousands of pounds of produce which will be shared with families in our community facing food insecurity and hunger. It’s because of volunteers who give generously of their time, that we can envision a hunger-free and healthy San Diego. 

 

Backpacks for the homeless

The Tikkun Olam Committee asked our 7th graders to think about the items they use on a regular basis that they felt they couldn’t live without, what it would be like to live in a car rather than a house, and how that would impact the list they had previously formed.  The students then worked in groups to come up with items that we could pack in a backpack for individuals and families who live in their car. Our 7th graders then worked together to pack backpacks containing the items they had come up with.  The Tikkun Olam Committee took the backpacks with them to the 9th grade Safe Parking Program, where they served dinner to those currently living their car.

 

Denver Project

On May 16, our 8th graders will complete their final Tikkun Olam project in Denver Colorado. We look forward to sharing more about this soon. 

 

9th Grade Trip Project

Members of the freshman class traveled to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park.  In Las Vegas, the students spent the afternoon at the Three Square food bank where they packed over 380 bags of produce for home-bound seniors living in the greater Las Vegas area.   In addition to working in the food production facility, the class took a tour of the facility and learned how “food insecurity” can mean many different things for people across our country. 

 

Safe Parking Program Dinner 

Our 9th and 10th graders spent several months working with the Tikkun Olam Committee on planning and organizing a dinner for unsheltered families and individuals participating in the Safe Parking Program. The Safe Parking Program serves families and individuals who are living in their cars and whom have most recently found themselves homeless for the first time.  The students researched and planned what to cook as a meal utilizing the help of Giselle Wellman and the school kitchen to cook the dinner, what activities we would engage in with these families, and finally spent an evening at JFS serving dinner to the 60 homeless individuals.

 

10th Grade Trip Project — Habitat for Humanity

The students worked at three different work sites in Houston, Texas restoring and building homes.  Their work included putting up drywall, installing insulation, doing interior trim, caulking, and painting. It was clear that they were positively impacted by being in an environment far from their home and comfort zone, challenging themselves, working together as a team, and helping people in need.

 

11th Grade Trip Project

Members of the junior class traveled to Portland for a fantastic community service learning experience. Organized by Tivnu, the program really brought our school’s values of tikkun olam, tzedek (justice), and community to life in a meaningful way. Working together to build boxes, collect rocks, and build a fence is something that we can see right away.” The students’ efforts focused on three projects: Agape Village, Habitat for Humanity, and the Rebuilding Center.

 

12th Grade Pantry Packers

While on the senior trip to Israel, our students spend one day working at the Pantry Packers facility in Jerusalem. Established  in 1788, Pantry Packers is the food distribution arm of Tzedakah Central / Colel Chabad and provides food and household supplies for families in need and senior citizens.

 

Water Bottle Drive

The Tikkun Olam Committee organized and ran an all upper school plastic water bottle drive to not only promote recycling, but also to use the funds raised for the Safe Parking Program projects that the 9th and 10th grade students participated in.

 

Clothing Drive

The Tikkun Olam Committee organized and ran an all upper school clothing drive through the entire month of January.  Thank you for everyone who cleaned out their closets and donated clothing items. We received such an incredible amount of donations that we were able to further donate to three different programs who help the homeless and less fortunate people in the San Diego area!

Seacrest Play

The high school students coordinated a play at the Seacrest Community Center, which depicted a collection of Jewish memories. Every scene gives the viewer a different Jewish story. Whether it be the elderly at the Passover table, or even some young girls at a Bar Mitzvah, this play happily recreates Jewish experiences that many have lived through and shared together.

 

Red Cross Blood Drives

SDJA students Leya Shaw and Gabi Surpin organized and ran two Red Cross blood drives this year, giving both the students and faculty an opportunity to donate blood and give back. 

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