Tikkun Olam Coordinating Committee

Terms of Reference and Supporting Documents

for the Or Shalom Tikkun Olam Coordinating Committee (TOCC)

Draft 3.4 May 12 2021

PREAMBLE

The Or Shalom spiritual community aspires to make this world a better place by raising up human dignity, social justice, climate stability, environmental sustainability, and other like causes. We believe it is our human task to perceive light in this world that is trapped by husks of darkness and do our best to release the light, in this way partnering with the Divine in completing Creation.

Therefore we imagine a world

  • of honour among all peoples locally and globally in which we can all experience social justice
  • of clean air, clean water and lush forests where the words “undrinkable and water shortage” do not have a ring of truth to them
  • where the rise of water and land desecration does not threaten communities.
  • without systemic racism
  • where children, women, people of colour, Indigenous peoples and all people are free from fear and abuse
  • with justice, safety and respect within families, communities, and nations
  • where personal gender identities and rights are equally respected locally, nationally and globally
  • where all ages have access to safe and secure housing, food, education, justice and the law.

The Or Shalom spiritual community considers Tikkun Olam (the healing of the world) and Tzedakah (righteous giving) as inseparable values of both individual and community responsibilities*. These concepts are integral in Jewish teachings and ethics and therefore woven into the fiber of the Or Shalom spiritual community. They reflect the vision and principles of ALEPH and of Jewish Renewal progressive ideals, thoughts and activities.

In the past, members of the Or Shalom community have proudly carried a banner indicating Or Shalom’s support for such events as the Pride Parade, Peace Marches, Earth Day, Global Climate Strike, Women’s March, and First Nations Gatherings. Although not all our members may have agreed with some or all aspects of our Tikkun Olam events, we recognise that standing up as a

community shows leadership on social justice and climate issues and has been a longstanding part of Or Shalom’s commitment to its Jewish values.

*“Or Shalom is committed to Tikkun Olam, therefore, we consciously raise awareness of and work toward climate stability and social justice. We believe in Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah (Or Shalom website, 2021).

  1. DESCRIPTION

The Tikkun Olam Coordinating Committee (TOCC) is an active committee of the Or Shalom community that provides support and accountability for Tikkun Olam activities and reports to the Or Shalom Board of Directors through a TOCC Member Board Liaison.

  1. MANDATE

To inspire our membership to act on Or Shalom’s values of Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah.

  1. RESPONSIBILITY

To educate, inform, organize and inspire the Or Shalom community and others to deeply consider and act on repairing and healing our world.

  1. MEMBERSHIP
    • Any member of Or Shalom is welcome to become a voting member of either the TOCC or one of its Working Groups.
    • At least one member of each Working Group will become a member of the TOCC.
    • The Rabbi, Or Shalom Program Director, and any board member who are not active members of the TOCC are considered ex-officio members of the TOCC and may attend meetings with voice but no vote.
    • Other members of the community may attend meetings as Guests of the TOCC.
    • Quorum will be 50% of the active TOCC membership.
  1. ACTIVITIES
    • a. Tzedakah: Utilizing the process outlined in the attached guidelines, the TOCC is responsible for

encouraging and collecting non-designated tzedakah donations from OrShalom members on Erev Yom Kippur (either in person or through thewebsite)

  • recommending organizations for distribution of these funds to the Board
  • supporting and encouraging collection of Tzedakah when appropriate during Or Shalom activities such as passing or having a Tzedakah box at meetings and social events.
    • b. Projects: The TOCC will determine its own projects, while always being open to input from the community, rabbi, staff and Board. Projects may include
      • establishing working groups to develop policy initiatives and projects to recommend to the Board and/or the Or Shalom community as a whole. The current (2021/2022) working groups are: Climate Emergency, Reconciliation and Anti-Racism.
      • raising awareness within Or Shalom and the larger community around social justice issues
      • supporting specific external initiatives on a local, national or global level
      • collaborating with external groups actively involved in initiatives such as Project Isaiah, local neighbourhood house projects, etc.
      • celebrating and amplifying the Tikkun Olam activities of individual Or Shalom members.

c. Board Endorsement: The TOCC will seek Board endorsement should it desire to:

      • make public statements (written or spoken) on behalf of the entire Or Shalom community (as opposed to speaking as the “Tikkun Olam Committee” or “Members of Or Shalom”
      • sponsor, endorse or fundraise for a specific issue, organization or cause;
      • give money to an organization (as opposed to an honorarium for a speaker).

d. Decisions: The TOCC will use the decision-making process outlined in the attached guidelines to select projects, set priorities and identify the need to consult with the Board.

