A conservative, egalitarian synagogue

jusTICe Va'adah/Seminar

TIkkun Olam and Community

Judaism and Repairing the World for the Future


The “Judaism and Repairing the World for the Future” seminar aims to empower and enrich our TIC learners as they take on the responsibility to truly make a difference in the TIC community and the world.  This seminar may be of interest to those who are passionate about social policy, helping others, and making the world a better place through their actions.  In this seminar, teens will explore topics such as poverty, the power of philanthropy, and various environmental issues.  Through active involvement teens will develop awareness and decisiveness, promote cooperation and empower individuals to see themselves as change agents.  Potential internships available.

In both formal and informal settings such as Youth events, summer camps, and as high school leaders, our teens have the ability to address and make positive change in some of the most pressing social issues of their generation. Meeting weekly, this cohort will build community through shared learning experiences and will have the opportunity to work with leaders in the field of social change.  They will learn about these issues through both academic and hands on activities and will also have the opportunity to create their own teen philanthropy network.  Teen philanthropists will evaluate and come to understand the importance of allocating funds responsibly. By exploring how their own beliefs and how Jewish lives impact their work as change agents, they will think in depth about their role in making the world better.  

Target audience:

All TIC high school teens


Weekly meetings and dinner over the course of the fall and spring semesters, including off site visits to various organizations to learn firsthand about some of the pressing social issues of our time. Weekly meetings are broken down as follows:

  • Dinner and community building (Wednesday nights, 6:30-6:55pm)
  • Learning around that week’s topic (Wednesday nights, 7-7:55pm)

Partnerships and Site Visits:

Possible organizations willing to partner with us in the form of “donating” guest educators or in other ways:


  • Something Good in The World
  • Groundworks Organic Sustainable Barge in the Hudson River
  • Adamah

Teen Philanthropy

  • Impact 100
  • Westchester Jewish Council


  • Family Ties
  • Coachman
  • Greyston Bakery
  • PresenTense
  • Food Pantry at TIC (Hungry and Homeless Committee)

"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is (merely) to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. I think it is above all to matter, to count, to stand for something. To have it make some difference that you lived at all."

         - Leo Rosten


Curriculum Breakdown

Note: This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change based on the interests of our teens



Essential Questions

Possible Resources

Week 1

Tikkun Olam

  • What is the value of tikkun olam?
  • How do I define tikkun olam as an American Jewish teen?  
  • What is my responsibility in “repairing the world?”


Week 2

Taking Care

of Each Other

  • What is our responsibility to take care of others in our community?
  • What is the Jewish way and value regarding the less fortunate?
  • What can I learn from people that I view as less fortunate?

Adina Lichtman, teen founder of Knock, knock, give a sock

Week 3

Social Issue:


  • How do Jewish values inform decisions about this issue?
  • What can I do to make a difference?



Week 4

Poverty in our community

  • Is their poverty in Westchester?  What is the definition of “poverty”?
  • Who are the change agents in the Westchester community? 



Greyston Bakery

Week 5

Social Issue:


  • How do Jewish values inform decisions about this issue?
  • What can I do to make a difference?