Life in the Jewish Service Corps

What will my job be?

View examples of the kinds of positions we offer in each of our cities.

What will my job be?

View examples of the kinds of positions we offer in each of our cities.

Working

We believe that the best way to understand the issues is to start by working on the ground level, to serve with and for people in need. As Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative teaches, “We cannot make good decisions from a distance…if you are not proximate, you cannot change the world.” This is why the heart of the Jewish Service Corps experience is rooted in direct service and working with people in need.

We will place you in a full-time job at a nonprofit in Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, or Washington, DC. These organizations are committed to addressing poverty from a variety of different perspectives, including housing, healthcare, education, and hunger. Our partners offer a wide range of jobs, from direct service (case management, teaching, staffing medical clinics, etc.) to direct advocacy (legal services) to community organizing (for workers’ rights, tenants’ rights, local policy, etc…). While the issues and methods of our partners vary, you’ll be working directly with the people served by the organization.

Living

You’ll live communally in a bayit (house) with your fellow Corps Members. The bayit is the heart of your Avodah community. It’s where you’ll live, learn, celebrate Jewish life, and support one another in your ongoing work.

Life within the bayit is both joyous and challenging. You and your housemates will have a variety of different observance levels, backgrounds, and perspectives. To make it all work, we spend time on community building, conflict resolution, and diversity training.

The sacred work of navigating the dynamics of life in the bayit is about more than just living in a community – you’ll be learning the crucial relationship building skills that will help you to thrive in every area of your life. In the words of one of our alumni, “A lot of living in a community is learning how to coexist and understand what is communal and what is individual.”

But it’s bigger than just “getting along with your housemates”. We believe deeply in the power of community as a way to help you sustain yourself and thrive within the day-to-day life of your work.

Forming strong, just, and nurturing communities is the groundwork on which everything else stands: our Jewish lives, our neighborhoods, and our society. Understanding how we build and maintain communities that benefit everyone is a huge part of life in Avodah.

Learning

You’ll be part of a learning community, and participate in weekly programs and immersive retreats throughout the year. Veteran activists, trainers, and educators will join you to facilitate deep learning about the dynamics of domestic poverty. We’ll teach you how to become an effective agent for social change, and the ways that Jewish identity, wisdom, and practice connect to your social justice leadership.

Our programs focus on the skill-building, leadership training, and reflective practice that strengthen all effective activists and provide the foundation for a future in social change work. You’ll meet with local social change leaders, build and strengthen anti-oppression frameworks for ongoing social justice work, engage in personal and communal reflection on the year’s unfolding challenges and accomplishments, analyze ideas and methods of social change, and participate in trainings on the skills you need to successfully pursue justice work and sustain yourself in the long-term.

The programs are also a setting to engage with your Jewish identity as it relates to your activism, and with the ways that your political and social beliefs and struggles can inform your Jewish practice. You and your fellow Corps Members will meet with rabbis, teachers, and Jewish activists throughout the year to explore Jewish texts, history, and justice-oriented approaches to Jewish holidays and ritual.

You’ll also visit other Corps Members’ work sites and learn about the specific issues their work addresses. These opportunities will help you explore different approaches to social change and expose you to issues that you may not see in your own work.

 

What will I learn?

Learn about the different kinds of programs that shape the Service Corps experience.

What will I learn?

Learn about the different kinds of programs that shape the Service Corps experience.

Are you our newest Avodah Corps Member?

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