The Nachshon Fund is a new program that we’ve launched to support innovative local initiatives led by AVODAH through the awarding of small grants. Our inaugural round of Nachshon grantees represent many approaches to social justice spread across the country, from launching a Jewish community-organizing group to building local alumni communities.
Detroit Jews for Justice
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Organizer: Alana Alpert (NY 2005-2006)
Description: Inspired by groups like Washington DC’s Jews United for Justice and New York’s Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Detroit Jews for Justice will utilize a community-organizing model to engage the Detroit Jewish community towards taking action on local issues, such as immigration, water shut-offs, and just transit.
Minyan Na’aleh Shavuaton
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
Organizer: Meredith Levy, (DC 2004-2005), Rabbi Mark Goodman (NY 1999-2000)
Description: This initiative will gather members of the Minyan Na’aleh community for a Shavuot retreat to learn and take action in the Denver/Boulder community incorporating AVODAH’s resources into the programming. By coming together to address pressing social issues and our role in working towards justice, participants will form community with others who are educated and inspired to make change. The resulting learning and action will be impactful in promoting AVODAH’s mission and perspective in the local Jewish community and beyond.
Ending White Racism Support Group
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Organizer: Myla Green (DC 2008-2009)
Description: The group is a 6-10 week series of 2-3 hour gatherings where participants gather to have necessary and challenging conversations about racism. Participants will have the chance to connect deeply with each other in a safe space to discuss the complexity of white privilege.
AVODAH New Orleans 2009-2010 Five Year Reunion
Location: Upstate New York
Organizer: Rachel Glicksman (NOLA 2009-2010)
Description: Participants will come together for a weekend gathering to strengthen their connections as a cohort as well as their relationship to AVODAH. Programming will focus on building time to reflect on where participants have been over the past 5 years, what they have accomplished, and what they want to think about doing in the next 5 years as it relates to their Jewish/social justice lives and connections to AVODAH. The template for the program will be turned into a format that can be utilized by other cohorts, so that many groups can use this tool to reconnect with one another and with AVODAH.
Building the Bay Area Alumni Community
Location: San Francisco, California
Organizer: Samantha Leveston (DC 2012-2013), Michelle Marion (DC, 2012-2013)
Description: The Bay Area is a natural incubator for social justice organizations and ideas. Organizers will work to create a more connected local alumni community that will expand the impact of our individual justice efforts and create a more connected Jewish community.
Reading Justice: A Book Club for Forward Jews
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Organizers: Rachel Sandler-Silva (DC 2004-2005) and Haley Leibovitz (NOLA 2012-2013)
Description: Reading Justice will be a book club for AVODAH alumni and their peers. It will meet monthly to discuss a novel, biography, or work of nonfiction that connects to a topical justice issue. Each month, discussion questions or other activities will be prepared to enhance the meeting.