The Avodah Justice Fellowship

I was raised with an awareness that not everybody has equal access to resources. That people don’t have equal access to power. Once you become aware of that, it’s incumbent upon you to try to rectify that. I work in a clinic that provides healthcare mostly for people experiencing homelessness. I also work on a team with doctors, nurses, case managers to help support people who have opioid use disorder. And I provide individual therapy for them, I run a group as well. Avodah is special because it is welcoming of people who have different levels of Jewish education, and people of different levels of experience with social justice. The Justice Fellowship brings together young Jews in their 20’s and 30’s who are a little farther along in their career and it’s an opportunity for people to reflect on themselves, on who they are, and who they want to be in the world. It felt like I was pretty plugged into a lot of social justice work but that I didn’t really know many Jewish people. Avodah definitely gave me this sense of Jewish community that doesn’t just come from maybe going to services or going to high holidays. But from just making an effort to continue to do meaningful social justice work with those people and also just having social relationship with the other people in my fellowship. As a Rabbi, I think that there is nothing more powerful for creating Jewish identity and instilling Jewish values than experiential lived Judaism. And I cannot think of a more powerful model for young, Jewish adults than being in Avodah. By being in Avodah, I realized that not only do I belong do I belong in the Jewish community and that I have a right to be there but that I actually can be a leader there. And, that has inspired me to try to be more of a leader following Avodah.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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