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Archive for : Civil Rights

Repair Interview: Rebecca Weintraub’s Alternative Break with Hillel and Yahel

The end of January has arrived, which means two things: 1. Super Bowl Sunday (yay!) and 2. the end of winter break (not so yay). Students across the country are buckling down and getting back in the groove of papers, quizzes and homework. Meanwhile, daydreams of winter breaks just-past still dance in their heads. Especially for students like University of Maryland senior, Rebecca Weintraub.

Weintraub, along with 15 other students, joined Maryland Hillel and Repair the World for a life-changing alternative break trip in Israel. The students volunteered with Repair the World grantee-partner Yahel (learn more about Yahel here), for a 10-day whirlwind of learning and serving with Israel’s Ethiopian community. Weintraub took a minute from her busy back-to-school schedule to tell Repair the World about planting gardens with Ethiopian-Israelis, trying injera and other new foods, and how the trip influenced her relationship with Israel.

What inspired you to go on the alternative break trip?
There were several different alternative break trips being offered through Hillel – like one to San Diego that focused on immigration, and another to Ghana with American Jewish World Service. But the one that caught my eye was one in Israel with Yahel. It seemed different than the typical Israel trip where you visit Masada and the Kotel – it delved into social justice issues and seemed like it could help both deepen and challenge my relationship with Israel.
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“Shabbat Suppers” for MLK Day

During his lifetime Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly toward a dream of equality. He believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 16) is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve problems. MLK Day programs meet tangible needs, such as revitalizing schools and feeding the homeless; but also build a sense of community and mutual responsibility by spurring conversation. On this day, Americans of every age and background celebrate Dr. King through volunteering and unite to strengthen communities, empower individuals and bridge barriers.

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Day, the Hands on Network and Points of Light Foundation are rallying people across the country to organize “Sunday Suppers” – communal dinners that bring together people from diverse backgrounds to share a meal and discuss the issues that impact their community.

We at Repair the World love the idea of gathering around the table for conversation, of commemoration and, well, having a special meal. We also think it sounds a lot like Shabbat. In that spirit, we invite you to also host or organize a Shabbat Supper on Friday 1/13, and set aside some time during your dinner to remembering King’s inspirational legacy, and talking about how to bring it forward to today.

And guess what–there are even some Gift Certificates in it for you!


  1. Register your  Supper here and list Repair the World as your organization  The  Supper can take place anytime between now and MLK Day.  After you register, you will receive the toolkit with easy instructions on how to plan your  Supper.
  2. Let us know that you’re doing it!  We’ll send you a code for a Gift Certificate* at!
  3. Contribute a photo or post to our Repair the World Facebook page and and let us know!



*while supplies last

Davis Execution Cause for Reflection & Reform

Last night Troy Davis, a 42-year old man convicted of murdering police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah 22 years ago, was put to death by lethal injection in a Georgia prison.

It was a case heard, and protested, around the world by supporters including Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and former FBI Director William Sessions. Davis supporters believed that the evidence used to convict him was shaky since no murder weapon was found, there was no DNA evidence linking him to the scene, and seven of the nine original eyewitnesses recanted part or all of their original testimony. Davis maintained his innocence until the end.
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Monday Link Roundup

Happy Monday! With autumn around the corner, these last summer weekends begin to feel more precious – so hopefully you had the opportunity to make the most of it. As always, to jump start your week, here’s a weekly round up of inspirational service links from around the web.

  • Pursue
    published a touching poem by Avital Aboody called “A Farewell Poem: Concluding a Year of Service.”
  • The Huffington Post published a piece by Sara Vogel about how one-on-one tutoring has the potential to make a big difference in Mexico’s schools.
  • The Forward’s website features a video that gives and in-depth look at Crown Heights, Brooklyn – 20 years after the riots that threatened to split the neighborhood apart.
  • JSpot published an evaluation of the new movie The Help and its implications for today’s domestic workers community.
  • GOOD shared some promising news: solar power is getting cheaper all the time, making it a more viable energy source.