This is the year for Tikkun Olam

Having just come back from a 5-day mission to the Bahamas and bearing witness to the awesome destruction of Hurricane Dorian, I can only say this:  the world needs repairing, fast.

As the Secretary-General of CADENA, an international NGO focused on providing humanitarian aid to those affected by natural disasters, I’ve seen how natural phenomenons like hurricanes, fires, droughts, and floodings have only increased in frequency during the past years, only to become an avalanche that we might not be able to stop.

Global warming is increasing risks in almost every corner of the world, with nearly half a million migrants from Central America flooding into Mexico due to a season of droughts; thousands in Northern Africa affected by the lack of rain, and hundreds of thousands displaced by heavy flooding in India, in 2018.

The Jewish High Holiday season is a period of time in which we reflect on our responsibility to our surroundings: our families, our communities, our neighbors, and the strangers. Yes, it is a moment to atone for our faults, but this atonement must be immediately and succinctly followed by action; spirituality must be followed closely by active care; if we do not respond, then we are not living up to our task as Jews in a world that needs fixing.

In CADENA, we believe that humanitarian action is a spiritual quest driven by a sense of purpose; we are also a resiliency agency, convinced that the future will challenge us in unforeseeable ways.

As the Jewish New Year dawns on us, we urge you to get out of your comfort zone and sacrifice your time, your resources and your energy in helping the stranger prepare for a future in an unstable world.

If you do, we want you to know: you’ve got a partner in us.

Shaná tová umetuká.

About the Author
Benjamin is the Secretary-General of CADENA: a global Jewish humanitarian relief agency based in Mexico City. He's the winner of the 2020 "Changing the World" Award, awarded by President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin.