Archive for : Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE: NEW STUDY FINDS THAT AVODAH HELPS PREPARE PARTICIPANTS TO BE LEADERS IN THE JEWISH AND SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMUNITIES

NEW YORK, NY; February 11, 2013–When AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps was founded in 1998, few Immersive Jewish Service Learning (IJSL) programs were in existence. Fourteen years later, IJSL has grown into a field with dozens of programs and thousands of alumni. As a pioneer in this space, AVODAH, in collaboration with Repair the World, a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jewish volunteers, commissioned a study to understand the impact AVODAH has had on the professional and personal paths of its alumni.

“Anecdotally we knew that AVODAH has a transformative, long-term impact on its participants,” said Marilyn Sneiderman, Executive Director of AVODAH. “Now we have the data to back it up. We can measure where alumni are making a difference and the degree to which they believe their IJSL experience helped them get there. In order to support our alumni as they become leaders in Jewish social justice and anti-poverty work, we had to understand the outcomes of our current program.”

AVODAH’s year-long program combines full-time service at anti-poverty organizations within the framework of a supportive and pluralistic Jewish community. It gives participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of domestic poverty and enhance their Jewish identities and the connection to social justice.

Conducted by researchers from Brandeis University, overseen by Rosov Consulting, LLC and funded in part by Repair the World, the study surveyed 424 alumni of AVODAH and achieved a 72% response rate.

The study found that AVODAH paved the way for its participants to hold professional and lay leadership positions in Jewish and secular social justice organizations. Alumni of AVODAH also credit the program for providing them with the skills to be more effective in their work.

As one alumnus, now an immigration lawyer, explained, AVODAH dramatically changed his personal passions and his choice of career, saying, “I applied to AVODAH because of the Jewish component—’social justice’ was not really part of my vocabulary prior to AVODAH.”

 Of the alumni who participated in the study:

  • 92% report that that AVODAH set them on their current career path.
  • 98% report that the year-long program shaped their understanding of the causes and effects of poverty.
  • 95% report that AVODAH strengthened their commitment to social justice
  • 85% report that AVODAH helped them find their place in the Jewish community.
  • 77% report that the program initiated them in to the Jewish social justice movement

“The report underscores the proven fact that a year of service can build a long-standing commitment to civic responsibility and social change,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “We commend AVODAH for its strong programming and commitment to strengthening the Jewish community’s fight against poverty in the United States”

To download the study and the executive summary, visit http://www.avodah.net/.

ABOUT AVODAH: THE JEWISH SERVICE CORPS

Established in 1998, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against poverty in the U.S. by engaging Jewish young adults in service and community building that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in, and nourished by, Jewish values.  AVODAH has partnered with 135 local antipoverty organizations and placed nearly 600 corps members for a year of service.  AVODAH is working with alumni to transform the alumni community into a powerful network for social change by providing opportunities for professional development, skill building and engagement in Jewish life. In fall 2013, AVODAH will begin increasing the scale and scope of our work by launching a new non-residential program. “Like” us on Facebook: facebook.com/avodah. Follow us on twitter: @AVODAH_TJSC.

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. Visit weRepair.org to learn more. Follow us on twitter @repairtheworld.

CONTACT:

Steve Bocknek / [email protected] / (212) 545-7759 ext 305

PRESS RELEASE: YOUNG ADULTS WANT IT UNVARNISHED: NEW STUDY FINDS EXPOSURE TO ISRAEL’S SOCIAL CHALLENGES BOOSTS COMMITMENT TO SERVE

— Repair the World and The Jewish Agency for Israel Release Findings on Impact of Volunteering in Israel —

 NEW YORK, NY; January 30, 2013—Contrary to a common assumption in the organized Jewish world that exposing young Jews to the complex issues underlying Israeli life diminishes their commitment to the country, a new study released today found that more deeply understanding these dynamics intensifies a bond to the Jewish state.  Commissioned by Repair the World and The Jewish Agency for Israel, the study, “Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning”, shows that the more these young men and women learn about Israel–warts and all–the more they are motivated to engage in more Israel-based service.

“There’s no need for program providers and funders to present a rose-colored version of Israel to our young people,” said Dyonna Ginsburg, Director of Jewish Service Learning at the Jewish Agency. “Quite the contrary, we should be looking for additional ways to present Israel as it really is. Immersive Jewish Service-learning (IJSL) participants have not been shying away from Israel based on their time there. They are clearly strengthening their connections to Israel, their heritage and the Jewish people.”

