array(1) { [0]=> int(22) }

New Jewish Service Alliance Launches “Serve the Moment” with Plans for One Hundred Thousand Acts of Jewish Service

This originally appeared in eJewish Philanthropy on June 18, 2020. 

The Jewish Service Alliance recently announced the launch of Serve the Moment, an initiative to mobilize tens of thousands of young adults and college students in 100,000 acts of meaningful service and learning to address the COVID-19 crisis, its economic fallout, and the current movement for racial justice.

Read More

A ‘Super Fund’ Aims to Keep Jewish Nonprofit World From Sinking

This originally appeared in The New York Jewish Week on June 2, 2020.

“JCRIF finalized millions of dollars in initial grants to several nonprofits, including the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which partners with hundreds of day and overnight camps; Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools; and Repair the World, a service and social justice group that plans to launch a national service initiative geared to include camp counselors who have been sidelined this summer by the extensive closures due to the coronavirus.”

Read More

A Moment to Learn and Take Action

“Whoever can protest to his household and does not, is accountable [for the sins] of his household; if he could protest to his townspeople, he is accountable for their sins; if he could protest to the whole world, he is accountable for the whole world.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 54b

The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic are extremely painful reminders of the deep-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country and tear at our social fabric. They are also reminders of the work that we must do to ensure racial equity for all as we pursue a just world in line with our Jewish values. 

Our hearts are heavy as we think about our communities and what they are currently facing. Repair the World stands with those who are on the frontlines protesting. We remain committed to serving our communities during this time, as we continue to see and hear the ways Repair cities have taken action. Now is the time for all of us to act, to seize this moment in order to realize meaningful change. 

Our mission to mobilize Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world is more important now than ever. We are proud that many of our volunteers, Fellows, and staff have joined protests and are walking alongside their Black colleagues, Black community members, and Jews of Color. Here are a few ways you can take action today, by learning and supporting the fight for racial justice: 

LEARN

TAKE ACTION

  • Volunteer locally and volunteer often. Volunteering brings us closer to our neighbors and builds community across lines of difference. Communities are aware that an increase in crowds will lead to an increase in needs in the wake of COVID-19. Serving your community is needed now more than ever.
  • Support the Movement for Black Lives Week of Action (June 1-5)
  • If you identify as a Jew of Color, join Dimension’s JoC Community Healing Call on June 4th (open only to those who identify as Jews of Color)
  • Join a local SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Chapter and get engaged with the struggle for racial justice in your community 
  • Donate to local organizations fighting for racial justice in your community
  • Amplify voices of  Black Americans and People of Color on social media and in all of your platforms and networks

The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic are extremely painful reminders of the deep-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country and tear at our social fabric. They are also reminders of the work that we must do to ensure racial equity for all as we pursue a just world in line with our Jewish values. 

We must continue to build the bridge between serving alongside our communities and pursuing racial justice. Through the power of service we can act in solidarity. Learning from teachings by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, we know that service offers the opportunity to get proximate to the issues plaguing our communities, to build relationships, and to understand what is broken in our systems from the people who are most impacted. As we continue to mobilize thousands to combat food injustice and education inequity, we recommit to engaging our volunteers in learning about the systemic racism that makes that service necessary. 

We lift up the voices who are often silenced and we stand with those who have been forced to stand for generations. We are continuing to educate ourselves to learn how to elevate the voices of Black Americans and People of Color while not putting the burden of change on them. We stand with Black Lives Matter today, and everyday.

We have a long way to go. We are committed to working beyond this moment, listening deeply, showing up, strengthening our partnerships with those actively working towards racial equity, and living our Jewish values. 

EDIT: An earlier version of this post did not include explicitly naming “Black Lives Matter.” We failed to state our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and we have edited this post to reflect our intentions and support for the movement. We apologize for the harm this caused and commit to doing better in our communications, actions, and planning.  

Voices | The Time Is Now: New Considerations for Enacting Timeless Values

This originally appeared in the Baltimore Jewish Times on May 27, 2020. 

“Repair the World Baltimore recognizes this as a time when we need to work hard as a community to keep others in the forefront of our mind and actions. For those of us who find ourselves “stuck at home” and maybe even a little “bored,” this is likely an indicator that we are in a position of having enough of what we need to get by, and so we should be asking ourselves: “How can I serve others in my community who are experiencing this time as a fight for survival?”

