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Archive for : Press Releases

Repair the World Atlanta to Connect Young Adults With Opportunities for Meaningful and Authentic Service

For Immediate Release

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Career Services Atlanta, Hands On Atlanta, and others will Partner with Repair the World Atlanta to Offer Opportunities to Create Social Impact Locally Infused with Jewish Values

Atlanta, GA – Atlanta’s community of young adults soon will have new opportunities to address key social issues and urgent community needs through meaningful service with a Jewish lens through nationally renowned Repair the World’s new Atlanta hub.  Repair the World—the only organization devoted exclusively to engaging Jewish young adults in service—is partnering with Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Careers Services, and Hands On Atlanta to help launch Repair the World Atlanta in fall 2018.

“We’re excited by the warm invitation and welcome we’ve from Atlanta’s powerful volunteer and nonprofit sectors, and the leading organizations of the Jewish community,” said David Eisner, President & CEO of Repair the World. “Atlanta is rich with organizations with whom Repair the World Atlanta is eager to partner so that we can galvanize thousands of young Jewish adults to expand these partners’ capacity to achieve their mission and to accelerate local progress toward social equity in their communities.”   

Eisner announced that Lily Brent has been appointed the first Director of Repair the World Atlanta. “An organization that is engaging young adults at scale in deep and nuanced partnerships with organizations already doing exceptional work requires a unique leader, one  with insight into the passions of young adults, with strong connections to social equity work in Atlanta, and with the ability to forge many deep partnerships across the community.  Lily Brent has exactly that kind of leadership along with a unique background and experience creating the conditions for youth to reach their full potential in the US and abroad. It’s a delight to be following her lead as we launch this essential program in Atlanta.”

“As the founding Director for Repair the World Atlanta, I am thrilled to join other young adults in critical self-reflection, learning, volunteering with community partners, and strengthening alliances among diverse communities,” said Lily Brent, Director. “Atlanta’s history calls us to be bold as we grapple with the inequity.  Bringing together local nonprofits and committed young people, I know that Repair the World Atlanta will make a unique contribution.”

Lily will be joined by Site Development Fellow Rachel Bukowitz in leading a year of relationship building and programming, ranging from volunteer opportunities focusing on food and education justice, to Repair’s classic Turn the Tables Shabbat dinners and Cocktails with a Conscience series where conversations are opened up between community members about social issues, activism, and action. Repair the World Atlanta will bring together Repair’s proven programming with Lily’s skillset and Atlanta’s great nonprofits and community spirit.

“We are thrilled to be an early partner of Repair the World Atlanta,” says Jay Cranman, CEO of Hands On Atlanta.  “Together, we will engage even more young people who are committed to creating positive change in our community. This is an exciting moment for our city.”

“We are so excited to welcome Repair the World to Atlanta,” says Eric M. Robbins, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. “Our Atlanta Jewish community has a long history of service and we are honored to be the home to the national service movement in the Points of Light Foundation. With Repair the World’s proven model and track record in other communities, we know it will thrive here in Atlanta and provide a way for millennials to engage in service that matters in a way that aligns with our Jewish values.”

Repair the World Atlanta will join its sister Repair the World Communities programs in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit, Harlem, Miami, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, bringing a unique combination of peer-to-peer engagement, educational programs and community-based service opportunities to thousands of young Jewish adults and their friends.  

About Our Team – Repair the World Atlanta

Lily Brent (Director) is a writer and social worker whose curiosity and commitment to service catalyzed a career in international development spanning six countries over the last eight years. Her search for the nuanced, everyday work of community-led social justice has brought her to Repair the World. In her previous professional experience, she  provided psychosocial support to adolescents in such diverse settings as a New York City public school and outpatient psychiatric clinic, a D.C. mentoring program for kids in foster care, and the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. She has worked on adolescent sexual & reproductive health & rights in Niger and Bangladesh, and ensuring that women and youth can access the benefits of development projects in Benin, Mongolia, and Nepal. Lily also spent three years working to reform criminal justice policy and practice in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Virginia.