According to the study, IJSL programs, which integrate full-time direct service with structured learning and reflection, offer alumni of Birthright Israel and other short-term Israel programs an opportunity to return to Israel for a longer immersive experience. Moreover, these programs answer a widespread desire among millennial Jewish adults to create change in the world, grow as leaders and connect to Jewish life. Conducted by Rosov Consulting, LLC and funded in part by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation, the study surveyed 332 young Jewish adults who participated in at least one of 12 different IJSL programs in Israel from August 2009 to June 2012, representing 62.5 percent of the total number of program participants who were eligible to complete the survey.

“When it comes to developing service programs, authenticity is key,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “The more people understand about their service, the more committed they will be to it. What’s more, we know that young people—particularly those from affiliated households—become more passionate when their service brings a connection to their own personal heritage. We hope these insights will spur collaboration among providers and funders in Israel to build content and positive experiences for those motivated to volunteer.”

The study found that volunteering in Israel often deepens versus distances a young Jew’s feelings for the country precisely because of its social complexity. Exposing young Jews to multifaceted issues underlying Israeli life like the divide between secular and ultra-Orthodox society, the security situation, the status of Arab-Israelis, and the growing income gap in Israeli society can, in fact, bolster their desire to serve and enroll in future opportunities. For example, as a result of participating in IJSL programs, 82% of respondents reported that they have strengthened their commitment to social justice and at the same time, 92% said they felt more attached to Israel.

In particular, the study showed that as a result of participating in IJSL programs:

  • 96% of respondents gained a more nuanced understanding of Israel;
  • 79% felt more connected to their Jewish heritage and identity;
  • 78% more connected to global Jewry;
  • 85% want to learn more about Israel; and
  • 85% of respondents reported that their conversations about social justice have increased.

The study demonstrates that respondents, like many Jewish young adults, place a premium on social change work. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the survey respondents indicated that it did not matter to them if they were serving Jews or non-Jews. Their primary motivations were to serve and to grow, which is the basic value proposition of any service-learning experience.

“I absolutely think it is important for North American Jews to come volunteer in Israel,” said a 27-year-old study respondent. “They will be exposed to elements that they certainly will not see on [other programs]. Understanding what issues are swept under the rug, and why, is very important to understanding Israel, and understanding Judaism.”

 To download the complete study, visit: repairlabs.org or www.jafi.org.il

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. Visit weRepair.org to learn more. Follow us on twitter @repairtheworld.

ABOUT THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL

Established in 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel. Today, The Jewish Agency for Israel secures the Jewish future by confronting the critical challenges of our time: growing detachment of young Jews around the world from Israel and the global Jewish family; increasing social gaps in Israel; and Jews at risk in the Diaspora and Israel.

CONTACTS:

Tali Aronsky / [email protected] / 212.339.6069

Jacob Berkman / [email protected] / 212.981.5187

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PRESS RELEASE: REPAIR THE WORLD NAMES DAVID EISNER PRESIDENT & CEO

– Former Head of Corporation for National and Community Service and National Constitution Center to Lead Jewish Service Movement –

EisnerJANUARY 16, 2013, New York, NY – Repair the World, the country’s leading national nonprofit organization mobilizing Jewish volunteers, today announced the appointment of David Eisner as its new president and CEO. Eisner, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the Corporation for National and Community Service and tapped by former President Bill Clinton to lead the National Constitution Center, joins as the organization embarks on a new strategic direction.

“We are thrilled to welcome David, a well-known, visionary leader with extensive experience in the non-profit, for-profit, government and grant-making sectors who embodies a passion for Jewish culture and learning,” Geoff Lieberthal, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said. “His track record of enhancing the efficacy, programming and positioning of leading organizations is extraordinary and makes him the right leader for Repair the World.”
Eisner’s appointment, which follows an extensive search, is the latest step in Repair the World’s evolution. In 2012, Lieberthal, Principal at Lee Equity Partners and a founder of the volunteer consulting group Inspire!, was elected as Repair the World’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the organization is finalizing the details of its new strategic plan in the coming months.

