The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our society upside down, creating a culture of physical isolation, fear and sadness. While some of us have been fortunate enough to continue working while sheltering in place, millions of others in our country and around the world have lost their jobs, or have no choice but to work in frontline positions that put them at higher risk of contracting the virus. People in poverty are even more vulnerable to getting sick and suffering deeper economic consequences. The scourge of institutional racism has meant that people of color are, once again, disproportionately suffering.
Avodah develops lifelong social justice leaders whose work is informed by Jewish values and who inspire the Jewish community to work toward a more just and equitable world. We take great pride in the accomplishments and ongoing work of the more than 1,200 Avodah leaders – including doctors, health care policy experts, public interest lawyers, community organizers, nonprofit CEOs, teachers, rabbis, and more. In light of the current pandemic and the nearly unprecedented economic consequences it is causing, we are committed to redoubling our efforts.
Our current participants — Avodah Jewish Service Corps Members and Justice Fellows — have not wavered. Some are working from their Avodah homes; others have been deemed “essential workers” and are reporting in-person. All have continued to provide critical services for their organizations, communities and clients. We are supporting them by ensuring that they have access to personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and perhaps most importantly, the spiritual sustenance of the Avodah community.
We are enormously grateful to you for making our work possible, and for being part of the Avodah community. Knowing that you have our backs and that you too are unwavering in your commitment to creating a more just and equitable world inspires us everyday. On behalf of Avodah’s Board, staff, and participants, thank you so much.