Rachel Bukowitz (Site Development Fellow) studied Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. During her undergraduate studies she worked with a local nonprofit, The Homewood Children’s Village, to develop a 33-page “Healthy Food and Gardening Guide” for Homewood residents. Homewood is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh without a grocery store, so the guide served to highlight alternative options for accessing healthy, affordable food including community gardens, food banks, farm stands, farmers markets, and more. After graduating from Pitt, Rachel served as a Food Justice Fellow with Repair the World Pittsburgh. In her Fellowship, Rachel worked with 412 Food Rescue, Just Harvest, and Circles Greater Pittsburgh around issues of food advocacy and poverty. She dedicated herself to service and deeply learning about the systemic root causes of poverty and hunger.

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Repair the World: Philadelphia Welcomes Rachel Berger as New Executive Director

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 ( 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.


Be’chol Lashon and Repair the World Create New Passover Seder Supplements to Connect Biblical Exodus Story to Modern Struggles for Freedom

New York, NY — To spark conversations connecting the ancient Passover Exodus story to modern struggles for freedom, Be’chol Lashon and Repair the Word are teaming up to offer specially designed seder supplements this 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.

“Jews are more diverse than many realize,” says Diane Tobin, CEO of Be’chol Lashon, which advocates for the ethnic and racial ​diversity of the Jewish people. “We focus on unique expressions of Passover around the world, while coming together over the universal Jewish story of Exodus. Our goal is to spark conversations, connecting the journey from slavery to freedom to the ongoing fight for racial justice.”

The Haggadah insert, with artwork from illustrator Shane W. Evans, is framed around the seder passage Avadmin Hayinu, Hebrew for “we were slaves.” The resource asks each participant to consider what it means to begin retelling the story of Exodus with the words, “we were slaves,” and leads one to explore today’s “fight for freedom on interpersonal, systemic, global and local levels” through the lens of the seder.

Print-at-home Trivia Place Cards offer a fun, interactive way to celebrate Passover rituals and traditions from diverse Jewish communities while also amplifying the multiplicity of identities and experiences within the American Jewish community. Trivia questions include, “Why do Jews from Gibraltar sprinkle a little bit of brick dust into their charoset?” Answer: “To remind them of the bricks that the Israelite slaves were forced to make.”

People not hosting their own seders, but who still want to use these resources at the seder’s they attend, can sign up to have the resources sent directly to their seder host at Others looking to connect Passover with volunteer service, to bring #MemoryToAction, can search for volunteer opportunities at

Repair the World’s ten-month call for young people to Act Now has included the 2017 High Holidays (Act Now for a Different Kind of Service), Thanksgiving (Act Now Against Hunger), MLK Day (Act Now for Racial Justice); Purim (# ShareHerStory), and concludes with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Repair the World has found that during special times in the calendar people are looking to root their celebration in issues that they care about. Over 223,000 people participated in the digital Purim campaign and nearly 10,000 people participated in service experiences as part of MLK Day’s Act Now for Racial Justice.

“Right now, people across the country, specifically young people, are looking for ways to engage their friends, families, and neighbors in conversations about what matters most to them,” says Laura Belinfante of Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization in the country. “Holidays, specifically Jewish holidays, are the perfect time to open up conversations about social issues with loved ones. We are excited to see people apply learnings from our history towards action today.”


#ShareHerStory from Jewish Multiracial Network, Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World, to Spotlight Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi Women

New York, NY – Whether fighting hunger, leading spiritual communities, producing Jewish gospel music, or even saving the Jewish People millennia ago, Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women have for centuries been leaders, teachers, storytellers, and changemakers in the Jewish community. But all too often, Jewish holidays, narratives, and spaces, fail to celebrate and amplify these critical stories. Inspired by the Jewish holiday of Purim, the new campaign #ShareHerStory from the Jewish Multiracial Network, Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World, shares the stories of modern Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who are creating a more inclusive and just Jewish community and society in a multitude of ways. Short, easy-to-share vignettes tell the stories of these powerful Jewish leaders. Access the stories at  

“What could have easily been another forgotten moment in history has become a festival of celebration for one reason only: Jews persisted in telling her story for generations,” says Tamara Fish, president of the Jewish Multiracial Network. “The fact that we mark Purim as a holiday is a testament to the power of storytelling. We can learn a lot from this! So in the spirit of Esther, we are ringing out loud the stories of risk-taking and groundbreaking Jewish women of color, together with Sephardi and Mizrahi women, who deserve to be remembered in history.”

