Tikkun Olam 5784 Tzedakah

Tzedakah Recommendations 5784/2023

With thanks to the Or Shalom community for its varied and excellent nominations, the Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee has the honour of presenting to the Board our recommendations for this year’s High Holidays Tzedakah recipients.

We recommend that donations collected from the proceeds of the Tzedakah Fund, as well as both the physical Empty Your Pockets tzedakah bowl (available on Erev Yom Kippur) and the virtual Empty Your Pockets campaign, be divided equally among the five worthy organizations cited below.

The guiding considerations were:

  • to continue supporting the Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) as an ongoing recipient;
  • to continue our two-year term of support for two of last year’s charities;
  • to select two new recipients for two-year terms; and
  • to support one global, one Israeli, one Indigenous, one environmental, and two local charities.With these as our guidelines, the TOCC hereby recommends that this year’s High Holidays Tzedakah be divided equally between the following five organizations, to support their important work in the local, global, Jewish, and secular communities:

    1. (Continuing, Local)
    Battered Women Support Services (BWSS): Or Shalom identified BWSS as one of 8 “leading lights” in our community several years ago, and we have maintained a strong personal relationship with them over the years. A feminist voice against violence and oppression, BWSS is a strong, dynamic organization that provides support and advocacy for women who have experienced abuse, as well as community education and training about violence against women.

    2. (Continuing, Local, Indigenous)
    Kilala Lelum: Kílala Lelum (Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative) aims to partner Indigenous Elders with physicians and allied health professionals to provide physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care to the community in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

    3. (Continuing, Global, Peace)
    Ukrainian Stop the War Coalition: A network of groups and activists resisting the Russian invasion and supporting peace-building efforts for future reconciliation through supporting nonviolent resistance, promoting war resistance, and strengthening the social fabric in the Ukraine, especially between internally displaced people and their host communities.

    4. (New, Israeli)
    Israel Hofsheet: A subsidiary of the New Israel Fund of Canada, Israel Hofsheet’s Deputy Director Lihi Shmuely was welcomed to Or Shalom this year to share with Vancouver’s Jewish community this organization’s valuable work in advocating for policy change on issues of religion and state in Israel.

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This group has led many public initiatives and campaigns across the country to promote religious freedom and strengthen democracy.

5. (New, Environmental)

Wilderness Committee

Organizes grassroots campaigns grounded in relationships with communities and the land focusing on three areas: Protecting nature, defending wildlife, and fighting climate change. They work with Indigenous communities, grassroots activists, and all levels of government to propose new protected areas and advocate for the swift implementation of conservation measures.

Please note that if High Holidays tzedakah does not allow for a minimum $500 donation to each charity, the TOCC will recommend one charity to be removed from this list.

Please note, as well, that a donation was made earlier this year on Or Shalom’s behalf to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) by the TOCC. This donation was made in recognition of conversations held with an Indigenous member of faculty at UBC, as part of the TOCC task of developing a land acknowledgement for Or Shalom.

We welcome any questions!

Thank you for your consideration.

Submitted by the Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee of Or Shalom
Mary Adlersberg, Michal Fox, Jane Heyman, Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Alexis Kellum-Creer, Avril Orloff, Malcolm Steinberg.

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