“Repair the World is a young organization with a limitless potential to help others and to have a profound impact on Jewish volunteerism and service in the United States,” Eisner said. “Global issues related to education, health, poverty, and the environment require innovative ideas and hands-on solutions. We are building a movement to capitalize and build on the ingenuity of individuals and the commitment of organizations on the ground dedicated to making a difference.”

A former executive at AOL Time Warner and America Online, Inc., where he established and directed the AOL Foundation, Eisner has helped build and raise funds for start-up organizations that have become the platform for innovation in the philanthropy and service worlds.

As the CEO of the independent, federal Corporation for National and Community Service from 2003-2008, Eisner helped drive America’s national service programs including AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. Appointed to lead the $1 billion organization by President George W. Bush, Eisner is widely recognized for strengthening the agency’s accountability, improving customer service, increasing public trust, and positioning CNCS for significant growth with a strong focus on volunteer recruitment and mobilization. At CNCS, Eisner worked with Points of Light and others to expand MLK Day into the National Day of Service it has become today.

He is also credited with success at the National Constitution Center, the museum, education hub and civic venue that engages all Americans in smart conversations about freedom and civic responsibility. He led the Center from 2009 to 2012, transforming it into a national leader in meaningful online and on-site discussion about the Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Early in his career, Eisner was a senior vice president for Fleishman-Hilliard Communications, directed public relations and field communications for the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., and served on Capitol Hill as the communications director and press secretary for several members of Congress.

He has served on many boards of national nonprofit organizations, including Independent Sector, the National 4-H Council, Public Allies, Points of Light and Network for Good.  He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from Georgetown Law.

Repair the World began operations in 2009 through the founding partnership of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Jim Joseph Foundation and Nathan Cummings Foundation. It has been highlighted in The Slingshot Guide, a resource guide for Jewish innovation for 50 of the most creative and effective organizations and leaders across the country.

“We are thrilled to have a leader of David’s stature and experience taking the helm of Repair the World. Under his leadership, Repair will help to mobilize a generation of young Jews committed to making an impact on the world, as well as ensure that service and volunteerism are central to Jewish life,” said Lynn Schusterman.

To learn more about Repair the World, visit www.weRepair.org

 

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org. Follow us on Twitter @repairtheworld.

 

CONTACTS:

Jacqueline Broder / [email protected] / 646.695.2700 *13

Jacob Berkman / [email protected] / 212.981.5187

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Repair the World & AJFCA Launch Volunteer Initiative Program

 –Leading Organizations Partner to Inspire New Generation of Civically Engaged North American Jews–

NEW YORK, NY, APRIL 2012 – Repair the World (Repair), a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jews to serve those in need, has partnered with the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies (AJFCA), the membership association for North America’s Jewish family service agencies, on a Volunteer Initiative Program to increase the size and effectiveness the Jewish family services network’s volunteer base.

AJFCA, which supports a network of 125 agencies across the United States and Canada annually serves hundreds of thousands of Americans in need from all faiths and backgrounds. It will work with Repair the World, which connects Jewish Americans to meaningful service opportunities and builds capacity for organizations to run effective service programs rooted in Jewish values, to infuse AJFCA’s member agencies with new models of volunteering.

The Volunteer Initiative Program will focus on expanding outreach to young adults and increasing opportunities for this demographic to volunteer at AJFCA member agencies and will include a series of workshops, networking opportunities and information sharing sessions. It will also provide technical assistance and support to local AJFCA outposts to promote volunteering, provide service-learning resources and build the capacity of local volunteer leaders.

“The work of Jewish family service agencies is so important, especially given today’s economic climate. The need to build the volunteer capacity of those agencies is a shared concern for both Repair the World and AJFCA,” said Jon Rosenberg, CEO of Repair the World. This is a natural partnership and we are tremendously excited about the work ahead.”

Together, Repair the World and AJFCA have hired Jennie Gates Beckman to serve as the Initiative’s first Manager of Civic Engagement & Repair the World Programming. Based in Baltimore, Beckman will help lead the effort to effectively engaging thousands of people in vital volunteer work. Beckman, who has a Master’s Degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, has worked in volunteer recruitment for the past five years at the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

“Today’s young adults will form the support base for our network of Jewish family service agencies tomorrow and into the future,” said Lee Sherman, President and CEO of AJFCA. “Repair the World and AJFCA share a recognition of the importance of engaging this group with the essential work of our agencies. Jennie’s experience inspiring young adults to volunteer in Baltimore makes her an excellent choice to lead this initiative.”

