array(1) { [0]=> int(22) }

Archive for : News from Repair

Our Commitment to Racial Justice

Now is the moment for clear and decisive action against anti-Black racism. We uplift the lives and memories of Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Rayshard Brooks, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tyquarn Malik Graves, Marsha P. Johnson, Trayvon Martin, David McAtee, Elijah McClain, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Tamir Rice, Antwon Rose, Breonna Taylor, and too many others who have been murdered. We must do our part to dismantle the anti-Black racism upon which this nation was built, and unite against the violence and racist policies that Black people in this country continue to face every day. Black Lives Matter. 

As part of our ongoing commitment to racial justice, and with renewed inspiration from Black and Jewish leaders who are calling for systemic change, we are committed to much more deeply embedding anti-racism into our practices both internally and externally, taking action to improve the working environment for our Black Fellows and staff, and interrogating the propensity for white saviorism in our work.  

Our Commitments:

Saying proudly Black Lives Matter

We recognize that Black Lives Matter is a statement that is inherently true and should be accepted without caveat or qualification. 

Anti-Racist Approach to Service

  • 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. This means, across all of our programs and initiatives, we commit to:
    • Listening to community leadership and supporting the agendas set by our partners. Our volunteers do not propose solutions; rather, they follow the lead of those most impacted by systemic inequality who are experts in their own experiences and best positioned to drive change. Our volunteers build the capacity of community-driven initiatives. 
    • Challenging all our volunteers to examine racial inequity as part of our service learning. Our service always includes issue-area education because it allows participants to better understand the systemic causes at play. 
    • Intentionally designing our programming to reflect the inherent multiracial identity of the Jewish community and the communities in which we serve. This means we design our programming to be inclusive, make a careful effort to recruit and support diverse cohorts of participants, fellows, staff, and leadership, and regularly evaluate our successes and failures in this area.

Additional Expertise in Racial Justice Work

  • We are pleased to share that we have hired Yolanda Savage-Narva as our new Senior Advisor on Racial Justice. Yolanda Savage-Narva has devoted her professional career to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of discrimination. Yolanda will advise our Internal Racial Justice Working Group (IRJWG) as well as the Jewish Service Alliance, a project recently launched to engage the Jewish community in service in response to COVID-19.
  • We commit to consistent anti-racist training for our staff, fellows, corps members, and volunteers, and to anti-racist program design for the Fellowship and other initiatives.

Expanded Role for Internal Racial Justice Working Group

  • Repair went through an extensive, formal internal Racial Justice process, led by external racial justice facilitators, that concluded about a year ago. This process resulted in concrete recommendations for moving forward. Our Internal Racial Justice Working Group (IRJWG), made up of a group of cross-departmental staff members, is responsible for implementing those recommendations. Recent work completed by the IRJWG includes:
  • A shared language guide around identity, racial justice, and understanding of terminology important to addressing racism which will be ready for the fall;
    • An internal workshop for staff about combating anti-Black Racism and how it interacts with combatting anti-Semitism;
    • Revamping our goal-setting process to include an equity lens for all staff; and
    • Prioritizing purchasing from and contracting with POC-led businesses and organizations.
  • The IRJWG will be expanded to include interested Fellows and will be advised by our new Advisor on Racial Justice and Equity. 
  • The IRJWG created talking points for Repair staff and Fellows with direct language, statement of values, and action steps to support Black Lives Matter and racial justice. This is a tool for our team to increase their ability to communicate about what’s happening and work more effectively towards racial justice. 

Supporting Black Fellows and Staff

  • We are creating a new fund to support the emerging needs of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Fellows and staff. Details of this fund will be determined by the IRJWG, with support from our Racial Justice and Equity Advisor, based on best practices and with input from Black and POC Fellows, alumni, and staff. We intend for it to cover such items as mental health, coaching, mentoring, emergencies, and additional cost of living needs. This will be ready by the start of our program year, August 1, 2020.

Governance

  • Repair’s Board of Directors has committed to building out a pipeline of BIPOC prospects for our Board, and to adding at least three BIPOC members to our Board by next Juneteenth, so that our Board reflects the multiracial diversity of our communities. We recognize that much of our service work is situated in Black and Brown communities and that we need Black and POC leadership at the highest level to do our work responsibly and effectively.
  • The Board has committed to revisiting the minimum giving level for Board membership in order to advance inclusion and promote socioeconomic diversity in Repair’s leadership.
  • The Board has committed to training and deepening their education on anti-racism.
  • The Board has committed to rewriting Repair’s bylaws to ensure they incorporate antiracist principles and policies.

