Drop in the Bucket: Tikkun Olam at Moishe House in 2019

by Molly Cram, Senior Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager

When I canvassed in the midterm elections last November with two friends, we knocked on 63 doors in two and a half hours. We only spoke to three people. Of those three, only one was an undecided voter. We spoke to her about the importance of voting and why we hoped she would vote for our candidate. She may have voted. She may have even voted for who we canvassed for. The likelihood of her doing so was greatly increased by our efforts, but it’s hard to see the benefit in a cost analysis: three people canvassed for two and a half hours and might have swayed one voter? Really, a drop in the bucket. But what might have happened if 30 people canvassed, instead of just three? What about 3,000 or even 3 million? If we all canvassed, it might have made an impact.

That’s how I feel about Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world, and through my experience working with Moishe House residents and MHWOW hosts, I know it is a feeling many of you share with  me. And a year ago, I asked myself if there might be a way to encourage the entire Moishe House network to pull in the same direction on key issues related to repairing the world

So, over the past year, at the four Moishe House training conferences across the globe,  MHWOW hosts, Moishe House residents, and Moishe House staff members voted on four pillars of Tikkun Olam for 2019. These are four themes upon which we can all focus and build meaningful programming for our communities.

Our goal is to have every house, 100 MHWOW hosts, and every staff member participate in programming related to at least one pillar at some point in 2019.

If one Moishe House in California hosts a beach clean up day and an MHWOW host in Europe begins composting with their friends and a staff member commits to only using reusable plates and real napkins, do we really solve the issue of Global Climate Change?

Admittedly, no. Again, it’s a drop in the bucket.

But if we all did those things, we would have an impact. And it turns out, Judaism has something to say about this line of thinking:

“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.” (Pirkei Avot 2:16)

You, as an individual, are not obligated to fix Global Climate Change or improve the world’s Health & Wellness or solve Hunger Insecurity or eliminate Prejudice, Discrimination & Oppression. But you do have an obligation to do something.

For ideas on that “something” check out what others in the Moishe House community are up to here and be part of the change.