We are writing with some bittersweet news. After many months of discussion, AJWS and AVODAH have made the decision to wind down our shared program – Pursue: Action for a Just World – by the end of 2012. Over the last two years, both AJWS and AVODAH have engaged to various degrees in intensive strategic planning processes. Each organization has refined and focused our respective strategic visions and organizational goals. AVODAH is clear that in order to fulfill its mission of supporting the Jewish community’s fight against poverty by creating Jewish leaders for social change, it must focus on guiding and inspiring its alumni network and their peers in domestic anti-poverty efforts. And AJWS is committed to mobilizing the U.S. Jewish community – including its alumni and other constituents – to effect U.S. policy change in support of marginalized people in the developing world realizing their human rights.
As these separate paths have crystallized for AJWS and AVODAH, we have come to realize that Pursue, in its current iteration, is no longer a strategic fit for either of our organizations. But this decision in no way diminishes our shared commitment to young Jews dedicated to social justice. It allows AJWS to ramp up its commitment with targeted programming around national campaigns such as Reverse Hunger, travel to the developing world and deeper opportunities to make long-lasting social change. And it enables AVODAH to strengthen the network of people who participated in its immersive year long program and to find ways for alumni to collaborate with peers who share their interests, values and goals of alleviating poverty in the U.S. Read more →
Chag v’Chesed is a publication of American Jewish World Service. Written by prominent leaders in the Jewish community, Chag v’Chesed draws on teachings from the holidays to inform our thinking about Judaism and social justice. To sign up to receive holiday or weekly Torah commentaries from AJWS, please click here.
Judaism’s core lies in community. On Shavuot, the “time of the giving of our law,” we gather together to receive the Torah, making a covenant with God, in the name of the Jewish People. We are given the Torah and 613 commandments to build our community, our relationship with God and our relationships with one another.
The commandments themselves further expand upon the notion of community, culminating in the 613th commandment, which says that every Jew is responsible for writing part of the Sefer Torah (Deuteronomy 31:19). In a long list of mitzvot, filled with the quintessential laws of Judaism, God chose to conclude with the commandment for us all to play a role in laying the foundation of the Jewish People. No one person can write the Sefer Torah alone; God commands each one of us to participate in the process, and to be a part of building the Jewish community.
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This post originally appeared on the Where Do You Give? blog.
We just couldn’t hold it in any longer.
It’s time to announce our Grand Prize Winners! Not to mention our Student Track Winners and some Honorable Mentions who we just had to recognize for their amazing work.
Make sure to congratulate them in the comments below!!!
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS:
Tzedakah Box Category:
Doug Burnett is an art director from Chicago, IL. His “Vending Box” paints a dystopic picture of our current spending and donor habits. As Doug explains in his artist statement, “We buy a soda without batting an eye but, ironically, we turn a blind eye toward a $1 donation.” After inserting a coin, participants choose a beneficiary. A screen on the back side of the box shows a video of that individual and the benefit he or she will receive as a direct result of the donation.
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Giving doesn’t look like it used to. Our sense of community is evolving and expanding. We give globally as much as locally and the technology of giving has certainly gone beyond doling out coins.
Earlier this year, American Jewish World Service brought together talented designers nationwide to translate the concept of tzedakah - Judaism’s imperative to give to those in need – into compelling, relevant design. The Where Do You Give? National Design Competition challenged designers, artists and conceptual thinkers to create a 21st century icon inspired by the values and imagery of the traditional tzedakah box that reflects our increasingly interconnected, global and technologically accelerated world.
Join us on June 20 as we kick off a national exhibit of winning designs from the competition and celebrate a new movement toward thoughtful, imaginative and inspired giving.
Wednesday, June 20
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
200 Hudson Street
New York, NY
Speakers include Rebecca Stone, Karen Pittelman, Ryan Clifford. Facilitated by Sasha Feldstein. Read more →