Congregation Tikkun Olam
STATEMENT FROM OUR FOUNDERS
In 1995, several Jewish families met to discuss their aspirations, dreams and needs. We found that we shared many concerns about our lives and our community. These informal discussions were followed by regularly scheduled meetings, the objective of which was to concretize the emergent vision for our future. We resolved that whatever we “created” must stand for what we believe. We wanted to be socially responsible. We acknowledged that, even as we seek consensus, it is critical for us to respect individual differences.
We hoped to engender a house of worship where people can worship God, study Torah, and assemble within a community of mutual respect and inclusion.
It was important that non-Jewish loved ones be welcome to be fully participatory. We wished to emphasize the moral, ethical, and spiritual values that are intrinsic to Judaism. We wanted to educate ourselves and our children to be good Jews.
Choosing the name Congregation Tikkun Olam was a culmination of these efforts as it translates to “Repair the World” and represents our desire for active social justice.
- The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State on March 26, 1996.
- The first formal meeting of the Board was held on July 29, 1996.
- The first service was held on Friday, August 30, 1996.
- In 1999. Congregation Tikkun Olam was formally affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), now known as the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).
- From 1996 to 2012, monthly Shabbat services as well as High Holy Day services and holiday celebrations were held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Woodstock, and from 2012 to 2022 at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church also in Woodstock.
- Between 1997 and 2012, we celebrated 34 B’Nai Mitzvahs, many of whom still stay in touch and continue to identify with their Jewish roots.
- CTO has now evolved into a smaller havurah, seeking to meet in members’ homes and elsewhere to maintain our spiritual ties as well as our friendships while maintaining our affiliation with the URJ and the Reform Jewish movement in general.
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