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Jewish Service Alliance Expands Efforts to Make Service a Defining Element of American Jewish Life With Support from New JCRIF Reset Grant

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jason Edelstein, 510-239-1102

October 25, 2021 — The Jewish Service Alliance (JSA), powered by Repair the World, today announced major new plans to make service a defining part of American Jewish life with the support of a $5.8 million Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF) Reset grant. With this new investment, the JSA’s unprecedented coalition of Jewish engagement organizations will leverage partnerships nationally and locally to elevate service and learning and bring more Jewish depth to this growing field. The Jewish Service Alliance is powered by Repair the World (Repair) and includes Hillel International, Honeymoon Israel, JCC Association, JDC Entwine, JFNA, Moishe House, and OLAM.

“This is a critical moment for the Jewish community to live our values,” says Cindy Greenberg, President and CEO of Repair the World. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our lives are interconnected and there is an urgent need that the Jewish community can address. Generation Z is the most civically engaged generation alive today. No matter where young Jewish adults are, no matter how their Jewishness manifests, we can show them that meaningful service and learning in pursuit of a just world is a Jewish practice that’s accessible throughout their lives.”

The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities that young adults see around them—and that some experience themselves—and increased the care needed by many of their neighbors. Jewish young adults also are concerned about rising anti-Semitism and polarization within the Jewish community. At the same time, the majority of American Jews believe that leading a moral and ethical life (72%) and working for justice and equality (59%) are essential elements of their Jewish identity.

“Jewish college students care more than ever about having a positive social impact, and our partnership with Repair the World has played a crucial role in enabling them to achieve this impact through service,” said Hillel President and CEO Adam Lehman. “We’re thrilled that this new landmark grant will make it possible for even more Jewish college students to take part in deep and meaningful service work that not only strengthens students’ connection to Jewish life, but also enables tangible, positive change in the larger world.”

With JCRIF’s support, the JSA will unlock the enormous reach of its partners to offer meaningful service and learning for tens of thousands of Jewish young adults. This will be done by:

  • Creating infrastructure, offering training, and developing new curriculum to activate Jewish learning opportunities that are accessible and relevant across the Jewish community.
  • Strengthening the role of service within each JSA organization’s core offerings to provide more Jewish young adults and their communities opportunities to serve.
  • Expanding the work to more communities to scale Jewish service to new locations and audiences to reach thousands more Jewish young adults and their communities.

Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America, shared “we are grateful to Repair the World and JCRIF for enabling this important work, which will direct resources to Federations and other key partners towards activating the power of service and helping Jewish communities flourish.”

JCRIF funders for this work include the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, and Maimonides Fund, reflecting both new and expanding support. Recipients of JCRIF’s Reset grants were selected through a rigorous process that began with a public Request for Proposals in February 2021, calling for projects that could “seize this unique moment to reimagine, renew, and reset Jewish communities for the future” and offer “new thinking that can move beyond current organizational boundaries, structures, missions, and program delivery mechanisms.”

“The power and impact of the Jewish service movement come from its partnerships,” adds Greenberg. “Different organizations working together, nationally and locally, enable more young adults to engage in Jewish life and learning that is meaningful to them. The JSA deeply appreciates JCRIF’s continued support of this vision, especially the support from new funders, and is excited to see the other innovative ideas and organizations JCRIF is supporting with this round of grants.”

About the JSA
More than 40 Jewish communal partners founded the Jewish Service Alliance in spring 2020 to mobilize young Jews and their communities to meet COVID-19 needs. In its first year, the JSA mobilized tens of thousands of participants and catalyzed 100,000 acts of service and learning to support nonprofit partners, create customized Jewish service partnerships, and run four national issue-area campaigns. The JSA aims to catalyze one million acts of service and learning (AS&L) cumulatively over the coming years.

