Tikkun Olam

About Tikkun Olam at Mishkan Shalom

Our Statement of Principles commits us to Avodah (Prayer), Torah (Study) and G'milut Hasadim/Tikkun Olam (Acts of Caring and Repair of the World): "Through acts of caring and repair we seek to transform our world so that it reflects the divine values of justice and compassion." The work of Tikkun Olam is central to our existence as a community.

Our work in Tikkun Olam takes many forms: Mishkan-based committees and working groups and Mishkan members who lead our community's participation in the work of public organizations. If you are interested in Tikkum Olam activities but are not sure where you fit in, or are interested in Mishkan Shalom becoming active in something you don't see listed here, please contact our Board of Director's Tikkun Olam Representative Lynne Iser to see what we can make happen.                        [Image: Lithograph by Mordechai Rosenstein]

Mishkan Shalom-based Committees and Working Groups:

Sustainable Mishkan

Lynne Iser, Contact

New Jim Crow Study/Action Group

Lynne Iser, Contact

On the Martin Luther King day following the Heschel-King Festival, we reflected on what Dr. King would be doing about one of the largest civil rights issues of our time, mass incarceration. We gathered for a screening and panel discussion of Broken on All Sides, an award-winning documentary about the causes of mass incarceration in the U.S., how systemic racism impacts criminal justice and ways to change the system. Following-up, we began a book discussion and program series study/action of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

Immigration Working Group

Rabbi Michael Ramberg and Judith Bernstein-Baker, Coordinators

“For we were once strangers in a strange land” Leviticus 19:34 Mishkan Shalom has been connected with the Philadelphia New Sanctuary Movement since its inception in 2008; and, through our Immigration Working Group, we have been actively accompanying a family in its efforts to successfully immigrate to the United States.


Rabbi Shawn Zevit or Lynne Iser, Board Representative for Tikkun Olam, Contacts

Informed by our Statement of Principles, Israel-related programming at Mishkan Shalom evolves in relation to the needs and concerns of our community.

63rd Street Shelter

Rivka Jarosh, Coordinator

“Let all who are hungry come and eat” Passover Haggadah For 20 years, every second Monday of the month, Mishkan Shalom school families and members have helped make and serve hot meals for residents and others at the Eastern Delaware County Life Center at 63rd and Market Street. The Center houses 35 people. It opens its doors for dinner every night to whoever needs a meal. This is an important and rewarding experience for our school’s children in their efforts to learn about poverty and acts of caring.

Romero Interfaith Center & Interfaith Community Building Group

Lance Laver, Contact

“They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them” Exodus 25:8

Mishkan Shalom, along with St. Vincent's Parish and Tabernacle United Church, is a constituent congregation in the local Romero Interfaith Center (RIC), founded in response to the struggle of rural people in El Salvador for basic human rights and social justice. RIC continues to support our sister city of Las Anonas de Santa Cruz. Members of Mishkan and St. Vincents founded the Interfaith Community Building Group in 1997 and annually work with other groups and people in under-resourced communities on their construction projects.

Mishkan Shalom’s participation with public organizations:


Steve Newman & Lisagail Zeitlin, Co-chairs

Interfaith Hospitality Network

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, Coordinator

“Bring the poor that are cast out to your house” Isaiah 58:7 Each winter, Mishkan hosts several families in transition from homelessness through the Northwest Interfaith Hospitality Network. We welcome these families by bringing food, eating with the families and staying overnight.

Heeding God’s Call (Ending Gun Violence)

Susan Windle, Coordinator

“Thou shalt not kill”  Exodus 20:13 We are in partnership with Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based movement to prevent gun violence. We unite with people of faith in the sacred responsibility to protect our brothers, sisters and children. Members participate in monthly vigils and protests at the site of Philadelphia murders and outside of gun shops.

Interfaith Peace Walk

Lance Laver, Peter Handler, Brenda Lazin, Coordinators

“When I look into your face, I see the face of God”  Genesis 33:10 Mishkan Shalom participates in the annual Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation, a walking dialogue among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans and others. As participants share prayers, teachings, singing and fellowship, they affirm each other’s spiritual values. The twelth annual Philadelphia Peace Walk is on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

T'ruah: Human Rights Shabbat

On December 13, 2014 we joined with over 185 communities worldwide in commemorating the seventh annual T’ruah: Human Rights Shabbat focused on the intersection of Jewish values and universal human rights.

Human Rights Shabbat is a T'ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights) initiative to educate Jewish communities about the intersection of Jewish values and universal human rights. Read more here.

We explored human rights in the light of racial justice issues in the forefront of American life and in light of Rabbi Shawn’s recent trip to Israel, our work with POWER, and Rabbi Mordechai Liebling’s participation in protests in Ferguson in Tru’ah and other activities. A special haftarah of the Declaration of Human Rights was chanted as well.

Click here to read about the additional affiliations and public stands we have been involved with.

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128 - ph: (215) 508-0226 / office@mishkan.org Site map