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Our first blog!

Tikkun Olam Nicaragua 2013

A joint effort of team members from:

Beth Sholom Synagogue, Memphis, TN

Lebonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Pine Grove Mills, PA and Ann Arbor, MI

Hello and welcome to the Tikkun Olam Nicaragua 2013 blog. My name is Danny and I am the official "blogkeeper" for this trip. That is both good and bad, at least from my perspective. The good thing is that it gives me an excuse to be on the computer and perhaps clandestinely do some surfing. The bad thing is that the person who is a professional techie and the real official blogkeeper, Russell, will not be able to come on this trip thus causing the team to resort to an amateur like me. This is my first blog so you readers will have to put up with my mistakes.Thankfully, Russell has agreed to be available online and fix my stupid mistakes. I also intend to plagiarize liberally from our training materials. I know this is rather shameless of me but I don't see any point in reinventing the wheel. So thanks and apologies to Tresha and anyone else from whose work I am going to borrow. So with that disclaimer out of the way let's begin:

What is Tikkun Olam Nicaragua?

Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is "A public benefit non-profit charitable organization combating poverty and providing acess to health care services for the needy in underserved Nicaragua. We also provide religious guidance and education for the Jewish community of Nicaragua to ensure their continued spiritual growth."

Our team includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and laypeople who will provide a general medical clinic in the rural mountains of Jinotega, Nicaragua. Our organization is led by Patresha Mandel, our Director and jefa (whatever that means? Guess I need to learn some spanish.). Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein is our Spiritual Director, Dr. Amy Hertz is our Medical Director,and Rhonda Brode, RN, is our Educational Director.

This is the second year for Tikkun Olam Nicaragua. Click Nicaragua 2011 for a link to last year's (2011) blog.

What does Tikkun Olam mean?

Tikkun Olam is a hebrew phrase that literally translated means "repairing the world." In a broad sense it refers the obligation of both Jew and non-Jew to make the world a better place, generally through social action and acts of kindness. Click on Tikkun Olam to link to the Wikipedia page but a web search will yield a variety of interpretations.

So what is the purpose of this blog?

Dang good question I'm asking myself here as I'm afraid that my destiny on this trip is to sacrifice a good deal of sleep, which I dearly love, for the sake of this blog. The idea is to keep friends and family informed of our activities and to show our many supporters and donors what we we do. I do expect that we will have a variety of team members contributing to this blog throughout the trip. In some way, perhaps, if we write this blog well enough, then our friends, families, and donors (not all mutually exclusive by the way!), will feel as though they too are on this trip helping in Tikkun Olam.

So with that introduction I await the first post on this blog... stand by for Friday, February 8, 2013...

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