Where I fit via how I’ve contributed?

I recall giving a class on Community Cooperation that had far more impact than I’d expected, generating heated discussion, and thanks.  I was surprised that folks thanked me for bringing up the topic of Community, and protection of the most vulnerable members of society, but I was also grateful to have been able to make that impact.  To reach people who otherwise may not have seen Community in that light.

I think it was actually the class I taught in 2011, but this class, in 2010, taught me how to teach in Community:

Page 1 of Handout:

Community Empowerment via Local Currencies “Mifnei Tikkun Ha-Olam”
Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 16 August 2010, Ki Tetse
In Ki Tetse, Aliyah 5, (24:1-24:4 of Dvarim), a man is required to write a Get in order to divorce his wife.
Rabban Gamliel: Mishnah Gittin 4:21
“At first, a man would convene a court in a different location [from where his wife was living]and cancel the get [he had sent and not inform her of his actions]. Rabban Gamliel the Elderpassed a law prohibiting men from doing so, in order to repair the social order Mipnei TikkunHa-Olam.”
Other uses of the principle of Tikkun Ha-Olam occur with an apparently similar aim, accordingto Jill Jacobs2, namely the aim of protecting society and the most vulnerable members ofsociety.
In this vein, money which is created by and issued in and for the local community alsoconstitutes an act of Tikkun Olam, benefiting the most vulnerable members of society.
Local currencies are forms of money created by communities for local circulation in thosecommunities. These locally created forms of money accomplish three main objectivesrelated to protecting vulnerable members of society.
•When issued on the basis of local goods or services, they increase the amount of moneyavailable in local communities, further empowering communities to create sustainable localbusinesses and making more money available for loans, donations and local projects;
•They encourage buying local, thus keeping resources in local communities and reducingsupply and distribution chain travel distances, thereby reducing carbon emmissions;
•When issued on the basis of real goods or services, local currencies incentivize long-terminvestment in the local economy, rather than short-term investment in capital markets.
These currencies return monetary decision-making to communities directly affected bymoney (while by contrast, monetary decisions are generally made outside the community),and retain more overall money in the local community. Local currencies are often referred toas Green MoneyGreen MoneyGreen MoneyGreen MoneyGreen Money Green Money Green MoneyGreen MoneyGreen Money for reasons related to both Governance and Economic Benefit of Money.
1Drawn from “Annulment of Marriage”, Judith Hauptman, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/annul.html
2Jill Jacobs, The History of “Tikkun Olam”, http://www.zeek.net/706tohu/index.php?page=2
Shira D. Jones, destinie_jones@yahoo.com, DC Beit Midrash, “Green Money, Tikkun Olam”

Page 2 of Handout:

How do Green or Local Currencies provide (get, keep and grow) these benefits?
Governance of Money
Economic Benefit of Money
By increasing overall levels of available money, theyprovide more opportunities for community participationin economic decision-making and project development.
By increasing overall levels of available money, theyprovide more resources for donation, loans to theunemployed, the vulnerable, local businesses, etc.
By keeping more resources in local communities, theyallow greater (practical) economic priority-settingparticipation by more members of those communities.
By keeping more resources in local communities, theystop the draining of local resources to distant areas (sothe wealth is no longer accessible to the community).
By providing a stake in local institutions, localcurrencies provide incentives to ensure transparencyand accountability in local community institutions.
By providing a stake in local institutions, localcurrencies provide incentives to invest in long-termlocal production and to upgrade local infrastructure.
Local Currencies in Washington, DC:
Anacostia Hours, issued and accepted in Mt. Rainier, MD and accepted by some DC businesses
http://www.anacostiahours.org
Potomacs, exchanged and accepted at local businesses in Petworth, DC
TakomaTime, a Time Bank3 issuing Time Dollars in Takoma Park and Adams Morgan, DC
The Catalyst Bank, a Time Bank issuing Time Dollars in DC and VA
http://community.timebanks.org/group.php?mode=curr&sid=f0f0291be3a33d7b7729da4e03f57948
Currencies which are issued by community based institutions are generally easier to obtain,particularly for vulnerable members of the community who have difficulty accessing market-based (jobs or credit) means of obtaining more scare Federal money.
Local currencies also tend to allow greater levels of inclusion to members of the localcommunity in the decision-making processes of those currencies, while General PurposeMoney, such as the US Dollar, tends to have far more closed (non-inclusive) and lesstransparent and less publicly accountable decision-making processes. This lack of inclusionshuts out most of the direct stakeholders from governance, preventing most money usersfrom having a voice in money, which so vitally affects all of our lives.
Community-based currencies expand the number of Direct Currency Stakeholders who canexcercise participatory decision-making power over money. Thus more people can create,keep, and grow their own resources, to the benefit of the entire community, by building,using and investing in local community institutions.
3With thanks to Deborah Hittleman Flank for information on both Time Banks listed here…
Shira D. Jones, destinie_jones@yahoo.com, DC Beit Midrash, “Green Money, Tikkun Olam”

DC Beit Midrash Sources for 16 August class:
Mishnah Gittin 4:2
“Annulment of Marriage”, Judith Hauptman, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/annul.html
Jill Jacobs, The History of “Tikkun Olam”, http://www.zeek.net/706tohu/index.php?page=2
http://www.anacostiahours.org
http://community.timebanks.org/group.php?mode=curr&sid=f0f0291be3a33d7b7729da4e03f57948
Shira Destinie A. Jones, Mphil dissertation, 2010, University of Bath, http://opus.bath.ac.uk/18960/
Bio Blurb:
Shira Destinie Jones is a native Washingtonian, teacher of mathematics, Hebrew, and Greekfolk dance, and singing enthusiast with 12 years of Unix expertise. She holds a Master ofArts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics, a Masters of Philosophy in economic social policy,and is a published poet and author working to help restore the balance of justice in our damaged world.
(Now I am grateful to be working to build a Kinder world…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
29 February, 12016 HE

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