• 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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About AVODAHcycle

AVODAHcycle is a cross-country bicycle trip and campaign to raise visibility and support for AVODAH, led by 2009-2010 corps member me, Emma Epstein. Through AVODAHcycle, my two friends and I will chart 3,100 miles, stopping in cities and towns each Friday to speak at Jewish congregations about the impact of AVODAH in the Jewish and broader communities and raise funds for its programming costs.

My AVODAH year thus far has given me an eye-opening view into the world of direct social service and social change and I’ve decided to add kavanah, a little intention, direction and purpose to this trip, to make it far more than just a summer travel excursion. This is important to me in that I will be able to tell my story of intentional, pluralistic Jewish communal living, where we encourage and support each other through the emotional journeys at our organizations and discovering who we are as Jewish individuals. It will also spread the idea to a broad group of Jews and non-Jews alike, of the importance of social service and the many lengths that can be reached to promote these values (like 3,100 miles!).
I want to add kavanah to every single mile of this trip. Intentionality from living communally, sharing one space, Jewish experiences and our passion for social justice. Intentionality at our jobs from recognizing the work we contribute to is really a miniscule part of the larger, broader network of social services that work to increase the vivacity of everyday humans.
Each mile feeds one more mouth, each mile helps one more immigrant gain asylum status, each mile allows another low-income child to participate in an after school writing club, each mile issues another HIV test, each mile saves someones’ SSI.
Each mile sponsors another speaker from the DC community to come and educate AVODAH corps members about local issues affecting our community. Each mile pays for a community Shabbat where reflect on the week and the work we have been doing, gaining an understanding of how our work all relates to one anothers’ and how we can bring intentionality back into our placements.
Each mile progresses towards a more just society.

Each mile can remind me of another wonderful aspect of AVODAH. Each mile can fund a Community Shabbat that gives corps members space to reflect on their work together. Each mile helps subsidize corps members’ housing so that they may live on small stipends and save their placement organization thousands of dollars each year. Each mile feeds one more mouth, issues another HIV test, and saves someone’s’ social security insurance. Each mile progresses towards a more just society.


3 Responses

  1. Hi Emma,

    I heard from some folks in Denver about your mission. I am the membership chair at a conservative synagogue in Cleveland. Do you need a place to stay for Shabbat while you are in town? I would love to help make you feel at home while you are passing through. Let me know!


  2. Emma, let me know where you will be in Chicago this weekend so I can tell my in-laws to come here you. Julie

  3. hi, I love reading your stories about the different places and the kindhearted peolple you meet.
    It’s amazing and for you it must be so enrichening, an unforgetable experience.
    All my love for the three of you, and let me know when you finish the cycling!!
    My best , monica isaia

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