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Archive for : Announcements

Happy Hanukkah! It’s time to act boldly

Happy Hanukkah! This holiday always reminds me of the Jewish people’s optimism. The Maccabees could have looked at the small amount of oil available to them and said, “What’s the point?” Instead, they summoned their hope and lit their lamp. And, of course, a miracle ensued.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Repair the World decided to embrace the Jewish value of na’aseh v’nishma, action and learning. We channeled the spirit of the Maccabees and acted boldly in the face of uncertainty, forging a coalition of Jewish organizations and expanding our programming to meet urgent needs in communities around the country. 

A year later, the result is a thriving Jewish Service Alliance (JSA) and expanded direct programming including a part-time stipended service corps that offers young Jews and their peers the opportunity to serve and learn with local nonprofits. So far, 809 corps members (and counting!) have served across the U.S. Over 90% praised the program for giving them a chance to do good through a Jewish lens.

The JSA is evidence that the Jewish service movement is growing, but that growth is no miracle. Our movement relies on investments from everyday champions of social change — like you

Thank you for powering a movement that’s touching lives and transforming communities.

Cindy Greenberg (she/her)

President and CEO

Support our service partners this #GivingTuesday

Repair the World is grateful to partner with 196 nonprofits across the country, who are giving Repair volunteers the opportunity to offer essential services to meet pressing local needs every day–combating food insecurity, supporting individuals experiencing homelessness, addressing educational inequity, and more. In honor of #PartnerPower, and in the spirit of our organizational values of achdoot (solidarity) and hitchazkut (strengthening each other), Repair is dedicating Giving Tuesday this year to our incredible service partners. 

On Tuesday, November 30th, we encourage you to go local and donate to one of our service partners whose mission resonates with you. Lift up your #PartnerPower this #GivingTuesday!

Hear from a service partner about how their partnership with Repair is strengthening their work.

To find a partner addressing the issues you’re passionate about, take our Service Strength quiz or browse a complete list of our partners across the country below.

REPAIR SERVICE PARTNERS 

ATLANTA

BALTIMORE 

BAY AREA

BOSTON

CHICAGO

CLEVELAND

COLORADO

DETROIT

LOS ANGELES

MIAMI

NEW YORK

PITTSBURGH

VIRTUAL PARTNERS 

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!

Start Here Jewish Anti-Racism Learning Cohort

This article first appeared on My Jewish Detroit’s Website. 

Sarah Allyn, Repair the World’s Executive Director, adds, “this fellowship is just one step in a long journey towards undoing the systems of racial oppression that are woven into the fabric of society. Our hope is that participants will not only have a profound experience of personal learning, but also begin to build a network and toolbox of skills they can use to further this work in their organizations and communities.”

Read More

Jewish orgs. in America advocating for social justice, advocate education

This article originally appeared in The Jewish Post on February 21st, 2021.

Repair the World and the Jewish Theological Seminary, two organizations advocating for Jewish education and social justice, are teaming up to cultivate the next generation of Jewish leaders.

The two announced a strategic partnership to support the alumni of the Repair the World Fellowship and Repair the World Staff by offering reduced tuition to study at the seminary.

“The Jewish Theological Seminary is excited about partnering with Repair the World,” said Missy Present, chief enrollment officer at JTS. “The combination of social justice training and higher education instruction can help set students up for a successful career in the social justice sector.”

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Repair the World Expands Community-based Fellowship to Two Years

This article originally appeared in E Jewish Philanthropy on December 16, 2020.

Repair the World’s Fellowship has expanded to a two-year program and is accepting applications from young adults who wish to engage in service and Jewish learning, while developing skills and mobilizing peers to address local needs. Fellows are partnered with nonprofits in their community to address education justice, food justice, housing justice, environmental justice, criminal justice, and more. Priority deadline for applications is Feb. 1; March 12 is a second priority deadline; the final deadline for applications is April 16.

