To Repair the World: How? (Private-Religious)

6, 7, 8

This lesson will introduce learners to a number of texts from classical and modern sources on the topic of how the work of tikun olam is to be  performed. From these texts, the learners will derive rules for Jewish living and apply those rules, along with input from family members, to appropriately responding to the question- How is a person to use his/her time, talent and treasure?

PrintOne - Forty-five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define chevruta and explain its application.
  • cite various sources that speak of the Jewish responsibility for tikun olam.
  • derive values from traditional Jewish texts.
  • derive practical rules for living based on these values from traditional Jewish Texts.
  • A variety of facsimile signs (i.e. road signs, Danger signs, No Smoking signs, No Trespassing signs, etc which can be obtained from the Internet and enlarged for classroom use.See:, then search for desired image category
  • Attachment One: Working with Texts
  • Attachment Two: Write The "Rules"
Home Connection 

The learners and their parents are asked to work together to complete the homework assignment Attachment Two:Write The "Rules"

Bibliography (variety of signs)


  1. Anticipatory Set:As the learners enter the classroom have a variety of facsimile signs posted around the classroom. Ask the learners to share their knowledge of the intent of these signs and how their intent might relate to “rules” that are intended to influence and regulate personal conduct. Have them consider other rules they are asked to follow that perhaps are not posted as visibly as these street signs, etc.(i.e. taking turns, appropriately using words like “please” and “thank you”, etc…) Have them share where these rules come from and how they might have come to know them.Teacher Note: Assist the learnersin understanding that sometimes rules come via parents, families, communities, and governments, but that we are also governed by rules that are part of our culture and tradition. Sometimes those rules are implicit and other times they are explicit. Our Jewish tradition is replete with texts that contain explicit and implicit cultural rules and values.



  2. Distribute a copy of Attachment One: Working with Texts to each learner and have assigned learners read all the texts aloud.

  3. Be sure that the learners at least understand the surface meaning of these texts beforearranging the class into groups of two (chevruta/chevrutot) traditional text study partners.Teacher Note: Chevruta is the Sephardic pronunciation of Chevrusa (study partner, either male or female, never mixed). Chevrutot is the plural for study partners meaning groups of study partners. Hence, one could have a partner for Mishna and another study partner for Gemorrah.

  4. Assign a specific text from the Attachment One: Working with Texts to each pair of study partners.Teacher Note: Be sure that all texts are assigned.

  5. Working in their chevruta, have the learners re-read their assigned text and be able to respond to the questions posed at the end of the handout.

  6. When chevrutot have completed their work, have each chevrutot briefly share their responses to the rest of the class. On a display board, chart the responses offered by each group to the final question utilizing this suggested format:

  7. Text # Time Talent Treasure # 1. # 2. (etc)

  8. Once completed, involve the learners in a discussion looking at the similarities and differences in each text’s response to how a person is to use his/her time, talent, and treasure as reported by the assigned group.Teacher Note: Traditional teaching are translated into cultural mandates that are renewed in all times and places by the individuals that live within that culture.

  9. As homework, distribute Attachment Two: Write The "Rules" and assign the learners to work independently and with their families to complete and return this assignment for the next class period or at least prior to beginning the instruction of Lesson Three.


Learner involvement in group discussions, evidence of thoughtful and thorough work in their chevrutot and the successful and on-time completion of their homework assignment will form the basis for assessment in this lesson.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the basic structure of a civil society organization.
    3. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify how families contribute to the socialization of children.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss the function of family traditions and role modeling in teaching about sharing and giving.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how civil-society-sector giving can impact communities.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Define <i>stewardship</i> as a trust of common resources held by a community for citizens.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.