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Archive for : Repair in the News

$7 Million Gift From MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to Repair the World

June 15, 2021 — As a majority of American Jews say that working for justice and equality is essential to being Jewish, a $7 million gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett to Repair the World will help it expand efforts to mobilize Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world. Scott and Jewett’s unrestricted gift comes as an increasing number of Jews, particularly young adults, engage in Jewish life through service and believe that leading a moral and ethical life is essential to their Jewish identity. Repair the World’s volunteer opportunities, national campaigns, partnerships, and local offerings help young adults act on their values, address urgent needs in their communities, and build bridges across lines of differences. Now Repair the World plans to leverage this generous support to attract additional investments and grow its work to an unprecedented scale.

“We express overwhelming gratitude to MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for their investment in Repair’s mission and her confidence in Repair’s strong track record of mobilizing tens of thousands of individuals in service,” says Cindy Greenberg, President and CEO of Repair the World. “We are also incredibly thankful to our participants who have engaged in service over our 12 years, our hundreds of local nonprofit partners that meet pressing needs and impact and impact in their communities, and all who have helped lead and contribute to Repair. MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett’s generosity and vision validates the investments of Repair’s generous funders, and their gift is a clear challenge and invitation to do even more: more service, more partnerships, and more investments to elevate and expand service in American Jewish life.”

Repair the World’s adaptive strategy enables it to activate the Jewish service field to create volunteer opportunities, plan major national campaigns, and respond immediately to meet the needs of young adults and local communities. Last year, for example, amid the pandemic and the movement for racial justice, Repair rapidly created the Serve the Moment Initiative with 44 coalition partners to mobilize tens of thousands of young Jews and their communities to serve to meet urgent needs exacerbated by the pandemic. With Scott and Jewett’s gift and others, Repair will dramatically increase its national and local partnerships, accelerating and growing meaningful service and learning opportunities for young adults to address societal challenges. 

  • Repair’s direct programming includes a local presence in the 13 cities with the largest population of Jewish young adults, which in the coming years will expand to 20 cities. Repair’s different program options include episodic (one-time) service opportunities, along with more immersive and full-time fellowship options.
  • Repair has customized partnerships with the largest national Jewish engagement organizations across the country to involve their participants in service. 
  • Repair’s national service campaigns focus on issues such as food insecurity, mental health, voter access, and racial equity, and are grounded in Jewish wisdom and learning. These campaigns activate the entire field and include digital engagement that lead to acts of service and learning. 

“During the pandemic we learned how to both adapt and grow,” adds Greenberg. “As service takes on more prominence in Jewish life, we need others to join in these efforts, from new organizational partners to increased support from more funders. It’s an honor to receive this gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, together with some of the greatest social change and bridge-building organizations in the country. With their past grantees, we’ve seen it’s not just an influx of resources, but something that catalyzes additional growth and investment. We acknowledge the additional responsibility this opportunity places on us to achieve maximum impact. Moreover, Repair and HIAS are the first explicitly Jewish organizations to be their grantees as part of their ‘Giving Pledge.’ Scott and Jewett’s approach to philanthropy, which places complete trust in the non-profit leadership to know how best to make impact, inspires us and it reflects Maimonides’ teachings on the  highest forms of charity.”

Repair has long recognized the impact of service on building bridges between and within communities.  Service grounded in Jewish values and learning has the power to both connect the Jewish community with non-Jewish neighbors around shared values, and be a powerful force for building Jewish unity. This approach resonates with many Jewish young adults who have deep interests in social change. Generation Z is the most civically engaged generation alive today. Along with Millennials, the majority of GenZ say that being Jewish is important to them, but they don’t necessarily connect their Jewish identities with their civic lives and social values. 

“We know that Judaism comes alive for young adults at the intersection of social issues and Jewish tradition,” shared Repair the World Board Chair Robb Lippitt. “Repair the World provides multiple entry points to engage in service as an expression of Jewish values and identity. This is an exciting moment for the Jewish service movement as we can thicken the connection between Judaism and other priorities of Jewish young adults, cultivate leadership, and deepen relationships between Jews and their communities, all while meaningfully serving with our many amazing organizational partners.

Value of Community During this Global Health Crisis

Dear Repair the World Community,

Never in my lifetime has the imperative to love the stranger felt so alive. As we adopt new practices of social isolation to protect ourselves and our greater community, we are practicing the essence of what it means to care for our neighbors. 

As a community, we are grappling with the question, “what can we do to support those around us?” We know that vulnerable members of our community and our neighbors require extra support and thoughtfulness during times of distress. Repair the World has put our in-person service and learning opportunities on hold, and we are shifting our focus to consider how we can mobilize Jews and our neighbors to take action to repair the world under our new circumstances.

We challenge you to consider how you can care for and love the stranger during these times of heightened fear and uncertainty.

While the situation is changing every day, here are three opportunities we see in this moment to make a difference.