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Meet Repair the World’s Newest Board Members

Repair the World is excited to welcome Jesse Colvin, Yoshi Silverstein, Yosef Webb-Cohen, and Melissa White as its newest Board members as we continue to grow and expand our reach. Last year, we celebrated our 10th anniversary and welcomed Cindy Greenberg as President and CEO. Over the last year, we’ve also welcomed Robb Lippitt as Board Chair, refreshed the mission and vision of the organization, and most recently affirmed our racial justice commitments. This summer we expanded our programming with the launch of Serve the Moment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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


Jesse Colvin (he/him)

Jesse Colvin is the CEO of Service Year Alliance, a nonprofit working towards a day when national service is part of growing up in the United States. He is a recognized leader and military veteran who ran to serve as the Representative from Maryland’s first congressional district in 2018. Jesse previously worked as a strategic advisor for Toffler Associates, a management consultancy. Prior to that, he held investigatory roles at Barclays Capital and Control Risks. Jesse served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, where he completed four combat deployments to Afghanistan. Before joining the military, he taught English language courses to Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Syria. Jesse holds a B.A. in history from Duke University and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Jordan, a former police officer, their toddler, a PAW Patrol enthusiast, and rescue dog, a poorly behaved Husky-Shepard mix.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work? 

What motivates me to serve is a question I’ve thought a lot about, and I’m still figuring out the answer. Part of it comes from my parents, who are career public servants in the state of Maryland. I’ve spent my adult life running towards some of our country’s biggest problems. I taught English to Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Syria after college. I served in the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment through four combat deployments to Afghanistan. My wife served as a police officer and founded a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate on behalf of veteran service organizations who help military veterans heal from trauma by partnering them with specially-trained psychiatric service dogs. I ran for public office in 2018 and now lead a nonprofit, Service Year Alliance, whose vision is to make national service part of growing up in our country. As it relates to Repair, the parts of my life and identity related to being Jewish and the parts of my life and identity that have led me to service have often felt like two separate and distinct worlds. There were no role models — outside of a few Greatest Generation members — in our synagogue growing up who had served in the military. I was usually the only Jewish soldier in the units I served in. That’s a shame; it took until later in life to realize the values that have led me to serve and my Jewish values are, in reality, very much interconnected and mutually reinforcing. So when Cindy Greenberg told me she thought the national service community ought to have a voice from within the Jewish community and that the Jewish community ought to have a voice from within the national service community, I was in. 

What’s something people should ask you about?
Anything related to our toddler; PAW Patrol; our poorly-behaved rescue dog; my first jobs at an ice cream store, construction company, and animal hospital

 

Yoshi Silverstein (he/him)

Yoshi Silverstein is Founder and Executive Director of Mitsui Collective, which builds resilient community through embodied Jewish practice and racial equity. He is also a Cleveland community organizer for Edot: The Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collaborative, a cohort six Schusterman Fellow, and is part of M² Institute for Experiential Jewish Education’s inaugural Jewish Pedagogies Circle. Formerly, Yoshi was Director of the JOFEE Fellowship at Hazon from its launch through its first four cohorts, through which he catalyzed the growth and leadership of over 60 emerging professionals working across the US and Canada in the realm of Jewish relationship to land, food, culture, climate, and community.

As a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew, Yoshi is an active advocate and educator in the Jews of Color community and speaks regularly on racial equity and inclusion. A former founding member of the Repair the World NYC Advisory Board, he is currently a member of the Grants Advisory Group for the Jews of Color Initiative, an alumnus of Selah (Cohort 14, Jewish Leaders of Color), and a member of the Selah Advisory Council, and has been a cast member of Kaleidoscope Project’s “What Does Jewish Look Like to You” monologue series, an ELI Talks speaker, and a Dorot Fellow. Yoshi holds certificates in Spiritual Entrepreneurship (Columbia Business School through GLEAN Network), social entrepreneurship (PresenTense NYC), permaculture design, ecovillage design, and environmental education; and earned his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland with a thesis exploring Jewish frameworks, concepts, and vocabularies for landscape journey and experience in Jewish outdoor learning environments. Also a 2nd degree blackbelt and aficionado of Chinese Roast Duck, Yoshi lives in the Cleveland area with his wife, daughter, and pup.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
Both through formal and informal structures, service is a key component to a thriving, resilient community and, in the absence of those qualities, can be a significant driver of change. I believe that service can be a positive catalyst for shifting relationships across multiple vectors — between individual and community, between differing communities, and in the relationship between individuals, communities, and society at large.

