Archive for : David Eisner

Repair Inspiration: #GivingTuesday and Shmita

Today is #GivingTuesday – a global day dedicated to giving back. Yeah, pretty much right up Repair the World’s alley, right? That’s why we teamed up with eJewishPhilanthropy on this essay that adds a Jewish dimension (specifically the wisdom of the shmita year) to the annual observance. Check out an excerpt below, then read the whole piece over at eJewishPhilanthropy’s website.

#GivingTuesday and the Shmita Year
By: David Eisner, President and CEO of Repair the World

We have reached an exciting time of the year. The air has turned crisp and the leaves vibrant shades of red and yellow. The holiday season, with its family gatherings and festive mood, is just around the corner. For many, the old song’s adage rings true: “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

But in today’s busy world, with its onslaught of advertisements blaring messages of consumption from all corners, it can be all too easy to lose touch with the season’s deeper meanings. It is all too easy to forget to stop, truly give thanks and, most importantly, to give back.

At Repair the World, we work to make giving back a defining part of American Jewish life. We aim to inspire people in the Jewish community and beyond to make service to others a priority in their lives. Our Fellowship program is an example. Throughout the 11-month program, Repair the World empowers young Jews living and volunteering in 5 cities across the United States (Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore), to address social issues and build relationships in their communities through service. Meanwhile, we also seek out connections back to Jewish tradition, which is filled with wisdom about the importance of generosity and seeking out justice. When I first heard about #GivingTuesday – a global day dedicated to giving back – I immediately thought about service, and how giving one’s time to a cause you care about is a way to live out the values of Giving Tuesday, as well as the Jewish value of incorporating service and tikkun olam into daily life. I also began to think about another Jewish concept, shmita.

It just so happens that the Jewish calendar is also in the middle of an exciting moment. Once every seven years in the land of Israel, the shmita year arrives. According to biblical tradition, shmita, which literally means “release,” halts business as usual. Jewish text says, “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but in the seventh year, you shall let it rest and lie fallow. Let the needy among your people eat of it, and what they leave, let the wild beasts eat of it.” (Exodus, 23:10-11).

When we let those words settle for a moment, their radical nature comes clear. For an entire calendar year – this past Rosh Hashanah to the next – everything changes. Nothing is planted or harvested from the land. It is allowed to lie fallow and rest. Meanwhile, provisions are made for people of less means to find sustenance.

Another radical aspect of the shmita year is that all debts between people are forgiven and the slates are wiped clean. The text proclaims, “Every seventh year you shall practice release of debts … every creditor shall release his authority over what he claims from his neighbor. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2). Imagine living in a society that had good will and second chances built into its very fabric!

Read the rest on eJewishPhilanthropy’s website.

PRESS RELEASE: REPAIR THE WORLD NAMES DAVID EISNER PRESIDENT & CEO

– Former Head of Corporation for National and Community Service and National Constitution Center to Lead Jewish Service Movement –

EisnerJANUARY 16, 2013, New York, NY – Repair the World, the country’s leading national nonprofit organization mobilizing Jewish volunteers, today announced the appointment of David Eisner as its new president and CEO. Eisner, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the Corporation for National and Community Service and tapped by former President Bill Clinton to lead the National Constitution Center, joins as the organization embarks on a new strategic direction.

“We are thrilled to welcome David, a well-known, visionary leader with extensive experience in the non-profit, for-profit, government and grant-making sectors who embodies a passion for Jewish culture and learning,” Geoff Lieberthal, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said. “His track record of enhancing the efficacy, programming and positioning of leading organizations is extraordinary and makes him the right leader for Repair the World.”
Eisner’s appointment, which follows an extensive search, is the latest step in Repair the World’s evolution. In 2012, Lieberthal, Principal at Lee Equity Partners and a founder of the volunteer consulting group Inspire!, was elected as Repair the World’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the organization is finalizing the details of its new strategic plan in the coming months.

“Repair the World is a young organization with a limitless potential to help others and to have a profound impact on Jewish volunteerism and service in the United States,” Eisner said. “Global issues related to education, health, poverty, and the environment require innovative ideas and hands-on solutions. We are building a movement to capitalize and build on the ingenuity of individuals and the commitment of organizations on the ground dedicated to making a difference.”

A former executive at AOL Time Warner and America Online, Inc., where he established and directed the AOL Foundation, Eisner has helped build and raise funds for start-up organizations that have become the platform for innovation in the philanthropy and service worlds.

As the CEO of the independent, federal Corporation for National and Community Service from 2003-2008, Eisner helped drive America’s national service programs including AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. Appointed to lead the $1 billion organization by President George W. Bush, Eisner is widely recognized for strengthening the agency’s accountability, improving customer service, increasing public trust, and positioning CNCS for significant growth with a strong focus on volunteer recruitment and mobilization. At CNCS, Eisner worked with Points of Light and others to expand MLK Day into the National Day of Service it has become today.

He is also credited with success at the National Constitution Center, the museum, education hub and civic venue that engages all Americans in smart conversations about freedom and civic responsibility. He led the Center from 2009 to 2012, transforming it into a national leader in meaningful online and on-site discussion about the Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Early in his career, Eisner was a senior vice president for Fleishman-Hilliard Communications, directed public relations and field communications for the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., and served on Capitol Hill as the communications director and press secretary for several members of Congress.

He has served on many boards of national nonprofit organizations, including Independent Sector, the National 4-H Council, Public Allies, Points of Light and Network for Good.  He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his J.D. from Georgetown Law.

Repair the World began operations in 2009 through the founding partnership of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Jim Joseph Foundation and Nathan Cummings Foundation. It has been highlighted in The Slingshot Guide, a resource guide for Jewish innovation for 50 of the most creative and effective organizations and leaders across the country.

“We are thrilled to have a leader of David’s stature and experience taking the helm of Repair the World. Under his leadership, Repair will help to mobilize a generation of young Jews committed to making an impact on the world, as well as ensure that service and volunteerism are central to Jewish life,” said Lynn Schusterman.

To learn more about Repair the World, visit www.weRepair.org

 

ABOUT REPAIR THE WORLD

Established in 2009, Repair the World is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes Jewish Americans to address the world’s most pressing issues through volunteering.  Headquartered in New York City, we connect individuals with meaningful service opportunities to help their local, national and global communities, and enable individuals and organizations to run effective programs rooted in Jewish values. For more information, visit weRepair.org. Follow us on Twitter @repairtheworld.

 

CONTACTS:

Jacqueline Broder / [email protected] / 646.695.2700 *13

Jacob Berkman / [email protected] / 212.981.5187

 

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