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Repair launches Economic Access Fund to remove economic barriers for Repair the World service corps members, fellows and staff impacted by injustice

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

Passing the Torch, Until We Meet Again

I first met many of you in 2018-2019 when I was describing the vision for Repair the World Atlanta. I had over 300 stakeholder meetings that year, and gathered so much wisdom to feed into the  design of what would become Repair’s eighth community program. I felt like a dreamer, a salesman, or someone with an imaginary friend. Only now do I recognize that investing in the promise of something that doesn’t yet exist is also a kind of faith.

Together with the Atlanta community, we have built an organization fully equipped and deeply committed to service grounded in Jewish values. We have over 40 alumni of our immersive service programs who can lead their peers in deep learning and meaningful volunteerism. We have marshaled over 8000 volunteers in more than 15,000 acts of service and learning, providing over 24,000 hours to local nonprofits. We’ve partnered with more than 30 Jewish organizations. We’ve fostered connections and facilitated dialogue. We’ve taught Torah in fields and talked racial justice in synagogues. Through our invaluable partner Concrete Jungle, we helped stand up an emergency Grocery Delivery Program that fed 400 families for 18 months of the pandemic.

Four years later, the world may be even more in need of repair than when we started. The difference is that Repair now exists in Atlanta as a place to convene, a way to find meaningful work and the people to do it with. Atlanta Repair exists to meet urgent needs in our community, to kindle hope in each other, to support one another in living our Jewish values through consistent, persistent learning, and small acts of care that propel us toward justice and wholeness.

It has been my honor to serve with you all. And now it’s time for me to make way for up and coming Jewish young adult leaders. My last day at Repair the World is May 6. I will remain in Atlanta with my family and I look forward to continued relationships with so many of you who put your shoulders to the wheel with me these last four years.

We have a talented team to carry Repair into its next phase: Senior Program Associate Paige Godfrey, and rising second year Fellows Emma Burns and Palmer Rubin, soon to be joined by two incoming Fellows. We have a strong, wise and committed Advisory Board. We’re also hiring for a new City Director to shape Repair’s future here in Atlanta. I hope you’ll be part of that future too.

Thank you for your faith. Until we meet again,

Lily Brent

Sharing Repair the World’s adaptive strategic plan

This article originally appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy on April 6th 2022

The pandemic shed light on the interconnectivity between our health, safety and the ability for our communities to thrive. Meanwhile, young Jews are reinterpreting what it means to be Jewish in America with more wanting to connect with organizations that align with their values. Three out of four say leading an ethical life and 59% say working for justice and equality are essential to being Jewish.

In summer 2021, Repair the World received $7 million from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to expand our efforts to mobilize Jews and their communities. This gift highlighted the increasingly powerful role that service will play in building bridging across lines of difference, meeting needs exacerbated by COVID, fostering empathy for one another, and furthering social change in the years to come. These funds will allow us to build vibrant Jewish life to an unprecedented scale, engaging tens of thousands of young adults in service and Jewish learning annually.

Read the full article here

Solon native spends spring break doing public service

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Jewish News on March 29th 2022

Solon native Ben Truong and other Ohio University students gathered in New York City in early March to participate in an alternative spring break service opportunity with Repair the World, a national volunteer organization focused on Jewish values.

“We accomplished so much but what I really learned was to appreciate everything that I have and to really think about how to improve my community little by little,” Truong said. “Change doesn’t have to be huge. The small moments of helping others add up to make a big difference.”

Read the full article here

Repair the World Mobilizes Communities to Join the #ServiceMovement This #WorldWaterDay

This article originally appeared in San Diego Jewish World on March 21st 2022

Repair the World, an organization that mobilizes Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, igniting a lifelong commitment to service, today encouraged either in-person or virtual volunteering to support meeting vital community needs this World Water Day.

Celebrated on March 22, #WorldWaterDay is an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water.

Throughout the month of  March, we encourage everyone to volunteer in person or virtually and learn with us about pressing needs around water access and conservation,” said Eli Greenstein Jacober (he/him) Director of Campaigns.  “As we serve and learn to sustainably manage this precious resource, we center our value of kavod ha’briyot, the preciousness of each human, to understand the impact that water has on us as individuals and our communities. We need to take action as climate change diminishes access to safe and clean water globally.”