#ShareHerStory is the first time Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization in the country, has included Purim in its ongoing social justice campaigns. Purim is an incredible opportunity for collaboration between the Jewish Multiracial Network, an organization which advances Jewish diversity through empowerment and community building with Jews of Color and Jewish multiracial families, the Jewish Women’s Archive, an organization which documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change, and Repair the World, the leading service organization engaging millennials in year round conversations about social justice. Purim recounts the tale of Esther, a Persian Jewish woman, whispering words in a king’s ear and ultimately risking her life and her autonomy to save others.

“Purim is a holiday that teaches us about the power of women’s stories to make change,” says Judith Rosenbaum of the Jewish Women’s Archive. “But these stories can only have an impact if we remember them, and too often, women’s stories are left out of the narrative. This Purim, we will celebrate the holiday by sharing the compelling and inspiring stories of Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who have made—and are making—their mark on history.”

“For hundreds of years, women, people of color, especially women of color, and other marginalized communities have mobilized to fight persistent challenges that face our society. Finally, mainstream institutions and media have started to catch up with those movements. Together, we can act now to amplify their stories,” added Laura Belinfante, Director of Digital Campaigns, Repair the World.

Repair the World’s ten-month call for young adults to Act Now has included the 2017 High Holidays (Act Now for a Different Kind of Service), Thanksgiving (Act Now Against Hunger), MLK Day (Act Now for Racial Justice); and, after #ShareHerStory, will conclude with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Repair the World has found that connecting urgent needs to address specific issues with specific moments in the calendar can increase mobilization, as people look to connect their celebration of a holiday with what they care about. Nearly 10,000 people participated in service experiences as part of MLK Day’s Act Now for Racial Justice.


Ongoing Urgency to Aid Houston Recovery Prompts #ActNowHouston

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2018

Ongoing Urgency to Aid Houston Recovery Prompts #ActNowHouston
Leadership Coalition for Jewish Service issues call with Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

Initiative builds pipeline for hundreds of groups, thousands of individuals, to sign up from
Synagogues, Schools, Youth Groups, Community Centers, Federations, more

No Cost for Group Service Programs; Limited Funds Available to Defray Group Travel Expenses

Washington, DC — A new coalition of national Jewish organizations, including BBYO, Hillel International, JDC Entwine, Moishe House, OneTable, Repair the World and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, has issued a call to Jewish community organizations across the U.S. to send groups to support the still-urgent recovery needs in Houston following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey five months ago.

The Leadership Coalition for Jewish Service has partnered with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston on #ActNowHouston, placing recruited volunteer groups within ongoing recovery work coordinated by on-the-ground national and local agencies.  #ActNowHouston organizers expect the thousands of mobilized volunteers will aid some of the most vulnerable and underserved communities in the city.

“The need for recovery support remains massive, and Hillel is committed to working with our partners to mobilize the national Jewish community to meet needs across Houston’s Jewish and larger community.  It is a key part of our commitment to engaging students in tikkun olam,” says Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International, a Coalition partner.

Hurricane Harvey dumped more than four feet of rain on Houston over four days in August. The devastation resulted in nearly 200,000 homes flooded, including more than 2,000 of Houston’s 26,000 Jewish households, and the closure of entire residential and commercial sectors of the city. Now, the ongoing and emotional strain is mounting for the thousands of Houston families that remain in temporary housing and nonprofit organizations either shut down or operating under severe constraints.

Avital Ingber, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, said, “Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented destruction to Houston, and the Jewish community was hit especially hard. The solidarity and partnership we have experienced with Jewish organizations across the country has been energizing and revitalizing. While full recovery is expected to take years, our partnership with Act Now Houston expedites this critical work.”

Since the Hurricane struck in August, hundreds of volunteers from Jewish communities across the country have self-mobilized and headed to Houston to offer their service.  Organizers expect #ActNowHouston will help extend national awareness of the tremendous need in Houston and lower the costs and difficulty of serving, thereby bolstering the numbers of volunteer groups able to serve.

Matt Grossman, CEO of BBYO, said, “We know young Jews across the country are passionate about taking into their own hands the challenge of meeting important needs in our society.  The power of our community can be seen in our collective ability to provide opportunities for hundreds of groups and thousands of volunteers to serve that passion in Houston.”

Volunteer groups will help remove damaged household items and sanitize homes; package food and deliver essentials to the elderly or homebound; work with individuals coping with ongoing hardship; assist local residents in navigating available resources; and help families get back on their feet through the rebuilding process.  Coalition partners, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and local Houston Jewish organizations and educators will ensure that each group connects with customized, high-quality contextual education about the impact of Harvey and the Jewish values that are driving the work.

