Archive for : activism

How Socially Conscious is Your College?

It’s college season out there! All across the country, hopeful high school seniors are receiving letters (hopefully fat ones!) from colleges and universities letting them know if they’ve been admitted to the class of 2016. Meanwhile, younger high school students are heading out on scouting trips to decide which colleges they want to apply to.

There are lots of criteria to consider – size of the student body, academic reputation, location, tuition costs – and now, there is one more: social consciousness. This year, Best Colleges Online compiled a list of the top 20 socially conscious colleges in the country. Their top picks included schools that “facilitate this desire to do right by the world” and offer “socially responsible opportunities including amazing volunteer projects, classes about ethical practices, green initiatives, political activism” and more.

Repair the World was proud to see that two of the colleges we partner with – UC Berkeley and University of Washington – made the cut. Check out the Top 10 socially conscious colleges below, and view the rest of the list here.
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Repair Review: Do It Anyway

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

If only our task was as simple as the job of the characters on Heroes. If only we had just one person to save, one mission to complete and everything would be solved.

Unfortunately, many of us, when confronted with the world’s myriad of complex problems have become overwhelmed, paralyzed, and unsure of how to proceed and where we can have the greatest impact. And it’s this confusion that Courtney Martin (Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters) addresses in her newest book, Do It Anyway (Beacon Press, September 2010). She favors jettisoning the “save the world” and American dream rhetoric and replacing it with “a language that is still inspiring but also pragmatic- a language that we can use like a bridge over the chasm between what our parents and teachers told us about good deeds, about success, and about what the real world needs every day.”
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Weekly Torah: Ki Tavo 5770

This post is part of a weekly series of Torah commentaries presented by the American Jewish World Service. It was contributed by Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster.

Taking time to celebrate our accomplishments allows us to see how far we have come and to plan with enthusiasm for the future. Parshat Ki Tavo envisions a time when the Israelites are living in the Promised Land and are experiencing the blessings of prosperity that they could only dream of during 40 years of wandering. The way that the Israelites appreciated and celebrated their harvest at that time provides a model for marking our accomplishments today, particularly the strides we make in repairing the world.

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Weekly Torah: Parshat Chukat 5770

This post is part of a weekly series of Torah commentaries presented by the American Jewish World Service. It was contributed by Rabbi Rachel Kahn Troster.

As the Israelites wind down their adventures in the desert and prepare to enter the Promised Land as a free generation, they must again confront their faith in God’s ability to protect and provide for them. At the heart of Parshat Chukat is the puzzling episode of Moses and the rock that yields water. ((Bamidbar 20:6-11.)) Through Moses and the costly mistake that he makes, ((c.f. Bamidbar 20:12. The explicit consequence of Moses’s mistake is that he loses his right to enter into the Promised Land.)) this parshah teaches us the proper way to express trust in God. The challenges that Moses and the Israelites face in finding the right way to engage in and express their belief in God challenge us to think about the ways we demonstrate commitment to our values in the public sphere.
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