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Archive for : Tevel B’Tzedek

Repairing the World in Israel On Yom Ha’atzmaut

Tonight marks the beginning of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s version of July 4th, which celebrates the country’s declaration of independence in 1948.

Repair the World partners with eight excellent organizations doing diverse, cutting-edge tikkun olam work in Israel. So in honor of the country’s birthday, we thought we’d take the opportunity to give those orgs the shout out they deserve! Check them out below:

  • B’tzedek Life: This organization’s mission is to develop leadership for social change and social justice amongst youth and young adults in Israel and Jewish communities internationally. B’tzedek means “in justice,” and it lives up to its name by providing service learning programs and the nine-month LIFE leadership development program in Israel and India for college grads. Find out more here and apply for the LIFE program here. (The 2012 deadline is July, 31.)
  • BINA: Love Tel Aviv, coexistence work, and social justice? Check out BINA’s Neighborhood project which places young people in struggling neighborhoods near Tel Aviv where they live, volunteer, and study together. Read an interview with a former participant here, and apply for BINA’s programs here.
  • Livnot U’Lehibanot: “To build and be built” is the motto of this long-standing Israeli organization. (They’ve been around since 1980!) Join them in Tzfat for a four-week Galilee Fellowship for meaningful volunteering, hiking, learning through nature, and spirituality workshops. They also offer several other volunteer programs. Check them out and apply here.
  • Ma’ase Olam: Be a part of the social revolution in Israel! This organization promotes the value of volunteering, and their 10-month service learning program places participants from Israel and the Diaspora in communities in the social periphery of Israel for meaningful service opportunities. Learn more about their programs here and apply here.
  • NISPED: The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, is a non-profit association which promotes peace and development, focusing on the centrality of the civil society. Their service-learning program brings together Arab-Bedouins and Jewish young-adult volunteers from around the world, offering participants the chance to live and volunteer in the Bedouin city of Rahat, while integrating actively in the community’s daily life and culture. Learn more here.
  • Otzma: This organization offers a 10-month program for Jewish adults ages 20-26 to live and volunteer in Israel in a variety of settings. Participants work in 3-4 different communities throughout the program. Apply here for the 2012-2013 season, which begins in August.
  • Tevel B’Tzedek: This Israel-based non-profit’s name translates to “The Earth, In Justice,” and they live that value by promoting social and environmental justice. Their mission is to create a community of Israeli and Diaspora Jews engaging in the urgent issues of global poverty, marginalization and environmental devastation through long-term service programs in India and Haiti. Find out more here and apply to join their program here.
  • Yahel: The word means “illuminate” in Hebrew, and this organization does just that. Participants join a 9-month service learning program that works with the Ethiopian community in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. The program combines hands-on volunteer work with in-depth learning and cultural immersion. Find out more here and apply here (The 2012 deadline is May 25.)

 

How are you celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut? Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting @repairtheworld.

Remembering Haiti

Two years ago on this day, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake took the lives of over 300,000 Haitians, displacing thousands and thousands more, and causing vast amounts of damage to the region. Like many natural disasters and world-events, the earthquake may have happened two years ago, but its impact is still felt today. Today, one and a half million people are still displaced, 550,000 people continue to live in camps, and the number of orphans nearly doubled. Thanks to the support of devoted volunteers, NGOs and service-workers who rushed down, some progress has been made. According to the The Huffington Post, 50% of the debris has been removed and 20% has been recycled. Nearly 369,000 people have been provided access to clean water, 2.4 million with health services and hygiene education, and 3 million with cholera treatment prevention. But the work is far from done.

As global citizens – and as Jews – we are responsible for helping to alleviate each others’ suffering. Below are some ways you can still give your time and effort to help Haiti in its efforts to rebuild:

Volunteer, Support & Learn

  • AJWS: AJWS’ long-standing partnerships in the region made it possible for them to respond within 48 hours of the earthquake.  Today, AJWS funds 40 extraordinary organizations in Haiti and is a leader in the U.S.-based movement for Haitian-led redevelopment.
  • JDC’s Inside Haiti: Volunteer with JDC in the fields of medical assistance, educational support and humanitarian relief.
  • Tevel B’tzedek’s Haiti Program: The IsraAID – Tevel b’Tzedek delegation began its work in Haiti one month after the quake. They’ve been implementing community development techniques such as women and youth groups and informal education in three villages in the Leogan district ever since.
  • Habitat for Humanity: Habitat’s commitment to Haiti dates back 27 years before the 2010 earthquake. Today, they continue to be a leading organization in helping to rebuild Haiti.
  • Aid Still Required:  “Just because it left the headlines, doesn’t mean it left the planet.” Aid Still Required has helped support Haiti’s growth to self-sufficiency, including women’s empowerment efforts, child services, and reforestation. Use hashtag #AidStillRequired to spread the word about Haiti.
  • American Red Cross: Two years after the Haiti earthquake, the American Red Cross is helping Haitian people rebuild their homes and their lives and improving communities with health, water and sanitation projects.
  • On1Foot.org: Interested in hosting a text study on disaster relief in general? Check out this resource for texts which explore a moral obligation to respond to humanitarian crises.