Program Manager Sacha Bodner, a Repair the World staff member, works in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston to coordinate Houston’s Jewish service efforts.  Bodner shared his thoughts on the importance of the program. “We have amazing local nonprofit and disaster response organizations on the ground who understand the ongoing needs.  They are working diligently to make sure the visiting service groups and local volunteers have the opportunity to make a real impact for Houston. We know that additional groups are needed – and, working together, the Coalition, the Federation and our local community will ensure that the Houston experience is deep and meaningful for every group.”

Additional Quotes

David Cygielman, CEO of Moishe House, a partner in the Coalition, said, “When Jewish young adults come together as friends and neighbors, some of the things they speak most about are how they might make a difference and whether they might take important actions together. Act Now Houston represents an important opportunity for our young people to come together in their own, self-organized group to address an important challenge.  I’m excited to learn from the results and to do even more.”

Sarah Eisenman, Executive Director of JDC Entwine, a partner in the Coalition, said, “The thousands of alumni of our Jewish community’s immersive service programs, both globally and domestically, represent an untapped power for good –in cities across the U.S.  They are trained, passionate and experienced in Jewish service. It will be inspiring to see them meaningfully engaged with Act Now Houston and other opportunities the Coalition will put forward.”

Aliza Kline, Executive Director of OneTable, a partner in the Coalition, said, “Around thousands of Shabbat tables in hundreds of communities, young adults come together to discuss what’s important to them and what they want to do about it.  We’re thrilled to help with this effort with Shabbat dinner resources for the young adults mobilizing for this initiative.  Together, we will nourish those conversations over dinner in the heart of this action.” 

David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World, a partner in the Coalition, said, “The hardest part of making service meaningful is both to ensure it is meeting urgent needs identified by the community with which you’re serving, and, at the same time, to create for the volunteer a great and educational experience that connects with the local community.  That’s exactly what organizations can expect when they send groups with Act Now Houston.

About the Coalition 

Tentatively titled the Leadership Coalition for Jewish Service, the coalition is under formation.  Inaugural partners are BBYO, Hillel International, JDC Entwine, Moishe House, OneTable, Repair the World and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. In addition to its mobilization for #ActNowHouston, the Coalition will support efforts that build the breadth and effectiveness of the Jewish service movement, especially calling attention to and lowering barriers for young Jews to participate in opportunities to make a difference.  We welcome other organizations interested in joining our efforts to identify, support and promote well-programmed Jewish service opportunities with national reach.  The Coalition is facilitated by Repair the World. The Coalition also is supported by the William Davidson Foundation, Marcus Foundation, and Jim Joseph Foundation. 



Carnegie Mellon University Pledges Partnership and Support for Repair the World Fellows in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2018

Carnegie Mellon University Pledges Partnership and Support for Repair the World Fellows in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
Applications still open for 2018-2019 Repair the World Fellowship

Pittsburgh, PA — Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization in the country, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced a strategic partnership to support alumni of Repair the World Communities fellowship who choose to pursue a degree in one of the 25 unique programs in CMU’s premier Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Repair fellowship alumni will receive significant financial support and more than usual flexibility in timing their start of the program, if they are accepted.

“We are thrilled to partner with Repair the World and continue to create innovative social change around some of our country’s most urgent issues,” said David Eber, Director of Admissions of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. “We look forward to helping the fellows take the next steps in their careers and educating them to become data-driven decision makers.”

The Communities year-long fellowship program connects Jewish young adults with local opportunities to make a meaningful difference in their community. Pittsburgh is one of seven cities where the program operates. As a result of this partnership, up to ten Repair fellows and alumni per year will receive:

  • Merit-based scholarships equal to at least 30% of tuition per semester
  • Option to defer admission for up to two years (with written confirmation after initial 12 months)
  • Consideration for additional merit-based aid based on strength of application for admission
  • Waived application fees

“We are privileged to form this partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, which creates an exciting next-level opportunity for Repair’s fellows and alumni,” said Sam Kuttner, Director of the Repair the World Fellowship. “The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy offers an environment in a world-leading and dynamic academic environment; we know from experience that our fellows, as social entrepreneurs and change agents, are interested in going there to learn, grow, and network. It’s very gratifying to work together to make that easier for them to do.”

