Short & Long-Term Service
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village
The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a residential community in rural Rwanda. Its 144 acres are home to youth who were orphaned during and after the genocide in 1994. The Village is designed to care for, protect and nurture these young people.
Agahozo-Shalom organizes 10-day service learning trips for various groups and institutions. Designed for 15-20 people, program participants learn about the development of Agahozo-Shalom and the history of Rwanda while taking part in a volunteer project at the Village. Alternately, a select group of volunteers are sent to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village each December to spend one year as part of the Village staff. Volunteers serve the Village in a professional role, dictated by current needs.
American Jewish World Service
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.
AJWS provides unique opportunities to learn, work, serve and travel in Africa, Asia and the Americas. By partnering with grassroots community-based organizations, volunteers experience firsthand the power of local people effecting change.
AJWS volunteer service programs focus on building collaborative relationships between Jewish volunteers and NGOs in developing countries, either through individual or group service experiences. All AJWS service programs draw on Judaism’s religious and cultural traditions to provide guidance regarding the responsibility to pursue global justice. By integrating service with text study and dialogue about the Jewish values that inform this work, participants return committed and passionate about their role as global citizens in creating a more just world.
AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps addresses pressing social needs in low-income communities by placing young Jewish adults, 21-26 years of age, in a year of full-time service at anti-poverty organizations in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and Washington, DC. During the year, corps members live together and participate in weekly educational programs, regularly facilitated by local experts, educators, and community
AVODAH trains lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in, and nourished by, Jewish values. Corps members become a part of a diverse professional network, with ongoing training and support through targeted programming and networking opportunities.
Since 1998, more than 500 AVODAH participants have worked with front-line non-profit organizations to bring critical services to over 340,000 individuals coping with the challenges of poverty. AVODAH alumni are at the forefront of a Jewish community’s fight against domestic poverty as public interest lawyers, social workers, nonprofit professionals, rabbis and lay leaders.
B’Tzedek is the Israeli organization which created and runs the LIFE program. B’Tzedek means ‘in Justice’ and ‘through Justice’. The organization’s mission is to develop leadership for social change and social justice amongst youth and young adults in Israel and Jewish communities internationally. It specializes in service learning programs in Israel and overseas. B’Tzedek has worked with teen volunteer programs across Israel, with Israeli college students from the Ethiopian community, with Jewish students spending time in Israel, and with various groups of professionals.
LIFE: Leadership and International Fellowship Experience, is a nine-month, leadership development program in Israel and India for college graduates.
A service-learning program for participants from across the Jewish world with your Israeli peers, LIFE starts in Israel with a two-week orientation, continues in India for four months and finishes with four and a half months in Israel.
In each country, you will take on a tailor-made internship position that advances a social justice agenda through change-making work in one of the diverse fields LIFE is connected to: human rights, women’s empowerment, health, the environment, and more. As a service-learning program, LIFE includes an average one day a week of training, structured learning, and field visits for reflecting on your work and yourself. There are also longer seminars and study trips, and you will meet social activists, intellectuals and leaders. You will develop your social vision, your leadership abilities and your self-understanding.
Bina: Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Bina strives to strengthen Israel as a democratic, pluralistic society, emphasizing Humanistic aspects of Judaism. One of Bina’s most important projects is the Bina in the Neighborhood project. Bina in the neighborhood places groups of young Israelis in struggling neighborhoods where they live, volunteer and study together. Tikkun Olam, as part of this project, immerses its participants both in the communities where they volunteer, and in a community of young Israeli peers who share a passion for social justice.
Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa offers English speaking Jews between the ages of 22-27 the opportunity to live, study and volunteer in Tel Aviv-Jaffa for 5 or 10 months. Participants will volunteer and study in their chosen track, either Social Action or Coexistence. Participants from both tracks will take part in monthly overnight trips around Israel, as well as periodic day tours in and around Tel Aviv-Jaffa and cultural activities.
Gabriel Project Mumbai
Gabriel Project Mumbai is a Jewish initiative that combats poverty and promotes literacy among the children of Mumbai’s slums. The project is all about connecting communities, understanding others and helping beautiful marginalized children who are malnourished and hungry to learn, in order for them to create better lives for themselves.
Working closely with micro-financed local women’s groups, volunteers provide well balanced, daily warm and nutritious meals for the children who attend class. Volunteers also give classes in English, health and hygiene in an effort to support and supplement the classes given by the dedicated teachers in order to inspire and motivate the children to learn.
This innovative IJSL program also offers its participants classes in: spoken Hindi, Social Justice in Jewish Tradition, Jewish History of India and Indian Culture.
This project educates Jewish adults for an activism around global hunger and literacy. Indian Jews and their counterparts from, Israel, Europe and English-speaking communities collaborate on this quintessentially Jewish enterprise, learning about one another and developing a profound understanding of Jewish peoplehood while working together to fulfill the essence of Torah: caring for all human beings.
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life provides opportunities for Jewish students at more than 500 colleges and universities to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through its global network of regional centers, campus Foundations and Hillel student organizations. Hillel is working to provoke a renaissance of Jewish life.
