AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps

Lauren Statman (DC '09-'10) teaches young people about healthy eating and nutrition with her placement agency, DC Central Kitchen.

Photo credit: Ezra Gregg

 June 2011

Dear AVODAH Friends and Supporters:


Marilyn Sneiderman, Executive Director 

I'm excited to share with you our latest national e-newsletter!


We're thrilled to have so many opportunities to celebrate the work of our Corps members, alumni, and community partners, including upcoming events in Washington, DC, New York, and New Orleans


In addition, we have a special opportunity to raise $100,000 in matching grant funds. Any monies raised in new or increased gifts will count towards this match. We are so close to reaching our goal! Please consider increasing your gift and helping us to bring more young people into AVODAH to serve more people in need.


Read on for reflections from Corps members about the celebration of Mimouna and education inequality, in addition to musings from Pursue on their new City Team. Finally, be sure to read a recent profile of AVODAH from The Forward!


On this Shavuot, a holiday of harvest and bounty, may we take time to remember those without, and pledge to work harder to pursue a world of equality. Wishing you and yours a wonderful and justice-filled Shavuot.

We're Almost There! 


Thank you to all of you have already contributed to AVODAH! You have helped us raise an incredible $92,500 toward our $100,000 matching grant campaign! 


Every dollar in new or increased gifts will be matched 1:1. Give now and instantly double the impact of your support!

Come Celebrate with AVODAH Across the Country! 


Washington, DC: Cooking for a Cause DCEventCarla Hall

On Sunday, June 12 from 11:00am-1:30pm, join Top Chef Fan-Favorite Carla Hall for a cooking class featuring four unique dishes she has developed especially for AVODAH. Learn directly from Carla, receive her recipes, and taste each of the dishes. Plus, sample Carla's gourmet sweet and savory petite cookie collection. To purchase tickets, please call Emily Osterhus at (202) 450-2837, ext. 201 or email her at eosterhus@avodah.net For more information on the event click here. 


New York Corps members


New York: Honoring our Corps Members NYEvent 

Please join us on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30pm for an intimate gathering to honor our 2010-2011 Corps members and their extraordinary contributions to social justice and the Jewish community. The event will take place at the Top of the Times, 255 West 43rd Street (near 8th Avenue). To sponsor our Corps members and attend the event, please purchase tickets here.  

 NOLA CM 10-11 Regular clothing



New Orleans: End of Year Celebration NOLAEvent 

Please join us on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:00pm to celebrate the contributions of the 2010-2011 Corps members and thank outgoing Program Director Josh Lichtman for his dedication and service to AVODAH.To purchase tickets or make a donation please click here. 

Chicago: AlizahReflections on Mimouna  


After Passover and a week of matzah, Corps member Alizah Benchetrit hosted a Mimouna celebration, a Moroccan Jewish holiday, where friends, family and neighbors are all invited to break bread together. Describing the goal of her celebration, Alizah wrote:


Beyond the food and music, the celebration of Mimouna in the Chicago AVODAH community was an attempt to recapture the narrative of Moroccan Jews and use it as a bridge to build relationships with individuals across national and religious backgrounds. I am hopeful that as Jews pursuing social justice we can learn to revisit and tap into the richness of our histories, knowing that not only can they bring us joy, but also power to pursue the change we wish to see in the world.


Read Alizah's full reflections here.

AVODAH in the NewsNews 

AVODAH alumni Laura Taishoff and Yaeli Bronstein were recently featured in a Forward article "The Big Easy's Big Jewish Comeback" highlighting AVODAH's role in revitalizing the Jewish community of New Orleans.

To read the entire article, click here

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New Orleans: PipelineThe School-to-Prison Pipeline     


Corps member Maggie Yates recently questioned why police force has become a common form of discipline in New Orleans schools and cautioned the American education system that often fails many of its most needy students:


When did we start treating our African-American students like inmates? Sure, civil rights happened. Sure, black and white kids can share a classroom. But are they both receiving the same education? I fear only some are learning algebra, while the other half are being schooled in life's injustices.


To read all of Maggie's comments,

click here.

Pursue: Pursue2011-2012 New York City Team    


Pursue recently introduced the members of its 2011-2012 New York City Team, a group of volunteers who will help build and strengthen New York's Jewish social justice community by hosting a variety of events. In a welcoming Pursue blog post, the team explained: 


We're dedicated to pluralism, passionate about experiential learning, committed to service learning (and ACTION!), involved with local communities, enjoy fun, and are generally fascinated by skill-building. We plan to infuse our programming with all of this, but we wouldn't be 'doing our job' if we did not also ask for YOUR INPUT!


To read the entire post on PursueAction.org,  click here.