The Avodah Blog

Fighting Hunger on Thanksgiving and All Year

Before heading home to Texas for Thanksgiving, Avodah Jewish Service Corps Member Dena Lipper will be spending the holiday with Brooklyn’s food-insecure families at Neighbors Together, a food bank and community services nonprofit.

Avodah Service Corps Member Dena Lipper at her service placement, Neighbors Together.

During her service year, Dena works with families and individuals to acquire food assistance, housing, healthcare, and other social services. She also runs weekly art classes, movie screenings, and more to give vulnerable members of the community a chance to relax in a supportive environment and help relieve the mental burden of life in poverty.

Neighbors Together is run by several Avodah Alumni including Executive Director Denny Marsh and Community Action Program Director Amy Blumsack.

Denny shared that, “Working on the frontlines of domestic poverty at Neighbors Together during my Avodah year, had a profound and transformative impact. Avodah was a true catalyst for me – I came through that year with the clarity that I wanted to continue in this work for the long haul.”

Dena is the 14th Avodah Corps Member to serve at Neighbors Together.

“The most meaningful thing has been seeing how strong all of the members that come in are. Coming in every day and speaking with the members and staff and volunteers inspires me and it makes me want to continue doing the work and continue making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

Avodah alumna and Executive Director of Neighbors Together Denny Marsh leads a staff meeting.

In light of the great needs of so many across the country, we are grateful at Avodah to be able to provide a path for inspirational young changemakers, like Denny, Amy, and Dena, to make a difference for tens of thousands of people every year.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to move across the country and this experience has been absolutely incredible,” Dena said.

During Thanksgiving, we thank you for helping us transform the next generation of Jewish changemakers, and making it possible for us to do this important work.




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