This post originally appeared on The New York Jewish Week on September 16, 2015
By Hannah Dreyfus
Repair the World, a national Jewish service nonprofit focused on food justice and education, intends to redefine “service” all together. Its newest branch in Crown Heights launched just last week.
“We’re taking service out of the synagogue,” said Cindy Greenberg, Repair the World’s New York City director. “Increasingly, young Jews are asking about their role in the world on a more universal level. We’re giving them a hands-on way to address injustices — it’s a new way to mark the High Holidays.” Over the next few weeks, the organization’s nine fellows placed in Crown Heights will volunteer at a food pantry, composting event and even a bone marrow drive that takes place specifically on Yom Kippur.
“Yom Kippur speaks a lot about who will live and who will die — this is a very literal way to ensure someone else can live another day,” explained Greenberg. The hands-on activity provides appeal and meaning that conventional services simply can’t, she said.