Avodah Stories

Our leaders follow many paths in their work for a more just world. Some continue the service work they began as participants; others have started their own organizations, and many work for change from within the Jewish community.

There are close to 1,400 stories of Avodah alumni creating change across the country.

Here are just a few of them.


  • Headshot of Sam Hipschman

    "My involvement in the Jewish community as an adult started with Avodah."

  • "I found a deeper connection to the tikkun olam I learned about as a child."

  • “I don’t just have to be a social worker who is Jewish; I can be a Jewish social worker.”

  • Kelsey Saragnese photo

    "Avodah was a wonderful way to explore my Jewish identity"

  • "My experience with Avodah impacted my whole trajectory."

  • "Avodah deepened my understanding of anti-semitism and racial justice."

  • “I wanted to do this work from a position of faith.”

  • “I learned a whole new approach to social justice.”

  • Headshot of Jessica Schaffer

    “Social justice became the way I lived my Judaism.”

  • "Avodah enabled me to get proximate."

  • "Avodah was my path to becoming a rabbi."

  • ilana Zafran Walden

    “I found both a career path and a new relationship to being Jewish.”

  • Headshot of Rachel Sumekh

    “Doing this work turned me into a more understanding and empathetic person.”

  • "The Avodah Fellowship shaped the way I do my job."

  • “Avodah totally shifted the course of my life.”

  • "Avodah has enabled me to deepen my Jewish identity."