Archive for : Opportunities

Join Character Day on September 22

On September 22, thousands of synagogues, schools, and communities around the world will screen free films as part of Character Day – an annual celebration of films and media focused on the science of character development from different perspectives. The day was born a few years ago when a team of award-winning filmmakers asked the question, “What would it look like to have people around the globe devote one day to talking about character?”

One of the Character Day films, The Making of a Mensch, explores the building of character from a Jewish perspective. And this year, experts from around the world – including the former Chief Rabbi of England, Jonathan Sacks, will join in the experience by sharing his perspectives during a global, live-casted Q&A session.

Character Day participants will also have access to educational resources about Jewish ethics, discussion materials, and an online hub for connecting with other communities on the day itself, and throughout the year.

Find out more about Character Day below, and sign up to screen one of the free, short films in your community!

Watch 1min Character Day Trailer from The Moxie Institute on Vimeo.

Turn the Tables: A Refugee-Focused Passover Seder for 54 in Portland

This interview is being shared as part of #SupportforRefugees, Repair the World’s campaign focusing on the global refugee crisis. All across the country this Passover, people found ways to share refugees’ stories during their seders and to talk about the issues they face. Using resources from Repair the World’s Turn the Tables project, and nourishment support from OneTable, they were able to add additional meaning and spark important conversations at their tables. Here, Portland, Oregon resident Debbie Frank talks about her experience hosting a Turn the Table seder for more than 50 people in conjunction with the Meetup group PDX MOTs!

1. What inspired you to host a refugee-focused seder and dinner?
Over the years, the Passover seder has become my favorite Jewish holiday experience. My family in Alabama always uses the same traditional Haggadah, which I still very much cherish. But, it wasn’t until I moved to Portland a few years ago that I experienced my first Seder at a friend’s house with a Haggadah that was completely custom for the kids. Since this year was my first time to tackle putting on a seder myself (for 54 adults no less), I wanted to honor tradition while melding in something unexpected.
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Repair Interview: Talya Gillman on Covenant’s Pomegranate Prize

What has been keeping you busy since you left Repair the World?
After leaving Repair the World in late August, I began work at the University of Washington’s Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, coordinating – what else? – service-learning opportunities! The majority of our work at the Carlson Center focuses on creating opportunities for 1,000+ students to volunteer with hundreds of different community-based organizations in the greater Seattle area each academic quarter. Enrolled in thematically diverse service-learning courses offered by the university, these students spend time with, and support their partner organizations’ efforts each week, for the duration of the term.

The Carlson Center also facilitates multiple service and civic leadership fellowships, and other community engagement opportunities around town, each of which offer space for reflection and discussion about the complex social realities prevalent throughout the city. Operating at this scale, I draw upon principles of partnership, mutuality, flexibility and empathy each day. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to practice and cultivate commitments to these ideals through my work at Repair over the last several years.

Congrats on getting the Pomegranate Prize! Can you tell us a little more about it?
Thank you! I was certainly surprised and humbled by this honor. The Pomegranate Prize is distributed annually by The Covenant Foundation to a small cohort of young, emerging educators who demonstrate promise in the field of Jewish education.

Although I’m no longer collaborating on the development of training and service-learning curricula for Repair’s programs, the Pomegranate Prize will help me explore something I’ve been thinking about for some time now: the connections between positive character traits (empathy, kindness, generosity, critical thinking, humility, etc.) and practical and impactful social justice work. My goal is to study, support, and build programs that use Jewish teachings, ritual, vocabulary and other resources to cultivate these ‘postures’ in young people, believing that if we can help these traits become more authentically ingrained within individuals and the Jewish community broadly, then maybe we can strengthen our inclinations and abilities to effectively address large and small-scale inequalities in society.

My interest in this work is grounded in learnings and values that have been sparked and deepened through my experiences with organizations like Repair, American Jewish World Service, ATZUM and others, and I’m eager to do what I can to channel the knowledge and insights that have come from them, to help address pressing needs in our world. And, I’m excited about joining the Covenant ‘community’ via the Pomegranate Prize, because it’s clear that so many thoughtful people within it are already doing this kind of work in powerful ways!

What’s next on the horizon for you?
In addition to my work at the University of Washington, I’ve also begun graduate studies at Seattle University (yep different schools ;-)), towards a Masters in Transformational Leadership (MATL). I’m loving it – the content and ideas have consistently been inspiring, challenging, thought-provoking, and more!

Seattle U is grounded in the Jesuit tradition, and/so steeped in principles of social justice (Jewish tradition offers many similar or parallel concepts, to be sure!). The MATL itself facilitates deep exploration of leadership and the mechanics of “meaning-making” in this justice context, and I’m eager to soak up as much as I can in order to develop programs and content that – as I mentioned before – help cultivate positive social values and character traits in more and more young people today.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov had a teaching: “The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to be afraid.” But I like to say instead, “The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is to help each other across.” And, I’m grateful for the opportunities the Pomegranate Prize represents, because I’m certain they will help chart new pathways for this important work!

