AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
What are Corps members doing next?
David Eber in New Orleans
Naomi Adland in Chicago
Viviana Gordon in New York City
Jane Yamaykin in Washington, DC
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2008-2009 Corps member group shots
Dear Friends,
In just a few weeks, 59 Corps members - our largest group ever - will complete their year of service with AVODAH. These young people have brought much-needed services to over 50 anti-poverty organizations in Chicago, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, DC. They will take their experiences into the larger world, becoming ambassadors and catalysts for the values they lived out this year: service, community-building, and a commitment to Jewish life.
Many will stay on at their current placements as permanent staff, continuing to benefit those organizations with the skills they learned and the connections they built this year. Some will take new jobs in the cities where they served, also addressing the causes and effects of poverty. Others will begin graduate school or immerse themselves deeply in Jewish study. Below is a snapshot of four of our soon-to-be alumni.
These outgoing Corps members join the other 265 alumni of AVODAH. Through the AVODAH/AJWS Partnership, they will receive ongoing opportunities for activism and community building around Judaism and social justice.
Thank you for your support, and best wishes for a pleasant and restful summer.
Rabbi David Rosenn
Executive Director
Keep reading to find out what our soon-to-be alumni will be doing in the coming year!
David Eber walks with a client in the Lower 9th WardNEW ORLEANS: David Eber

Last August AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps opened its fourth site in New Orleans - a city heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina nearly four years ago - with nine enthusiastic young adults committed to rebuilding the city. One of these Corps members is David Eber, who worked this year as the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator at the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development.
David's focus has been the St. Claude Initiative, designed to revitalize St. Claude Street, the main thoroughfare in the Lower 9th Ward. He has been working with community members and local artists to paint murals that reflect the culture and character of the neighborhood on 17 empty buildings in order to beautify the area and bring back local business. David is so committed to his work that he successfully raised money from two grants he himself wrote to fund his position for next year. He's one of six AVODAH New Orleans Corps members staying on in the city next year.
Click here for a multimedia slideshow of David's work in the Lower 9th Ward, produced by AVODAH alum Ari Shapiro.
Naomi Adland holds a young client at the Mary Crane Center
CHICAGO: Naomi Adland

Naomi Adland
has spent her AVODAH year in Chicago working at the Mary Crane Center, a comprehensive day care and early education program dedicated to helping the city's most underserved children and families succeed. Naomi helped numerous families access subsidies for childcare and healthcare, and shared - as she explains - "the sense of relief that floods the room" each time a family qualifies for deeply needed assistance. Next year, Naomi will further her own education through a year of study at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, a pluralistic program that offers intensive study of classic Jewish texts and exploration of ethical, spiritual, philosophical, legal, and societal issues. Naomi is the third Chicago alum to study at Pardes. Joline Price (07-08) just returned from the yearlong program, and Rebecca Linden (06-07) studied there the previous year, drawing on her AVODAH experience to create a special social justice track that is now offered annually.
Viviana Gordon brings a different perspective to the New York Annual Event
NEW YORK CITY: Viviana Gordon

Viviana Gordon spent this year in New York City working at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, an innovative community court that hears cases across jurisdictions and addresses broad neighborhood problems, like drugs, crime, domestic violence, and landlord/tenant disputes. As a case manager, Viviana worked with individuals on alternatives to incarceration, including drug treatment. She was described by her supervisor - who said she was "the perfect fit for our organization" - as having "a clinical sensitivity that I wouldn't expect from someone coming out of college." After significant and ultimately successful efforts to secure funding, the Red Hook Community Justice Center has hired Viviana permanently. Though she was accepted to the Masters of Social Work program at Hunter College, she has decided to defer her enrollment in order to continue her work in Red Hook for a second year.
Alan Cohen and Robert Bank
WASHINGTON, DC: Jane Yamaykin
AVODAH DC Corps member Jane Yamaykin worked this year at Metro TeenAIDS, a community health organization dedicated to supporting young people in the fight against HIV/AIDS through education, support, and advocacy. Jane worked in the afterschool drop-in center, offering teens a safe space, opportunities for self-expression, and education to protect themselves and their peers from HIV. Next year, she will build on these skills as she approaches HIV/AIDS from a new angle at DC-based Food and Friends. Jane will coordinate the volunteers who provide meals, groceries, and nutritional counseling to over 1,400 homebound people suffering from serious illnesses, like HIV/AIDS and cancer, throughout Washington, DC and parts of Maryland and Virginia.