Community Programs

Tivnu: Building Justice offers multi-day programs in the Portland area for groups that are looking for a hands-on experience of service-learning and social justice work. Like our Gap Year experience, our short-term programs weave together activism, study of social justice issues from Jewish and global perspectives, community-building, and concrete physical work.

One-day and multi-day programs for all ages


Community Programs Our programs are fun, active, and out-of-doors. They bring together Jewish groups and individuals who want to do meaningful, physical tikkun olam (social justice) work with organizations that need volunteers to help with a variety of projects. Past community programs include farming, environmental, and construction projects, including collaborations with Habitat for Humanity and PCUN, the Oregon Farmworkers’ Union. Participants work with members of partner organizations as well as Tivnu staff.

Tivnu programs provide a bridge between different Jewish groups as well as between the Jewish community and other communities. They are innovative, pluralistic, and involve the hands as well as the head and heart. We aim to provide a unique resource for the Jewish community, to educate about issues of food security, affordable shelter, and environmental justice and to partner with existing organizations to address these basic human needs.

To talk with us about creating a program for your synagogue, school, or other organization, please contact Tivnu.

The most memorable thing for me was…

…driving the backhoe. I felt like I was living my childhood dreams.

…getting to do construction work with women who are confident and capable.

Javier [PCUN’s volunteer coordinator ] was a tremendous host not because he served us, but because he put his trust in us. He was honest about the reality of working with white people, but he also let us know how important our presence was. He had volumes of information and reflections, both personal and historic. He was a true leader.

The level of complexity involved in building a wall was at a perfect level for a bunch of beginners. Steve [Tivnu’s founder] did not baby us. He showed confidence in our ability to learn quickly and apply learning.

The last day, making food with Carmen [a PCUN leader], having Shabbat all together and meeting Carmen’s children, really created a sense of having been part of something…The preparation for the event, the chance to share Shabbat with a community that had shared so much with us, this was incredibly powerful for me.