Rabbi Ron Stern

Center for Tikkun Olam
We make meaning and change the world.

This is the Wise mission; a seven-word sentence that defines Wise and describes what being a part of the Wise community is all about.  Reflecting the core values of Reform Judaism, drawing from centuries of Jewish tradition, the Wise community seeks to improve the lives of all who dwell on Earth.  We reach deeply into our Los Angeles community by working to alleviate homelessness, increase literacy, provide for all of our children, and to end gun violence. We reach far across the seas to support projects in Israel, offer relief to refugees, and end genocide.

From early childhood to adulthood, our Wise community is committed to living our value of tikkun olam and ensuring that through our collective efforts we will fashion a world that is more humane, more sustainable, and more abundant for all God’s creatures.

How to Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Wise Member Wendy Prober-Cohen is spearheading an effort to help sew face masks and gowns to be donated to The Jewish Home for the Aging. The Jewish Home requires all their employees wear cloth face coverings and nursing staff to wear gowns; though they do have a limited amount of PPE, they are trying to conserve those for times of medical necessity. Cloth face masks and gowns must be washed every day after use and so the staff at the Jewish Home is hoping to be able to give each staff member several cloth face masks and gowns so they do not have to launder them daily. Wendy suggests some patterns online, some of which have ties, and some use elastic bands and can be found here and here. For instructions for sewing gowns look here. Wendy Prober-Cohen has already sewn 20 gowns for the JHA. Sondra Hess at the JHA is coordinating the “Helping Hands’ campaign for seamstresses to remodel existing hospital gowns for the nurses. For questions, please contact her at 619-972-8188.

CAMPUS DROP-OFF: You may bring your completed masks or gowns to our drop-off bin located by the administrative offices during limited open hours (Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Please be sure to check ahead of time!)


There are many ways to help our community or to seek help from our community. On our COVID-19 Response page you will find ways to contact us if you need assistance or wish to help others with specific needs during this crisis. You may also make a donation to our Emergency Relief Fund, offer mental health services, or participate in phone outreach to our community.

Wise Readers to Leaders supports hundreds of LAUSD students over the summer and throughout the year. As our scholars aren’t in schoolnow, we are trying to get creative with the ways we can help them continue to learn! We have decided to post a series of videos to our website of volunteers reading a picture book aloud. If you would like to submit a video please contact WiseReaderstoLeaders@WiseLA.org. You can record a short reading on your phone and easily upload it for our team to use.

Health care workers are on the front lines of this disease. Wise member Ronen Levy, a caterer, has been working with funders to prepare and deliver meals to nurses, doctors, hospital staffs, and others who are working long hours to help the sick. Here are some photos of meals being delivered. You can help by making a donation to our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to help provide meals for more workers.


There is a shortage of masks at local hospitals. Masks are critical to protecting doctors and nurses, who will in turn protect us. If you have masks at home, perhaps that you purchased after the fires, now is the time to donate them. Keep one or two for your own peace of mind if you need to. But if you have ten, donate eight of them. It will save lives. We have set up a bin outside of the entrance of the Wise administrative offices (in “the circle”) for you to drop them off. The campus will be open Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. One of the doctors in our congregation will then deliver them to local hospitals.

Browse our Center for Tikkun Olam page to review our partner groups. You can help by making a donation or in some cases purchasing needed items from an Amazon wish list.

Resources to learn about anti-racism

The Wise Center for Tikkun Olam wishes to share this valuable list of resources (compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein) for those who wish to learn more about what it means to be anti-racist.

If you have questions or suggestions please contact Rabbi Ron Stern.

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

The organizations below are groups we are most closely involved with throughout the year. Click on a button to learn more about each organization and how you can get involved with our caring community to make a difference in Los Angeles and abroad!

Questions? Contact Jennifer Smith, Director of Programming at JSmith@WiseLA.org or call 310.889.2265

Wise Tikkun Olam Leadership Scholarship

Grow. Lead. Change the world.

Established in 2018 to celebrate Rabbi Ron Stern’s 20 years of service to the Wise community, the Wise Tikkun Olam Leadership Scholarship supports young adults (18-26 years old) who desire to roll up their sleeves and do hands-on tikkun olam work all over the world.

To make a contribution to support the fund, visit WiseLA.org/Giving and select the Designated Funds option.

Learn about all tikkun olam initiatives at Wise and receive monthly updates from Center for Tikkun Olam