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Archive for : Press

For young Jews with time on their hands, new service program proves a boon

This originally appeared in the Forward on August 2, 2020. 

Powered by Repair the World, Serve the Moment is providing many young people with a desire to commit to service a chance to serve while helping to meet the unprecedented needs of low income communities and communities of color.

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Systemic racism and inequity are real. Jewish service is part of the solution.

This originally appeared in The New York Jewish Week on July 31, 2020. 

“Jewish tradition and the value of tikkun olam (repair the world) teach the importance of showing up for others, particularly in times of sickness and crisis. Inspired by this teaching, I was determined to find ways to leverage my privilege and experience to create meaningful change and to support my partners from afar. I was not alone. Although we were spread out across the country, the New York team at Repair came together virtually and began creatively reimagining what volunteering and showing up for our community could look like in this challenging, unprecedented time.” – Haley Schusterman, a 2019-20 Repair the World Harlem Food Justice Fellow

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Repair the World Philadelphia Update

As you know, the current pandemic is causing many organizations to have to pivot and change programming in very hard ways. Although we are in better shape than many of our peer organizations, in order to insure a strong financial future for Repair the World, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our Philadelphia Repair program at the end of this program year.

We would like to express our personal appreciation for Dani, Kari, Monét, and Jamie for all of their amazing efforts this year. This year has come with many challenges even before COVID-19 and the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Antwon Rose, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Marsha P. Johnson, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tyquarn Malik Graves, and too many others who we have lost. We are grateful for how they’ve continued to show up and build community during these times.

We would also like to thank our alumni, former staff, collaborators, and partners over the last seven years in Philadelphia. We recognize that without the support and loyalty of everyone involved with our Philadelphia program that we never could have thrived for as long as we did or had the impact we had hoped for. It’s been a meaningful 7 years.

Kari has been with us since almost day one of Repair the World Philadelphia and we are incredibly grateful for their stewardship of our workshop. The place that the workshop holds in the West Philadelphia community is largely due to Kari’s love and care.

Dani moved back to Philadelphia to be a Team Leader after serving in Brooklyn and after her second year in service we made the smart move of hiring her as the Philadelphia Program Associate. She rose quickly through the ranks because she has always been such a great advocate for Repair the World Philadelphia and for our work. Dani’s optimism has always shined through and is reflected in the community she has built with all of our partners over the years. We are incredibly grateful to Dani as she has put her heart and soul into Repair. Thank you Dani!

While we will no longer have a physical presence in Philadelphia we still have many ways that you can volunteer and engage with us in service. If you’re looking to volunteer virtually, please check out our opportunities on our website – https://werepair.org/volunteer.  If you’re for skilled virtual volunteering opportunities, please check out our website – https://repairtheworld.catchafire.org/volunteer-now.

Gratz College Pledges Partnership and Support for Repair the World Fellows, Alumni, and Staff 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Zack Block, [email protected]

Gratz College Pledges Partnership and Support for Repair the World Fellows, Alumni, and Staff 

Philadelphia, PA — Repair the World, a National Jewish social justice service organization, and 125 year old Gratz College today announced a strategic partnership to support current fellows and alumni of Repair the World Communities fellowship and Repair the World staff who are accepted to any of Gratz College’s master’s degree or graduate certificate programs. 

Gratz College is excited about partnering with Repair the World to provide its fellows, alumni, and staff members with graduate degrees that will compliment their Repair the World experience, better preparing them to continue making impactful changes in their communities and beyond” said Debbie Aron, Director of Nonprofit Management programs at Gratz College. 

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

  • Waived $50 application fee
  • Tuition reduction of at least 20% for all masters programs other than the Master of Education (M.Ed.) for the length of the degree.
    • Master of Education (M.Ed.) students will receive the discounted tuition rate received by Philadelphia School District educators.
  • Qualified applicants will be eligible for Midcareer Fellowships through an outside foundation. Currently, the qualifications are: 5 years since undergraduate degree, 3 years working in a Jewish organization, American citizen. The fellowships are currently available for the following programs: M.S. in Nonprofit Management, M.A. in Jewish Communal Service, M.A. in Jewish Professional Studies, Master of Education (M.Ed.) – Jewish Instructional Education concentration, and M.S. in Camp Administration & Leadership.
  • Consideration for additional merit-based aid based on the strength of the application for admission and submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“I am grateful that Repair the World has formed a strategic partnership with Gratz College, a long standing institution formative to my own personal and professional growth” said Dani Horn, Program Director of Repair the World Philadelphia and 2011 Gratz Jewish Community High School Alumni. “Repair Fellows, alumni and staff can continue to expand their social justice learning in an environment that addresses evolving societal needs.” 

Gratz has grown from a Jewish teacher’s college in the 1890’s to a vibrant online graduate institution that addresses evolving societal needs by offering degree programs for educators and nonprofit professionals in the Jewish and secular communities. Programs include but are not limited to the M.S. in Nonprofit Management, M.A. in Jewish Communal Service, Master of Education (M.Ed.) and the newly formed M.A. in Human Rights.  Today Gratz’s reach extends to educating students in eight countries and thirty-eight states. 

More information about Repair the World’s university partnerships can be found by visiting https://werepair.org/universitypartnerships/. If you’re looking to volunteer virtually, please check out our opportunities on our website – https://werepair.org/volunteer.  If you’re for skilled virtual volunteering opportunities, please check out our website – https://repairtheworld.catchafire.org/volunteer-now.

Jewish Nonprofits Launch Nationwide Volunteer Drive to Respond to Pandemic, Social-Justice Needs

This originally appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on July 6, 2020. 

Serve the Moment plans to develop a directory of volunteering opportunities across the country.

Key focus areas include tutoring low-income children, conducting welfare assessments of older adults, providing food to the hungry, and mobilizing volunteers whose skills can help nonprofits responding to the pandemic, economic downturn, and social-justice protests.

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Clevelanders to take part in Jewish community service initiative

This originally appeared in the Cleveland Jewish News on July 1, 2020.

“It was after seeing young peoples’ desire to give back that Repair the World, a national Jewish group to mobilize Jews pursuing a more just world in their own communities, presented “Serve the Moment” to Northeast Ohio. The program is a national initiative created by the Jewish Service Alliance to engage Jewish young adults in a national total of 100,000 acts of community service throughout the year, addressing the pandemic and pushing for social justice.”

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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

Service for a Strong Future

This originally appeared on Youtube on June 25, 2020. 

Watch as Repair the World’s President & CEO, Cindy Greenberg, CEO of Points of Light, Natalye Paquin, CEO of Service Year, Jesse Colvin, and philanthropist, Laura Lauder, communicate the importance of national service and volunteerism — and of the needs and opportunities within this critical sector — during the pandemic and beyond.

Watch Here

New Jewish Service Alliance Launches “Serve the Moment” with Plans for One Hundred Thousand Acts of Jewish Service

This originally appeared in eJewish Philanthropy on June 18, 2020. 

The Jewish Service Alliance recently announced the launch of Serve the Moment, an initiative to mobilize tens of thousands of young adults and college students in 100,000 acts of meaningful service and learning to address the COVID-19 crisis, its economic fallout, and the current movement for racial justice.

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A ‘Super Fund’ Aims to Keep Jewish Nonprofit World From Sinking

This originally appeared in The New York Jewish Week on June 2, 2020.

“JCRIF finalized millions of dollars in initial grants to several nonprofits, including the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which partners with hundreds of day and overnight camps; Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools; and Repair the World, a service and social justice group that plans to launch a national service initiative geared to include camp counselors who have been sidelined this summer by the extensive closures due to the coronavirus.”

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