Archive for : Opportunities

Service Opportunities for Winter/Spring

Warm weather may still be several weeks away, but the opportunities for service and learning this winter/spring are definitely beginning to heat up. Read below and find out how you can plug into a season of service.
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Skilled volunteers sought for Rwandan youth village

The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a safe and structured residential community for orphaned children in Rwanda. The Village, which opened its doors to its first class of students in December 2008, is a place of hope where traumatized youth can “dry their tears” (Agahozo) and “live in peace” (Shalom). In December 2010 the third class will enter the Village, for a total of 378 students.

Within this caring environment, the rhythm of life is restored, so that youth who have been through great trauma find a home and a community, as well as a place to learn and become leaders for tomorrow. The youth who come to live and learn in the ASYV will grow into healthy adults who are not only able to care for themselves and their families, but who are also committed to making their community, their country, and indeed the world a better place.
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American Jewish Society for Service’s Teens Serve Communities Across America

The American Jewish Society for Service (AJSS) is an organization that links social conscience to Jewish consciousness, engaging teenagers in acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world) one house, one park, one community center at a time. Their summer program inspires teens to put their Jewish values into action by providing service to communities in need across the United States.

Established in 1951 (they celebrated their 60th summer of service this year!), AJSS was a pioneer of Jewish teen service long before it was en vogue. This summer, 48 Jewish high schoolers traveled into the heartland of America to volunteer with the AJSS in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and many local food banks, shelters and other community service organizations. The teens worked for and alongside community members in Kansas City, Kansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Avery County, North Carolina.

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Service Thrives in Moishe Houses Across the Country

If you are in your 20s, Jewish and living in a city, Moishe House is a pretty sweet deal.

The organization sponsors houses that foster meaningful, pluralistic Jewish community for young Jewish leaders. House members live together (think the Real World, but with Shabbat candles) pay reduced rent and are given a monthly budget to create educational and social programming – everything from friday night dinner to book clubs and movie nights – for their surrounding community.

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Pursue’s New Blog Shines a Spotlight on Service

Justice justice, thou shalt pursue (Deut 16:20) – or at least, that’s how the folks at Pursue see things. Founded in 2006 as a partnership between two powerhouse Jewish service/social justice organizations, AJWS and AVODAH, the newly named Pursue has evolved into an online and on-the-ground initiative for young (20s-30s) Jewish change-makers.

Their programming – everything from founding a social justice book club and the popular Inside the Activist’s Studio series, to co-sponsoring innovative events like Love, Hate & the Jewish State – works to invigorate a new generation of Jewish leaders engaged in creating a more just world.

Pursue’s new blog, PursueAction is the online home for the conversations around Jewish life and social change. Over the next several months, Repair the World will feature a series of “Pursue profiles,” interviews with active Pursue participants who are doing world-repairing work. To get things started, here’s an interview with Nathaniel Berman, an inspiring young professional and committed volunteer.

Tell us what you’re doing right now.

I’m an attorney working at the U.S. Department of Labor. I’m also a Jeremiah Fellow, one of a cohort of 16 socially conscious Jewish individuals in the D.C. area who are in a nine-month course developing organizing skills, storytelling skills, and learning about affordable housing and immigration issues.
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On Tap: PanimWorks Southwest

Calling all high school students on the lookout for an amazing summer adventure: join Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership & Values for 12 days of Jewish learning, cultural exchange and service in the Southwest.

Participants will live and work on a Native American reservation in Colorado and northern New Mexico, spending one week volunteering with local organizations, painting homes, and helping organize activities with the Navajo, Hopi or Zuni Nation communities. Along the way, they will gain first-hand experience about Native American traditions, spend time hiking, exploring and camping in the Southwest’s gorgeous landscape, interact with a pluralistic community of Jewish participants, explore Jewish texts and celebrate Shabbat together. (The trip is kosher, vegetarian and Shabbat-friendly.)

Panim, which is a division of Bnai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), is a youth-focused Institute that impacts the next generation of Jewish teens, empowering them towards a lifetime of leadership and service.
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Repair Interview: Elana Baurer and Avodah

Service has always been a part of Elana Baurer’s life – from her mother’s involvement with their synagogue’s social action committee, to her decision to major in African American studies at Wesleyan. But until recently, she always struggled to locate herself and her service work within a larger, like-minded community. Then she joined Avodah, the Jewish Service Corps – a year-long service fellowship that came with an instant community of 17 other people.

Bauer, whom Avodah helped to place for the year as a paralegal at the New York Legal Assistant Group, took the time to share her thoughts on serving communities in-need, the dangers of making assumptions, and how she hopes to bring the lessons she learned at Avodah with her next year.
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