Anti-Racist Hiring and Compensation

  • We are implementing protocol recommended as part of our internal Racial Justice process to strengthen our pipeline of Black and POC candidates for open positions, including posting all new staff positions on job boards designed for recruitment of BIPOC. 
  • All staff responsible for supervising fellows or staff will participate in training on managing for racial equity by the end of the year.
  • Last year, we established salary bands and a compensation philosophy to protect against bias in compensation and promotion. We will continue to periodically review for compliance with these bands.

Jewish tradition implores us, during times of greatest aspiration, and also discord, to come together as a community in our efforts to tackle the difficult work of building a more just world. We must continually engage in the work, knowing there will be mistakes along the way. We commit to learning from these mistakes, acknowledging them, apologizing, and seeking to repair harm. The learning we do in chevruta, engaging in conversation with the different voices and experiences of our community, will help us strengthen our work and also one another.

Please know that we are all eager to hear your suggestions, responses, and feedback now and in the future. They can be shared directly with any of us. Again, thank you for your partnership. 

With gratitude,

Repair’s Shared Leadership Team 

Cindy Greenberg, President and CEO
Sarah Allyn
Laura Belinfante
Zack Block
Lily Brent
Rabbi Jessy Dressin
Rachel Figurasmith
Jordan Fruchtman
Dani Horn
Rachel Libros
Janu Mendel
Julie Mallis
Neeraj Nagpal
Kate O’Bannon
Samantha Pride

Board of Directors Executive Committee

Robb Lippitt, Board Chair
Allan Bloom, Vice Chair
Ryan Cohen, Vice Chair
Anna Kovinsky, Vice Chair
Rabbi Daniel Gropper, Secretary
Hayden Horowitz, Treasurer

A Moment to Learn and Take Action

“Whoever can protest to his household and does not, is accountable [for the sins] of his household; if he could protest to his townspeople, he is accountable for their sins; if he could protest to the whole world, he is accountable for the whole world.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 54b

The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic are extremely painful reminders of the deep-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country and tear at our social fabric. They are also reminders of the work that we must do to ensure racial equity for all as we pursue a just world in line with our Jewish values. 

Our hearts are heavy as we think about our communities and what they are currently facing. Repair the World stands with those who are on the frontlines protesting. We remain committed to serving our communities during this time, as we continue to see and hear the ways Repair cities have taken action. Now is the time for all of us to act, to seize this moment in order to realize meaningful change. 

Our mission to mobilize Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world is more important now than ever. We are proud that many of our volunteers, Fellows, and staff have joined protests and are walking alongside their Black colleagues, Black community members, and Jews of Color. Here are a few ways you can take action today, by learning and supporting the fight for racial justice: 

LEARN

TAKE ACTION

  • Volunteer locally and volunteer often. Volunteering brings us closer to our neighbors and builds community across lines of difference. Communities are aware that an increase in crowds will lead to an increase in needs in the wake of COVID-19. Serving your community is needed now more than ever.
  • Support the Movement for Black Lives Week of Action (June 1-5)
  • If you identify as a Jew of Color, join Dimension’s JoC Community Healing Call on June 4th (open only to those who identify as Jews of Color)
  • Join a local SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Chapter and get engaged with the struggle for racial justice in your community 
  • Donate to local organizations fighting for racial justice in your community
  • Amplify voices of  Black Americans and People of Color on social media and in all of your platforms and networks

The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the staggering racial disparities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic are extremely painful reminders of the deep-rooted systemic racism that continues to devastate our country and tear at our social fabric. They are also reminders of the work that we must do to ensure racial equity for all as we pursue a just world in line with our Jewish values. 

We must continue to build the bridge between serving alongside our communities and pursuing racial justice. Through the power of service we can act in solidarity. Learning from teachings by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, we know that service offers the opportunity to get proximate to the issues plaguing our communities, to build relationships, and to understand what is broken in our systems from the people who are most impacted. As we continue to mobilize thousands to combat food injustice and education inequity, we recommit to engaging our volunteers in learning about the systemic racism that makes that service necessary. 

We lift up the voices who are often silenced and we stand with those who have been forced to stand for generations. We are continuing to educate ourselves to learn how to elevate the voices of Black Americans and People of Color while not putting the burden of change on them. We stand with Black Lives Matter today, and everyday.

We have a long way to go. We are committed to working beyond this moment, listening deeply, showing up, strengthening our partnerships with those actively working towards racial equity, and living our Jewish values. 

EDIT: An earlier version of this post did not include explicitly naming “Black Lives Matter.” We failed to state our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and we have edited this post to reflect our intentions and support for the movement. We apologize for the harm this caused and commit to doing better in our communications, actions, and planning.  

