Nearly $300,000 from Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation to Help Improve Program Quality & Increase Service in Israel —

 NEW YORK Repair the World (Repair), a national nonprofit that mobilizes Jews to serve those in need, today announced that it will enhance its service efforts in Israel, bolstering existing programs and working to increase the number of North Americans who participate in longer terms of service. The work is made possible in part by a $215,000 grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation and an $80,000 grant from The Morningstar Foundation.

“The Israel-based service landscape for North Americans is fragmented and fragile, but it has tremendous promise for growth. Thanks to these investments by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The Morningstar Foundation, we hope to build a stronger volunteer network that will help contend with some of Israel’s most pressing issues, many of which are reflected in our own North American communities,” said Repair the World’s CEO Jon Rosenberg. “By creating high-quality, authentic, Israel-based service programs that have direct impact on those served, we’ll also help strengthen a Jewish identity grounded in the basic tenets of tikkun olam – repairing the world.”

In 2011, Repair’s support enabled 450 North Americans to take part in service opportunities in Israel. These latest grants will allow Repair to more than double that number to 1,000 by 2013 and support opportunities for North Americans and Israelis to serve together throughout the world. A particular area of focus will be placing American young adults into volunteer roles in which they teach English to school-aged children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn English. English language skills are viewed as critical to social mobility in Israel. Ambivalence by American young adults toward Israel will also be addressed through this work.

“By giving young adults the opportunity to address front-line challenges in Israeli society, we believe we enable socially-conscious individuals to forge a nuanced understanding of, and potentially a stronger connection to, the state of Israel,” said Chip Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

“We’re proud to support Repair’s thoughtful approach to helping build an emerging Jewish service field and to help provide high-quality programs that connect young adults to Israel and Jewish life in a significant and lasting way,” said Susie and Michael Gelman, Directors of The Morningstar Foundation

“We view our work in Israel as part of our broader work of building a strong service field,” said Ilana Aisen, Senior Director of Jewish Service-Learning at Repair. “Since our inception, we have been actively engaged in building the field while also studying its needs, challenges, and opportunities. We intend to apply our learning so that we can collectively enhance not only the structure and offerings of programs, but also achieve maximum positive impact for both the participants and the community served.”

In the coming months, Repair will identify the strategic direction and partners for this initiative while also bolstering its current work with Israel-based programs which will include a range of organizations such as MASA: Israel Journey, the Jewish Agency for Israel and other NGOs. In partnership with the Jewish Agency, Repair will also conduct in-depth research about service-learning participants in Israel.

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ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to contend with the world’s most pressing issues through service.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and builds the capacity of individuals and organizations to run effective service programs rooted in Jewish values. Formore information, visit www.weRepair.org.