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

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    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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AVODAHcycle’s “Interview Project”

Last night, I lay in a two room house transformed into a warehouse where the local church collected clothes, book and furniture and everything else imaginable to be donated locally, shipped to another state, or even driven to Mexico.

Inspired by filmmaker David Lynch’s Interview Project, my daily interactions and conversations have started to change and I hope to  eventually find people who will agree to be filmed on camera, but so  far, everyone has declined the photography.

(http://interviewproject.davidlynch.com/www/#/all-episodes/121-spira). After hearing about the interview project, a series of interviews throughout the entire U.S. and back, asking people basic questions like “how do you want to be remembered?” and “what are you most proud of,”  David Lynch wanted to learn about the vast nation and its residents and I began to brainstorm questions that I could ask people in small town America. I thought of questions that would be relevant to 1. The description I give them of the work I engaged in during my AVODAH year and 2. Draw out some connection between my  journey’s mission and their own community.

The questions I started out with were the following:

What are the social needs of your community? Who are the local populations in need? What social services are available? Is the local church (religious center) involved in serving the needy? Do you engage in any volunteerism or service work? Are there any other questions or thoughts that come to mind during this conversation?

The first time I decided to try and interview someone, I was a little hasty, the way I normally approach new situations. Slightly unprepared and naïve, I walked into a gas station/market and filled up my waters. I then proceeded on towards the tables where 4 or 5 people were eating local fish sandwiches and chatting. Confidently, I gave a short schpeal and told them I would love to interview one of them. They denied, but instead a woman started speaking about how their town was really small, but there were many social service organizations in the town 40 miles away…from where we had just come.

I tried a new approach since they seemed shy and asked if their churches provided any services to the homeless, and if they were involved. Actually, said the woman, my women’s group from the church gets together and knits. We make blankets and quilts and send them to shelters. At first, we made quilts for ourselves and families, and we still do…but we have expanded to provide warmth for others.

I am assuming she found comfort in her group of women, where together, they made a decision to move from knitting things for themselves, to sending them to those that do not know how to quilt.

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