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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. 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!

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.

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.

How we are Repairing The World this National Volunteer Week

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 19-25), we are highlighting the incredible stories happening around the country during this time of global pandemic. Our Repair the World communities are acting now to fight for the most vulnerable in our societies, read more to see our impact and find ways to get involved:

ATLANTA:

In the spirit of Earth Day, Abigail Natelson, Repair the World Atlanta Fellow, helped lead our first ‘Mindfulness in the Garden Series’ (a virtual version of Farm Crew) that encourages participants to zoom in while outdoors. 

We created “signs of solidarity” in support of a campaign launched by local artists that asked residents to create and display colorful signs with positive messages for neighbors to see.

 

BALTIMORE:

Repair the World Baltimore hosted a Virtual Cocktails with a Conscience that allowed participants to do some meaning-making around the Passover holiday, think about the theme of what it means to find one’s individual purpose within a collective narrative, and discuss how to get involved locally even during a time of great uncertainty. 

 

BROOKLYN:

Caitlin Garbo, Repair the World Brooklyn Fellow, facilitated our first Virtual Art program through the Brooklyn Community Services‘ TLC program! Participants joined in creating art and writing letters to women currently living in a Brooklyn shelter. 

Caitilin reflected on the program saying, “I was inspired to begin the virtual art hour while quarantining because I missed making art and chatting with the clients each week. Whether we were interpreting poems, beading bracelets, or making snowflakes, every season and holiday we put up decorations and created art that filled the communal spaces with cheer. Now, words of encouragement and pages filled with springtime colors will be delivered to the program to try to mitigate feelings of isolation and perhaps bring some inspiration until full programming and communal gathering can return to normal within the shelter.”

If you’re interested in joining a project to send art and letters to local shelters or isolated older folks, please contact [email protected].

CHICAGO:

On March 27, Repair the World Chicago and One Table collaborated on a digital “A Neighborly Shabbat”. 

Together, we reviewed Repair the World’s Neighborly Letter and discussed ways to support hyperlocal neighbors and neighborhoods during this time. Participants engaged in ritual, broke bread, and built community during their Friday night Shabbat meal. 

 

DETROIT:

With all in-person volunteer programming canceled for March and April, Madeline Turner, Repair the World Detroit Fellow, helped find ways for our partners to continue their essential work under these circumstances. 

Keep Growing Detroit, a garden resource organization working to cultivate a food-sovereign Detroit, has had to get creative to maintain its two-acre farm and prepare seeds and transplants to distribute to thousands of Detroit gardeners without its usual support from hundreds of volunteers a week. With staff adjusting their hours to spend much of their time working at the farm, Madeline stepped up to the plate and found ways alongside our Detroit site, to support their work from home. She took the rest of the seeds home to Ann Arbor and with the help of her family, she was able to divide the larger bags of seeds into thousands of individual seed packets for Detroit growers to pick up at distribution and take home to their gardens.

HARLEM:

With the COVID-19 Pandemic disproportionately affecting older adults, Haley Schusterman, Repair the World Harlem Fellow, partnered with DOROT to help support their clients who may be experiencing increased social isolation and loneliness during this challenging time.

Haley participates in their Caring Calls program and forms connections by phone with an older adult—they chat weekly! Haley also creates birthday and holiday cards for older adults. Particularly now, DOROT’s clients may not have many other important social interactions. 

Haley shared, “I’ve enjoyed creating these cards so much that I’m running a virtual card making workshop this week to engage folks from around the country in supporting some of our most isolated neighbors!”

MIAMI:

Ella Fies, Repair the World Miami Fellow, engaged our community in Miami by teaching a virtual free yoga class with 40 people in attendance. The yoga class supports local organization Leap For Ladies who empowers incarcerated women. Ella mentioned, “I love teaching yoga and getting to share such an important practice with so many. It is totally a gift for me to get to do this every Sunday at 5!”

Join Ella in her efforts by heading to https://www.gofundme.com/f/leap-relief-fund

PHILADELPHIA:

On Friday, April 3rd, Repair the World Philadelphia, NextGen, and other local Jewish young professional groups brought together 102 community members to celebrate Shabbat with the uniting message of “even in isolation, we can still come together and welcome in the Sabbath.” Dani Horn, Program Director of Repair the World Philadelphia, led the Hamotzi, the blessing over the bread, and asked participants to think of those who may need nourishment at this time. As the virtual community reflected, people mentioned frontline workers, school children, and their own communities. It was important to acknowledge those in our community who may need support during this time. The program also included moments of joy and gratitude for blessings that have happened amidst the difficulty of COVID-19.

PITTSBURGH:

Maya Bornstein, Repair the World Pittsburgh Fellow, has been volunteering at the East End Cooperative Ministry’s Food Pantry, an interfaith coop which provides crucial access and services to meet the immediate needs of Pittsburghers, especially people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

Maya shared, “I have greatly enjoyed volunteering at the East End Cooperative Ministry’s Food Pantry the past month or so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Serving there has given me a sense of purpose and a safe reason to leave the house in order to work towards the goal of ensuring that every Pittsburgher’s human right to food access is met. The staff, other volunteers, patrons, and food donors give me comfort that even in tragic and uncertain circumstances people can come together to help each other and create meaning.”

Maya alongside Ilana Drucker (both Repair the World Pittsburgh Fellows) are also growing seedlings in the grow room above the food pantry to then plant in our nearby Sheridan Ave Orchard and Garden and to share with another community organization. The fresh produce harvested throughout the season will all go directly back to the pantry. Check out this virtual seed starting at-home program, video and directions! 

