Martin Luther King Day is coming up soon, and we at Repair the World are psyched. As a nationally recognized day of service that celebrates one of America’s greatest civil rights heroes, we always look forward to MLK Day. But this year, we are getting ready to Turn the Tables, our initiative to inspire the Jewish community to promote the principles of Dr. King’s work and work together to create a more just society.
Repair the World’s fellows are helping to lead the charge on Turn the Tables Shabbat Suppers and service events in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Here, we caught up with Cindy Greenberg, Director of Repair the World, New York to find out what’s on tap for MLK Day weekend.
What do you have on tap for MLK Day weekend?
On Friday, we’re hosting an MLK Shabbat Supper in Brooklyn to discuss “Action in a Time of Injustice” with three outstanding community leaders. And on Monday, we’ve organized more than a dozen volunteer opportunities in Brooklyn in partnership with twenty-five community organizations. Volunteers will be doing everything from painting an after school classroom, to visiting with women at a shelter, to packing food for the hungry. Every volunteer project will also include service learning to help participants understand the broader context of the organization’s work.
Why did Repair the World choose to focus on Shabbat Suppers as a major component of the Turn the Tables weekend?
The Shabbat Suppers are an important part of a nationwide campaign to inspire discussion and service-based action on racial inequality. Shabbat has traditionally been a time for Jews to gather with those we care about to have conversations about important ideas. So it’s fitting that on Friday, we’ll break bread and reflect on racial injustice issues that are on the minds of Americans following the tragic events in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere.
What will happen at the Supper?
Over dinner, everyone will have the chance to informally discuss racial issues with the people at their table. Then we’ll gather to hear from Amy Ellenbogen, the Director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Mark Winston Griffith, the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, and Tynesha McHarris, the Director of Community Leadership at the Brooklyn Community Foundation. They are three leaders whose work in Central Brooklyn I greatly admire.
What are you most excited about?
This is our first major initiative in NYC and I’m so proud that we’ve assembled a coalition of twenty five terrific partners. It feels like such a great way to get started.
I’m also excited that dinner on Friday is being prepared by Comfort Foods Catering, which employs formerly homeless adults with histories of addiction.
How can people get involved?
Join us for dinner or a service project. All of the details are online!