This article originally appeared in The Jewish Exponent on January 17, 2019.
By Selah Maya Zighelboim
Tu B’Shevat and Martin Luther King Jr. Day both fall on Jan. 21 this year, resulting in a three-day weekend full of volunteer opportunities.
This editorial originally appeared in The Jewish Exponent on January 11, 2019.
By Abe Baker-Butler
Earlier this fall, turkey, stuffing, family and gratitude filled our homes and hearts. As we sat around the table, we caught up with relatives, perhaps navigated fraught discussions of politics and likely thought about the blessings for which we are thankful.
This article originally ran in the Jewish Exponent on December 25, 2018.
Repair the World Philadelphia and J-Teen Leadership, a program of UJA-Federation of New York, partnered to bring New York teens to Philadelphia to engage in service and learning around education justice, community health care and food insecurity. The 21 teens served an estimated 1,500 people in the Greater Philadelphia area through service organizations Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia, Jewish Relief Agency (JRA), Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden, Markoe Street Community Garden, Philadelphia Fight and others.
This article originally appeared on MySocialGoodNews on December 19, 2018.
By Api Podder
Press Release – Philadelphia – In early fall, Repair the World Philadelphia and J-Teen Leadership, a program of UJA-Federation of NY, partnered to bring New York teens to Philadelphia to engage in meaningful service and learning around education justice, community health care, and food insecurity. Prior to the trip, the teens collected 700 lbs of donated items, including toiletries, school supplies, and clothes, which filled half the bus destined for those with need.
This article originally appeared on Reconstructing Judaism on June 15, 2018.
On the Friday night before World Fair Trade Day, people from across Philadelphia gathered in the reception hall of the Philadelphia Ethical Society for a night of Jewish learning, locally-sourced food, and provoking conversation about ethical purchasing. Inspired by her work in our Fair Trade Reconstructionist Learning Network, Jessica Herrmann, team leader at Repair the World Philadelphia, crafted a Fair Trade Shabbat dinner to coincide with the worldwide celebration. World Fair Trade Day, which occurs annually on the second Saturday in May, celebrates fair trade learning and practice. For many Jewish communities across North America, the holiday offers a chance to take a closer look at Jewish values present in fair trade, and Repair the World’s Fair Trade Shabbat dinner took this opportunity in stride.
This article originally appeared in The Jewish Exponent on March 28, 2018.
Repair the World Names New Philadelphia Executive Director
Repair the World: Philadelphia announced the hiring of Rachel Berger as its new executive director.
This article originally appeared March 28, 2018 in The Jewish Exponent.
By Selah Maya Zighelboim
Haggadah means “telling,” and different versions of the Passover seder script, translated and retold in countless languages countless times, can certainly be telling about the state of the world.
And this year’s crop of new haggadahs and supplements are certainly no different. Though the reading of the haggadah is a custom thousands of years old, these are all relatively young, as they place this ancient story in a contemporary context.
Philly Native Returns Home to Lead Jewish Service Organization and Work with Local Non-profits
Philadelphia, PA – Repair the World: Philadelphia, the local workshop of the largest Jewish service organization in the country, Repair the World, welcomed Rachel Berger as its new Executive Director. Rachel will work closely with Program Manager, Dani Horn; Workshop Coordinator, Kari Collins and Repair the World Fellows in Philadelphia who engage peers and work with local non-profits addressing food justice, education justice, and other social service needs.
“I am thrilled to return to my hometown of Philadelphia and to join an organization that taps into my passions of social justice and service alongside community building” says Rachel Berger, Executive Director of Repair the World: Philadelphia. “The Fellows here are deeply committed to serving with our partners in West Philly, Center City, and the Greater Philadelphia Area. I’m really looking forward to joining their efforts with the many organizations in Philly that make our work impactful and meaningful.”
Rachel has dedicated her career to building Jewish organizations that serve the underserved, advance justice, and deepen the connections between Jewish communities and their neighbors. She previously worked as the Director of Community Engagement at Footsteps, which supports and affirms those making the transition from ultra-Orthodox communities to the secular world. Rachel oversaw Footsteps’ community building and leadership programs, large scale public events, and foundation relations.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rachel completed her BA in Fine Art at Yeshiva University and her MSW at Columbia University. In 2011-12 Rachel was a Dorot Fellow and is a current Wexner Field Fellow (Class 1). She recently moved back to Philadelphia with her family and is looking forward to returning to her roots.
“Repair the World: Philadelphia is fortunate to have someone with Rachel’s experience, passion, and hometown connection leading its efforts,” adds Adina Mermelstein Konikoff, Senior Program Director for Repair the World. “She will elevate the work and community relationships of our Fellows and will continue to make Philadelphia a model city for Repair’s Communities program.”
Repair the World’s Communities’ year-long Fellowship program connects Jewish young adults with local opportunities to make a meaningful difference in their community. Philadelphia, with eight fellows on the ground this year, is one of seven cities where the program operates. You can volunteer with Repair the World: Philadelphia next Tuesday, March 27th from 4:00-7:00 pm in an effort to #RockTheVote.
Philadelphia residents and neighbors can meet Rachel Berger in person at a welcome event with light snacks and refreshments on April 16th, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Repair the World: Philadelphia Workshop at 4029 Market Street.
Additionally, in advance of Passover, Repair the World: Philadelphia and HIAS Pennsylvania are hosting Immigration Stories: A Passover-Inspired Shabbat this Friday, March 23rd at 6:30 PM. Inspired by the Passover narrative, the event will explore past and present immigration stories in varying faith traditions. Guests will hear from local advocates doing important immigration and refugee resettlement work in Philadelphia.
Nationally, Repair the Word is teaming up with Be’chol Lashon to offer specially designed seder supplements this Passover (weRepair.org/Passover). The materials, part of the Passover campaign, #MemoryToAction, encourage seder participants to engage in meaningful, sometimes difficult conversations about how we talk about individual and systemic struggles for freedom in the context of the Passover story.
This article originally appeared in The Jewish Exponent on February 7, 2018.
By Selah Maya Zighelboim
A Tu B’Shevat Midrash recounts the story of an old man planting a carob tree.
When confronted with the question of why he’s planting the tree, as it probably won’t bear fruit until after he has died, the old man responds that he’s planting it for future generations, as his ancestors planted trees for him.