When Sam Hipschman moved back home, joining the Avodah Justice Fellowship was the first thing she had lined up.
After completing an A.M. in Social Work at the University of Chicago, Sam was ready to return to her New York City roots. She knew she wanted to be more involved with the Jewish community, but had sometimes struggled to find spaces where she felt welcome. Then she spoke to a colleague who happened to be an Avodah alum who said “I know exactly what you should do!”
As a Fellow, Sam found a new community and a new relationship to Judaism. “Connecting to the other Fellows was a radical thing for me because it opened so many doors…becoming grounded in a community of likeminded people who do justice work from a Jewish place was huge.”
The Jewish connection went deeper than the powerful relationships. While Sam had gone to Hebrew School as a child, she had never engaged in text study, or learned about the intersection of Judaism and social justice. Being in dialogue with sacred text brought new depth to her understanding of the issues at play, and what Jewish wisdom had to say about her work.
Today, Sam works at Project ORE at the Educational Alliance, serving vulnerable older adults in Lower Manhattan. She provides home-based therapy to her clients in addition to advocating for them in court when necessary.
Sam thrives in her work because of the community she found in the Fellowship: “Getting involved in Jewish life is something that I’ve wanted for so long, and the welcoming community that I found with Justice Fellowship was the way in. My adult involvement in the Jewish community truly started with Avodah.”