Friends, family, and strangers,
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my fundraising page!
As you may know, next year I’ll be working as a housing justice organizer with Jane Addams Senior Caucus through the Avodah Service Corps. Thanks to Avodah, for a whole year I’ll get to put my energies towards protecting affordable housing, empowering seniors to fight for the resources they deserve, and standing up to big businesses and politicians that put land development and profit ahead of making sure people have a safe place to live.
Words can’t express how excited I am that Avodah is giving me the opportunity to do this work. Throughout my life, I’ve tried to stay true to the Jewish principle of tikkun olam—that no person can take on the whole task of repairing the world, but that we also can’t abandon that task. As a child, I was always ready to stand up for my friends or speak out against teachers who abused their power, even when I was standing alone. But we don’t live in a world that’s particularly kind to girls and young women who speak truth to power. I kept trying to fix everything no matter how much it cost me or how lonely I felt, but more often than not I burned myself out.
It was only in college that I fully accepted that that kind of crusade is far from the only way to carry out tikkun olam. The forces that we’re all up against—civil and human rights violations, abuses of power, destruction of the earth, exploitation, and discrimination—are massive, and the way to fight them isn’t to stand alone. It’s through collective action. Through filling the offices of people in power with determined protesters. Through listening to people, truly hearing their fears and struggles, and helping them find a way to express them as part of a powerful chorus of voices. Through organizing. And now that I’ve finished my sociology degree, Avodah has brought me the opportunity to do all of those things at Jane Addams Senior Caucus. As the political climate worsens, I’m determined to use everything I’ve learned to help people stand up for their communities in the most effective way possible.
And thanks to Avodah, I’ll be able to do that, and not just for next year. Avodah provides Service Corp members with continuing education on social justice issues, resistance strategies, and the connection between justice work and Judaism, so that we can develop into life-long advocates for change instead of just working hard and then burning out. And Avodah also houses Service Corps members communally, so that we can support each other through the draining process of facing injustice every day and working to repair the world.
I truly believe that over the next year, thanks to Avodah, I can help seniors win tangible improvements in their standard of living, and become an organizer capable of continuing the fight for justice into the next generation. But Avodah runs mostly on individual donations, so my goal is to raise $1,500 from my friends and family before I move to Chicago at the end of the summer. I’m hoping that with the help of the people around me, I’ll be able to raise enough money to help keep this program running in the future, so that countless other people will be able to benefit from Avodah’s efforts to develop young Jewish organizers and leaders.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. I hope you’ll consider donating to this wonderful program, and I look forward to being able to bring you good news about my work with JASC!
Avodah Jewish Service Corps ‘17