Where can you learn how to use a table saw in the morning, see what an ancient Jewish text has to say about social justice 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, and construction work and training.

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 skills
  • build affordable housing and other vital projects with non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, REACH Community Development Corporation, and PCUN, the Oregon Farmworkers’ Union
  • study Jewish texts and Jewish history to find out what they can teach us about today‚Äôs most urgent social problems
  • examine the issues of affordable housing and other essential needs
  • explore their Jewish identity within a welcoming, pluralistic community

“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.”

“I want more!! As in, I want it to continue into my regular daily life.”