Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World


Hillel said:  Do not separate yourself from the community.

Pirkei Avot 2:4

Bolton Street Synagogue invites you to join us in engaging in the mitzvah of tikkun olam: repairing the world. 

  • We seek opportunities for maasim tovim (good deeds) for all members of the congregation and to develop and support our members’ interests to work actively toward tikkun olam .
  • We look for opportunities for building bridges between the different movements of Judaism, as well as between other faiths in working towards tikkun olam, and
  • We work toward incorporating actions and consideration of tikkun olam into the culture of the Bolton Street community.

Based on members’ interests and passion, we have increased opportunities for direct action, focusing primarily on local Baltimore and Maryland issues such as educating our youth, marriage equality, homelessness/hunger/poverty, and green initiatives. 

And please join Bolton Street’s New Social Action Campaign on Education:

Responding to a widely expressed desire to convert political frustration into positive action, a group of congregants worked to develop a new kind of social justice campaign for Bolton Street that would:

  • Make a positive impact on a need of great importance
  • Create social action opportunities for all BSS members
  • Lead to meaningful local partnerships
  • Tap into already existing professional expertise, at the local and national levels, and
  • Enhance Bolton Street’s standing in the larger community.

The issue the congregation selected was education – specifically, pre-K through 12th grade public education in Baltimore City and Maryland, and the disparities in student achievement seen across the City and state. We will focus on three important sub-issues in the next few years: 1) public education funding; 2) early childhood education; and 3) the needs of vulnerable student populations, such as children with disabilities and mental health challenges, the homeless, English language learners and others.

Click here to learn more about the campaign, and how you can get involved.

Below is a list of a few of other projects. Please join us in some or all of these endeavors; in addition, please let us know of your own passions and interests. It all starts with one person.

  • The BSS Casserole Program—Started in 2009 with an initial delivery of 20 frozen homemade casseroles, members at the synagogue and our neighbors in the adjacent Roland Park neighborhood prepare homemade casseroles, which are then delivered to Our Daily Bread in Baltimore the 4th Sunday of every month. Anyone can be part of this once-a-month program that takes minimal effort but provides major impact in feeding the hungry in our city. Recipes can be found here. Contact Bob Brown at bobbrownme@aol.com to sign up for a email reminder and more information.
  • Reading Partners–More than a dozen BSS members volunteer weekly throughout Baltimore in this highly successful program to boost children’s rates of literacy learning. It’s also a lot of fun! For more information, contact cathyraab@aol.com or  visit readingpartners.org.   
  • Tikkun Olam for our Children and Youth –Throughout the school year, children participating in religious school and other activities have opportunities to do social action, including a holiday project in December and teen volunteer opportunities. Activities include Mitzvah Day, adopting families connected with the Harriet Lane Clinic during the winter holidays, and making sandwiches for the hungry and homeless in Baltimore.

Over the years we have…

  • Housed homeless families in our synagogue through our partnership with the Baltimore Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Hosted an interfaith forum on gun violence
  • Helped lead the charge for marriage equality in Maryland
  • Provided toys for needy children 
  • Made hundreds of casseroles for those less fortunate
  • Cleaned streams and provided environmental education in the surrounding area
  • Convened hundreds of civic and clergy leaders to explore ways to improve public education in Baltimore City