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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Tikkun Olam & Tzedaka

I’m procrastinating again on writing my conversion essay. I started it AGAIN this morning while I was sitting at Metropolis, but I kept getting distracted by cute boys. One sat at the table right next to me and another kind of diagonal and FACING ME. Don’t you know that if you are sitting alone at a coffee shop, you have to take into consideration the direction all other loners are sitting. THen you face the same way–in this case we were all facing out the window and you sat facing us. Facing me. When you break this unwritten coffee shop rule, you invited eye contact which is akward when I am only on my first cup of coffee and you are on the top third of your french press.

Okay, so neither of my coffee crushes show up on the regulars page–but then neither do I. There is a guy named David who they say is a Talmudic Scholar. Bring it.

Oka, the point of this post was not supposed to be cute boys in my neighborhood, instead Tikkun Olam and Tzedaka. The responsibility to repair the earth and the mitzvah of taking care of others (sometimes translated as charity.) While I always meant to give to charities, I have to say I have given a lot more since starting to live a jewish life. In the last few months, I sent in $100 to the JUF for Israel (and pledged $200 next year and $300 the year after that, but it is a matched donation, so how could I not?) and then $100 to United Jewish Communities for Katrina relief.

What I love is that I now work at a company that also has tikkun olam and tzedaka at its core. Would corporate ever call these two things by their hebrew names? No. But do they act it out whenever possible? Yes. And that is what makes it a great company to work for. Not only is corporate matching donations to United Way’s Katrina Fund, but they also decided to match donations made BEFORE the United Way announcement. So people like me, who donated $100 before the announcement, get the same treatment as folks after. Hooray! That is a company with ethics and I love working for a company with ethics. I never thought it would make such a difference, but to share core beliefs with the management in a HUGE company is a pretty amazing feeling.

ANd I say this after years of working in education where I felt a tension between my personal ethics and how the college was run. Or after working retail and not quite flowing with the business ethics of retail. But to be in a corporate setting and really feel that my ethics line up with the company’s ethics. Great feeling.

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