Be a Piece of the Puzzle: Year-Long Congregational Tikkun Olam Project

Congregants pledged to volunteer 18 hours a year.

Community Contact Information: 
Temple Judea 
Tarzana, CA


  • Encourage members to engage in individual, as well as congregational acts of tikkun olam.
  • Establish the idea that individual mitzvot connect a community.

The “Be a Piece of the Puzzle” project encourages each member of the congregation to pledge 18 hours to tikkun olam activities during the year. 

The social action committee prepared an introduction to the project, including a pamphlet with suggestions for types of projects, local aid organizations, congregational needs, and other ways to engage in tikkun olam. The committee talked to the webmaster of the synagogue’s website about designing an easily updated meter to gauge congregational participation in tikkun olam.

Project Implementation: 
Hands-on service took place in a variety of shapes and forms. In some cases, volunteers served the synagogue community. In other cases, hours were spent serving k’lal yisrael – the greater Jewish community. And still other hours were “clocked” by addressing the local, national or global community in need.

After fulfilling their pledge, congregants’ names and projects were listed on the website’s “mitzvah meter,” which tallies the total hours of congregational volunteerism. Each congregant was given a piece of a 4,000 piece puzzle and was asked to return their pieces to the synagogue at the conclusion of their 18 hours of tikkun olam.

This program became integrated into the religious school and preschool curriculum and became a part of every aspect of synagogue life.