Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa was founded in 2004 as part of the Bina b'Schuna project. Bina b'Schuna, which means Bina in the Neighborhood, seeks to work within troubled neighborhoods to affect positive change for those living there by having its volunteers truly become part of the neighborhood by making their homes there. Tikkun Olam was founded to give young Jews from outside of Israel the opportunity to volunteer in Israel and take part in that exciting project.
In its first year, Tikkun Olam won the Masa Israel Award for Program Excellence – no small feat for a program just getting off the ground. In its second year, the participants from Tikkun Olam helped open the first Secular Yeshiva, located in southern Tel Aviv. Two years later, the program expanded by offering a new 5-month option, and was awarded a Masa Israel Outstanding Volunteering award.
The next year, Bina welcomed new organizing partners, The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism and the Union for Reform Judaism in bringing young Jews to put tikkun olam into action in Tel Aviv, and added the new Coexistence Track. The program offers more options to its participants, while greatly expanding those participants' capacity to affect positive change in Israel's largest metropolitan area.
In 2011, Tikkun Olam became the first long-term post-college program in Israel to include Israeli participants alongside Jewish peers from around the world. This adds Israel to the long list of countries from which Tikkun Olam participants have come, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, England, France, Hungary, Spain, Cuba, Holland, Russia, Australia and more.