The Avodah Blog

How to Improve Your AVODAH Application

By: Mollie Spevack

People often ask me what characterizes AVODAH’s ideal applicants. Who are they? What activities are they involved in? What type of professional experience do they have? Truthfully, there’s no one answer to any of these questions. Corps members come to AVODAH with a variety of different life experiences, values, passions, and levels of religious involvement.

Still, I thought it would be useful to list a few tips that might help when filling out your application:

  1. Write about your experience with social justice activities – AVODAH is looking for Corps members who are passionate people, and we want to know what lights your fire! Are you in charge of organizing soup kitchen visits at your college? Do you lobby your representatives for more dollars for social services? Do you love to bake challah and sell it to raise money for hunger and disaster relief? Whatever you do, make sure to tell us! With AVODAH, you’ll explore various aspects of social justice and Judaism, and we want you to bring your own unique perspective to the conversation.
  2. Show us that you can work well as part of a group – As part of AVODAH, you’ll be building a pluralistic, Jewish community with anywhere from seven to seventeen other housemates! It is sometimes a struggle to negotiate your needs, and the needs of others at the same time. Who’s turn is it to clean the bathroom? How do we decide what to make for dinner tonight? Make sure to share with us experiences that you’ve had building community, so that we know you’re up to the challenge.
  3. Tell us about your interest in Jewish pluralism – AVODAH’s Corps members have a diverse set of ideals, beliefs, and religious customs. Are you eager to explore different types of Jewish practices? Would you want to teach your fellow Corps members about your unique Jewish experiences? We want you to share your knowledge and curiosity with us.
  4. Highlight your leadership experiences – Your year with AVODAH will include taking on leadership roles: at work, in the bayit (your AVODAH house), and during educational programs. We’re interested in learning about you, so tell us how you have stepped up to the plate as a leader before, or how you’re excited to build your leadership skills with us.
  5. Proofread – It may seem obvious, but before you submit your application and resume, print them out, and read them aloud to yourself. Does it all make sense? Great! Did you catch a few typos? Fix ‘em. Put the time in to make sure your application is sparkling!
  6. Make sure your references are acceptable, and submitted on time – AVODAH requires three completed reference forms. In order to send those forms to your references, start your application, enter in your references names and e-mails, and click submit! AVODAH will send forms to your references and notify you when each is completed. Remember that AVODAH doesn’t accept academic references (like professors or academic advisers), unless they’ve supervised you in a professional setting. Ask for references from people who have supervised you in a work or volunteer environment, and make sure they know to submit their forms by our first deadline, January 29, 2012.

Haven’t started your application yet? Interested in learning more about AVODAH? Visit our website to read up on AVODAH and start applying today!

Mollie Spevack is from Smithtown, NY and was an AVODAH Corps member in New York in 2008-2009. She now works for AVODAH as the Recruitment and Communications Coordinator, while pursuing a master’s degree in Non-Profit Management and Leadership at The Hebrew University.

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