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		                                    Tikkun Olam		                                </span>
		                                		                                
		                                		                            	                            	
		                            <span class="slider_description">One of the foundations of Congregation Etz Chaim is Tikkun Olam, or to heal and repair the world. We are active participants in bringing justice and healing to those around us and our planet. We do so by first identifying the issues faced by members of our community. Not only our congregation, but also locally and internationally.</span>

BOLSTERING OTHER JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS 

We bolster other Jewish organizations through support of the Jewish United Fund (JUF). We host an annual brunch and speaker fundraiser.

CHAMPIONING ACCEPTANCE

We champion acceptance at Etz Chaim and one of the ways we do that is by sponsoring a Martin Luther King Jr. program every year to foster discussion on civil rights and other issues pertaining to Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

Tikkun Olam is not only about people, it’s also healing and repairing the environment. We sponsor local forest preserves and the prairie path clean-ups.

Sometimes though, natural disasters impact people and for them, we donate money. 

The Social Action Committee spearheads our Tikkun Olam efforts by organizing programs, projects, and fundraisers. Due to congregants’ efforts, donations to our Louis and Bettye Kaplan Social Action Fund, and contributions to the tzedakah box in the synagogue lobby, we have supported numerous organizations that fight homelessness, poverty, and hunger; aided Jewish causes in the U.S. and around the world; and improved the environment, health, education, and socio-economic status of disadvantaged individuals.

We try to include as many members of Etz Chaim in this work as possible and give congregants opportunities to roll up their sleeves and give to others. You can read more about these opportunities below.

PUBLIC ACTION TO DELIVER SHELTER (PADS)

In this program we support unhoused individuals by volunteering at a dedicated facility that provides nourishing, hot meals and a safe, warm place to sleep. We partner with the churches St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Villa Park, York Center of the Brethren, Christ the King, Lombard Mennonite, and Lombard Christian Reformed to engage in this work. 

If you’re interested in participating, be it as a volunteer or to donate, reach out to the Social Action Committee at cec.socialaction@congetzchaim.org

 

 

 

OTHER WAYS WE SUPPORT THE UNHOUSED

In addition to the PADS program, we also:

•  Donate food and money to the People’s Resource Center, a food and clothing

   pantry that also provides job skills training in Wheaton.

•  Furnish apartments for PADS shelter residents moving into their own spaces.

•  Support Walk-In Ministries, a service that provides emergency assistance to

   people in need.

•  Deliver Rosh Hashanah and Passover baskets to needy Jews in the area

   through Maot Chitim of greater Chicago.

 

AIDING OUR CONGREGANTS

For certain Etz Chaim high school students, we defray the cost of L'Taken, a program in Washington D.C. that brings together diverse groups of 10th-12th graders from around the country to explore public policy and social activism through a Jewish lens.

We sponsor Mitzvah Day for congregants to help people in need by making items to brighten their day.

We provide networking opportunities for people seeking employment.

We host panel discussions on topics of local interest.

Due to our membership in DuPage United, we represent our congregants’ views on social action in DuPage County, with special emphasis on health, housing, education, and jobs. Through that work, we ensure government funding for social programs.

 

DUPAGE UNITED – AN ALLIANCE OF ORGANIZATIONS

DuPage United is an inclusive, non-profit, fiercely non-partisan organization whose members are civil society institutions: churches, mosques, synagogues, non-profit agencies, and associations. The alliance forms public relationships and acts together to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. 

It was formed to “create a broad-based, non-partisan, civic organization with sufficient relational power to take collective action for social and economic changes that will benefit the people of DuPage County.” In other words, member organizations, like Etz Chaim, influence decision-makers in DuPage County to improve the social and economic situation for DuPage County residents.

Congregation Etz Chaim is one of the founding members of DuPage United. Our leadership recognized long ago the need to actively engage with our neighbors for social justice. Etz Chaim continues to play a strong leadership role among the dozens of member churches, mosques, and secular non-profit agencies and associations. 

 

INTERFAITH

At Congregation Etz Chaim, we promote an open dialogue with friends and neighbors of different faiths to foster positive relationships. We do so through community outreach events that develop mutual respect and understanding within our diverse faith community. 

We also promote positive relationships within our walls, dubbed “in-reach.” We want our interfaith families to feel welcomed and comfortable so we actively host events for them as well.

If you’re interested in interfaith activities, or have suggestions for us, reach out to cec.io@congetzchaim.org.

Wed, November 30 2022 6 Kislev 5783