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Volunteers Sought For Days Of Service In Honor Of Tree Of Life Victims

This article originally appeared on October 22, 2021 in KDKA CBS Pittsburgh

Next Wednesday marks three years since the tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Part of the commemoration includes Days of Service, sponsored by Repair The World Pittsburgh. This year, those activities were chosen specifically to reflect causes near to the eleven people who died that day.

“This year we really tried to work with the families to create service sites and projects that were really honoring the legacies and work and contributions of those who we lost and making sure that something that they really cared about is also something that we can continue to work on and inspire people to continue to get involved in and be a part of,” said Julie Mallis, the executive director of Repair The World Pittsburgh. Read the full article here

Pittsburgh prepares third-year commemoration of Oct. 27 massacre

Commemoration events begin more than a week before the public ceremony. Eighteen volunteer opportunities, beginning Oct. 18, were created by Repair the World as part of “Oct. 27: Remember, Reflect in Spirit and Action.” Most will occur on Oct. 24, the date marking the yahrzeit of the 11 people murdered, said Repair the World Program Manager Jess Gold. The volunteer opportunities include tending the earth, community care, civic engagement and health and wellness. Many of the opportunities were created in conjunction with the victims’ families, Gold said, “in honor of individuals whose lives were lost.”Other service events include an orchard harvest and weeding, a virtual workshop to advocate for gun safety reform, cemetery cleanup along with the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association, and a blood drive. Read the full article here

Third year of Tree of Life remembrance returns to in-person commemoration

Opportunities to give back to the community at various service sites will be available throughout the month through Repair the World, including cemetery cleanups, packing care kits, a blood drive and more. Julie Mallis, the executive director of Repair the World Pittsburgh, said the programs promote service as a way of healing and allow space for different people to participate in more than one opportunity. The work provides a “physical, tangible way” for people to process the tragedy, Mallis said. “There’s almost a kinetic exchange.” Read the full article here

Honoring Elul by bringing together female scholars

“The work that SVIVAH is doing reaches well beyond the Orthodox community,” said Rabbi Jessy Dressin, one of the interviewees. Dressin, the senior director of education at the service organization Repair the World, was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and notes that she is not a member of the Orthodox community herself. “It’s a place that gathers women for the transmission of Torah and deep learning, and that is inspiring to me as a woman, as a rabbi and as a progressive Jew.” Read the full article here

Hillel and Repair The World Launch 2021-2022 Campus Corps Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2021

Repair the World Contact:  Jason Edelstein | 510-239-1102
Hillel Contact: Leilah Mooney Joseph | 202-449-6547

Hillel and Repair The World Launch 2021-2022 Campus Corps Program
150 Student Corps Members Around the World Will Engage Their Peers in Service, Civic Engagement and Social Justice Work 

New York, NY — Repair the World and Hillel International today announced the Repair Campus Corps Program, which will support 150 college student Corps Members around the world to engage their peers in service, civic engagement, Jewish learning, and social justice work during the 2021-2022 school year. The program will run from September 2021 to May 2022. Hillels applied in August 2021 to participate in the program and can request up to four student interns per campus.

During the onset of the global pandemic, Repair the World significantly expanded its reach and national partnerships through launching the Serve The Moment Service Corps (now Repair the World Service Corps) and the Jewish Service Alliance, which collectively brought together 40+ organizations driving national service and mobilizing tens of thousands of Jewish Young adults in 100,000 acts of meaningful service and learning grounded in Jewish values.

In year one, in partnership with Hillel International, 100 Campus Corps Members from 96 local Hillels recruited 4,843 peers in service, catalyzing 5,312 acts of service and learning and contributing 26,299 hours of service to partner organizations.

“We continue to be motivated and inspired by the overwhelming response to our service corps programs. Hillel students are truly making a difference throughout the world with their dedication to service and commitment to social change,” said Hillel President and CEO Adam Lehman. “We are excited for this new year that brings about important opportunities to continue combatting the injustices and disparities prevalent in our country and beyond.”

Student Cohort Experience
Student Corps Members will participate in a full-year cohort experience run by Hillel International, with support from Repair the World. Students will get their choice of six  issue area-based education cohorts in Fall 2021.

