The MilkenKnights firmly believe in the concept of Tikkun Olam, an essential tenet of Judaism of repairing the world. The Milken Knights are an integral part Milken Community School, and as part of a Jewish high school, students and mentors are known to stress one of many core Jewish values: “Do not stand idly by.” This value originates from a key Bible verse that has a common interpretation at our school and our Robotics team. The notion of do not stand idly by explains that when others are less fortunate than us in our world and left in that state, we must not stand idle but rather make an effort to aid them in their recovery. Don’t stand idly by is relevant to the notion of Tikkun Olam this 2016-2017 robotics season, the members and mentors of the 1836 Milken Knights were strongly compelled to change the team’s streak of close to no outreach towards the community from previous years; to act upon this important value.
The Knights are no exception to this; some go far beyond the required 20 hours for the year, achieving hundreds before their school year has even begun. Veteran Marcus Bernstein (’18) shared his experience working at a summer camp: “I believe that I helped these kids in many ways including teaching them about the arts, building important leadership skills, and instilling the FIRST spirit in each and every one of them.” Bernstein earned roughly 700 hours of community service at the Children’s Art Institute, where he played with kids and participated in activities with them such as woodworking, drawing, painting, ceramics, and more. He went on, talking about incorporating Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® when helping the kids. Marcus is only one example of a Knight who dedicates much more time than required to helping others, instilling the FIRST values into those around him, and encouraging creativity and imagination by helping others build, sculpt, and craft.