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH FAMILY & CHILDREN’S AGENCIES

AJFCA is the membership association for approximately 125 Jewish family service agencies across the U.S. and Canada. Ranging in size from small departments of local Jewish federations to some of the largest human services agencies in North America, our members provide vital services to clients of all ages, faiths and economic backgrounds. They counsel families, feed the hungry, assist the elderly and protect the vulnerable. We are united by the values of our Jewish tradition and work together toward our common goal of tikkun olam, repairing the world.

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to contend with the world’s most pressing issues through service.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and builds the capacity of individuals and organizations to run effective service programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org.

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PRESS RELEASE: Detroit Nation and Repair the World Launch Drive, Detroit Nation’s New Tech-Based Volunteer Initiative Designed to Boost Local Economy


Partnership enables initiative launch, hiring of Detroit Nation’s first staff member

New York, NY and Detroit, MI, September 24, 2012DetroitNation, a national expatriate organization dedicated to supporting the Detroit region, and RepairtheWorld, a national nonprofit that works to inspire American Jews to volunteer, today announced the launch of Drive, Detroit Nation’s proprietary incubation program that hopes to build the local economy by encouraging social entrepreneurship.

Designed to extend the network and resources available nationally to social entrepreneurs in Detroit, Drive hopes to help Detroit’s social entrepreneurs quickly scale their venture. Teams of skilled Detroit Nation volunteers partner with Detroit- based social entrepreneurs for intensive sessions designed to help the participating local businesses overcome challenges that have prevented them from achieving growth. Two types of intensives are offered, a Blitz session which lasts one day or an extended session which takes place over a period of four weeks. Drive allows Detroit based social enterprises to connect with mentors nationwide. Drive also hopes to help build Detroit’s position as a vibrant place to live and do business. Volunteer teams from across the Detroit Nation network are strategically matched, through a skills and interest-based process, with social entrepreneurs in Detroit to help them overcome self-identified challenges in developing their businesses.

“We are grateful to Repair the World for helping build Drive as a robust volunteer solution,” said Rachel Jacobs, founder, Detroit Nation. “We look forward to the launch of the program in late fall and expect that Drive will facilitate opportunities for individuals with an interest in Detroit to engage in the city’s burgeoning start-up culture. Further, Drive will provide access for Detroit’s social entrepreneurs to professionals with the resources needed to help sustainably scale their businesses.”

“Repair the World has been working to build volunteerism in Detroit, with a large focus on education and literacy. We’re excited to grow our commitment to boost the local economy by building the area’s community of social entrepreneurs,” said Will Berkovitz, senior vice president, Repair the World.

Meg Pouncy, program manager, has been hired to oversee Drive’s launch and subsequent implementation. In addition to being a successful product designer, Meg is also the founder of Blue Sugar, a design firm committed to designing products and services that achieve positive social impact.

Detroit Nation has begun seeking volunteers and Detroit businesses to participate in the initial phase of Drive. For more information about Detroit Nation and Drive, visit http://www.detroitnation.org/drive_2012

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About Detroit Nation

Detroit Nation is a national volunteer-led organization dedicated to supporting Detroit by directing the money, skills and energy of native Detroiters now living elsewhere to organizations engaged in economic development, cultural innovation and job creation in Southeastern Michigan. With more than 1,700 supporters between five chapters in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C., Detroit Nation members represent a range of industries, including professional services, film, media, green engineering and healthcare.

About Repair the World

Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering. Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org. Follow us on Twitter @RepairtheWorld.

 

Contacts:

Meg Pouncy

586-322-6484

[email protected]

OR

Dara Lehon, Repair the World

646-695-2700 x18

dara@weRepair.org

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Moishe House and Repair the World to Open First Houses Dedicated to Service in Detroit and Chicago This Fall

–Young Adults Committed to Giving Back Locally Share Residence

NEW YORK, NY, AUGUST 9, 2012Following a national search for outstanding young leaders dedicated to serving those in need, Repair the World, a national organization that works to inspire American Jews and their communities to volunteer, and Moishe House, an international organization focused on building community for Jews in their twenties, will open two Repair the World Moishe Houses to serve as communal residences for young adults in Detroit and Chicago. The houses will act as hubs for volunteer and service activity in each city as their residents engage local young people in addressing pressing social issues and humanitarian needs such as educational inequality, homelessness, poverty, hunger and domestic violence.