Starting in October 2021, each cohort will participate in a four-part virtual educational series related to their issue area, meeting monthly through January. The education series will introduce the topic and its connection to Jewish values and help students create tangible next steps to participate in service around this issue.  The issue areas include:

  • Environmental Justice

  • Disability Inclusion/Justice

  • Racial Justice

  • Food Justice

  • Housing Justice

  • Education Justice

“We look forward to seeing the meaningful change resulting from our student corps members as the success and overwhelming response to this program is proof positive that Jewish college students are eager to create change by living out their Jewish values,” concluded Cindy Greenberg, President and CEO of Repair the World. “The last 18 months have presented all of us with countless unanticipated challenges that were met by young people with hope, perseverance and dedication. As we continue to navigate this new school and programmatic year, we are filled with hope and are excited to engage even more students to serve their communities and address urgent local needs and inequity.”

 

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About Hillel International

Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path.

About Repair the World

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. By 2030, Repair will inspire and catalyze one million acts of service towards repairing the world.

Meet Repair the World’s Newest Board Members

Repair the World is excited to welcome Majestic Lane (he/him), Kathy Reich (she/her), and David Rittberg (he/him) as its newest national Board of Directors members as we continue to grow and expand our reach. This past year has been one of immense change and growth with many joining us to ‘Serve the Moment’ responding to the needs of our communities and pursuing justice. With the leadership of our Board of Directors and as we transition from a moment to a movement, we’re entering a transformed ‘Service Era’, boldly positioning ourselves to build additional strategic opportunities and further centering service as key to building a thriving Jewish life while amplifying service across our communities. 

These dynamic individuals bring with them a wealth of expertise in national service, Jewish engagement, philanthropy, community building, and social justice through a Jewish lens. They share a passion for mobilizing Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world while representing diverse backgrounds. Learn more about them and what motivates them to serve their communities. To see a list of all our current Board members click here.

Majestic Lane (he/him/his)
Deputy Chief of Staff & Chief Equity Officer, City of Pittsburgh

Majestic Lane serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Equity Officer for Mayor William Peduto. As Chief Equity Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff, Majestic leads the Peduto administration’s focus on opportunity for all residents of the City of Pittsburgh concerning education, workforce development, safe & healthy communities, and digital inclusion. Additionally, he leads the administration’s engagement with national organizations regarding equity and inclusion strategies. Prior to serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, Majestic was the Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Empowerment where he coordinated the administration’s neighborhood equity efforts through community driven development and affordable housing initiatives. Majestic attended the University of Pittsburgh and lives in North Point Breeze.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
I’m motivated by the importance of serving my community as well as the opportunity to grow while meeting the needs of those who need vital resources.

What’s your most memorable volunteering/service-related experience?
Volunteering to teach tennis to children from my neighborhood when I was a young adult.

What’s something completely unrelated to Repair that people should ask you about?
My love of music!!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Salads!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer!

Kathy Reich (she/her/hers)
Director, BUILD, Ford Foundation

Kathy Reich leads the Ford Foundation’s BUILD initiative in the United States and in the foundation’s 10 global regions. BUILD is a 10-year, $2 billion initiative to strengthen key institutions around the world that fight inequality. Kathy manages a team of 11 people, guiding Ford’s efforts to support the vitality and effectiveness of institutions and networks that serve as pillars of broader social movements.

Before joining Ford in 2016, Kathy worked for 15 years at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, most recently as organizational effectiveness and philanthropy director, where she led a cross-cutting program to help grantees around the world strengthen their strategy, leadership and impact. Prior to that, she was policy director of a non-profit, served as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill, and worked for state and local elected officials in California.

Kathy is a Senior Fellow of the Schusterman Foundation, and has served on several non-profit boards. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a lifelong Californian, although she currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her spouse, two teenage children, one highly opinionated cat, and one extremely cuddly dog.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
I’m inspired to serve by my Jewish faith and values, and by my parents, who raised me to believe in justice for all people. I am particularly excited to work with organizations like Repair the World that enable people to live their Jewish values in service of Jews and non-Jews alike. 

