In Tense Political Climate, Young Jews Turn To Volunteering

This post originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post on February 3, 2017

By Danielle Ziri

As protests against President Donald Trump’s travel ban take place across the United States, some young American Jews have decided to volunteer to help marginalized communities.

One of the organizations that allows them to do so is Repair the World.

Founded in 2009 with the goal to “make meaningful service a defining element of American Jewish life,” the NGO aims to engage Jewish young adults with the communities around them.

The group operates across the United States, with a focus on programing in six cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In each city, Repair the World partners with local NGOs and allows members to volunteer in their communities.

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‘Airbnb of Shabbat’ to Ease Political Tension

This post originally appeared in The Atlanta Jewish Times on November 22, 2016.

By Rachel Fayne Gruskin

Jewish millennials are feeling political divisions and tensions after the election, but several organizations are making it easier for Jews in their 20s and 30s to come together in a traditional way — over the Shabbat table.

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The State of Volunteering in North American Jewish Not-for-Profit Organizations

Repair the World is pleased to announce the results of its survey: The State of Volunteering in North American Jewish Organizations.

This is the first major assessment of the state of volunteering in the Jewish not-for-profit community. More than 200 Jewish not-for-profit organizations from across the country participated in this survey and these results establish important baselines for the field. The results also highlight opportunities for Jewish not-for-profits to make use of volunteering best practices.

The top-level findings generally support the hypothesis that volunteering programs provide more benefits for organizations that support them with intentionality and investment:

  1. The better a Jewish nonprofit organization supports its volunteers the more it benefits from them: Organizations that report increased use of the best practices for supporting volunteering find directly proportional benefits in capacity, impact and cost savings.
  2. Volunteer managers drive volunteer growth: Volunteer participation numbers are more directly  connected to having dedicated volunteer management than to any other variable, including even an organization’s size and its enthusiasm for volunteers.
  3. Training drives benefits: Having any kind of volunteer training program more than quadruples the benefit of volunteers through increased organizational capacity and impact.
  4. Jewish volunteers are tackling Education and Poverty Alleviation: Education and poverty alleviation are, by large margins, the most common social issues Jewish nonprofit organizations address through their volunteers.

Despite the strong correlation, however, between how organizations support their volunteers and how much value they get from them, the survey results illustrate that most organizations have a long way to go to achieve the additional capacity, impact and cost-savings volunteers could provide.

For Repair, these results boost our determination to provide the resources, tools and best practices to make Jewish volunteering easier, smarter and more impactful for individuals, organizations and communities.

We encourage you to take a close look at this report and use the findings to assess your organization’s current deployment of volunteers.

As always, we are eager to hear your ideas and thoughts!

Fall Fix Up young adult crew tackles Detroit’s Delray community

By Ben Falik, Special Thanks to The Jewish News

On Nov. 10, Jewish Family Service and Repair the World partnered to go where Fall Fix Up had never gone before…