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Little Libraries Putting Books On The Streets Of Pittsburgh

This post originally appeared on Trib Live on June 1, 2015

By Bob Bauder

Amanda Singleton can find her summer reading material right next door, at one of the neighborhood libraries popping up around Pittsburgh as a result of support from nonprofits, volunteers and residents.

Repair the World: Pittsburgh, a Jewish organization similar to AmeriCorps, and Debra Smallwood, a United Way volunteer, collaborated to build and decorate 40 libraries yet to be installed.

Smallwood organized students in grades 9 through 12 at Brashear High School to build the boxes through a United Way program. Repair the World fellows helped decorate them and provided space for individuals to decorate.

They have a waiting list.Jim Griffin, director of the Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation Department, said he ordered 25, one for each of the city’s senior and recreation centers.

“People want them in front of their houses. People want them in front of their businesses,” said Zack Block, director of Repair the World.

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Repair the World Shabbat Dinner Focuses on Social Justice Issues

This post originally appeared on Detroit Jewish News

By Erin Piasecki and Sarah Rontal

Repair the World, a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jews to volunteer, hosted 75 people for its Detroit workshop to “turn the tables” for social justice and break bread for Shabbat dinner Jan. 23 before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  This dinner at Bagley Elementary School in Detroit was part of a nationwide campaign urging community members to use Shabbat dinners as a safe, dynamic space to identify and discuss ways to tackle issues of racial injustice.

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Keeping Their Eyes On The Prize?

This post originally appeared on The New York Jewish Week on January 21, 2015

By Doug Chandler

As Jews celebrate King’s legacy amid ‘Selma’ controversy, challenges emerge over how to pursue his dream.

The Martin Luther King Shabbat in Crown Heights last Friday achieved what its organizers, Repair the World, were hoping it would achieve.

Organized by the group’s Turn the Tables campaign, the supper drew more than 75 people to hear three community activists discuss how they became involved in the battle for social justice and what they’re doing today to further that goal.

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Students Serve Community in Honor of M.L.K. Jr. Day

This post originally appeared on The Pitt News on January 20, 2015

By Kathy Zhao

On Monday morning, Sam Sittenfield sat on the floor of the Repair the World building on Broad St. in East Liberty with two Pitt students, Sarah Shaykevich and Leanna Travis. The trio was sorting through cardstock envelopes stuffed with free samples of Post-it notes and highlighter tabs that they would later donate to after-school programs.

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S.O.S. Hosts M.L.K. Volunteers To Help “Repair The World”

This post originally appeared on Mediation Center on January 20, 2015

By Kevin

Monday, January 19th S.O.S. hosted 18 volunteers from Repair the World, a group that mobilizes young Jewish adults to engage in volunteer projects in cities across the country. As part of Repair the World’s MLK Day of Service, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy staff Juan Ramos, David Grant, and Barry Wiles arranged a screening of The Interrupters, a documentary film about Violence Interrupters in Chicago whose work follows the same model as S.O.S. Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights. Staff led the group of young volunteers in a lively post-film discussion about the roots of violence and neighborhood interventions to create safer streets for all people.

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Jewish Marchers Join Thousands for MLK Day March

This post originally appeared on Jewish Exponent on January 19, 2015

By Amishai Gottlieb

Many members of Philadelphia’s Jewish community hit the city streets Monday to partake in a number of activities related to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Synagogues across the region hosted or participated in special projects, from cooking for the disadvantaged to donating and sorting winter clothes for those in need.

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Millennials Carry on MLK Tradition

This post originally appeared on Jewish Exponent on January 14, 2015

By dmichaels

As MLK Day approaches, we caught up with two young adults working on longterm projects aimed at improving literacy and nutrition in low-income African-African communities in West Philly and Camden.

As part of her fellowship with Repair the World: Philadelphia, a Jewish service-learning organization, Bello, 22, will enlist others in the Jewish community to help clean out the old texts, catalogue donated books and create bookmarks and decorations for the library. Much of that will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 19 at events in Center City and West Philadelphia.
“My favorite MLK quote is, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” ’ ” said Bello, an Elmer, N.J., native who moved to Philadelphia to participate in the fellowship. “I think that definitely applies” to this pro­ject.

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Young, Diverse, and Full of Moxie, Detroit’s Jewish Community Is Making A Comeback

This post originally appeared on Model D Media on October 21, 2014

By David Sands

Not long ago, speaking about a resurgent Jewish community in Detroit would have had folks thinking you were a few candles short of a full menorah. Since the late 2000s, though, there’s been a major revival of Jewish life in the city, spurred on by an enthusiastic influx of young Jews under the age of 40.

Volunteering represents another avenue for Detroit Jews to connect with each other and the broader community. Repair the World is a Jewish service organization whose name is a translation of the Hebrew term “tikkun olam.” In three years, the organization’s Detroit branch has brought hundreds of Jews and non-Jews together to support local youth programs, food pantries, and urban agriculture projects.

Carly Sugar, 25, recently finished a fellowship with Repair the World volunteering at Project Healthy Community Garden and continues to be involved.

Raised as a Reform Jew, she attended Temple Israel’s Hebrew School in West Bloomfield and was bat mitzvahed. She still goes to temple on High Holy Days, but religious practice hasn’t been a central focus for her. Her time at Repair encouraged her to reflect on her Jewish identity.

“We seek to address issues that are present in the suburbs, where the students live, and in Detroit as well. This act of teaching, learning, discussing, and contemplating how we connect with others and with the Earth — to me, that is a Jewish act.”

Sugar has lived in Detroit for about a year and now. While she occasionally attends events at the Downtown Synagogue, she’s just as apt to run into fellow Jews at gatherings around the city. She speaks of the city’s new Jewish population as part of the larger fabric of a city that for her is a place of great challenges, troubling inequality, and also exciting change.

“Taking part in this work in Detroit has brought me a sense of community unlike any I have experienced before,” she says.

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Good Fellows

This post originally appeared on My Jewish Detroit in June 2014

By Vivian Henoch

Last September, AJ Aaron (24), Michael Evers (25),  Joel Millman (24), Coco Spencer (22) and Carly Sugar (25) came to the city to live, work and play. Together, they’ve embarked on an adventure, living and working together as the first cohort of Fellows at Repair the World Detroit, a nonprofit community service organization that recruits and matches volunteers — working in partnership with schools, youth programs, urban gardens and neighborhood associations throughout the city.

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Repair the World Opens New Office in East Liberty

This post originally appeared on Next Pittsburgh on June 10, 2015

By Matthew Wein

Ask Zack Block to explain Repair the World: Pittsburgh and he might compare it to AmeriCorps, but only at first. “Like AmeriCorps, we have fellows working in direct service at various community organizations,” says Block, the program’s director. “The similarities pretty much end there.”

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