Read the full article here 

Repair the World mobilizes communities to join the #ServiceMovement this #WorldWaterDay

This article originally appeared in Jewish News Syndicate on March 21st 2022

Celebrated on March 22, #WorldWaterDay is an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water.

Throughout the month of  March, we encourage everyone to volunteer in person or virtually and learn with us about pressing needs around water access and conservation,” said Eli Greenstein Jacober (he/him) Director of Campaigns.  “As we serve and learn to sustainably manage this precious resource, we center our value of kavod ha’briyot, the preciousness of each human, to understand the impact that water has on us as individuals and our communities. We need to take action as climate change diminishes access to safe and clean water globally.”

Read the full article here

Repair the World Mobilizes Communities to Join the #ServiceMovement this #WorldWaterDay.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2022

Contact:  Jason Edelstein

510/239-1102

Repair the World Mobilizes Communities to Join the #ServiceMovement this #WorldWaterDay.
World Water Day Efforts Include Local and Virtual Service Projects, a Special Podcast Series and Other Learning Resources 

(New York) – Repair the World, an organization that mobilizes Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, igniting a lifelong commitment to service, today encouraged either in-person or virtual volunteering to support meeting vital community needs this World Water Day.

Celebrated on March 22, #WorldWaterDay is an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water.  

Throughout the month of  March, we encourage everyone to volunteer in person or virtually and learn with us about pressing needs around water access and conservation,” said Eli Greenstein Jacober (he/him) Director of Campaigns.  “As we serve and learn to sustainably manage this precious resource, we center our value of kavod ha’briyot, the preciousness of each human, to understand the impact that water has on us as individuals and our communities. We need to take action as climate change diminishes access to safe and clean water globally.”  

Repair the World also launched a #WorldWaterDay podcast series, hosted by Ella Fies (she/her), Repair the World Miami Fellowship alumni, with special guests including Rabbi Ed Rosenthal (he/him) founder of Tikkun HaYam, Javier de Leon (he/him) Lead Program Consultant at LavaMaeˣ, Julie Tsivia (she/her) a Grade 2 Wastewater Plant Operator at East Bay Municipal Utility District  and Eric Rosenblum (he/him) and environmental engineer specializing in water resource management and reuse.  

“We encourage you to tune in to Repair’s #WorldWaterDay podcast series, guided by our value of achdoot, solidarity, to learn about how you can support their efforts and provide necessary supplies and direct-service across the country,” continued Eli.  “Our inspiring guests share personal stories and perspectives on water access and action. We hope their stories inspire people to serve and live out our value of action and learning na’aseh v’nishma, meeting the pressing needs around water access in our communities.” 

LavaMaeˣ, one of Repair’s key partners for #WorldWaterDay, provides free resources, including mobile showers, a Pop-Up Care Village, and handwashing stations, through a lens of Radical Hospitality, to people experiencing houselessness. 

 

For more information on volunteering with Repair or the podcast, please visit werepair.org.  

 

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Repair launches Economic Access Fund to remove economic barriers for Repair the World service corps members, fellows and staff impacted by injustice

This article originally appeared in Jewish News Syndicate on March 17th 2022

Repair launches Economic Access to remove economic barriers for Repair the World service corps members, fellows, and staff impacted by injustice. 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.

Read the full article here

The Jewish service movement is growing | Repair the World’s Adaptive Strategic Plan

The pandemic shed light on the interconnectivity between our health, safety, and the ability for our communities to thrive. Meanwhile, young Jews are reinterpreting what it means to be Jewish in America with more wanting to connect with organizations that align with their values. Three out of four say leading an ethical life and 59% say working for justice and equality are essential to being Jewish.

In summer 2021, Repair the World received $7 million from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to expand our efforts to mobilize Jews and their communities. This gift highlighted the increasingly powerful role that service will play in building bridging across lines of difference, meeting needs exacerbated by COVID, fostering empathy for one another, and furthering social change in the years to come. These funds will allow us to build vibrant Jewish life to an unprecedented scale, engaging tens of thousands of young adults in service and Jewish learning annually. 

