AARC members have been actively pursuing Tikkun Olam in many areas since our beginnings as a Havurah. Read about some current and recent activities below, and in the blog posts here.
Helping our immigrant neighbors
AARC and our members are core participants in a cross-congregational effort to help our immigrant neighbors, who are increasingly under threat of deportation. For more information, see https://wewerestrangersmi.wordpress.com/. There are several projects, and AARC members work on all of them, providing rides, food, communication and advocacy. Please join this effort!
The group has a listserv, which is used to organize meetings and projects. If you’d like to join that, go to this page and click on “apply for membership.” Just say who you are and you’ll hear back soon.
The Mitzvah Corps provides the opportunity for members to participate in Tikkun Olam within our community. The Corps organizes support for families and individuals experiencing life-cycle and emergency needs. Helping other community members in times of need is an important communal value and these mitzvot (good deeds) bring rewards to everyone involved. So please don’t shy away from contacting the Mitzvah Corps for support or for joining the Corps in these Mitzvot opportunities. See our email addresses or phone numbers below.
Mitzvah Corps can arrange meal delivery as part of a caravan, visiting, conversation, rides to services, baby-sitting, shiva arrangement, burial services or assisting with other needs. The Mitzvah Corps helps during times of illness, emergency as well as life events such as supporting families with new babies and helping with Bar/Bat Mitzvah, commitment or conversion ceremonies.
Contact Mitzvah Corps Committee members.
Sacred Chant Visits
When recovering from illness or surgery and at times of profound transition and personal loss, it can be helpful and supportive to feel held in the healing space created by prayer and sacred chant. Anita Rubin-Meiller, Barbara Boyk Rust, Idelle Hammond-Sass, and Lori Lichtman offer visits to home, hospital, or hospice to share sacred chant at the beside for individuals and their families. Contact barbara.boykrust @ sbcglobal.net or anita1018 @ sbcglobal.net to get more information or arrange for a visit.
Jewish Federation Flexible Giving
In past years, some of our members felt ambivalent about contributing to the traditional Jewish Federation charitable fundraising. These AARC members sought an alternate vehicle to channel overseas contributions to organizations whose missions they shared. Why? They were concerned that the portion of their donations allocated overseas would support organizations that did not reflect their personal political and social agendas.
Today, both AARC members and others can pursue tzedakah by making donations to the Flexible Giving Option, an approach developed by AARC members in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor. You can designate how much of your donation is given locally and non-locally, and select several options for giving to non-local organizations whose missions you share. Administration of the Flexible Giving Option is handled by the Jewish Federation as part of their annual campaign.
This option exists largely due to the efforts of AARC members. From 2006 to 2011, AARC (then the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah) established and supported the Progressive Jewish Giving Fund, which raised and distributed thousands of dollars from Ann Arbor’s Jewish community to support local, national and international Jewish organizations. The international choices available today via the Flexible Giving Option reflect those singled out by the Progressive Jewish Giving Fund, and include the New Israel Fund, American Jewish World Service, the Joint Distribution Committee, and Mazon.