1. Continue to Support Our Amazing Local Service Partners

We have been in touch with our 65+ service partners across nine communities. While they are all in different stages of planning, one theme is that they anticipate a dramatic increase in clients due to the pandemic and as a result are in need of financial support. Now is a good time to increase your donations to your local soup kitchen or food pantry. Some of our dearest partners in this work, who we know could use your support during this difficult moment are Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center (Atlanta), Baltimore Hunger Project (Baltimore), St. John’s Bread and Life (Brooklyn), The Night Ministry (Chicago), Gleaners Community Food Bank (Detroit), Food Bank for New York City (Harlem), Lotus House (Miami), Broad Street Ministry (Philadelphia), and East End Cooperative Ministry (Pittsburgh). 

2. Volunteer Online

With increased time at home, consider spending some of your time volunteering online. Our partners at Points of Light compiled this resource with a number of options for virtual volunteering, Catchafire matches volunteers with online opportunities that tap into their professional skills, and Golden is building out opportunities for virtual volunteering. 

3. Support Your Neighbors

While being advised not to venture far out from our homes, now is the time to think about who in our immediate proximity is vulnerable. We love this template that you can use to reach out to your neighbors and this new initiative in New York City called Invisible Hands which connects people with opportunities to shop and perform other tasks for their neighbors. We hope to see many more of these initiatives being developed in the coming days.

There are many more questions for us to consider. Who is suffering from social isolation? What are the needs of the health care workers on the front line and how can we support them? With many people now unable to work, how will we support those in need given an extreme rise in demand for food and supplies? 

As an organization we are continuing to focus on mobilizing the Jewish community to care for those who are most vulnerable right now. Read and share our resource, developed in partnership with Amplifier, on caring for the sick during the COVID-19 crisis. We are thinking creatively about how we can accomplish this and we welcome your support and best thinking. As opportunities emerge, we will share some ways we can all serve and care for our community virtually alongside our partners. 

The work to heal during and after this global health crisis will be ongoing. We are grounding this work by listening carefully to community needs. Our hope is to keep you updated in the coming weeks on opportunities, big and small, for you to make a difference. 

Yours in partnership, 

Cindy Greenberg
President and CEO, Repair the World 

Creating community through food

This originally appeared on Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle on November 20, 2019.

Coming from an observant Jewish family, tikkun olam — Hebrew for “repairing the world” — was central to my upbringing. My family regularly participated in social justice projects, including preparing meals for homeless shelters and packing food boxes at Manna, a community pantry in Potomac, Maryland.

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Reflections on JPRO19: What Connects Us

This originally appeared on The Jewish News on August 24, 2019.

By Robin Axelrod

JPRO Network, an organization that connects, educates, inspires and empowers professionals working in the Jewish community sector, sponsored an oversold conference, “JPRO19: What Connects Us,” at Cobo Arena Aug. 12-14.

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US College Graduates Take Up Faith-Based Service

This story originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on May 31, 2018.

By Dan Lothian

From New York City to Los Angeles, college graduates are signing up for faith-based service before hitting the job market. Faith service groups are often more trusted in inner city communities, have ties to well-established leaders, and have a built-in network of local supporters. “I’m really not taking a year off, I’m taking a year on,” says Miriam Lipschutz, a volunteer growing fresh produce at the Jewish non-profit organization Repair the World.

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Activism – The Sixth Leg of the Jewish Table

This article originally appeared on eJewish Philanthropy on January 25, 2018.

By Jake Campbell

“The Jews are no longer uniform,” Avraham Infeld proclaims, “We were never uniform about how to Jew, but we were always uniform, until the emancipation, about what it meant to be a Jew. That does not exist today. And I am bothered by the question, is it possible to be unified without being uniform?” As someone who has chosen to devote his professional life to Jewish continuity, community, and pluralism, this is a question that often bothers me too as it would bother everyone who has done the same be they a Hillel professional, a professional working for a Jewish Student Union, or any other kind of Jewish professional. Can we be unified as Jews without being uniform?

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This Thanksgiving, “Act Now Against Hunger” with Repair the World

This post originally appeared on e-Jewish Philanthropy on October 31, 2017.

A central theme of millennial-hosted Thanksgiving dinners across the country this year is the simple notion that everyone deserves equitable access to healthy, fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate food. Repair the World urges its thousands of online followers to “Act Now Against Hunger,” offering DIY resources and discussion guides – available at weRepair.org/thanksgiving – to support meaningful conversations around food justice and food insecurity, including the connection between acting on these issues and Jewish values.

“Time and again young adults are choosing to build connections between how they live their lives and how they tackle our biggest social challenges,” says David Eisner, CEO of Repair the World. “They see only upside in bringing complex, uncomfortable and difficult conversations into their seasonal celebrations. For many of us, Thanksgiving with our family and friends is about discussing the meaning of gratitude and abundance. Act Now Against Hunger offers us the opportunity to make the scourge of food insecurity a big part of that discussion.”

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