Tikkun Olam: MJDS Students Build a Tiny Home

Students will get hands-on design and building experience as they create a custom Tiny Home to be delivered to the Veterans Village in Racine. The Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin organization addresses the needs of homeless veterans, providing their own personal home to sleep and relax. Each house has a bed, chair and television. Meals and bathroom facilities are available 24-hours a day in the communal lodge which encourages the veterans to interact with each other and reduce isolation.

Follow our journey as we prepare for a Spring 2023 delivery!

Student Blog Posts

Thursday, March 16:
It was raining, and we were tired, so we decided to stay indoors. We went over what we learned, what we did, and what we still need to do. We looked at the blueprints, and we tried to ask and answer questions that we had. Our next steps are to flip over the floor (easier said than done...), put on the other sheets of wood on the other side, and then build the walls. We still don't know if we will build the walls directly on the floor, or build them off of it and then connect them to the floor, but we need to cross one bridge at a time.

Tuesday, March 14:
We made a mistake last Thursday, and we needed to fix it. The plywood boards on the floor were not square, which would mean the entire house would be tilted and unsteady. Adon Salinski, our woodworking teacher, removed the boards, but then we had to put them on again, which took all of the class time. Although the boards are still a bit over the edge, they were square, which means our tiny house would still be OK. We learned how to put on wood glue, and we had to problem solve how to put on the boards so they wouldn't be uneven.

Veterans Village

Tikkun olam (repair the world) is a concept our students learn throughout their MJDS experience. Our responsibility, as Jews and as people, is to make the world a better place. Our tradition -- from the early precepts of the Torah through the rabbinic literature to today -- students explore what it means to repair the world. Led through Mitzvah Day, Voice of the Children and multiple opportunities throughout the grades internalize this core Jewish principle and do their part to repair the world.

Mitzvah Day

Mitzvah Day is held annually in memory of Michael Kovnar, a seventh grade MJDS student who passed away due to cancer in 1999. To honor his short life and legacy of raising money for others in need, upper school students volunteer at different locations all over the city while lower school students do work for a number of different charities within the building.

Organizations that students volunteer with include:

      • Jewish Community Center
      • Gan Ami
      • St. Ann's
      • Hunger Task Force
      • The Jewish Home
      • SHARP Literacy
      • VA Hospital
      • Hope House and more.

Mitzvah Day is an incredible day of community service and a special tradition at MJDS.