Andrew Belinfante (he/him), Director of Engagement for JDC Entwine, an organization building a generation of young Jews who lead and live a life of action with global Jewish responsibility at its core, sees the partnership with Repair the World as essential to engaging Entwine’s participants when they return home in meaningful service across communities.
The partnership with Repair has refined his views and definition of true service. “If you asked me years ago, I don’t know that I would have been able to define service. As Jews, we really needed a definition for service and a call to work toward a goal of advancing service in communities and even nationally. I think Repair actually created the definition. That’s no small feat and it will help ensure that Jews all over, regardless of demographic or denomination or ethnicity or identity, understand that at the core of what it means to be a Jewish person in the world is to advance service in some way and get involved in making service a priority.”
When JDC Entwine participants return home, Repair gives them the community tools to continue serving, directly impacting their local community. “We value and appreciate this partnership because it enables us to deepen the outcomes of our program. Our programs are better because of Repair the World,” he says. “Repair the World has totally changed the game on what Jewish service looks like.”
“What I find to be most meaningful, in addition to the work itself that’s being done, is that we are opening up not just the minds but the hearts of people all over the world to critically think about the needs of their local communities,” says Andrew. “An entire generation of people are actually having different types of conversations rooted in their Jewish values because of Repair. We are taking an opportunity to teach people about intention and responsibility, and Repair is giving them opportunities to take action.”
As just one example, Entwine’s “Global to Local” toolkit developed with Repair helps people embrace DIY – from volunteering, to service, or even hosting a global Shabbat dinner. “It’s an individual guide to engaging in service and volunteering in your hometown,” Andrew continues. “It’s a beautiful reflection of the way that I believe both Repair and Entwine see the work of service happening in the world. It became a really significant part of the program model that we’ve built out for our leadership program.”
Through the partnership, Andrew sees a definite shift to a more substantive structure of service through JDC Entwine. Entwine often shows people what service looks like across global communities but it now has concrete tools to share so participants can build on their global experiences to give back. “It’s one thing to say to people ‘we hope that you’ve learned lessons, now go out into the world and make change.’ But now we actually can say, ‘here’s a way you can do that.’ It’s given us more opportunities to engage people post-program and deepen those outcomes of their experiences.”
Andrew Belinfante is a community builder and activist living in New York City. As the current Director of Engagement at JDC Entwine, he travels the world connecting global Jews and building awareness around humanitarian aid and disaster relief work.