AVODAH Hiring Executive Director

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Executive Director

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps seeks an Executive Director who is a passionate advocate for social justice, who can inspire young people to engage in service and community building.

AVODAH is a New York City-based, national program dedicated to developing and engaging a network of emerging Jewish leaders committed to fighting poverty and social injustice in the United States through participation in service and community building activities that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change. Our three core programs — Service Corps, Fellowship, and Alumni Network — are rooted in and nourished by Jewish values. For more information about AVODAH please visit: http://www.avodah.net.

The new Executive Director will assume responsibility for a vibrant, pluralistic organization grounded in Jewish teachings and values. AVODAH’s new Executive Director will be responsible for: strengthening fundraising capacity; working closely with the board on programs, fundraising and planning; examining the financial underpinnings of the organization and building a strategic financial team; implementing a communications strategy to increase visibility; and providing support for staff while recognizing the need for prudent fiscal management and workplace efficiency. AVODAH has an operating budget of $2.16 Million and a staff of approximately 20 across four sites (New York City, Chicago, Washington, DC, and New Orleans).

The new Executive Director of AVODAH must be:

  • Passionate about social justice and service
  • Able to develop and articulate a clear vision for the organization’s work, grounded in Jewish teachings and values
  • An experienced fundraiser able to connect with and motivate a variety of people
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced work environment and possessed of the ability to balance an inclusive leadership style with decisiveness
  • A strong, experienced manager and team builder

This search is being conducted by the Third Sector New England Executive Transitions and Search Program and Transition Consultant Donna Zalichin. The full Position Profile, including contact information for interested candidates, may be found here.

AVODAH is an equal opportunity employer.

17 Ways You Might Be An AVODAHnik

1. World cuisines regularly appear on your Shabbat menu.


2. Every time there are leftovers at an event the organizer tries to give them to you because they think you need the food.


3. You’ve had a house meeting just to plan another house meeting (scheduling is difficult as we keep ourselves quite busy!)

giphy (3)

4. NYC: When you know of at least five Shabbat minyans every Friday (and at least three are in Brooklyn).


5. Kale is the only vegetable/food product consistently stocked in your fridge.

giphy (2)

6. NYC: In a city of 8 million people, you still manage to wind up on the same train as a fellow AVODAHnik.


7. A free membership to the JCC means equal parts exercising and schmoozing.

giphy (4)

8. “Who’s going to tweet that?” is a legitimate concern.

giphy (6)

9. Chicago: The only time you’ve left the house in months is to go to work because you’re too scared of freezing.


10. DC/NOLA: When you have a snow day and there is only 1 inch of snow on the ground.


11. Chicago: You have deep dish pizza for program dinners.


12. NOLA: You regularly overhear observant Jews discussing oysters and crawfish boils.


13. NOLA: You spend your Mardi Gras parading with dancing Rabbis (yes, he really is a Rabbi, and yes this really did happen).


14. DC: When the federal government closes but you still have work.

giphy (1)

15. When you have a discussion about how many avocados to buy weekly.

giphy (5)

16. You’ve been truly concerned about alarming the neighbors with uproarious Shabbat singing.


17. You want to slow down time because you love these people!



Life in the New Orleans Bayit: A Photo Essay

Over the last few months, our New Orleans Corps members collected photos from their house in order to tell the story of their communal life. 

Mia Bruner practicing some guitar chords in her room. The bayit is full of music at all times and the corps members have diverse and eclectic taste.

Mia Bruner practicing some guitar chords in her room. The bayit is full of music at all times and the corps members have diverse and eclectic taste.

Continue reading

What I’ve Learned

As our 2013-2014 program year draws to a close, we reached out to some of our corps members and Fellows and asked them to share what they’re taking away from the experience. 

Although the world is a big place, all people have the same needs. Each and every human being deserves to be treated with care and respect. Everyone you meet has something to teach; it is a gift to be able to share your knowledge with them. and in return have them trust you enough to share their stories with you. Social justice has become a foundation to my Judaism and to my Jewish practice. We are called on to care for our neighbors and I have been able to find spirituality in connecting with and helping clients from all over the world.
-Elana Gordon

Continue reading

Begging the Question

By Julia Spiegel

Julia Speigel“I don’t care. That’s not the question I asked you. Please answer the question that I asked you,” my client’s attorney aggressively requested. The statement doubled in intensity when the translator repeated it in Spanish. I am a legal advocate at Apna Ghar, Inc., an agency that serves immigrant survivors of domestic violence and I was accompanying my client to a consultation with a family law attorney for an order of protection and representation. Shocked and a little awed by the lawyer’s harsh method of asking questions and obtaining answers, I imprinted this moment in my memory.

Continue reading

Praying Our Dues

By Ben Bennett and Kelley Kidd

10075034955_8920110c93_mkelleykiddOnce, before Pesach, a man entered the home of Rabbi Yossi Ber and asked him a question: “Tell me Rabbi, can I fulfill the commandment of the four cups with Milk instead of Wine?”  The rabbi asked him, “Are you—God forbid—ill?”
The man answered him, “No, thank God, I am quite healthy, but I cannot afford to buy wine this year.”

Rabbi Yossi turned to his wife and said, “Give this man twenty-five rubles.”
The man said, “Honored Rabbi, I came to you to ask a question, not to beg for Tzedaka. ”

Continue reading

Brushing with Feminist Toothpaste

By Casey Tova Markenson

TOVA_01Inside my activist toolkit, there is a toothbrush. The toothbrush is for brushing teeth to end long, tired days. Days where you smack against strangers on your commute with delays, learn that all of your clients have unsolvable problems, and rush to the rescheduled AVODAH program after work. Those are the days that are best ended sharing toothpaste with roommates, foamy mouths cracking delirious jokes. Delirious, feminist jokes, in my case.

Continue reading