  1. AUTHORITY

The TOCC

    • will submit an annual itemized budget request by the end of April in anticipation of Or Shalom’s June budget finalization deadline

may,inconsultationwiththeBoard,applyforgrantsorfundingtocoverprojectsthat cannot be incorporated into the regular Or Shalom budget

  • can make appropriate use of Or Shalom resources including staff time, electronic communications, Zoom, building scheduling and website updates – as capacity and resources allow. One member of the TOCC will be designated to liaise with staff.
  1. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE
    • The TOCC will select a chair or co-chairs who will be responsible for scheduling meetings, preparing agendas and chairing meetings
    • The minute-taker will be responsible for preparing and circulating the minutes and action items to the committee in a timely fashion. The TOCC will either select a minute-taker for the year, or rotate the position at each meeting
    • One member of the TOCC will be the Board liaison responsible for presenting regular reports to the Board (in consultation with the TOCC) and reporting back after board meetings
    • Meetings will take place at least once per quarter, or more often if required/requested by the members
    • All meetings will begin with a kavanna (intention) and end with agreement on proposed decisions and actions.
  1. ACCOUNTABILITY

The TOCC will

    • make regular reports to the board of directors on its activities through the board liaison
    • document and provide receipts and explanation for all expenses incurred through its activities as authorized within the budget
    • conduct a yearly review of its work to determine its effectiveness; and
    • undertake an annual review of the Terms of Reference and, where appropriate, recommend changes to the Board.

GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TZEDAKAH DISBURSEMENTS

To arrive at a recommendation about who should be the recipients of Tzedakah funds, the Tikkun Olam Coordinating Committee will:

1.requestproposalsfromOrShalommembers(includingmembersoftheTOCC)for worthy recipients using the listserv, e-mail, Doar, etc. Timing: every year inFebruary

  • review all proposals for recipients
  • select at least four recipients using the following guidelines:
  • local Jewish
  • global Jewish
  • other local
  • other global
  1. divide available funds (whenever possible) equally between four organizations
  2. submit recommendations to the Board, together with the amount to be given, including a short paragraph describing the purpose and activities of each of the proposed recipients to the Board for approval no later than the November board meeting.
  3. notify the community of the recipients using Or Shalom technology (listserv, website, etc.)

GUIDELINES FOR TOCC DECISION-MAKING

  1. Is this activity congruent with Or Shalom’s core values and articulated Tikkun Olam statements:
    • NO (Or Shalom as a community will not participate, support or endorse this activity) OR
    • YES (move on to ask more questions)
  1. Does this activity create controversy?
  • Not applicable, none to minimal. (Yes to the activity with no need for further consultation)**
  • Yes but only somewhat. Will the activity add to the community’s understanding of the subject or participation in the activity? (Yes to the activity with no need for further consultation)**
  • Yes and very controversial. Will these discussions and presentations raise awareness and understanding? Although this activity/topic issues are controversial, will these discussions address inequities, justice and human dignity in a fair, respectful and balanced way? (Discussion required with serious consideration for the activity with input of the rabbi and/or Board)
  1. Will there be a cost?
    • NO (the activity can go forward if approved above)
    • YES (either include in yearly budget request or consult about fundraising or request an emergency allocation from the rabbi or the Board if a quick response is required)

 

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** Examples of TOCC activities that do not require additional Board approval:

    • Written support or being named on an activity, program or project
    • Community awareness (website, listserv, Keren Or)
    • Community education
    • Community action and/or participation in activities such as parades, rallies in concert with the greater Jewish Community or wider secular communities
    • Anything else where we are identified solely as the Tikkun Olam Committee