The Repair the World Moishe House project builds on Moishe House’s communal living model, which brings together small groups (3-5) of young Jews who turn their homes into centers from which they organize informal Jewish activities such as Friday night dinners and social mixers for a city’s greater Jewish young adult population. There are currently 44 Moishe Houses in 13 different countries, engaging more than 53,000 young people each year. The Repair the World-Moishe House collaboration enhances this model with an increased service requirement, tapping into Repair the World’s expertise in building effective service and Jewish service-learning programs while also bolstering existing Repair the World service projects.

For each house, two groups of four residents will receive a modest rent subsidy and budget to build service-related programming for other Jews in their twenties, as they work to improve social conditions and then relate this volunteerism to their Jewish heritage, history and values. The residents are expected to move into the homes – which they are currently identifying – in August and begin programming by September 1, 2012.

The opening of Repair the World Moishe House represents a growing partnership between the two organizations who earlier this summer co-sponsored a Jewish service-learning retreat in Maryland focused on training Moishe House residents and community members across the country on methods by which to engage their peers in meaningful, effective service.

“The Repair the World Moishe House project will be a tremendous addition to our growing network. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to create a Moishe House that will have a deep focus on promoting community service,” said David Cygielman, Moishe House’s CEO. “We have been working with Repair the World for more than a year to strengthen our service-oriented program offerings at Moishe Houses around the globe. The opening of the Repair the World Moishe House represents the next step in our partnership, cementing our commitment to providing high-quality Tikkun Olam opportunities to Jewish young adults.”

“In our work building a generation of young Jews committed to service, the Repair the World Moishe Houses will play a critical role in inspiring young adults to make a commitment to promoting service, giving residents and their peers an excellent opportunity to make a difference in their local communities,” said Repair the World’s CEO, Jon Rosenberg. “We’re excited about this expanded partnership and its potential to see real impact on the ground,” said Rosenberg.

ABOUT Moishe House

Moishe House provides meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults by supporting leaders in their twenties as they create vibrant, home-based Jewish communities. The organization has pioneered a creative and cost-effective model where three to five resident volunteer leaders create a home that becomes a hub of Jewish life for the young adult community. Moishe House has global reach and impact through its network of 45 houses in 13 countries, across North & South America, Europe, the Former Soviet Union, South Africa, and China. In 2011, Moishe House hosted nearly 2,900 programs for more than 53,000 participants. For additional information, visit www.moishehouse.org. View a video of our story at: http://bit.ly/hOZdlU

ABOUT Repair the World

Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org. Follow us on Twitter @RepairtheWorld.

CONTACTS:

Jen Kraus Rosen, Moishe House / 980.225.7667 / [email protected]

Dara Lehon, Repair the World / 646.695.2700*18 / [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE: Repair the World Releases First-Ever Journal on Jewish Service-Learning

– Experts Reveal Insights into Emerging Field –

MARCH 20, 2012 NEW YORK, NY – Repair the World and the Jewish Communal Service Association today released “People of the Book, Community of Action: Exploring Jewish-service-learning,” the first-ever issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service dedicated to Jewish service-learning (JSL). The creation of this landmark publication, which includes articles from experts in Jewish service-learning and from organizations such as American Jewish World Service, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency for Israel, focuses on trends and best practices for the JSL field. It marks Repair’s continued commitment to the growing the JSL field and aiding the professionals who work in it.

Jewish service-learning combines direct service that responds to real community needs with learning and time for reflection on why that service represents a Jewish value. The new Journal provides background on the field and the relationship between Jewish identity and Jewish service-learning. It also tackles topics such as the cost and value of Jewish service-learning, the creation of a “service people,” the integration of Jewish learning and service, and the state of service in Israel. The Journal also highlights the impact of JSL on the communities its volunteers serve, on participants performing the service, and on the Jewish community at large.

“To succeed, JSL service must be authentic, it must support the needs of the community being served, and it must effectively align its learning program to the work itself. At best, it can help build connections between and among participants, and enhance their long-term commitments to service,” said Jon Rosenberg, CEO of Repair the World. “We hope the Journal will help deepen and broaden the knowledge about Jewish service-learning in the Jewish community and breed best practices.”