With stakeholder feedback about how to leverage these gifts to make the most impact, Repair adopted an adaptive strategic plan that builds on our core programmatic priorities:

  • Mobilizing through direct programming: Local presence in 15+ communities with a curated menu of Jewish service program options (full-time Fellowship, part-time Service Corps, episodic service);
  • Catalyzing through national partnerships & field activation: Customized partnerships with the largest national Jewish engagement organizations to engage their participants in meaningful service and Jewish learning; and
  • Inspiring through national service campaigns: Issue-area campaigns grounded in Jewish wisdom to activate the field to serve, including an alumni ambassadors program where alumni lead their peers in service and Jewish learning.

As we look to the future, we lean on learning from the pandemic and valuable reflections from our stakeholders. Repair’s adaptive strategic plan includes four interconnected spending pillars to build our Jewish Service Movement over the coming years:

  1. Catalyze our Impact by expanding national partnerships (see Appendix) and our Jewish educational strategy; 
  2. Strengthen our Team by more deeply investing in staff, fellows, corps members, and DEI work, including increasing our Economic Access Fund; 
  3. Tell our Story by expanding our marketing, data, and development capacity and systems to build the Jewish service movement, engage more people in service, and drive resources to Repair; and 
  4. Secure our Future by building operational reserves and pursuing additional investments.

These transformational gifts are much bigger than the funding alone–they are the fuel that will rapidly accelerate Repair’s impact, growth, and reach as we build our Jewish Service Movement.

In 2019, we set the ambitious goal of catalyzing one million acts of service and learning by 2030. With this funding, we will reach one million acts of service by 2026 while boldly living out our Jewish values. We will leverage this generous support to attract additional investments and develop our work to an unprecedented scale, while continuing to strengthen our work across local communities. This strategic plan will also support Repair in reaching our aspirations of being the Jewish voice in the national service movement, while ensuring Jewish impact by building thriving Jewish life through providing volunteers with an increased connection to service as an expression of Jewishness, as well as social impact by building capacity for our partners to meet their missions.

In line with our organizational values of hitchazkut, strengthening each other, and na’aseh v’nishma, action & learning, we also used this gift as an opportunity for interconnectivity and collaboration through conducting an extensive listening tour with 199 stakeholders alongside external consultants. This process strengthened our strategic planning and was a meaningful way to build alignment with our stakeholders. A big trend we heard from our stakeholders was excitement about the credibility that comes with this contribution and how we can leverage the investment for additional support. At the end of this process, the JSA received a $5.8 million Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF) Reset grant. This new investment will largely match the funds Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett provided to amplify the pace of our expansion. The JSA will bring more Jewish depth to this growing field and dramatically expand partnerships that center service and Jewish learning as a defining force in young Jewish life. 

Imagine the impact of one million acts of service and learning. We are just at the cusp of our ambitious plan and we will need additional funding to ensure this vision becomes a reality. We know it is a clear challenge and invitation to do even more: more service, more partnerships, and more investment to elevate service grounded in Jewish values and in partnership with our communities through solidarity, achdoot. We glimpse a future where Jewish service is centered more intentionally in Jewish life. We are building a far-reaching movement that will empower young Jews and their communities beyond the pandemic, igniting a commitment to repairing the world, tikkun olam, through service in support of social change. Join us. 

 

1 Acts of service and learning – how we measure the depth and breadth of our work. Each time any person volunteers or learns with Repair, we call that an act of service and learning.


VIEW APPENDIX: Catalyze Our Impact – Jewish Service Alliance Partners

Seven lessons from a $7 million Scott-Jewett gift

This article originally appeared in Philanthropy News Digest on March 14th, 2022

Kate O’Bannon (she/her), Chief Strategy Officer, and Cindy Greenberg (she/her), President and CEO of Repair the World, share the implications of a multi-million-dollar unrestricted gift and lessons learned about how best to leverage and maximize the impact of that funding.

“This gift will strengthen our team and dramatically accelerate how we grow meaningful service and Jewish learning opportunities for young adults—from efforts to advance education justice and racial justice, meet the needs of community members alongside service partners at soup kitchens and urban farms, and much more. We’re proudly working toward one million acts of service and learning by 2026.”

Read the full article here!