NEW! Tikkun Olam Book Club


Baruch Haba! Welcome to the Tikkun Olam Book Club!

Please join for 7 intimate book conversations concerning climate emergency, systemic racism, and Indigenous wisdom. Focusing mostly on Canada, these books will hit us hard in our uncomfortable places, offer guidance and direction on how we can make a tikkun, a repair, in radically new ways, as partners with the Holy One on this earth.

Feel free to join any and all of our 7 book conversations. We will meet on the second or third Sunday of each month, for 7 months starting in November by zoom. We will gather at 7:30 pm and close by 8:45 pm.

After the book and author are introduced, we will break up into groups of 5-7 persons for discussion, guided by discussion questions.

We will try to reserve the books in our libraries, find discounts for book purchases when we can, and will point out other resources to get these books into all of our hands. We will also provide notice if a book offering changes during the year.

With love from the Tikkun Olam Book Club organizers: Avril Orloff, Marianne Rev, Michal Fox, Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Alexis Kellum-Creer, and Tammy McCurry.

Please contact the Tikkun Olam Committee at with any questions.

Here are the dates and the books chosen by the Tikkun Olam Committee.

  1. Sunday November 15, 7:30 pm

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

“To refuse to listen to someone’s cries for justice and equality until the request comes in a language you feel comfortable with, is a way of asserting your dominance over them.” Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo’s book is a comprehensive conversation guide on racism. The book raises questions and provides talking points and counter-arguments, for both people of colour and others, on systemic racism. Oluo asserts that no matter how well-intentioned we might be as individuals, our complacency with racist systems makes us all complicit. The author shares how we can leverage our privilege to take specific actions against systemic racism — in our neighbourhoods, communities, schools, workplaces, and in our local governments.

Facilitators: Avril Orloff and Marianne Rev.

  • The audiobook is downloadable from the Burnaby Public Library (limited copies available) and the VPL (unlimited copies available).
  • The ebook is downloadable from the Burnaby Public Library and the VPL (limited copies available).
  • Hard copies are available, in addition to all public libraries, wherever books are sold, for example at fine local indie booksellers Pulp Fiction or Massy Books. Pulp Fiction offers a discounted list price of $20.69 (regular $22.99) and also offers a 30% discount off regular price for quantities of 10 or more.
  1. Sunday December 13, 7:30 pm: A Community wide Celebration on the 4th Night of Chanukah!

Our entire Or Shalom community is invited to celebrate Chanukah by lighting our menorot, and introducing Seth Klein’s newly published book A Good War – A book that evokes the teachings of Chanukah: No matter that the odds are stacked against us, in the darkest of times, we have an imperative to act to repair the world.

Zooming in to address us, Seth Klein, the founding director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, will speak about how we as Canadians, can address our climate emergency in ways that support the welfare of all Canadians, and especially our First Nations’ families.

A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency by Seth Klein

Once emergencies are truly recognized, what seemed politically impossible and economically off-limits can be quickly embraced.” Seth Klein

A Good War is Canada’s blueprint for effectively tackling the climate crisis, transitioning to a zero-carbon society, and making these transformations in just and equitable ways. Klein holds that the technology is largely ready to go, but what’s missing is the political will. He uses the example of how Canada rose to the challenges of World War II to demonstrate our country’s ability to act forthrightly and creatively in crisis. Importantly, Klein also discusses what the Second World War can teach us about reducing social inequality in the face of a crisis and the crucial role Indigenous people have played in both our wartime efforts and our current battles on climate change.


  • 20 signed copies will be available at 30% off the list price, for a total of  $18.34 incl. GST. Get your name on the reserve list now by contacting!
  • If purchasing a book is a stretch, contact to arrange a book loan.
  • The publisher’s website offers purchase of the audiobook for $29.99 and the e-book for $18.99.
  • The e-book is downloadable free from the Burnaby Public Library and the VPL.
  • Check out our local book sellers and other sources for audiobooks.
  1. Sunday January 10, 7:30 pm

A Mind Spread out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

Living with lice for a decade became a metaphor for the shame of poverty.” Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott asks essential questions about the treatment of First Nations persons, while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma. She engages with wide-ranging topics such as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, and sexual assault, and in the process makes connections both large and small, between the past and present, and the personal and political—such as her childhood diet of Kraft Dinner—to how systemic oppression is directly linked to health problems in First Nations communities. Elliott also suggests powerful tools for a better future.

  1. Sunday February 14, 7:30 pm

The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole

“This idea that Canada’s racial injustices are not as bad as they could be, this notion of Slavery Lite, of Racism Lite, … is a very Canadian way of saying: remember what we could do to you if we wanted to. Passive-aggressive racism is central to Canada’s national mythology and identity.” Desmond Cole

The Skin We’re In exposes the long history of Canadian settler colonialism and white supremacy by weaving the history of anti-Black racism in Canada and by demonstrating that contemporary experiences are a mere continuation of state violence and oppression towards the Black Canadian community. Cole uses an intersectional approach by placing a spotlight on the stories of Black queer and trans communities, neurodivergent Black people, Black migrants, and Black women. Cole also illustrates the distinctions and parallels of Black and Indigenous oppression throughout Canada’s history.

  1. Sunday March 14, 7:30 pm

The Citizens Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress by Mark Jaccard

“Demanding that the global climate agreement only happens if it is seen as equitable by every country on the planet is to ensure that it won’t happen. Those who demand this need to look in the mirror when it comes to allocating blame for a continued global failure that is now especially harming the poorest people on the planet.” Mark Jaccard

Professor Jaccard, an SFU climate economist with a long national and international career in emissions reduction and policy modelling, debunks eleven myths that undermine effective climate action. The myths are not those of climate denialists, but rather more interestingly, ones believed by those who support action on climate change. Jaccard offers a path to climate success, built around strong regulatory action, carbon pricing, a system of carbon tariffs, and supporting poorer countries in energy transitions.

  1. Sunday April 11, 7:30 pm

The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson

“The issue is not behaviours but fundamental rights, our land rights and the inalienable right to self–determination. The remedy is not apologies and hugs but recognition and restitution.” Arthur Manuel

These life long first nation activists demonstrate how Canada’s attempts to reconcile with Indigenous peoples will remain misguided if we continue to do so, without confronting the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship, such as the current state of land claims and the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions. The authors offer an illuminating vision of what Canada needs to do for true reconciliation to take place.

  1. Sunday May 9 Mother’s Day, 7:30 pm

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“The young and the old are linked in one long breath, an inhalation that calls for reciprocal exhalation, nourishing the common root from which they both arose. New leaf to old, old to new, mother to daughter – mutuality endures. I am consoled by the lesson of lilies.” Robin Wall Kimmerer

Professor Kimmerer weaves together mind-blowing botanical knowledge, storytelling, philosophy, motherhood, spirit and being Potawatomi into a full celebration of life that is both ordinary and magical. Kimmerer urges us to recognize an inclusive reciprocity with our environment, where we ought to be interacting in such a way that the land should be thankful for the people.