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Tikkun Olam at Havurah

The goal of Havurah’s Tikkun Olam programming is to be a force for positive social action and healing in the broader community by focusing, organizing, and engaging the Havurah community in social justice work.

Our current active workgroups are listed below. In addition to marching in the Pride Parade and being a welcoming congregation, we continue to explore ways to engage around economic and racial equity work and are involved with plans to invite our community to respectfully engage around Israeli/Palestinian issues through various programming opportunities over the coming year.

Climate Action

The Havurah Climate Action Team (HCAT) raises awareness and takes action to address the threats from the climate crisis. HCAT creates opportunities for Havurah families to make a difference at home, at the synagogue, and in the larger community. We organize climate action discussions, trainings, and other activities to help Havurah members engage and understand the importance of this issue and work together to grow the seeds of our hope—as part of our 21st Century mitzvot. Lead: Michael Heumann

Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG)

Havurah is one of 24 MACG member institutions in the Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas county region, including religious organizations, unions, community housing, and health care organizations. Together, we leverage our collective power for the greater good. All MACG member institutions engage in a process to identify and prioritize issues that most impact our members and around which we can be most effective in effecting change. Current Action Teams include Housing, Immigration, and Climate Change/Environmental Justice. Our Core Team/Workgroup provides a link between MACG and Havurah and engages members of our community in MACG’s process and opportunities for involvement, action and leadership development. Lead: Susan Rosenthall

Poverty & Homelessness

Havurah members volunteer regularly at a shelter run by Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS). The mission of PHFS is to empower homeless families with children to get back into housing and to stay there long-term. PHFS helps over 180 families per year to move from homelessness into housing, and 94% of those families remain in housing long-term. Almost half of the children who spend time in the PHFS shelter are less than five years old. Havurah members make and share a meal with the families, spend time with the children, help with laundry and set up the shelter space during their volunteer shifts. Lead: Gloria Halper


Partnering with Catholic Charities to provide direct support to refugees moving to the Portland area, Havurah members serve as cultural navigators to help refugee families acclimate to life in the U.S. Havurah families host refugees in their homes until permanent housing can be found, and we support furniture and clothing drives when needed. Lead: Chris Coughlin


Our work with immigrants focuses on defining and implementing what it means for us to be a Sanctuary Congregation. With support from the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), we have identified two focus areas: political action and community engagement. Tikkun Olam Adelante, our community engagement work, consists of four social and educational programs at the Ortiz Center in the Cully neighborhood: Resource, Support, and Connection (Havurah members who are conversational in Spanish assist clients in navigating a range of issues such as employment, housing and legal services); English Language Learning for Adults; English Language Conversation for Adults; and After School Tutoring for Elementary School-Aged Children. Political action connects our community members to actions related to immigrant justice and provides education to our community. Lead: Shari Raider

Helpful Links & Other Community Partners

If you’re a member of Havurah Shalom and have a new idea or would like to request that the Tikkun Olam Committee sponsor a cause, please complete this form and email it to The committee maintains an email list for members to share information about Tikkun Olam events. Please email us if you'd like to be added to the Havurah Shalom Tikkun Olam email list.

In addition to the efforts happening through our workgroups, we have partnerships with many organizations, including those listed below:

  • Community Warehouse – Local, nonprofit furniture bank that collects and redistributes donated furniture and household goods to neighbors in need.
  • Lift Urban Portland – Interfaith community of volunteers serving NW Portland and parts of downtown through a food pantry, backpacks for kids and annual food drive.
  • Outside the Frame - Changing the way homeless and marginalized youth see and are seen through film.
  • Rafiki Village Project - The Rafiki Village Project was founded by Havurah member David Newman to improve health, increase literacy, and promote economic prosperity in Tanzania by working with the community to identify priorities and to raise funds to support projects. Initial projects have focused on the Gijega Primary School and dispensary in the village of Gishaj Dumbeta Ward. Rafiki Village Project plans to have a volunteer trip to Tanzania in the summer of 2019. (Contact David Newman.)
  • Transition Projects – Serves people’s needs while assisting them in transitioning from homelessness to housing. Havurah students in grades 2 through 6 make and serve meals to Transition Projects residents during the Havurah school year.
  • American Friends of Hand In Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel – American branch of Hand In Hand, a nonprofit co-founded by Havurah member Lee Gordon. Works to build an inclusive society, partnership and equality through a network of integrated, bilingual schools and shared communities of children, youth and adults throughout Israel. (Contact Lee Gordon or Susan Danielson to learn more or contribute financially to Portland Friends of Hand In Hand.)
  • Tivnu Building Justice – Service learning organization that braids together advocacy for the fulfillment of basic human needs, Jewish study, and construction work and training. (Contact Steven Eisenbach-Budner)
Mon, May 27 2019 22 Iyyar 5779