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Who  We  Are...

Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and recognized as a 501(3)(c) non-profit of the Internal Revenue Code.  Tikkun Olam, means Repairing the World.



Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is a dedicated volunteer inter-faith medical team.  Our mission is to help repair  the world, one day at a time.  Each team member not only donates their valuable professional time to pursue the goals of our organization, but they also raise funds and donate money themselves to make each mission trip a reality. Preparing for a medical mission trip is exciting and team members enlist the support of friends and family to help make a difference in the world.  


Tikkun Olam Nicaragua was born through the collaboration of members from both Beth Sholom Synagogue of Memphis, Tennessee, with parishioners from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in State College, Pennsylvania, in December, 2011.  Medical professionals and volunteers from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with volunteers from across the country have been sending volunteers on medical missions to Jinotega and Managua Nicaragua for over a decade.  Jill Lemke and  Eleanor Bird, co-leaders of the St. Paul Lutheran Church Nicaraguan team for the past seven years, helped lead and mentor the combined inter-faith Memphis based mission trip in December, 2011.  After this successful medical mission trip, Patresha Mandel, MSW, Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein, 

Dr. Amy Hertz and Rhonda Brode, RN became the founding Board members of "Tikkun Olam Nicaragua,"

a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charitable and educational organization.  



A little bit about ourselves.....

Our Board of Directors and Founders...


Patresha Mandel, MSW


Tim Folse, MD
Medical Director

Ms. Mandel has eleven years of clinical experience in crisis intervention working in the Psychiatric Emergency Room at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and she also holds Master's in Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University.  Ms. Mandel is the Team Leader on each mission trip, she organizes all of the detailed logistics including procurement of medication and supplies, prepares the necessary documentation to interface with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and trains the volunteer team prior to departure. She has been traveling to Nicaragua with teams for the past six years. She also travels each summer to Nicaragua with her two teen-age boys for Spanish language immersion classes, to solidify bonds with friends and contacts and to pursue new opportunities for future team mission trips. 

Rhonda Brode, RN
Educational Director

Ms. Brode is an orthopaedic nurse at Campbell Clinic, Germantown, TN.  Ms. Brode has over 13 years of nursing experience, her expertise is in case management and she obtained her degree from Mississippi State University. 

Ms. Brode is patient, professional and always has a smile for her patients.  A warm and compassionate soul, Ms. Brode offers education and support on an

individual basis.

Mona Rippe
Financial Advisor

Mona Rippe is an Executive Advisor in the Internal Audit Department at FedEx Services, in Memphis, TN. She received her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Florida State University in 1982 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1986.  She volunteers at Playhouse on the Square and is on the governing Board at Beth Sholom Synagogue, where she chairs the “Chesed”committee: a group of compassionate congregants that provide support to the sick and those stricken by grief from the loss of a loved one. With over 30 years of experience in the field of internal auditing, Mona feels quite confident consulting on the financial operations of Tikkun Olam Nicaragua.  During our medical mission trips, Mona assists  the pharmacist in the pharmacy where her keen organizational skills and attention for detail is greatly appreciated. Mona truly believes that “we are all blessed with individual gifts and talents, and there is no better way to use those gifts than through the act of lifting up others." 

Christine Scheinberg, JD

Legal Counsel

Dr. Tim Folse is currently the Director of the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study Clinical Team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He evaluates and treats long-term survivors of childhood cancer and assists local physicians to coordinate their follow-up care. His medical specialty is Family Practice and he received his medical degree in 1985 from the Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Tim is a compassionate and deeply dedicated physician who saw in his father’s practice that “caring for patients was more than just showing up and punching a clock—it was about building relationships.” Dr. Tim shares his 30+ years of clinical expertise with our organization. The Board of Tikkun Olam Nicaragua is   enriched by his participation, gentle guidance and strong commitment to the values we all share. 


Christine Scheinberg is a senior attorney with Evergreen Packaging, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended college at the University of Chicago and law school in Austin, at the University of Texas. She has been working as a lawyer for 25 years, much of that time as in-house counsel for businesses. Christine brings her legal counseling expertise to the Board, as well as assisting with contract negotiations, and serving as the Board Secretary.  In addition to Tikkun Olam Nicaragua, Christine is also on the Board of Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis. Christine has participated in two mission trips and is amazed at the amount of work that the team can accomplish in just a few days. Tikkun Olam is a passion shared by her family, as her husband Russell has also participated on two trips. Christine believes that being engaged with the communities in Nicaragua and contributing to the welfare of a community outside of her own, provides its own reward, connecting her to the global community.

Rabbi Cantor
John Kaplan

Spiritual Director

Rabbi Cantor John Kaplan is the spiritual leader at Congregation B'nai Israel in Jackson, TN. Prior to his Rabbinical calling, he served for 33 years as the Cantor for Temple Israel, Memphis, TN.  Rabbi Kaplan's ability to infuse his spiritual work with song and music brings an extraordinary level of compassionate healing and connection to everything he does. His involvement in the local community is far-reaching. Rabbi Kaplan has served on the Boards of the Epilepsy Foundation of Memphis, the Arthritis Foundation of Memphis and the Advisory Board for MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association). In 1991, he received the Community Service Award in Inter-religious Goodwill from the National Conference for Community Justice. Rabbi Kaplan is a champion for community service and is the founding Director of Voices for Social Justice, a folk singing group made up of local musicians who donate their talents to help raise funds for non-profit endeavors. Rabbi Kaplan is our spiritual director who embodies Tikkun Olam in every way.

“ Whether down in Nicaragua, or across town-- we'll always struggle with the big challenges, the problems that can't be tackled with one mission or program.  But, we keep chiseling away at it and while we work to transform the world, we find ourselves transformed."  

-- Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein, past Spiritual Director

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