The Legacy of Jewish Service in Atlanta

After volunteering overseas, Jonathan (he/him), was eager to dive into serving in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Once he was connected to Repair the World through a former board member in 2016, Jonathan’s service journey with Repair the World Atlanta began. “Service has always been something that was important to me, regardless of where I served. But I was wanting to plug back into my birth city, because I had been away for about 10 years,” said Jonathan.

Repair the World for me was that perfect point where the Jewish community in Atlanta and the opportunities to serve here met.

For Jonathan, uplifting the legacy of Jewish service in Atlanta and ensuring that communities across the city and beyond are strengthened in a way that would enable a bright future compelled him to deepen his commitment to volunteering and join the advisory council of Repair the World Atlanta. “Judaism compels me to serve, but when I think about what Repair the World Atlanta has accomplished on the ground, I think about how they are filling a gap between people who want to make a difference and access to meaningful service. This is what makes me feel so strongly about serving in this way.”

A volunteer and Jonathan serve at a children’s library, organizing and packing books.

As Jonathan reflected on his time serving with Repair, his experience serving for Martin Luther King Day, a nationally recognized day of service, is one that stood out for him as a moment where so many community members were inspired to show up and take action. “We were still facing challenges from the pandemic and set a goal to have 613 acts of service and learning for the 613 mitzvot [commandments]. So many more acts of service and learning happened that weekend, which was indicative of the need to provide dynamic opportunities to serve for people in Atlanta,” said Jonathan. 

As an advisory council member, Jonathan has played a key role in supporting local fundraising efforts and elevating programs in Atlanta, collaborating closely with Repair the World Atlanta staff. “Components of programs I’ve had the pleasure of supporting have included deep reflection and being honest with ourselves about how we hope to be impacted by the service experiences. The evolution for me over the last five years as I reflect now is that when you are truly in service with someone, as you’re growing and developing, it also means that you can take what you’re doing and how you’re serving to the next level to deepen the experience for yourself and create greater impact in the community.”