Hillel’s mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Hillel student leaders, professionals and lay leaders are dedicated to creating a pluralistic, welcoming and inclusive environment for Jewish college students, where they are encouraged to grow intellectually, spiritually and socially. Hillel helps students find a balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning, and to support Israel and global Jewish peoplehood. Hillel is committed to excellence, innovation, accountability and results.
Alternative Breaks take groups of students out of their everyday surroundings and places them in new environments to engage in community service and experiential learning. As part of short-term service projects, participants are challenged to see and understand difficult social issues such as poverty, literacy, and natural disasters and to explore questions of Judaism and social responsibility.
Entwine is a one-of-a-kind movement for young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who seek to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues.
We do this by offering service experiences in Jewish communities around the world, educational events and programs, and leadership development opportunities.
Entwine is an initiative of JDC, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in the world. JDC works in over 70 countries, specializing in humanitarian aid, Jewish community renewal and disaster relief.
Jewish Disaster Response Corps
The JDRC is a faith-based initiative that assists all communities in domestic disaster recovery while exhibiting Jewish values and promoting broad and visible Jewish participation. The JDRC provides a Jewish partner for institutions and individuals to work with, thus filling the gap between disaster response and the Jewish community’s commitment to help others, as it would want to be helped.
Jewish Farm School
The Jewish Farm School teaches about contemporary food and ecological issues through innovative, skill-based Jewish agricultural education. Driven by Jewish traditions, we address the injustices embedded in today¹s mainstream food systems and work to create greater access to sustainably grown foods that promote both ecological
and social well being.
Through both national programs and programs on the Farm at Eden Village, Jewish Farm School creates a “farm to table” education through the experience of farming, cooking, and living off of the land. Judaism’s rich agricultural tradition is brought to life and is infused within a skill-building, experiential curriculum, allowing us to engage Jews of every age and level of religious and environmental literacy.
The Jewish community is hungry for experiences that authentically connect our tradition with pressing issues around food farming and sustainability. Jewish Farm School offers participants an opportunity to bring the ancient past into the preset, in a way that is substantive, unique and relevant.
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Jewish National Fund
JNF’s Alternative Spring/Winter Break to Israel provides Jewish college students, graduate students and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 with the opportunity to connect to the land and people of Israel through meaningful acts of tikkun olam (community service). It is designed for people who have already toured Israel on past trips and are now prepared to involve themselves in community service and give back to Israel.
The program runs in the North and South of Israel for one week during Spring and Winter Break. If you travel to the South of Israel you will be working on JNF’s Blueprint Negev supporting Israel¹s newest generation of pioneers in developing, inhabiting and preserving the Negev Desert and if you travel North, you will focus on Operation Carmel Renewal to help rebuild Northern Israel from the devastating December 2010 fire. You will work on a variety of different projects including Earth’s Promise working with economically-disadvantaged Ethiopians in Be’er Sheva;, Amidar, state-owned provider of subsidized and rent-controlled housing; and creating urban green spaces throughout Israel.
JOIN for Justice
JOIN’s mission is to develop hundreds of top quality Jewish organizers in lay and professional positions inside and outside of the Jewish community, transforming and strengthening individuals and institutions as they work for a more just, inclusive and compassionate society. JOIN for Justice is the only organization dedicated solely to training, supporting, and connecting Jewish organizers and the organizations they serve. JOIN runs several programs aimed at accomplishing these ends.
- JOIN’s highly competitive year-long paid Jewish Organizing Fellowship is a year of field experience and professional development for young Jewish adults (21-30) who have campus or professional experience working for social justice and are interested in systemic change and community building.
- Our Seminary Leadership Project trains future Jewish clergy in organizing and leadership skills through internships, 2 and 3 day workshops, and a cross-seminary class, empowering them to build cohesive action-oriented synagogues, schools, and other Jewish institutions committed to the pursuit of social justice.
JOIN offers a range of consulting services to strengthen the organizing practice of individuals, organizations, and coalitions in the Jewish community. We seek to work with our partners over many months or even years, and for them to form lasting connections to JOIN and to each other.
To Build and To Be Built
Join Livnot in Tzfat on a four-week Galilee Fellowship for meaningful volunteering, hiking (2-3 hikes EVERY week!), learning through nature and spirituality workshops. Get off the bus and experience Israel with all of your senses. Dig into excavations from the 16th century, lunch with local families on Shabbat, and connect to a unique community. Take a break from the daily grind or living out of your suitcase and make yourself at home in the Artists’ Colony of the mystical Old City of Tzfat. Livnot is a nonprofit organization in Tzfat, running Israel experience programs since 1980. Apply online or write for more information.
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Ma’ase Olam runs 10-month service-learning programs for 21-30 year-olds from English-speaking countries who volunteer alongside Israeli peers. You will work with youth from Israel’s marginalized and disadvantaged communities in formal and informal education frameworks, while developing professional skills and exploring social justice issues in Israel. Ma’ase Olam offers two programs: Israel Teaching Fellows and Israel Service Fellows.