 

Work for Social and Environmental Justice with Tevel b’Tzedek

Israelis have a thing for Nepal. Each year, thousands of young Israelis strap on their backpacks and travel the world, with many ending up in Kathmandu. It’s no surprise then, that the state’s capital city regularly hosts one of the world’s largest annual seders, often feeding more than 1,500 travelers. (That is a LOT a lot of matzah!)

Now, Repair the World grantee-partner Tevel b’Tzedek (The Earth- In Justice) offers another way to have a meaningful Jewish experience in Nepal. This February, Israelis and Jews from around the world can join Tevel b’Tzedek on a 4-month adventure promoting environmental justice and human rights and working to ease poverty in Nepal.

The Israel-based nonprofit launched in 2007 with the mission to “create a community of Israeli and Diaspora Jews engaging in the urgent issues of global poverty, marginalization and environmental devastation from a place of deep commitment to the Jewish people and its ethical and spiritual traditions.” Since then, more than 250 people have participated in the volunteer fellowship in Nepal and Haiti (where they also run service programs.)

The Nepal program combines both Jewish study and volunteering including:

  • Working with local communities on youth education, agriculture, women’s empowerment, and health
  • Learning about social and environmental justice, Judaism, economics, globalization and the history and culture of Nepal.
  • Studying Nepali language.
  • Volunteering both in Kathmandu and outside in more rural areas.

Check out the Tevel b’Tzedek experience in participants’ own words by watching the video below and checking out their personal blogs. Then, apply for the 4-month program here.

Report from the Field: Making the Next Move in Haiti

Micha Odenheimer, founding director of Tevel b’Tzedek, is blogging from Haiti this week for Repair the World. For the past two months, nine volunteers from Tevel b’Tzedek have been working to support the communities devestated by the January 12 earthquake, running the only school in the Petitionville refugee camp. Read the previous post here and check back tomorrow for more.

On the road back from Jacmel to Port au Prince, I talk to Ted, a young man we brought along to translate as we visited rural villages and the earthquake affected area outside the capital city in order to figure out what our next move in Haiti should be. Ted is a Haitian immigrant to the United States—he had a green card, but no citizenship, and moved back to Haiti several months before the earthquake after some trouble with the law.
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Report from the Field: More from Haiti

Micha Odenheimer, founding director of Tevel b’Tzedek, is blogging from Haiti this week for Repair the World. For the past two months, nine volunteers from Tevel b’Tzedek have been working to support the communities devestated by the January 12 earthquake, running the only school in the Petitionville refugee camp. Read the previous post here and check back tomorrow for more.

The streets of Port au Prince are far emptier than on any “normal” day—there’s a gas shortage, so buying gas means a wait of hours at a gas station, or buying “loose” gallons on the black market for 12 dollars and fifty cents. Still, on the way to a meeting, traffic is slow enough to be startled and delighted by the names the Haitians give their businesses: The Shekhina Food Shop, Adonai hardware and utensils, the El Shaddai School. Biblical language—and especially, apparently, sundry and profound varieties of Hebrew divine names—are burned into Haiti’s consciousness. The Biblical story of liberation from slavery resonates here. I wonder how it feels for my secular Israelis compatriots to see their own religious language—both strange and familiar to them writ large on sign boards in a place so far from home.
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Report from the Field: Tevel B’Tzedek in Haiti

Micha Odenheimer, founding director of Tevel b’Tzedek, is blogging from Haiti this week for Repair the World. For the past two months, nine volunteers from Tevel b’Tzedek have been working to support the communities devestated by the January 12 earthquake, running the only school in the Petitionville refugee camp. Read more about Tevel b’Tzedek’s work in Haiti tomorrow.

The Petionville refugee camp, stretched across what was, before the earthquake, a country club for the Haitian elite, houses some 60,000 people – it’s the largest refugee camp for the earthquake victims in country. Thousands of tents, constructed of red, yellow, blue or orange tarp, cover the rolling hills of the camp like strange plastic flowers; in the distance, you can see the sea. People from all over Port au Prince and from a cross section of Haitian society are living here—some come from crowded slums not much different than the camp, others are middle class families; all of their former lives, and often some of their closest relatives are buried in the rubble of their homes.

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