Repair the World mobilizes Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, igniting a lifelong commitment to service. We believe service in support of social change is vital to a flourishing Jewish community and an inspired Jewish life. Our approach is centered on the principle of serving in solidarity, achdoot, with people and communities. When one serves alongside others, new relationships and bridges are formed across lines of difference.
In our most recent evaluation, 93% of corps members and 96% of fellows (participants of our full-time and part-time stipended immersive service and learning experiences where young Jews and their peers develop skills and experiences around volunteering, program facilitation, and Jewish service learning) said they felt more connected to local neighbors because of Repair. Service with Repair provides volunteers with an increased connection to meaningful service and learning as a Jewish value, builds capacity for nonprofit partners to meet their missions, and deepens connections across lines of difference. Simply, service is a powerful experience for all involved. That’s why we are committed to making service accessible to all who want to serve.
To that end, as part of a recent investment to build the framework and infrastructure of our Equity Commitments, Repair launched an Economic Access Fund (EAF) to remove economic barriers for Repair the World service corps members, fellows, and staff impacted by injustice. In the first eighteen months, this fund provided $119,517 in financial assistance to staff, fellows, and corps members to increase their access to serve alongside their communities. To meet increasing demand, the fund was recently increased to $100,000 for year two. The fund covers immediate economic needs, such as transportation, mental health support, required technology, appropriate clothing, and other unexpected costs, and can provide additional personal and professional support, such as professional development and mentorship.
Grounded in Repair’s values of the preciousness of each human, kavod ha’briyot, and justice, tzedek, the goal of the Economic Access Fund is to bridge the economic gap that exists in service and non-profit spaces. Qualified applicants have been impacted by systems of oppression such as racism, colonialism, ableism, fatphobia, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, cissexism, classism, and religious and ethnic oppression.
Drawing inspiration from partner organizations like Avodah, this fund began by launching a Racial Equity Fund for fellows and staff in summer 2020 who were impacted by racial injustice to access additional funding for mental and physical health, professional development, transportation, housing, and other financial assistance needs. We also launched an additional equity fund for corps members in need of additional financial support. As we reviewed learnings from year one, living out our value of action & learning (na’aseh v’nishma), we:
- Established a task force of staff across the organization that reviewed learnings and data from year one, made recommendations for year two, and implemented the approved plan;
- Set quarterly check-ins with this task force to analyze data and learnings, make tweaks to the process, and ensure communication to corps members, fellows, and staff is continuous; and
- Shifted the name to Economic Access Fund and expanded the program in year two because we recognize that the fund is integral to our belief that Repair programs move us towards a more equitable and just world.
In our Repair the World programs, young adults create social change around pressing issues such as education, food, and racial justice in neighborhoods throughout the country. Full-time fellows and part-time service corps members serve with local nonprofits. Fellows also build authentic and impactful volunteering and education experiences using peer-to-peer outreach and recruitment to engage thousands of other young adults in volunteering and learning.
Repair’s vast network is composed of individuals from different backgrounds and experiences. According to Repair’s recent external evaluation, 27% of corps members and 18% of fellows identify as BIPOC, 47% of fellows & 39% of corps members identify as LGBTQIA+, and 24% of fellows and 14% of corps members identify as people with disabilities. Repair’s fellows, corps members, and staff come from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and they are all integral to Repair’s large-scale efforts. And at the same time, the communities with whom they serve alongside, and the Jewish community writ large, all benefit from their deep and ongoing service engagement.
At Repair, we aspire for every young Jew and their peers to meaningfully serve and want to ensure access to our programs to a diversity of individuals as a part of this vision. Our goal by 2030 is to inspire and catalyze one million acts of service towards repairing the world.
Economic Access Fund Task Force, Repair the World
- Angel Alvarez-Mapp (he/him), Chief Operating Officer
- Jordan Fruchtman (he/him), Chief Program Officer
- Annalisa Japal (she/her), Accountant
- Melissa Levine (she/her), Service Corps Director
- Rachel Libros (she/her), Fellowship Director
- Sam Pride (she/her), Director of Operations
- Miranda Rosenblum (they/them), New York Program Director
- Sam Sittenfield (he/him), Director of National Partnerships
- Kate O’Bannon (she/her), Chief Strategy Officer