Israel Teaching Fellows take an active part in closing the achievement gap in Israel’s education system through volunteering as English teachers’ aides in schools in Rehovot Israel. Israel Service Fellows volunteer as informal educators and design community development and empowerment projects for Jews, Arabs, and Druze in Akko, Israel.
By being part of Ma’ase Olam, you become part of a much larger organization called Ma’ase (which means “deed” or “action” in Hebrew). You will join the Ma’ase community of 700 volunteers from all over Israel and the world who are taking an active role in shaping Israel’s future.
NISPED: The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development
NISPED: The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, is a non-profit association which promotes peace and development, focusing on the centrality of the civil society. NISPED conducts programs of education, training, project development and consultancy.
The NISPED-AJEEC Service-Learning Program brings together Arab-Bedouins and Jewish young-adult volunteers from around the world, allowing participants to live and volunteer in the Bedouin city of Rahat, while integrating actively in the community’s daily life and culture.
OTZMA is a 10-month program that offers Jewish adults ages 20-26 (college graduates preferred) an opportunity to live and volunteer in Israel in a variety of settings.
OTZMA promotes direct contact and strengthens ties between the North American Jewish Community and Israel, provides its participants with the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution of service to Israel, facilitates opportunities for development of leadership qualities and personal exploration of Jewish identity, and offers experiential and educational opportunities that foster a deeper understanding of Israel.
Tevel b’Tzedek (The Earth, In Justice) is an Israel-based non-profit organization promoting social and environmental justice. Our mission is to create a community of Israeli and Diaspora Jews engaging in the urgent issues of global poverty, marginalization and environmental devastation from a place of deep commitment to the Jewish people and its ethical and spiritual traditions.
Tevel b’Tzedek presently offers long-term service-learning programs in Nepal and Haiti.
The Tivnu: Building Justice Gap Year Program, based in Portland, Oregon, is a 10-month residential experience for high school graduates – and the first Jewish service-learning Gap Year Program in the United States. Young adults from across North America work, study, and live together, embracing the goals of building affordable, sustainable homes, and building community, while exploring the connections between Judaism and social justice.
- Work with community partners such as Habitat for Humanity, learning and applying construction skills under the guidance of an experienced construction trainer. No prior building experience is necessary – just a desire to gain skills and contribute, and a willingness to get dirty.
- Grapple with the complex of issues surrounding housing and questions of communal obligation and fairness, from both general and Jewish perspectives.
- Conduct site visits to and work with local non-profits, gaining insights into ongoing efforts to address homelessness, poverty, and income disparity while learning advocacy and community-organizing skills.
- Live together in Portland, prepare communal meals, celebrate Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, and forge life-long friendships. Recreational programs include cross-country skiing on nearby Mt. Hood, visiting the Oregon Coast, hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, and generally enjoying Portland’s vibrant, eclectic culture.
Urban Adamah (“Earth” in Hebrew), based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month intensive residential leadership training program for young adults ages 21-31, that integrates urban organic farming, social justice work and progressive Jewish living and learning. Twelve Urban Adamah Fellows are selected each season to operate an organic farm and educational center, intern with community organizations addressing issues at the intersection of poverty, food security and environmental stewardship, and learn an approach to Jewish tradition that opens the heart and builds joyful community. Applicants do not need any prior knowledge to participate. Fellows come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. We are looking for individuals who are most likely to leverage the gifts of the program to make positive change in their own lives and in the world.
Uri L’Tzedek is an Orthodox social justice organization guided by Torah values and dedicated to combating suffering and oppression. Through community based education, leadership development and action, Uri L’Tzedek creates discourse, inspires leaders, and empowers the Jewish community towards creating a more just world.
Uri L’Tzedek’s Summer Fellowship Program is an opportunity to work alongside our staff and board, experiencing the many mechanisms that come together to create an effective non-profit organization, gaining exposure to communal Jewish life, effecting change, and learning Torah, social justice philosophy, and community organizing models.
Alternately, our semester long University Fellowship will provide 10 students with the mentorship and tools to create social change on your campus and bring social justice to the forefront of your community’s consciousness.
Yahel, in Hebrew illuminate, was founded with the belief that service learning, when done right, can connect people, shed light on real life issues, illuminate personal journeys and promote social change.
The Yahel Social Change Program is a unique 9-month service learning experience for young adults between the ages of 21 and 27. The program runs in two small groups, one based in the town of Gedera and one in Rishon Letzion, combining hands-on volunteer work with in-depth learning and immersion. The program is offered in collaboration with Friends by Nature a local grassroots non-profit organization working in the Ethiopian community in the fields of community empowerment and education. Throughout the program participants live, volunteer and learn alongside their peers in a predominantly Ethiopian Israeli neighborhood.
Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future
The Center for the Jewish Future, founded in 2005, draws on Yeshiva University’s rich intellectual resources to renew and refresh, strengthen and support, and inspire and energize Jewish communities in North America and around the world.
Service-learning programs are available only to students of Yeshiva University.