Since early March, Repair the World Baltimore has been discovering creative ways to continue to show up around service and social justice learning in order to respond to both ongoing and new needs.”

Read More

Repair the World Announces New Initiative to Further Mobilize Jewish Community to Volunteer During Pandemic

This originally appeared in eJewish Philanthropy on May 19, 2020. 

“Repair the World has announced a new initiative, Skills for Impact, in partnership with several leading Jewish organizations to further mobilize the Jewish community to take action to support neighbors and communities during this unprecedented time. The online platform, run by Catchafire – the largest, online tool that connects social good organizations with talented professionals looking to donate their skills – will provide Repair’s nonprofit partners and other nonprofits and social service agencies supported by the Jewish community with expert support in areas like marketing and communications, web development, operations, strategy and more.”

Read More

Make an Impact. Repair the World.

Skills for Impact: Why Skilled Volunteering Matters:

If you have a drive to use your time and talent to help others, you are in the right place!  Skilled volunteering is a critical tool in a non-profit’s toolbox, it allows them to build their capacity and grow their impact. “Organizations that fundamentally leverage volunteers and their skills towards their mission are significantly more adaptable, sustainable and capable of going to scale.”  A good skilled volunteer uses their expertise to lift the burden from nonprofit staff who may not have pre-existing training or experience needed for a given project.

Getting in the Volunteer Mindset:

Approaching a new organization and a new project is a skill in itself, so we thought that we would give you somewhere to get started.  Here are some tips inspired by one of our favorite Jewish quotes from the Jewish wisdom book, Pirkei Avot2:

Who is one that is wise? One who learns from every person, as it is said: “From all my teachers have I gained understanding.” (Psalm 119:99)

Hold a learning posture.  You might know tips, tricks, and best practices for a given project, but make sure that you are also listening deeply to the needs of the non-profit and their community.  Then you can mesh the two together to create the most helpful outcomes.

Who is mighty? One who conquers their impulse to evil, as it is written, “One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one who rules over their spirit than one who conquers a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

Be patient.  The non-profit that you are matched to might not have experience working with a consultant, and helping them share their needs and the most useful information to you might not always feel ‘efficient’ to you.

Who is rich? One who is happy with their portion, as it says (Psalms, 128:2), “If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you”; “fortunate are you” in this world, “and good is to you” in the World to Come.

Be content. Sometimes the most important work is the least ‘sexy.’  Sticking with this opportunity will create short-term and long-term benefits for everyone involved.
_______________________________

1  “Partnering with Funders to Unleash the Power of Volunteers” | Leighty Foundation
2 Pirkei Avot 4:1 [AJWS translation]

Who is honored? One who honors the creations, as it says, “Those who honor Me I will honor, but those who scorn Me will be despised” (I Samuel 2:30) 

Be respectful.  If you extend respect, you will be respected, and that positive relationship will make for the best experience and the best work!

Learning about the work: 

You have the opportunity to volunteer with organizations with a wide variety of missions.  Those that we are bringing onto the platform focus on addressing poverty and its reverberations on local, national, and global scales.  There is way more to say about these topics than we could fit into a few paragraphs, but we’ve collected some resources for you to check out to learn more about why these issue areas are so important.

As you read, watch, and listen, consider what surprises you, what do you want to know more about and how might what you are learning influence your approach to volunteering.

Read

Watch

Listen:

  • 1619 Project Podcast from the New York Times Magazine “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
  • NPR’s Codeswitch Podcast discusses race “from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between,” on a local, national, and international level.
  • Jews, Justice, and Global Giving” podcast episode from OLAM’s Global Torah interviewing Ruth Messinger and Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, discussing how we prioritize our giving.
  • Weekly Economics Podcast from the New Economics Foundation explores topics of economic justice and poverty.

Reflection: 

As you sign up to volunteer through repairtheworld.catchafire.org/volunteer-now and find an organization to contribute your talents to, consider what it would look and feel like to embody a volunteer mindset.

In Jewish tradition, kavannah, or intention, comes from the same root as the word for “direction,” meaning that building up and constantly honing our intentions will help us stay on the path towards a more just world.