Celebrating Black Leaders in the Community – Repair the World Partners

This Black History month we highlighted the extraordinary Black leaders behind our partner organizations that are doing amazing work in their communities. Because of these partnerships, we have been able to reach and serve more community members. Here are just a few of the amazing Black leaders building their communities and helping them thrive. 

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. Executive Director, Ernesta B. Ingram, has been leading SWEEAC since 2005 and introducing new and exciting food programs to Atlantans. Repair the World Atlanta has been able to reach and serve more community members in Atlanta because of organizations like Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center, Inc. Visit their website to learn more about their work!

The Safe Alternative Foundation for Education was founded by Van Brooks, a community leader who inspires students every day. Repair The World Baltimore was honored to feature the SAFE Alternative’s work when Van Brooks served on the educational equity panel during last month’s MLK Day program. SAFE Alternative believes that all students should have access to quality education and the resources and opportunities that will assist them in achieving their goals. SAFE Alternative provides after school, weekend, and summer learning educational opportunities in West Baltimore and hosts one of Repair the World Baltimore’s VolunTeams, a group of volunteers who visit the center once a month to do career workshops. Visit their website to learn more about their work!

The African Healing Garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is truly a place to restore wholeness to mind, body, and spirit. The plot of land owned by Betty Lane, the community’s 80-year-old matriarch, includes fruit trees, herbs, flowers, water, and a restful atmosphere. Betty grew up in the Hill District. She moved to Larimer in 1970 to raise her kids. She still lives in the same house within sight of the healing garden. The garden is a place where solace and peace of mind can bring about wholeness to those who enter its gates. It is being designed to provide an outdoor classroom for children’s activities. Repair the World Pittsburgh has spent many service days tending the garden and planting new plants throughout this partnership. Visit their website to learn more about their work! 

Repair the World Announces Cindy Greenberg as New President and CEO

Greenberg Served As Interim CEO Since March 2019,
Founded Repair the World NYC in 2014

New York – October 18, 2019 – Repair the World today announced Cindy Greenberg as the organization’s next President and CEO. Greenberg, who has served as Repair the World’s Interim President and CEO since March of 2019, is also the founder of Repair the World New York City. Repair the World will be celebrating this appointment at its Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, October 23, in Harlem.

“Cindy has devoted her life to advancing the role of meaningful service in the American Jewish community and building genuine partnerships within communities nationwide. Her years of dedication and commitment to this cause make her the perfect leader for Repair the World,” said Larry Brooks, Board Chair of Repair the World. “I have worked closely with Cindy during my time as Board Chair and have been consistently impressed by her commitment to Repair, her passion for our mission and her dynamic leadership during a period of significant growth and transition for our organization. We are extremely fortunate to have such a uniquely qualified individual to lead Repair into the future.”

“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to continue leading an organization so close to my heart, with an incredible staff devoted to the cause of service rooted in Jewish values,” said Greenberg. “During my time at Repair, we have engaged thousands of young adults in service opportunities to help drive social change in their communities. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, I am excited to work with our staff, program leaders and volunteers across the country to build on the progress we have made together and secure a strong future for service in American Jewish life.”

Prior to assuming the role of Repair’s Interim President and CEO in March, Greenberg served as the founding executive director of Repair the World NYC, where she built a robust program focused on mobilizing the Jewish community to meet pressing local needs through service and learning in Central Brooklyn and Harlem. In four years, Repair the World NYC engaged more than 30,000 New Yorkers, mostly young adults, in meaningful service and learning with more than a dozen community partners focused on education equity, hunger and housing justice. Before joining Repair, Greenberg worked for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life for fifteen years, including as the executive director of NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. She is the recipient of several honors including the Schusterman Fellowship, the Shirley Chisholm Women of Excellence Award and the Harvest Heroes Award.

Greenberg’s selection is the culmination of a robust national search process by the Repair the World Board of Directors in partnership with an outside hiring firm.

###

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD:
Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes young adults to address pressing local issues through service, based in Jewish values, heritage and learning. Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities in nine communities across the U.S., and train national partners to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org.

To the Repair the World Community

At Repair the World, we believe that serving together with communities to meet urgent needs can be a valuable path to understanding and building relationships across differences.

Today is a day to focus on for being there for each other, especially for communities experiencing pain and marginalization. Wherever we stand in response to the election results, it is clear that we are a country with deep divisions, a place in which we truly do not understand one another, yet where too many of us dismiss the depth of the others’ despair.

We need to reach out to each other, to our children and elders, to our neighbors and friends, and build community. And, with those we are close to, we prepare ourselves for the difficulty of reaching out and listening to those whom we do not usually hear. In the Repair the World Communities, we will open our workshops for these conversations – hosted by partners and ourselves – conversations that we hope will begin to heal our civic wounds.