The Heinz College is currently ranked 13th in public affairs, 9th in environmental policy management, 1st in IT policy management, 8th in public policy analysis, and 28th in nonprofit management.

For the 2018-2019 Program Year, Repair the World is still accepting Fellowship Applications at fellows.werepair.orgwith a January 29 priority deadline, and applications accepted on a rolling basis until May 31.

In these High Holidays, Act Now with Repair the World to Observe “A Different Kind of Service”


From the High Holidays through Next Passover, “Act Now” will Mobilize Young Jews to Address Urgent Needs around Education, Food and More

New York, NY — Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization, today invited young adults to Act Now for a Different Kind of Service with the 2017 Jewish High Holidays chapter of its service and education campaign. Repair the World also announced that the year-long campaign, “Act Now,” will mobilize people to address immediate issues and engage in critical conversations at many other meaningful times throughout the Jewish year, including the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving, MLK Day, and Purim, culminating with Passover in 2018.

“Jewish young adults today clamor more than ever for meaningful opportunities to meet urgent needs in their communities, especially at special times in the calendar when they feel called to act on their values,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “Act Now will support these activists through providing opportunities to engage in meaningful service and community discussions, expressing our core Jewish values of striving for justice and the intrinsic value and dignity of every human life.”

Each element of Act Now will drive people to take action through service/volunteering, engaging in dialogue, skill building, and organizing their greater networks to get involved. Utilizing its highly collaborative model, Repair the World will work in partnership with local organizations around the country to help address pressing needs specific to each community, expanding the capacity of organizations and bringing a Jewish lens to the volunteering experience. Visit to find or organize local service opportunities, as well as to pick up resources delving into the root causes of injustice, the guiding Jewish values, and discussion guides for tackling these difficult issues.

Repair the World also is releasing new materials, including:

Act Now ( features a range of other guides and resources designed to help people take action, to facilitate challenging conversations, and to organize and participate in service opportunities around the country. Following the High Holidays, Act Now will continue to explore social justice through Thanksgiving, MLK Day, Purim, and Passover.

“Against an appalling drumbeat of tragedy and outrage, like we witnessed so recently in Charlottesville, young adults rightfully want to address the critical issues that threaten our communities,” adds Eisner. “For the next eight months, Act Now will offer a clarion call they can use to bring their friends, families and communities into making a difference through education, dialogue, and service.”

Holidays addressed for the first time in service campaigns by Repair the World this year are Thanksgiving—an opportunity to infuse a Jewish touchpoint into a secular holiday—and Purim, a holiday around which young adults have expressed increasing interest in engaging.

Act Now builds on Repair the World’s campaign last year urging participants to Act Now for Racial Justice, which engaged more than 14,000 participants in service experiences and/or peer-to-peer dinners and facilitated discussion.


NEW YORK, NY; February 11, 2013–When AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps was founded in 1998, few Immersive Jewish Service Learning (IJSL) programs were in existence. Fourteen years later, IJSL has grown into a field with dozens of programs and thousands of alumni. As a pioneer in this space, AVODAH, in collaboration with Repair the World, a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jewish volunteers, commissioned a study to understand the impact AVODAH has had on the professional and personal paths of its alumni.

“Anecdotally we knew that AVODAH has a transformative, long-term impact on its participants,” said Marilyn Sneiderman, Executive Director of AVODAH. “Now we have the data to back it up. We can measure where alumni are making a difference and the degree to which they believe their IJSL experience helped them get there. In order to support our alumni as they become leaders in Jewish social justice and anti-poverty work, we had to understand the outcomes of our current program.”

AVODAH’s year-long program combines full-time service at anti-poverty organizations within the framework of a supportive and pluralistic Jewish community. It gives participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of domestic poverty and enhance their Jewish identities and the connection to social justice.

Conducted by researchers from Brandeis University, overseen by Rosov Consulting, LLC and funded in part by Repair the World, the study surveyed 424 alumni of AVODAH and achieved a 72% response rate.

The study found that AVODAH paved the way for its participants to hold professional and lay leadership positions in Jewish and secular social justice organizations. Alumni of AVODAH also credit the program for providing them with the skills to be more effective in their work.

