You and Judah: How to be a Philanthropist

        Judah Touro was a philanthropist (fil-AN-thra-pist), a person who gives money, time or other things (like food or clothing or buildings) to help make life better for other people. Judah worked hard and made a lot of money. He used his money to help others.

        But you can help other people even if you don’t have a lot of money. If you see or learn about people who don’t have enough of something they badly need, you still might be able to help them out.

        “Tikkun olam” are the Hebrew words for “repairing the world.” When you help others, you are doing tikkun olam.  Every time you do something kind or helpful, you are doing your part to repair the world. Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Any little bit you can do is great. 


Here are some easy ways you can help repair the world:

Give someone a compliment.

Hold the door open for someone.

Give up your seat to someone who is standing.

Spend time with family members, especially if they are old or sick.

Give someone you love a hug.

Make a new friend.

Smile at a stranger.

Introduce yourself to a new kid in town or in your class.

Help around the house.

Give a tissue to someone who is crying or has a cold.

Say “please” and “thank you” a lot.


If you have a little more time, you could: 

      Organize a food drive for hungry people in your town.

        Collect gently-used books and clothes to donate to kids who need them. 

   Make a bird-feeder for hungry birds (check out

Plant flowers in little pots and when they start to bloom, bring them to men and women in nursing homes or the hospital.

        Bake cookies for local veterans or volunteers.        

Make hand-made cards to cheer up people who are sick.

       Donate worn out towels to your local animal shelter.

       Start a school recycling program.

        Organize a beach or park clean-up with friends.        

Write a letter of thanks to someone who does nice things for others.

        Donate your old games or books to kids who don’t have any.

         Make bookmarks or note cards to donate as gifts (or sell to make money to donate).

         On your birthday, in place of gifts, ask some people to send a donation to charity. 

What other great ideas do YOU have?


Websites for more information about Tikkun Olam: Areyvut (,,


              If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that God has left for you to complete.

                                   –Menachem Mendel Schneerson