What’s something people should ask you about?
Ask me about the time I walked (almost) the entire shoreline of Manhattan in one day.

 

Yosef Webb-Cohen (he/they)

Yosef Webb-Cohen, MDiv. is an educator committed to supporting individuals and communities in their journeys for personal, social, and cultural growth and change. Yosef is the Senior Educator and Co-Founder of the Calico Hill Collective, developing experiences to support individuals and communities who are seeking to strengthen their capacity to live out their justice values and to engage effectively, ethically, and authentically across identity differences, including race, gender, sexuality, religion, class, immigration status, and disability/mental health among other differences.  Yosef received his Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in NW Washington, DC where he focused his studies on interfaith (Jewish/Christian/Muslim) dialogue for peace, a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis on the experiences of indigenous Native American peoples, from California State University, Sacramento, and two AA degrees from American River College in Sacramento. He successfully completed a year and a half of Clinical Pastoral Education (5 Units) and is trained as an interfaith and mental health chaplain, including more than a year at Saint Elizabeths Mental Health Hospital in Washington, DC. Yosef is currently pursuing an MSW at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
I believe we all have a spark of the Divine within us. To serve others is to serve the Divine. To see others, in all of their complexities, is to see the Divine.  All of this is in order to make the world a better place.

What’s something people should ask you about?
Ask me about my past jobs and careers…Bring a lunch, it will be a long conversation. lol

 

Melissa White (she/her)

Melissa is Executive Director at the Key Biscayne Community Foundation (KBCF). Over the last ten years, Melissa has led the foundation and the Key Biscayne community in making a collective impact in Miami through a network of partner organizations, focused on collaboration. KBCF initiatives during Melissa’s tenure have included a sister-city initiative created by Melissa and the Key Biscayne Police Chief between KBCF, the Village of Key Biscayne, and the under-served neighborhood of Liberty City as well as one of the first university, foundation, and municipal partnerships for citizen science. Before joining KBCF, Melissa was a senior program coordinator at the University of Miami. She is a board member of Friends of Cape Florida State Park and served in the past on the board of governors of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club. Melissa holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Tech and a MA in International Administration from the University of Miami. She and her husband are proud parents to three children who provide them with laughter and love.

What motivates you to serve? Why are you in this work?
I’m motivated to serve in order to make a positive impact on the world.

What’s something people should ask you about?
Please ask me about my kids.

#Give828 – Support Black-led Service Partners

At the heart of our work of mobilizing Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world is a commitment to service through an anti-racist lens. Today, Repair the World is joining #Give828, a national day of giving focused specifically on supporting Black-led and Black-benefitting organizations. 

#Give828 isn’t like other fundraising campaigns. This day takes place during Black Philanthropy Month and commemorates multiple important events in Black American history, including the murder of Emmett Till, the delivery of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC, the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, and then-Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president.

#Give28 2020 comes at a critical time. The disproportionate deaths in Black communities from COVID-19 and the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other unarmed Black Americans that have sparked waves of protests illustrate the urgent and ongoing need for resources that directly support Black communities. Today, we’re highlighting Black-led service partners throughout our Repair the World Communities, and we hope you’ll join us in making a gift to support their critical work as we express the Jewish value of התחזקות [heet-chaz-koot], strengthening one another.

Atlanta

  • The Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center (SWEEAC) serves more than 48,000 families & distributes over 1,000,000 pounds of food to families in the communities of Atlanta. https://www.sweeac.org/donate
  • Rebecca’s Tent provides basic comforts and offers life skills training, access to community resources and the essential human services needed to help women rise up and work toward stability and independence. https://rebeccastent.org/
  • PAW Kids provides community support and activities to support holistic development and build self-confidence. https://www.pawkids.org/get-involved

Baltimore

  • The Safe Alternative Foundation for Education provides learning opportunities in West Baltimore and hosts one of Repair Baltimore’s VolunTeams, a group of volunteers who visit the center once a month to do career workshops. https://www.safealternative.org/donate