Repair the World has been studying the Jewish service-learning (JSL) field since it was founded in 2009 and fostering its growth by providing grants, technical assistance, leadership, support for educators and conducting research and evaluation to inform the field’s development. In 2010-2011, Repair the World released several reports including The Worth of What They Do: The Impact of Short-Term Immersive Jewish Service-Learning on Host Communities–An Exploratory Study, Volunteering + Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults, and Year 2: Refining the Pedagogy of the Group Leadership Training Institute for Immersive Jewish Service Program Leaders. 

Journal Highlights include:

  • From Service-Learning to Service-Activism: What Teach for America Can Teach the Jewish Service Movement, Aaron Dorfman, American Jewish World Service
  • Dual Benefits, Dual Challenges: The Theory and Practice of Integrating Community Impact and Participant Development in Jewish Service-Learning Experiences, Max Klau, City Year and Dana Talmi, Yahel
  • A Judaism that Matters: Creating Integrated Service Learning Communities, Lisa Exler, American Jewish World Service and Jill Jacobs, Rabbis for Human Rights
  • If We Build It, They Will Come: A Case for Developing the Field of Jewish Service-Learning in Israel, Dyonna Ginsburg, The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Making Meaning: Emerging Adults and Service, Beth Cousens, Imagine Jewish Education
  • Becoming a Servant: How James Kugel’s Conception of Avodat Hashem Can Help Us Think About the Dispositional Goals of Jewish Service-Learning, Jon Levisohn, Brandeis University

The Journal was made possible with support from the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

“We see the depth and breadth of inquiry on display in this exciting edition of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service as a sign of the growing sophistication of the field of Jewish Service Learning,” said Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

“Our Foundation works to expand service opportunities that help young people make a difference in the world while connecting to their Jewish values and tradition,” said Lisa Eisen, National Director of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. “We hope our support of this journal will increase awareness and understanding of the rich field of Jewish service learning, and how it can strengthen our young people, our community and our world.

People of the Book, Community of Action is available in both print and online at RepairLabs.org/JJCS, Repair the World’s blog devoted exclusively to providing resources and a community to the field’s practitioners. This is the first time that the Journal of Jewish Communal Service will be available online. The Journal’s release also includes a digital supplement comprised of smaller pieces from practitioners and experts in the field, including the likes of Ruth Messinger, Jordan Namerow, Michelle Lackie, Amy Weiss, Shimshon Stuart Siegel, and Rabbi Bradley Solmsen.

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to contend with the world’s most pressing issues through service.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and builds the capacity of individuals and organizations to run effective service programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org.

CONTACT

Dara Lehon, Repair the World, 646.695.2700 *18, [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE: Repair the World to Support U.S. Young Adults’ Volunteerism in Israel

Nearly $300,000 from Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation to Help Improve Program Quality & Increase Service in Israel —

 NEW YORK Repair the World (Repair), a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jews to serve those in need, today announced that it will enhance its service efforts in Israel, bolstering existing programs and working to increase the number of North Americans who participate in longer terms of service. The work is made possible in part by a $215,000 grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation and an $80,000 grant from The Morningstar Foundation.

“The Israel-based service landscape for North Americans is fragmented and fragile, but it has tremendous promise for growth. Thanks to these investments by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation, we hope to build a stronger volunteer network that will help contend with some of Israel’s most pressing issues, many of which are reflected in our own North American communities,” said Repair the World’s CEO Jon Rosenberg. “By creating high-quality, authentic, Israel-based service programs that have direct impact on those served, we’ll also help strengthen a Jewish identity grounded in the basic tenets of tikkun olam – repairing the world.”

In 2011, Repair’s support enabled 450 North Americans to take part in service opportunities in Israel. These latest grants will allow Repair to more than double that number to 1,000 by 2013 and support opportunities for North Americans and Israelis to serve together throughout the world. A particular area of focus will be placing American young adults into volunteer roles in which they teach English to school-aged children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn English. English language skills are viewed as critical to social mobility in Israel. Ambivalence by American young adults toward Israel will also be addressed through this work.

