Repair the World Gears Up for 2019 Atlanta Fellows
From packaging kale seeds, to hammering temporary shelters, to creative writing with middle schoolers, Repair the World Atlanta’s Director, Lily Brent, and Site Development Fellow, Rachel Bukowitz, have been criss-crossing Atlanta volunteering, piloting events, and meeting with innovative local non-profits. It’s all part of Repair the World Atlanta’s Site Development year which launched in September 2018. Since then, the team has volunteered at more than 20 non-profits and met with 30 potential partners throughout Atlanta. Their goal is to identify placements for up to four Repair the World Fellows who will begin a year of service here in August 2019. Each fellow engages with two service partners and one Jewish community partner for a blended model of direct service work, volunteer recruitment, and learning. Recruitment is currently open and applications are due January 31, 2019.
Repair’s model differs from both other volunteer organizations and other young adult fellowships. Repair Fellows serve as a consistent link between organizations doing meaningful work and volunteers seeking a meaningful experience. For Repair, a meaningful volunteer experience uses Jewish values and learning to inform concrete action.
Atlanta Fellows will collaborate with their Jewish community partners to build relationships with members of the Atlanta Jewish community, recruit volunteers, and provide service and learning opportunities through connections to Repair’s service partners. Service partner organizations effectively meet urgent, community-expressed needs in education, food justice, housing/homelessness, and criminal justice.
“We’re continuing to search for both a neighborhood home for our fellows, and for effective partners,” Lily Brent said. In building the Atlanta program from the ground up, Repair staff are seeking partners who will benefit from more volunteer capacity, and volunteer experiences that create community and build trusting relationships.
For their first few events, Repair the World Atlanta experimented with disrupting traditional, one dimensional “I give/you receive” interactions. They asked: “How do we get to know each other on a human level? How do we understand each other’s lived experiences and visions of a healthier, safer, more just Atlanta? How do we truly live the values of tikkun olam and tzedakah on a regular basis?” One small example was a cooking class Repair hosted at PAWKid, an afterschool program in Grove Park. Led by urban farmer and caterer Ms. Haylene Green, volunteers, parents and students learned to cook vegan, Caribbean-style cuisine and shared a meal together.
In addition to direct service, Repair the World emphasizes contextual learning and dialogue. On January 18, they are partnering with Hands On Atlanta, One Table and AJC, to bring a city-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Day conversation home to the Shabbat table. They are galvanizing 100 young adults to participate in Shabbat dinner dialogues on sports and social justice, in concert with the Signature Sunday Supper organized by Hands On Atlanta. If you are interested in participating, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay up to date, follow Repair on Instagram @rtwatlanta and Facebook.