As one alumnus, now an immigration lawyer, explained, AVODAH dramatically changed his personal passions and his choice of career, saying, “I applied to AVODAH because of the Jewish component—’social justice’ was not really part of my vocabulary prior to AVODAH.”

 Of the alumni who participated in the study:

  • 92% report that that AVODAH set them on their current career path.
  • 98% report that the year-long program shaped their understanding of the causes and effects of poverty.
  • 95% report that AVODAH strengthened their commitment to social justice
  • 85% report that AVODAH helped them find their place in the Jewish community.
  • 77% report that the program initiated them in to the Jewish social justice movement

“The report underscores the proven fact that a year of service can build a long-standing commitment to civic responsibility and social change,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “We commend AVODAH for its strong programming and commitment to strengthening the Jewish community’s fight against poverty in the United States”

To download the study and the executive summary, visit


Established in 1998, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against poverty in the U.S. by engaging Jewish young adults in service and community building that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in, and nourished by, Jewish values.  AVODAH has partnered with 135 local antipoverty organizations and placed nearly 600 corps members for a year of service.  AVODAH is working with alumni to transform the alumni community into a powerful network for social change by providing opportunities for professional development, skill building and engagement in Jewish life. In fall 2013, AVODAH will begin increasing the scale and scope of our work by launching a new non-residential program. “Like” us on Facebook: Follow us on twitter: @AVODAH_TJSC.


Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. Visit to learn more. Follow us on twitter @repairtheworld.


Steve Bocknek / [email protected] / (212) 545-7759 ext 305


— Repair the World and The Jewish Agency for Israel Release Findings on Impact of Volunteering in Israel —

 NEW YORK, NY; January 30, 2013—Contrary to a common assumption in the organized Jewish world that exposing young Jews to the complex issues underlying Israeli life diminishes their commitment to the country, a new study released today found that more deeply understanding these dynamics intensifies a bond to the Jewish state.  Commissioned by Repair the World and The Jewish Agency for Israel, the study, “Serving a Complex Israel: A report on Israel-based Immersive Jewish Service-learning”, shows that the more these young men and women learn about Israel–warts and all–the more they are motivated to engage in more Israel-based service.

“There’s no need for program providers and funders to present a rose-colored version of Israel to our young people,” said Dyonna Ginsburg, Director of Jewish Service Learning at the Jewish Agency. “Quite the contrary, we should be looking for additional ways to present Israel as it really is. Immersive Jewish Service-learning (IJSL) participants have not been shying away from Israel based on their time there. They are clearly strengthening their connections to Israel, their heritage and the Jewish people.”

According to the study, IJSL programs, which integrate full-time direct service with structured learning and reflection, offer alumni of Birthright Israel and other short-term Israel programs an opportunity to return to Israel for a longer immersive experience. Moreover, these programs answer a widespread desire among millennial Jewish adults to create change in the world, grow as leaders and connect to Jewish life. Conducted by Rosov Consulting, LLC and funded in part by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation, the study surveyed 332 young Jewish adults who participated in at least one of 12 different IJSL programs in Israel from August 2009 to June 2012, representing 62.5 percent of the total number of program participants who were eligible to complete the survey.

“When it comes to developing service programs, authenticity is key,” said David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “The more people understand about their service, the more committed they will be to it. What’s more, we know that young people—particularly those from affiliated households—become more passionate when their service brings a connection to their own personal heritage. We hope these insights will spur collaboration among providers and funders in Israel to build content and positive experiences for those motivated to volunteer.”

The study found that volunteering in Israel often deepens versus distances a young Jew’s feelings for the country precisely because of its social complexity. Exposing young Jews to multifaceted issues underlying Israeli life like the divide between secular and ultra-Orthodox society, the security situation, the status of Arab-Israelis, and the growing income gap in Israeli society can, in fact, bolster their desire to serve and enroll in future opportunities. For example, as a result of participating in IJSL programs, 82% of respondents reported that they have strengthened their commitment to social justice and at the same time, 92% said they felt more attached to Israel.

In particular, the study showed that as a result of participating in IJSL programs:

  • 96% of respondents gained a more nuanced understanding of Israel;
  • 79% felt more connected to their Jewish heritage and identity;
  • 78% more connected to global Jewry;
  • 85% want to learn more about Israel; and
  • 85% of respondents reported that their conversations about social justice have increased.