“By giving young adults the opportunity to address front-line challenges in Israeli society, we believe we enable socially-conscious individuals to forge a nuanced understanding of, and potentially a stronger connection to, the state of Israel,” said Chip Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

“We’re proud to support Repair’s thoughtful approach to helping build an emerging Jewish service field and to help provide high-quality programs that connect young adults to Israel and Jewish life in a significant and lasting way,” said Susie and Michael Gelman, Directors of The Morningstar Foundation

“We view our work in Israel as part of our broader work of building a strong service field,” said Ilana Aisen, Senior Director of Jewish Service-Learning at Repair. “Since our inception, we have been actively engaged in building the field while also studying its needs, challenges, and opportunities. We intend to apply our learning so that we can collectively enhance not only the structure and offerings of programs, but also achieve maximum positive impact for both the participants and the community served.”

In the coming months, Repair will identify the strategic direction and partners for this initiative while also bolstering its current work with Israel-based programs which will include a range of organizations such as MASA: Israel Journey, the Jewish Agency for Israel and other NGOs. In partnership with the Jewish Agency, Repair will also conduct in-depth research about service-learning participants in Israel.

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ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to contend with the world’s most pressing issues through service.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and builds the capacity of individuals and organizations to run effective service programs rooted in Jewish values. Formore information, visit www.weRepair.org.

 

PRESS RELEASE: Repair the World Named One of North America’s Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits

Seventh Annual “Slingshot” Guidebook Names 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits in America

Repair the World, a national organization dedicated to making service a defining part of American Jewish life, has been named one of the nation’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits in Slingshot ’11-‘12, a resource guide for Jewish innovation. To be listed in Slingshot, organizations are selected from among hundreds of nominees. Finalists are chosen based on their strength in four areas: innovation, impact, leadership, and organizational efficiency.

Slingshot is used by philanthropists, volunteers, not-for-profit executives, and program participants to identify path-finding and trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, and tradition. Repair the World was chosen by a panel of 36 foundation professionals from across North America.

“Repair the World works to mobilize Jews of all ages and backgrounds to serve with integrity and to help ensure that we leave the world a better place,” explained Jon Rosenberg, Repair’s Chief Executive Officer. ““We’re focused not just on bringing more people into service, but also on making the service more meaningful with long-lasting results,” he said.

Since it was established in 2009, Repair the World has enabled nearly 5,000 young Jewish adults to participate in an immersive service program and nearly 1,000 young people to participate in service programs in Israel. Repair has also mobilized more than 26,000 volunteers to work for a total of 93,000 days in their communities; launched campus-based service projects at colleges and universities across the country; created college-based service-learning courses; worked with Jewish educators; and conducted landmark research into attitudes and behaviors about service among Jewish young adults, among other significant achievements.

“We’re thrilled to be listed among the extraordinary organizations selected for the Slingshot Guidebook. Not only does it affirm the value of our work, it exposes us to a vibrant community of potential partners and initiative to take our programming to the next level,” said Rosenberg.

According to Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, “Slingshot celebrates the relative peace and prosperity that Jews enjoy in the United States and Canada while highlighting those organizations that work to ensure that Jewish life isn’t left behind as the world moves forward. Slingshot ’11-’12 is an inspirational look at a Jewish community that is adapting to changing needs in Jewish life. We had more applications than ever this year, with a wider variety of missions. In order to be selected by our evaluators, innovations and their impact had to resonate more than ever.”

Inspired five years ago by Slingshot, a group of next-generation philanthropists launched the Slingshot Fund, a collective giving mechanism to support innovative Jewish life. In just five cycles, 55 members of the Slingshot Fund have contributed more than $1.8 million to innovative Jewish not-for-profits.

Jonathan Raiffe, the Chairman of Slingshot, shared, “The Slingshot guide makes a statement to the Jewish community and beyond that next gen funders embrace change, innovation, and evaluation when meeting the needs of our community. Slingshot promotes organizations that hold themselves accountable to all their stakeholders and up to the same scrutiny as for-profit organizations, while pushing the boundaries of how to solve the most pressing issues. Slingshot is about making a statement as to what we believe are the greatest needs and what organizations are doing the best job to fulfill those needs. Organizations that receive grants from Slingshot clearly identify an unmet need and offer proven models and solutions that can have a far-reaching impact.”

Slingshot ’11/’12 was released on October 18, 2011. The community will meet on March 14 in New York City at the annual Slingshot Day, where over 250 not-for-profit leaders, foundation professionals, and funders of all ages will engage in candid conversations about philanthropy and innovation.

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