Transforming the culture of American Jewish life

How can Jewish institutions take on deep, sustainable,

accountable and effective work for justice?

The Institute offers cohort-based professional development, special seminars and symposia for Jewish leadership, and enrichment opportunities for the public to engage in justice issues, anti-racism frameworks, and social change tools through a Jewish educational lens. The Institute also serves as the hub for Avodah’s acclaimed educational resources including its Speak Torah to Power talk series, Racial Justice Guide, B’nai Mitzvah curriculum – Tikkun Olam: Our Turn, holiday learning materials, and more. Here, Jewish learners of all kinds can ask big questions about their Jewish values and identities, and gain the skills, tools, and spiritual nourishment needed for translating theory into practice or, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said, praying with our feet. See below for our Institute offerings.

The Institute offers cohort-based professional development, special justice issues, anti-racism frameworks, and identities, for our Institute offerings.

The Institute offers cohort-based professional development, special justice issues, anti-racism frameworks, and identities, for our Institute offerings.

The Institute offers cohort-based professional development, special justice issues, anti-racism frameworks, and identities, for our Institute offerings.

The Institute offers cohort-based professional development, special justice issues, anti-racism frameworks, and identities, for our Institute offerings.

Workshops

Community-wide conversations about racism, equity, and other justice topics through a uniquely Jewish lens in partnership with local Jewish communal institutions. These will be open and accessible to people of all backgrounds who will build community around a shared interest in bringing justice to the fore as a value and in practice. Program offerings include: organizational and personal coaching on Jewish justice engagement and leadership; workshops and trainings on various intersections of Judaism, justice, community-building and leadership; workshops on key current justice issues.

If you’re interested in hiring us to bring any of these programs to your community, please contact Alison Rollman to set up an intake meeting.

Cohorts

Community-based professional development intensives for senior and mid-career Jewish communal leaders seeking guidance in assessing personal and organizational biases and learning curves, through a Jewish lens and in community with other Jews. Cohort components will include retreats, training and workshops, peer mentoring structures, long-term advising and support from faculty, and various forms of ongoing virtual community.

Personal Leadership Cohorts: These cohorts will be organized by field (i.e. Jewish camp staff), by location (either city or region), and by role (i.e. development professionals). In addition to the core curriculum, cohort participants will work towards an individualized goal to measurably increase their ability to lead justly. Come back to this page in the future to see what cohorts are currently accepting applications, and email Alison Rollman if you’re interested in helping to launch a particular cohort.

Organizational Change Cohorts: These cohorts will be open to graduates of the Personal Leadership Cohorts as well as graduates of other justice learning experiences. Organizations will apply with a specific justice project in mind and will receive dedicated consulting support, coaching, and training towards enacting sustained and effective justice changes and engagements.

Email Alison at [email protected] for more information.

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Digital Resources

At Avodah, we believe that Jewish leaders have the power to help change our country for the better. The following resources are available to individuals, synagogues, Hillels, camps, day schools, and other Jewish institutions to help deepen their approach to social and economic justice. Please see below for our digital resource offerings.

Speak Torah to Power Video Series

“Speak Torah to Power” is a groundbreaking speaker series that connects today’s most pressing social justice issues with Jewish wisdom to guide us in doing transformative work in the world.

Racial Justice Guide

Avodah’s Racial Justice Guide is intended to be a resource for Jewish nonprofit organizations. It has been written for all stages of leadership, as racial justice and inclusion are everyone’s responsibilities.

Tikkun Olam: Our Turn

Tikkun Olam: Our Turn was born out of a desire to deepen the ‘mitzvah project” experience at b’nai mitzvah time—to provide better context and mentoring for our communities’ young adults as they stood on the threshold of adulthood in our communal institutions.

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Institute Staff & Leadership

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Meet the whole team >>

Sarra Alpert

Director, Avodah Institute for Social Change

Sarra Alpert helps to build activist communities that support and challenge each other in anti-oppressive, transformative social justice movement-building in Jewish communal spaces and beyond.

Alison Rollman

Program Associate, Avodah Institute for Social Change

Alison Rollman previously worked as an administrator at Third Root Community Health Center and as a food and housing justice fellow with Repair the World Brooklyn.

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Monthly commentary from thought leaders, activists, and educators working for justice

The Avodah Institute for Social Change’s newsletter, The Gathering, is a monthly round-up

of Jewish social justice commentary, news, and thought leadership.