• 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.

    DONATE HERE

    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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Small town Jewish America

One of the things I have had to come to terms with recently is that fact that most of America is not Jewish, and many people from small town America have never met a Jewish person before. It is quite ironic thinking back to the planning;  thinking about sleeping arraignments, telling myself and my travel mates that “we will just stay with the Jewish family in town.” Ha, I can laugh now, imagining ourselves looking at last names in the phone books wherever we happened to be at nightfall. We would still be looking in the phone books in some of the towns we slept in.

When fundraising, or when advocating for a cause or mission, it was important to figure out how to best “sell” your ideas in a way that relates to the individual. Why would the random passerby want to support us? Ever since the beginning of this trip, my travel mates have challenged me to devise a way to speak about AVODAH, describing the work in a more secular light, and focusing on the people served, rather than beginning with “AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps…” . I have found that it tends to confuse people when trying to describe our journey in a few sentences. They hear the word Jewish and either immediately stop fully listening and instead, evoke any thoughts they have about Jewish people; or they think we are serving only Jewish people. Throughout the last few weeks, speaking with the locals in small towns of around 500, it has been a true journey to navigate individual responses and perceptions of ourselves.

Some people told me I was the first Jewish person they had ever met and thanked me for delivering the holy book. Most of all, I felt appreciated and appreciative for another truly religious experience after a year in AVODAH.

 

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