I first met many of you in 2018-2019 when I was describing the vision for Repair the World Atlanta. I had over 300 stakeholder meetings that year, and gathered so much wisdom to feed into the  design of what would become Repair’s eighth community program. I felt like a dreamer, a salesman, or someone with an imaginary friend. Only now do I recognize that investing in the promise of something that doesn’t yet exist is also a kind of faith.

Together with the Atlanta community, we have built an organization fully equipped and deeply committed to service grounded in Jewish values. We have over 40 alumni of our immersive service programs who can lead their peers in deep learning and meaningful volunteerism. We have marshaled over 8000 volunteers in more than 15,000 acts of service and learning, providing over 24,000 hours to local nonprofits. We’ve partnered with more than 30 Jewish organizations. We’ve fostered connections and facilitated dialogue. We’ve taught Torah in fields and talked racial justice in synagogues. Through our invaluable partner Concrete Jungle, we helped stand up an emergency Grocery Delivery Program that fed 400 families for 18 months of the pandemic.

Four years later, the world may be even more in need of repair than when we started. The difference is that Repair now exists in Atlanta as a place to convene, a way to find meaningful work and the people to do it with. Atlanta Repair exists to meet urgent needs in our community, to kindle hope in each other, to support one another in living our Jewish values through consistent, persistent learning, and small acts of care that propel us toward justice and wholeness.

It has been my honor to serve with you all. And now it’s time for me to make way for up and coming Jewish young adult leaders. My last day at Repair the World is May 6. I will remain in Atlanta with my family and I look forward to continued relationships with so many of you who put your shoulders to the wheel with me these last four years.

We have a talented team to carry Repair into its next phase: Senior Program Associate Paige Godfrey, and rising second year Fellows Emma Burns and Palmer Rubin, soon to be joined by two incoming Fellows. We have a strong, wise and committed Advisory Board. We’re also hiring for a new City Director to shape Repair’s future here in Atlanta. I hope you’ll be part of that future too.

Thank you for your faith. Until we meet again,

Lily Brent