The study demonstrates that respondents, like many Jewish young adults, place a premium on social change work. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the survey respondents indicated that it did not matter to them if they were serving Jews or non-Jews. Their primary motivations were to serve and to grow, which is the basic value proposition of any service-learning experience.

“I absolutely think it is important for North American Jews to come volunteer in Israel,” said a 27-year-old study respondent. “They will be exposed to elements that they certainly will not see on [other programs]. Understanding what issues are swept under the rug, and why, is very important to understanding Israel, and understanding Judaism.”

 To download the complete study, visit: or


Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. Visit to learn more. Follow us on twitter @repairtheworld.


Established in 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel. Today, The Jewish Agency for Israel secures the Jewish future by confronting the critical challenges of our time: growing detachment of young Jews around the world from Israel and the global Jewish family; increasing social gaps in Israel; and Jews at risk in the Diaspora and Israel.


Tali Aronsky / [email protected] / 212.339.6069

Jacob Berkman / [email protected] / 212.981.5187



– Former Head of Corporation for National and Community Service and National Constitution Center to Lead Jewish Service Movement –

EisnerJANUARY 16, 2013, New York, NY – Repair the World, the country’s leading national nonprofit organization mobilizing Jewish volunteers, today announced the appointment of David Eisner as its new president and CEO. Eisner, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the Corporation for National and Community Service and tapped by former President Bill Clinton to lead the National Constitution Center, joins as the organization embarks on a new strategic direction.

“We are thrilled to welcome David, a well-known, visionary leader with extensive experience in the non-profit, for-profit, government and grant-making sectors who embodies a passion for Jewish culture and learning,” Geoff Lieberthal, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said. “His track record of enhancing the efficacy, programming and positioning of leading organizations is extraordinary and makes him the right leader for Repair the World.”
Eisner’s appointment, which follows an extensive search, is the latest step in Repair the World’s evolution. In 2012, Lieberthal, Principal at Lee Equity Partners and a founder of the volunteer consulting group Inspire!, was elected as Repair the World’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the organization is finalizing the details of its new strategic plan in the coming months.

“Repair the World is a young organization with a limitless potential to help others and to have a profound impact on Jewish volunteerism and service in the United States,” Eisner said. “Global issues related to education, health, poverty, and the environment require innovative ideas and hands-on solutions. We are building a movement to capitalize and build on the ingenuity of individuals and the commitment of organizations on the ground dedicated to making a difference.”

A former executive at AOL Time Warner and America Online, Inc., where he established and directed the AOL Foundation, Eisner has helped build and raise funds for start-up organizations that have become the platform for innovation in the philanthropy and service worlds.

As the CEO of the independent, federal Corporation for National and Community Service from 2003-2008, Eisner helped drive America’s national service programs including AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. Appointed to lead the $1 billion organization by President George W. Bush, Eisner is widely recognized for strengthening the agency’s accountability, improving customer service, increasing public trust, and positioning CNCS for significant growth with a strong focus on volunteer recruitment and mobilization. At CNCS, Eisner worked with Points of Light and others to expand MLK Day into the National Day of Service it has become today.

He is also credited with success at the National Constitution Center, the museum, education hub and civic venue that engages all Americans in smart conversations about freedom and civic responsibility. He led the Center from 2009 to 2012, transforming it into a national leader in meaningful online and on-site discussion about the Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Early in his career, Eisner was a senior vice president for Fleishman-Hilliard Communications, directed public relations and field communications for the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., and served on Capitol Hill as the communications director and press secretary for several members of Congress.

He has served on many boards of national nonprofit organizations, including Independent Sector, the National 4-H Council, Public Allies, Points of Light and Network for Good.  He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from Georgetown Law.

Repair the World began operations in 2009 through the founding partnership of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Jim Joseph Foundation and Nathan Cummings Foundation. It has been highlighted in The Slingshot Guide, a resource guide for Jewish innovation for 50 of the most creative and effective organizations and leaders across the country.

“We are thrilled to have a leader of David’s stature and experience taking the helm of Repair the World. Under his leadership, Repair will help to mobilize a generation of young Jews committed to making an impact on the world, as well as ensure that service and volunteerism are central to Jewish life,” said Lynn Schusterman.

To learn more about Repair the World, visit



Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @repairtheworld.



Jacqueline Broder / [email protected] / 646.695.2700 *13

Jacob Berkman / [email protected] / 212.981.5187