When Breanna Marks launched her Bat Mitzvah project to recycle cans and bottles as a way to provide funds to the temple in 2010, she may not have anticipated that it would have such staying power.
But staying power it had, thanks to longtime TBT member and inaugural Vice President of Tikkun Olam Gary Gruber, who was inspired by both the fundraising potential and earth-friendly benefits of the program.
“I joined Max Litt and the late Tom Greene in 2012 on the project,” says Gruber. “Over the years, a lot of the Men's Club volunteered and some members of Sisterhood, as well.”
But after over a dozen years, and countless truckloads of cans and bottles totaling hundreds of pounds, TBT will stop collecting recyclables from the congregation. The recyclables were brought to recycling depots, and raised funds through the CalRecycle cash refund program, which pays out 5-10 cents per bottle or can, depending on the size.
“TBT is still committed to recycling, and you’ll still find recycling bins around the campus,” said Board President Michael Bell. “But a lot of effort was being put into the program, and we made the decision to redirect our energy to do good and raise funds in new ways.”
As for Tikkun Olam, TBT and Gruber will continue other ongoing initiatives, such as Mitzvah Meals, food pickups, and in conjunction with Mitzvah Mavens, taking the group's hand-made scarves and caps to Pathways of Hope.
To get involved in TBT’s Tikkun Olam initiatives, please email Gary Gruber at email@example.com.