Our service makes tangible differences in lives and communities, and we infuse it with Jewish values, learning about historical and social contexts that surround the issues, reflecting on our experiences, and assessing our impact. In fact, we believe that this ‘infusion’ enables us to serve better – to contribute more consciously and tangibly to the issues we work on and the communities we work in.
We are all about putting the “why” in volunteering. We believe that meaningful social action involves volunteering, and understanding the issues we’re addressing and the positive change we are working towards. These principles serve as the foundation of our approach:
Learning Towards Action
Repair is about GSD (“getting stuff done”), with grit, assertiveness and an unwavering commitment to support the communities we serve. When we learn about and reflect on our service experiences, we have the power not only to serve better, but to act and live more intentionally…in all that we do. Take it from the Talmud! When debating whether “action” or “study” is greater, the rabbis settled on the idea that “study is greater because it leads to action.” (Talmud: Kiddushin 40b).
Judaism also teaches us that the one who is wise, learns from everyone (Ethics of the Sages 4:1). Put more simply, we take humility seriously! We connect to social justice leaders that came before us, the organizations on the ground and individuals already engaged in this work now, whose vision and activism creates real change. We get to know the people who live around us, become deeply involved in our neighborhoods, build strong relationships, and partner with experts to work towards a more just world.
People grow and change best when they are neither too comfortable (complacent) or too uncomfortable (paralyzed). We grow and learn, which means we embrace challenges and grapple with complex ideas, whether in the field or in conversation. Connecting to Our Heritage: Jewish history, culture and tradition inspire and guide us in ‘repairing the world’. The Jewish calendar affords us a chance to celebrate and volunteer together; Shabbat is an opportunity for us to pause and radically reimagine the world as we hope it will be one day so that we know what we are working towards. We connect with our past, find meaning in the present, and work towards a better tomorrow. And, the tapestry of Jewish culture and ritual helps us stimulate conversations about ethical issues that arise in the context of our service. Countless stories from the scope of Jewish tradition and literature implore us to contribute to the betterment of our communities and the larger society.
Committing to Community
Repair volunteers are grounded in common cause: the commitment to help improve the communities we live in and larger world around us. Our Repair the World community lives its values by working towards that big goal together–by serving and learning together, we create impact together. We mobilize volunteers, and those volunteers mobilize more volunteers to join our community of learners and GSD-ers. When everyone gives and grows a bit, it adds up. There is power in numbers! There is power in community! All this may sound serious, and it is. We are about real growth and real change in communities. But, we are also about real FUN. So bring your whole self (and your friends) and let’s get started!