We also invite you to reach out to us. Share your thoughts and feelings about the election. Our digital community is a place for dialogue and listening and we invite you to add comments to this post below.

In Jewish tradition, the telling and hearing of a story is one way we create understanding. We encourage you to share your stories today and to ask others for theirs. Through our collective stories, may we continue to build a narrative of understanding and national healing.

We look forward to all of the opportunities in the future to unite in service and solidarity in our local communities.

Repair at The GA

Ilana Gatoff and Laura Kassen, our AVODAH Corp members

The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly is a premier Jewish communal event attracting over 3,500 influential decision-makers, prominent leaders, and Jewish youth from around the world…so of course we had to be there too!

Repair the World will be represented at the GA in Baltimore next week, and we’re so excited to share the experience with you. Repair the World’s booth will be staffed by our dedicated AVODAH Corps members and members of our staff. Not only will they be on hand to provide information and answer any questions about Repair, but they will also give visitors a special first-look at our upcoming Read.Write.Repair. campaign! A visit to our table will also ensure you’re not left empty-handed – we’ll be giving away pins, stickers, postcards, and offering a chance to win some of our awesome t-shirts!

The GA has always been a hub of service-oriented ideas and development, but in recent years, a greater focus has also been placed on reaching out to young people as part of The Jewish Federation’s broader look to the future. The programs are designed to cover learning, sharing and building ideas to bring home to your community. Whether you want to find out how to raise money in this challenging economy, better use digital media to connect with communities, or learn how to encourage innovation and philanthropy, there are workshops and speakers present to teach you.

The scope of speakers and representatives at the GA is huge, and we’re thrilled that a couple of key members of the Repair family will be involved. One of the speakers from the Repair team is our consultant Dana Talmi, who founded Yahel – Israel Service Learning. In addition, Repair Fellow Jesse Rabinowitz will be in attendance and representing the University of Maryland Hillel, providing a student’s perspective to panel attendees. Both Dana and Jesse will be on the “Volunteering and Tikun Olam: Who is the Beneficiary?” panel on Monday, November 12 from 2:00pm – 3:30pm. This panel is sure to be a highlight of the conference! Panelists will present an in-depth look at service through a unique lens focusing on creating a meaningful experience for the volunteer vs. maximizing impact on the beneficiaries.

We are in the final stages of prepping our booth and getting our team ready for the conference, and we hope to see you there. If you can’t make it to Baltimore no worries, we’ll bring the booth to you! Follow us @RepairTheWorld (official hashtag #JFNAGA) where our staff will be live-tweeting from the conference. We’ll show you pics of our booth, give you a chance to win some of our fantastic SWAG, and share tidbits about new opportunities as we discover them!

Volunteering + Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults

Repair the World is pleased to present the first-ever comprehensive study of contemporary Jewish young adults and their attitudes and behaviors towards community service. Entitled “Volunteering +Values: A Repair the World Report of Jewish Young Adults,” the study was commissioned by Repair the World and conducted as a collaborative effort between the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University and Gerstein-Agne Strategic Communications. Prior to this study, little was known about the full extent of Jewish young adults’ service commitments as national surveys of volunteering either did not include information about the religious identity of respondents or contained too small a sample of Jewish young adults to permit meaningful analysis.
Read more

REALITY Israel Webinar, Thursday 3/17

We are pleased to invite you to participate in a Repair the World/RepairLabs webinar on Thursday, March 17, at 2:00 PM Eastern, where we will be presenting the results of a new study about the impact of the REALITY Israel Experience for Teach For America corps members.

For the past two years, the REALITY Israel Experience has been bringing select Teach For America participants on a 10-day trip to explore Israel from a service and education perspective and connect their secular service work, as teachers, to their personal values and motivations for repairing the world. Has it worked?

Among other promising findings, the REALITY impact study found the program has:

  • Strengthened participants’ commitment to Teach For America’s mission;
  • Strengthened participants’ commitment to social justice; and
  • Strengthened the link between members’ Jewish identity and their passion for service.

During the webinar on Thursday, March 17, at 2:00 PM Eastern, we will explore the study in the context of a conversation about Jewish identity and the factors that drive a passion for service. Joining me on the call will be Adam Simon of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Michelle Culver from Teach For America. Both organizations were sponsors of the study, along with the Samberg Family Foundation and the Center for Leadership Initiatives.

I think you will find this discussion to be of interest and hope you will join us. To access the webinar please press ‘play’ on the video below.

Click over to our RepairLabs site to access all documents needed for the webinar.