In the News

Jan. 16, 2019

Expanding the Table: Chavruta as a Partnership Model

This article originally appeared on eJewish Philanthropy on January 8, 2019.

By Aliza Kline and  Sarit Wishnevski

The January issue of Sh’ma Now explores the Jewish sensibility of “chavruta/learning partnerships – whether the traditional study method of the beit midrash could be applied to other arenas where we work in partnered ways. What might we draw and apply from the pedagogy of chavruta? The issue includes essays by Aliza Kline & Sarit Wishnevski, who examine models where Jewish organizations collaborate more effectively.

We have also experienced chavruta relationships that start strong but encounter pitfalls along the way. Repair the World, an organization that aims to make meaningful service a defining part of American Jewish life, is among our most successful partnerships. Our demographics are clearly complementary, as we both engage Jewish young adults in major urban areas. We co-created a series of justice- and service-themed Shabbat dinners. Repair faculty contributed resources drawing on Jewish and justice texts and OneTable framed them as part of a Shabbat dinner ritual and discussion. Both organizations aimed for participants to feel ownership over the dinner and for Shabbat to serve as a platform for discussing pressing issues while also, critically, serving as a respite, to replenish the energy of young activists.

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