• Mission

    To raise support and visibility for AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps, while becoming an agent for social change over 3,100 miles of biking.


    AVODAH is an organization that provides an opportunity for young people to engage in social justice work while fostering Jewish values. We Corps member live in an intentional Jewish community while engaging in work for social change.

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Communal rides

I will publicly admit here to my readers, that in the past few weeks, I have accepted a few rides in the most inclement of weather and when I find myself rushing to my next speaking engagement. Before the initiation of the trip, I silently told myself that I was not going to suffer if it was freezing or fall into a deep fatigue if we were not making it as far as we needed to…and we have pushed on through many of these days at times. But there have been a few: Thanks Lynn, Alli’s mom, Connie from somewhere, WI and Dick, farmer from middle of somewhere, WI, (during the 30 mph wind from the West) and to Jesse, JP’s brother-in-law.

I have been thinking about the meaning of getting help on the trip, asking for assistance or accepting it when it is offered. Every time someone offers us free food, (we have learned to not be bashful) we say yes, please and thank you. (Almost) every time someone offers us a place to sleep at night, we gladly accept. Every time someone offers us a shower or to wash our laundry, we make sure they don’t get a good whiff before either goes to be cleaned.

But rides for some reasons tend to irk me a little; make me wonder if my greater intentions can withstand a car ride for a few miles. (Remember that an hour long car ride of 60 miles is an entire day of biking). However, after mulling about what it might mean to accept a ride, I have arrived at the following conclusions. Hitching a ride when needed is another way to include people in this journey, to build a larger community of support; to speak to more individuals and have a greater impact. Each additional person who we tell about our journey, our mission, our inspiration, means one more person who can be in awe, possibly an additional donation (financial); it is another person who can realize and I quote “that [their] liberation is bound up with mine,” (Lill Watson, Australian Aboriginal activist, for full quote see bottom of blog post).

By allowing people to help and participate in this journey however they can, it gives them a sense of ownership; it allows them the opportunity to feel part of something greater. If they are struggling in their own lives, or feeling a sense of potential with no outlet, an offering from them to us can be a channel into new ideas, new solutions to their current life or personal struggles. Hopefully, we can both leave the interaction both feeling more connected and aware of each others’ struggles.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because you recognize that your liberation is bound up with minide, then let us work together.”


2 Responses

  1. keep going sweetheart. Let me know when you have more accurate dates for being here. Ruth called and said the 29th may the work. Give me some notice so I can get behind the congregation. love you

  2. That such a great life lesson, Emma.

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