What’s your most memorable volunteering/service-related experience?
I’ve had so many remarkable service experiences, but my favorite ones are probably among my earliest ones—making sandwiches with my mom for a weekly lunch program she organized for homeless people, doing armchair aerobics with women at a local assisted living facility, and teaching kids to read at a Title I elementary school. Service was a big part of my life at home and at school, and my favorite experiences were ones where I could form personal bonds with other people. 

What’s something completely unrelated to Repair that people should ask you about?
Ask me about travel—in pre-pandemic days I traveled extensively for work, especially to Africa and Latin America, and I hope to return to that soon! 

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That is a hard question, because food is one of my greatest joys in life. I think I’d have to say, really expensive sushi. Or maybe hot fudge sundaes with lots of whipped cream. Or on some days, maybe just salt and vinegar potato chips….do I really have to pick just one?

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a famous novelist. Or an actress in musical theater on Broadway. But I gave up on the latter when I found out I’d need dance lessons. 

David Rittberg (he/him/his)
Senior Director, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

David serves as Senior Director for U.S. Jewish Grantmaking at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, where he advises leadership on how to best leverage their investments in existing organizations and take new initiatives to scale. While some may know him for his semi-pro guitar skills, David’s true calling card is his hands-on approach to his philanthropic portfolio: David spends much of his time working directly with organization staff and board members to help build their team’s capacity, develop a long-term strategy and grow as integral players in common ecosystems.

Prior to arriving at Schusterman, David’s career took him across the country, from his hometown of Binghamton to streetwise Brooklyn, misty San Francisco and the hidden gem that is Tucson, AZ. Notably, David served as Executive Director at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, Hillel at New York University, and, in 2011, received NYU’s Hallmark Award for outstanding university administrators. David was also part of the Hillel staff at The University of Arizona and Stanford.

David received his BS in Marketing from the Smeal College of Business Administration at Penn State University, and an Executive MPA from NYU Wagner.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
A deep sense of obligation, responsibility, and commitment to community, inspired by my family’s heroic story.

What’s your most memorable volunteering/service-related experience?
The many trips I took and facilitated to the Gulf Coast in the years after Hurricane Katrina.  It introduced me to intensive service while meeting Americans from all over the country.

What’s something completely unrelated to Repair that people should ask you about?
Acoustic guitars!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Rice and Beans

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Either playing third base for the New York Yankees, or a transcendent rock star. I still want to be those things!

Repair the World Announces Expansion to Align with Program Priorities, Organizational Growth, and Unprecedented Opportunities for Jewish Service Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 1, 2021
Contact:  Jason Edelstein
510/239-1102

Repair the World Announces Expansion to Align with Program Priorities, Organizational Growth, and Unprecedented Opportunities for Jewish Service Movement

New York – Repair the World, a Jewish non-profit that mobilizes Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, igniting a lifelong commitment to service, today announced program priorities for the coming year, along with realignment and growth of its professional team reflecting the expansion and additional strategic opportunities. A recent $7 million gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to Repair the World will help grow its work to an unprecedented scale as many American Jews say that working for justice and equality is essential to being Jewish. 

In the wake of the pandemic, volunteers stepped up boldly to serve their communities in incredibly meaningful ways. As we enter this moment following the pandemic, we believe the Jewish community is entering a transformed ‘Service Era’ where they are building on the support and continued strengthening of their communities demonstrated last year by so many,” said Cindy Greenberg, President and CEO of Repair the World. “We are excited that Repair’s expansion can further build thriving Jewish life and meaningful social change through service infused with Jewish values and learning.”

