Where can you do hands-on work for social justice in the morning, find out what an ancient Jewish text has to say about collective responsibility in the afternoon, and celebrate Shabbat in the evening?

Tivnu at WorkTivnu is Hebrew for Build! At Tivnu, we build houses, build community, and build a better world. Tivnu: Building Justice is the only service learning organization that braids together advocacy for the fulfillment of basic human needs, Jewish study, construction work and training, and leadership development.

Tivnu, located in Portland, Oregon, offers one-day and one-week programs, summer programs, and a nine-month residential gap year experience for high school graduates.

Tivnu participants:

  • learn construction and community organizing skills
  • build affordable housing and engage in other direct-dervice work with non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, Street Roots, and PCUN, the Oregon Farmworkers’ Union
  • study Jewish texts and Jewish historyto find out what they can teach us about today’s most urgent social problems
  • examine the issues of affordable housing, food security, and other essential needs
  • explore their Jewish identity within a welcoming, pluralistic community

mitzva_corps_gardening_2014“Getting to frame an entire section of wall with David [a participant] was awesome. We got into a sweet groove, trusting our minds and skills as equals. It was really fun!”

“This week opened up a new way of viewing Jewish community, Jewish life, and Jewish social justice. I see the aligning of Jews and other groups as a powerful movement in the fight for a just community.”

“Steve’s [founder of Tivnu] trust in my ability to absorb and convey information was critical. He would often give me a task and ask me to bring in others to help me. This forced me to convey what I knew to others and therefore, take leadership over the project.”