Brooklyn

Chicago

  • My Block, My Hood, My City provides underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood by taking students on explorations focused on STEM, arts & culture, citizenry & volunteerism, and more. https://www.formyblock.org/

Detroit

  • The Georgia Street Community Collective combines community gardening and gathering spaces for youth in Detroit,. http://www.georgiastreetcc.com/
  • N.E.W. L.E.A.F. Detroit is an environmental organization that aims to educate people about climate change, as well as assist them in adapting to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. https://www.newleafdetroit.org/take-action

Harlem

Miami

  • Miami Children’s Initiative seeks to break the cycle of poverty in Liberty City, Miami with a “block-by-block approach”, and by focusing on the growth and development of the city’s youth through the establishment of community partnerships. http://miamichildrensinitiative.com/
  • Health in the Hood provides access to fresh foods and health education in low-income neighborhoods, putting children on the path to healthy futures. [12/18] https://www.healthinthehood.org/donate
  • GreenWorks (a fund of the Miami Foundation) provides environmental programs and green job training to incarcerated men and women, youth remanded by court to drug rehab and at-risk high-school youth in low-income neighborhoods. https://miamifoundation.org/

Pittsburgh

  • The African Healing Garden in Pittsburgh is a place to restore wholeness to mind, body, and spirit, and will provide an outdoor classroom for children’s activities. https://www.gofundme.com/f/african-healing-garden 
  • Grounded PGH transforms vacant lots into vibrant community spaces and provides tools, resources, and connections so individuals can create the change that’s best for their community. https://groundedpgh.org/donate/
  • 1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness about matters affecting people around the world. They build liberated communities through art, education, and social justice. https://www.1hood.org/

Jewish tradition implores us to come together as a community in our efforts to tackle the difficult work of building a more just world. To learn more about #Give828 and to support their work, visit their website. Thank you for helping us as we take action to pursue a world grounded in racial justice and Jewish values.

Announcing the 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2020

This article originally appeared in Pittsburgh Magazine on August 25, 2020.

We are incredibly proud of Julie Mallis, City Director of Repair The World Pittsburgh, for being named one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40 who through their life and work have enriched the Pittsburgh area!

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Repair the World Philadelphia Update

As you know, the current pandemic is causing many organizations to have to pivot and change programming in very hard ways. Although we are in better shape than many of our peer organizations, in order to insure a strong financial future for Repair the World, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our Philadelphia Repair program at the end of this program year.

We would like to express our personal appreciation for Dani, Kari, Monét, and Jamie for all of their amazing efforts this year. This year has come with many challenges even before COVID-19 and the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Antwon Rose, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Marsha P. Johnson, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tyquarn Malik Graves, and too many others who we have lost. We are grateful for how they’ve continued to show up and build community during these times.

We would also like to thank our alumni, former staff, collaborators, and partners over the last seven years in Philadelphia. We recognize that without the support and loyalty of everyone involved with our Philadelphia program that we never could have thrived for as long as we did or had the impact we had hoped for. It’s been a meaningful 7 years.

Kari has been with us since almost day one of Repair the World Philadelphia and we are incredibly grateful for their stewardship of our workshop. The place that the workshop holds in the West Philadelphia community is largely due to Kari’s love and care.

Dani moved back to Philadelphia to be a Team Leader after serving in Brooklyn and after her second year in service we made the smart move of hiring her as the Philadelphia Program Associate. She rose quickly through the ranks because she has always been such a great advocate for Repair the World Philadelphia and for our work. Dani’s optimism has always shined through and is reflected in the community she has built with all of our partners over the years. We are incredibly grateful to Dani as she has put her heart and soul into Repair. Thank you Dani!

While we will no longer have a physical presence in Philadelphia we still have many ways that you can volunteer and engage with us in service. If you’re looking to volunteer virtually, please check out our opportunities on our website – https://werepair.org/volunteer.  If you’re for skilled virtual volunteering opportunities, please check out our website – https://repairtheworld.catchafire.org/volunteer-now.