To get you started, find inspiration for intention setting and reflection, here are a few resources that we love to return to:

We can’t wait to hear about your experience! Email us at [email protected] with questions, thoughts and insight on your experience.

Jewish Community Members Foster Work of East End Cooperative Ministry

This originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle on May 6, 2020.

The need for East End Cooperative Ministry’s (EECM) food pantry has escalated in the midst of the global health crisis. Repair the World Pittsburgh Fellows have continued to support EECM by assisting to pack and distribute food.

Read More

Spring Into Solidarity

Jewish tradition is inspired by rabinnical sages, who would open their doors when they ate meals and said, “Whoever is in need, let that person come and eat.” [Ta’anit 20b]

During these unprecedented times of need, Repair the World’s commitment to support our nonprofit service partners in feeding people who are food insecure is unwavering. To express that support, Repair launched Spring Into Solidarity, a fundraising race to mobilize Jews and their communities to show up for our partner organizations on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts. 

The Great Big Jewish Food Fest is collaborating with Repair the World to support 15 partner organizations raising at least $1,000 each. All funds raised will go directly to each organization to help meet their immediate and rising needs resulting from the COVID-19 crisis

If you would like to give generally to the Spring Into Solidarity fund, donate here. If you’re looking to donate to a specific organization across Repair’s nine communities, use the partner guide below to learn more and donate. Thank you for your support! 

REPAIR THE WORLD’S FOOD JUSTICE PARTNERS:

ATLANTA

  • Concrete Jungle
    Concrete Jungle transforms overlooked and underutilized fruit trees and land into a year-round food source for food banks, shelters and people in need. Donate here.
  • SWEEAC
    Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center (SWEEAC) provides food, clothing, household items, and resources to those with emergency needs to support self- sufficiency, prevent hunger, and address homelessness. Donate here.

BALTIMORE

  • Baltimore Hunger Project
    Baltimore Hunger Project is dedicated to eliminating the growing problem of weekend childhood hunger by consistently providing weekend food packages to food insecure children in a compassionate and dignified manner. Donate here.

BROOKLYN

CHICAGO

  • The Night Ministry
    The Night Ministry works to provide meals, housing, health care and human connection to those struggling with poverty or homelessness. Donate here.

DETROIT

  • Gleaners Food Bank 
    Gleaners Community Food Bank exists to provide households with access to sufficient, nutritious food, and related resources. Donate here.

HARLEM

MIAMI

  • Health in the Hood
    Health in the Hood connects low-income families to healthy, free, local food by transforming vacant land into vibrant vegetable gardens and teaching wellness workshops. Donate here.

PHILADELPHIA

  • Broad Street Ministry
    Broad Street Ministry transforms Philadelphia’s city and institutions by embracing the individual needs of our most vulnerable sisters & brothers. Donate here.
  • Jewish Relief Agency
    ​Jewish Relief Agency serves diverse low-income individuals by relieving hunger, improving lives, and strengthening the Philadelphia community. Donate here.

PITTSBURGH

  • Just Harvest
    Just Harvest educates, empowers and mobilizes people to eliminate hunger, poverty, and economic injustice by influencing public policy, engaging in advocacy, and connecting people to public benefits. Donate here.
  • Jewish Association on Aging
    The mission of the Jewish Association on Aging is to honor and enhance the lives of older adults by providing a continuum of individualized, quality care consistent with Jewish values and tradition. Donate here.

Leveling the #GivingTuesdayNow Playing Field

This originally appeared in eJewish Philanthropy on May 4, 2020. 

“For organizations run by, funded by, or serving women and non-binary people, the crisis is hitting even harder. The already fragile and gendered ecosystem of nonprofit organizational support is showing even more significant signs of collapse for women’s organizations.

We want to examine why this is happening, and how you can help address these critical issues this #GivingTuesdayNow.”

Read More

 

For Millenials, Virtual Shabbat Motivates Neighborhood Connections

This originally appeared in the Forward on April 30, 2020.

For many Jewish millennials, living far from family and remaining socially distant from friends, virtual Shabbat dinners have offered a way into community, tradition, and what it means to serve others.

Read More