#MakeItHappen with Schusterman

Hey future Jewish leaders of the world, listen up. The Schusterman Foundation has big news for you. They are launching #MakeItHappen – a campaign inviting inspiring young people (that means you!) to submit proposals for a project, event, or program that will engage community members in meaningful Jewish experiences.
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High Holidays 2013: 10 Days of Awe, 10 Ways to Serve

The high holidays are nearly here! In just a few days (starting the evening of September 4), Rosh Hashanah – aka the Jewish New Year – kicks off of the high holiday season. A little more than a week later we come to Yom Kippur, which is considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

The 10 days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, often called the “days of awe,” are a joyful time filled with family and celebration. They are also a very solemn and important time when Jewish people turn inward and reflect upon their lives, relationships, and spirituality. In doing so, they aim to return to the best versions of themselves, and set good intentions for the coming year.

The high holiday season also offers an amazing opportunity to make a commitment to service and helping others. So in honor of the 10 Days of Awe, Repair the World is bringing you 10 ways to serve during – and after – the high holiday season. To amp up the high holiday spirit even further, each service opportunity is linked to a symbol of either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur’s significance, traditions, and connections to service, and have a shana tova / happy new year!

APPLES
Tradition: There is a custom of eating apples on Rosh Hashanah. Their sweetness and round shape represent our hopes for a sweet and full New Year.
How to serve: Help the farmers who grow those apples – and all the produce we eat! Shop at the farmer’s market, find where to get local food near you via Local Harvest, and check out our partner organizations, Jewish Farm School, Adamah, and Urban Adamah.

HONEY
Tradition: Those delicious apples get dipped in honey, which represents even more sweetness.
How to serve: Support the pollinators! Sponsor a honeybee hive through The Honeybee Conservancy.

SHOFAR
Tradition: The shofar, a sacred instrument made out of a ram’s horn, is blown throughout the high holidays to punctuate the services, focus our thoughts and prayers, and call people to justice and action.
How to serve: Volunteer for campaigns and organizations that work to “sound a call for justice” in their own way – check out the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, Bend the Arc, and Jews United for Justice.

PRAYER BOOK
Tradition: Throughout Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we read from a special prayer book called the machzor.
How to serve: Books and reading are important for everyone! Volunteer at your local Reach Out and Read chapter to support early childhood literacy.

SYNAGOGUE
Tradition: Many people attend spiritual prayer services during the high holidays – it’s kind of like Superbowl Sunday for synagogues!
How to serve: If you belong to or attend a synagogue, check out their event calendar online. Chances are, there are lots of ways to plug in and help out. And read this awesome story in Tablet about how a bar mitzvah boy focused his mitzvah project on saving a synagogue in Selma, Alabama.

POMEGRANATES
Tradition: Some communities have a custom of eating pomegranates on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. The bountiful seeds inside represent our wishes for abundant joy in the coming year. Some people also say that a pomegranate has 613 seeds, which represent the 613 commandments in the Torah.
How to serve: Think about ways that you could bring “abundant joy” to someone you love. Do one of them during the Days of Awe, and watch their face light up.

TASHLICH
Tradition: On Rosh Hashanah, there is a custom of symbolically casting off one’s sins, by throwing bits of bread into a natural body of water.
How to serve: Help to ensure that all people have access to clean water. Support the work of organizations like Charity Water and take action by writing a letter to Congress in support of the Water for the World Act.

FASTING
Tradition: There is a tradition of fasting on Yom Kippur as a way of putting aside bodily needs for the day and focusing instead on reflection and prayer.
How to serve: Make a commitment to ensure that people have access to the food they need to survive. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, contribute to the work at the Food Bank for New York City, or a local food bank near you, or make a donation to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

FORGIVENESS
Tradition: On Yom Kippur we ask forgiveness of others and of God for any wrong doings from the previous year. We also are asked to forgive – an act that can be even more difficult!
How to serve: Write a list of people in your life you would like to ask forgiveness from. Call them, email them, or meet them in person and tell them how you feel. You might be surprised by how good you feel after.

FAMILY
Tradition: Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offer opportunities for people to gather together and spend time with family and friends.
How to serve: Support families by supporting women and children in developing countries. Check out the Half the Sky Movement to find out how you can make a difference.

The Winners of our National Volunteer Month Photo Contest!

This, April, we challenged you to put 5 minutes, a week, a year, or whatever you could to join us in celebrating National Volunteer Month – and we hope that you’re a little more inspired to continue volunteer activities not just in April, but all year round!

Here at Repair, we loved seeing the awesome stuff you were doing in your communities – and around the world in our National Volunteer Month Photo Contest, which really highlights just how much you could not only give of yourselves, but share.

We were inspired and impressed by your awesome volunteer stories (and photog abilities!) and you’re all winners in our book! Alas, we could only choose a few folks — those who really stood out by getting the word out about their great work. Check out some of the outstanding entries we received, followed by our official announcement of the Biggest Sharers! Drumroll please….

NVM Contest Conclusion

 

The Biggest Sharers!

SWAG BAG Grand Prize……………Francesca Garrett for her photo of Medic Mobile!

Tote Bag Winner…………… Gary Rozman

Tote Bag Winner…………… Mallory Brown

Tote Bag Winner……………Marci M.

Tote Bag Winner……………Jacob S.

Tote Bag Winner……………Michael H.

Tote Bag Winner……………Lisa Podell

Tote Bag Winner……………Erica M.

MANY thanks to ALL who participated! To learn more about the photos featured, visit our Photo Contest Facebook Album, or follow us on Twitter @repairtheworld.

…And good news: we think EVERY month should be national volunteer month! Continue to submit your photos ALL YEAR ROUND for a chance to win Repair swag and show off your service snapshots!