AVODAH's Founder

Rabbi David Rosenn
 founded AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps to inspire legions of young people to become lifelong agents for social change whose work for justice is fueled by Jewish values.  

Over the course of his career David has been dedicated to strengthening the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty.  Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, which he attended as a Wexner Graduate fellow, David has worked for a number of social change organizations, including the New Israel Fund (NIF) in Jerusalem, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the National Council of La Raza in Washington, DC, and Jewish Funds for Justice in New York. 

 AVODAH was founded by Rabbi David Rosenn in 1998, and a group of activists and educators from across the spectrum of the American Jewish community. They were united by the sense that there was a disconnect between their involvement in Jewish life and their commitment to working for social change. Dedicated to the notion of "AVODAH" — a Hebrew word which encompasses spiritual, communal and work-related "service" — they joined forces to create the first and only Jewish service corps. 

After thirteen years as Executive Director at AVODAH, David  stepped down in March 2010 to join the New Israel Fund as their Chief Operating Officer. David continues to help educate and mentor countless AVODAH participants. 

David lives in New York with his wife, Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, and their two sons, Benjamin and Isaiah.

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AVODAH has solidified my resolve to pursue works of social justice for the rest of my life. It opened my eyes to the possibility of a community based around the ideas of Judaism and social justice. I found meaningful work with a supportive community and AVODAH has made me want to find these two important elements in whatever I do in the future."

Alyza Weinberg2010-2011 Corps Member