National Volunteer Week is coming to a close but it is not too late to volunteer and serve your community. If you are interested in additional ways to volunteer, virtually or in person, sign up for volunteer opportunities at werepair.org/volunteer.

All People are Responsible for One Another

a resource on caring for the sick in times of crisis

We are deeply concerned about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact the most vulnerable among us and how misplaced fear can lead to xenophobia and racism. Jewish tradition teaches the importance that people should not feel isolated, especially during times of illness. The Talmud (Berachot 5b) tells of a story where Rabbi Yochanon was suffering from an illness when he was visited by a colleague, who reached out his hand in support, and with that gesture, Rabbi Yochanon recovered. We learn here that healing cannot and should not be an isolated experience. Even those with the greatest ability to help others require the support of those around them in times of need. Further, we know as a people that vulnerable members of our community require even more support and thoughtfulness in times of distress.  To read the full designed resource and print it out, click here.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

This new virus was initially described by authorities as a new strain of pneumonia, however, it was later confirmed to be a new coronavirus. On February 11 the World Health Organization announced the official name for the disease as ‘COVID-19’. “Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” he said. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.” The best way to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 is to wash your hands often and practice good cough etiquette.

We encourage you to ask the following questions to help guide you and your community during this time:

  • What are the immediate needs vs. the long term needs? Which communities are most in need of healthcare, quarantine support, etc. right now? What long term help will people need now and later? What research needs to be supported to mitigate the impacts if another outbreak happens in the future?
  • What are the impacts beyond illness? What is the effect on people who live paycheck to paycheck or on those who rely on school lunches if schools are closed? For people living alone? For the elderly? For people with other illnesses who rely on medical assistance or treatments? For healthcare providers? For people caring for children, the elderly, and those in need of care?
  • What are my values? What is most important? Saving lives? Improving the wellbeing of those under quarantine? Improving global health initiatives? Supporting communities who are marginalized?
  • What do I need to improve my well-being and the well-being of those around me? What can you be doing to relax, find joy, and stay calm? How can you help others who are nervous, anxious, or struggling find calm?

LEARN

Asian-Americans, and in particular Chinese-Americans, have been facing vitriol and alienation since the COVID-19 has been named as originating in Wuhan, China. We invite you to learn about the impact on these communities in order to help disrupt and address issues of hate and bias. Xenophobia has a long history of being connected to epidemics, as Edith Bracho-Sanchez, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who has worked on health issues involving international borders says “As human beings, we are afraid of the things we don’t know, but our response should be to educate ourselves, not to further spread and give oxygen to fears and misunderstandings.” Read articles about Anti-Chinese Racism and consider starting conversations amongst your family and friends around how to support and build knowledge to prevent racism and hate crimes.

TAKE ACTION:

Prepare Yourself and Your Community:

  • Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the US: Your neighbors need you to prepare—especially your elderly neighbors, your neighbors who work at hospitals, your neighbors with chronic illnesses, and your neighbors who may not have the means or the time to prepare because of lack of resources or time.
  • Preventing Spread In Communities: Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Mitigating the impact of Isolation: Isolation may present its own unique challenges if quarantines, school and workplace closures, or travel advisories are in effect, or if people are too nervous to leave their houses. How can you and those around you stay connected to friends and loved ones? If you are able, ask for your neighbors’ phone numbers or emails, especially the elderly, so you can check in on them if you or they can’t go out. Set up video coworking or hangout times, and help your neighbors. Find other meaningful ways to fill time that help counter isolation and fear.

   Volunteer:

  • Find ways to support quarantined individuals. The use of quarantines is crucial to helping control the spread of any infectious disease, including COVID-19. However, extended quarantine times can be very difficult for the people who are quarantined. They are unable to go to work, shop for necessities, or even see their families in some cases. Support includes supporting individuals once the quarantine is over, especially if they lost income, housing, or employment. 
  • Reach out to local Asian-American organizations to see how you can help reduce stigma and stand in solidarity with them. Examples include: OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates in Washington, D.C. or CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in New York.

   Give Tzedakah (Charity):

  • Fund organizations that are working in areas with poor access to regular medical services as well as organizations specifically fighting the coronavirus such as UNICEF USA or the Coronavirus Relief Fund. People without access to regular medical care are more prone to have existing medical needs that make them more susceptible to infections of all types. Supporting healthy populations will help limit the spread of all viruses and other infections.
  • Host a Pop-up Giving CircleMake a donation, deepen your understanding, and combat isolation by hosting an in-person or a virtual pop-up giving circle to bring your friends, family, or community together and donate funds to organizations working on COVID-19 and related causes. Download the facilitator guide and participant workbook, which walk you through an interactive, 90-minute exercise to explore your values, pool your money, and make a decision to donate your money. If you have questions or need help with a pop-up or larger giving circle reach out to [email protected]
  • Give Unrestricted Funds – we’ve learned from past disasters that restricting your fund to a certain area means organizations are unable to adjust as the situation changes.
  • Consider sustaining or recurring gifts to ensure ongoing work on healthcare and related issues.
  • Let others know where and how much you gave to continue the conversation, connect to people asking the same questions and supporting similar causes, and make giving easier for those around you. 

 

 

Repair the World Urges #SupportforRefugees During Passover

This post originally appeared in The Times of Israel on April 21, 2016

By JTA

The Repair the World organization has partnered with HIAS to build awareness of and to help support refugees as they resettle in the United States.

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