Repair the World reached over 17,000 volunteers who contributed over 100,000 hours of service and learning to nonprofit partners across the country between August 2020-April 2021, thanks in part to last year’s launch of Serve the Moment powered by Repair the World in partnership with 44 coalition organizations. Repair is now positioned to expand these and other meaningful service efforts. Key pieces of the alignment to the organizational growth and adaptive strategy include: 

  • Mobilizing through direct programming 
    • Building a local presence in the 20 communities (currently operating in 13 communities) with the largest population of Jewish young adults
    • Curating a menu of program options for local communities (full-time Fellowship, part-time Service Corps, episodic service)
  • Catalyzing through national partnerships & field activation
    • Strengthening customized partnerships with the largest national Jewish engagement organizations to engage their participants in meaningful service and Jewish learning
  • Inspiring through national service campaigns
    • Facilitating issue-area based campaigns grounded in Jewish wisdom to promote and catalyze service 
    • Digitally engaging with audiences to activate the field to lead to acts of service and learning

Repair the World will invest in its Jewish educational strategy by further centering Jewish learning in all of its service opportunities. Repair the World will also continue to prioritize its racial justice and equity commitments, rooted in solidarity and responsibility to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and offer support to those communities.

To help achieve these new goals and expanded program offerings, Repair re-aligned its current senior strategic executive team to include:

  • President & CEO | Cindy Greenberg (she/her) – Will continue as President & CEO of Repair; Cindy was the founding executive director of Repair’s NYC program. Previously, she was the executive director of NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. 
  • Chief Strategy Officer | Kate O’Bannon (she/her) – Has led Repair’s growth over the last few years and most recently served as senior director of strategy. Prior to joining Repair, Kate worked at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. 
  • Chief Program Officer | Jordan Fruchtman (he/him) – Most recently senior director of Jewish Service Alliance and helped launch Serve the Moment; prior to joining Repair, Jordan served as the Chief Program Officer for Moishe House. 
  • Senior Director of Finance | Neeraj Nagpal (he/him) – Has 15 years of experience leading complex finance functions for nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, NEO Philanthropy, and Amnesty International. 
  • Senior Director of Jewish Education | Rabbi Jessy Dressin (she/her) – Worked as a community rabbi in Baltimore, MD, for ten years, most recently as Baltimore Repair’s executive director; received a Covenant Foundation 2020 Pomegranate Award and was named as one of The Forward’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in 2016. 
  • Senior Director of Mobilize | Zack Block (he/him) – Worked many years  for large public accounting firms and as a long-time board member of the Hillel JUC in Pittsburgh, Zack was instrumental in building and sustaining J’Burgh, Pittsburgh’s social and professional network for Jewish graduate students and young professionals. He now leads the mobilization strategies at Repair the World. 
  • Senior Director of Philanthropy | Wendy Rhein (she/her) – Was chief of staff of world food program, and previously was with UNICEF and Points of Light; has been development consultant for the last two years with Repair and is now joining the team full time.

Repair the World also seeks to add the role of Chief Operating Officer and is looking to fill the existing role of Senior Racial Justice Advisor.

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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. By 2030, Repair will inspire and catalyze one million acts of service towards repairing the world.

What It’s Like to Get Millions of Dollars From MacKenzie Scott

This article originally appeared in TIME on June 17th, 2021. 

“When I got the call, I literally just lost my breath,” says Cindy Greenberg, president and CEO of Repair the World, a faith-based organization that promotes local community service among Jewish youth, to which Scott gave $7 million in mid-June. “As [Scott’s representative] told me the amount of the gift, I felt all the breath come out of me. And when she had finished speaking, I said, ‘Can you please repeat that?’ It was such incredible news, I felt like I had to hear it a second time.”

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Faith groups among those granted money from US billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

This article originally appeared on Sight on June 17th, 2021.

In her post, Scott listed the 286 organizations and institutions that received funding but did not disclose the amount she gave to each group. Faith in Action, Faith in Public Life, HIAS, Repair the World, Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Muslim Advocates, Pillars Fund, Homeboy Industries and Repairers of the Breach were faith organizations listed among those receiving funding.

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