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October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

JOI changed my life forever. Before my fellowship year, I worked at a marginally effective non-profit and was frustrated with how slow and imperfect our efforts at change were. Once in JOI, I learned the real skills necessary for tikkun olam, practiced them, and developed those skills as a spiritual practice that connected my to long-ignored Judaism. Now my pursuit of justice is more powerful, effective, and personally transformative. I cannot imagine how empty my life would be without everything and everyone I've learned from at JOI.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friends for life. JOI-niks are loving and pushy people that help me be the best I can be every day.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

My experience as a JOI Fellow was wonderful. JOI, while a small organization, uses the resources, including alumni, community members, experienced organizers, and the Boston Jewish community, at its disposal incredibly effectively to achieve its goals of training Jewish social justice leaders. Throughout the year I was a JOI Fellow, and now, as an alumna, I am very aware of the resources I have access to that will help me continue to develop as an organizer and a leader. JOI is well grounded in its values, and that is apparent in everything that JOI does.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

committed not only to the continued success of JOI as an organization, but to reaching towards a vision of the world as it should be. They were compassionate and committed to the development and growth of each and every Fellow.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 19, 2009

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October 19, 2009

I was looking for a way to be active in community-based action after college, and a friend and JOI fellow convinced me that JOI was an experience worth having. Not only does the fellowship train young Jewish leaders to be exceptional organizers, but it produces its own community within each cohort and with the alumni community nationwide. I had a wealth of great experiences, and the people who interacted with all of the fellows became active advocates for their own needs within the political system. I am currently living in LA attending rabbinical school,and I am still involved as a part-time organizer out here because I know that the work of community organizing is vital to the equitable functioning of our political system.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning the skills to be able to train others in fighting for their own needs

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand the impact of the program to other cities in the country

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 18, 2009

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October 18, 2009

I applied to JOI last year because previous fellows and organizations familiar with JOI told me time and again that the program really does teach you how to be an effective community organizer--that through retreats and weekly sessions one not only learns useful skills like building leadership, holding efficient meetings and strategic campaign building, but also explores how to organize from a place of priviledge/power and gain confidence in oneself and connect with people across race, gender, religious and ethnic lines. In my two months with JOI, not only has all of this proved true, but I have been instantly connected to an extensive, supportive network of JOI supporters, past fellows and partner organizations that are invested in fomenting my growth as a Jewish organizer and giving me access to the resources, skills and support that I need to do that. One of the most surprising results for me is that I am finally feeling part of a Jewish community that has the same values as I do and have begun to explore how to integrate my cultural/historical/religious background into my private and professional life. Our weekly group trainings challenge me and keep me motivated and eager to learn, while simultaneously giving me tools that I can immediately put into practice in my work organizing tenant's in public housing.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Enthusiastic, loving, and incredibly supportive. They go out of their way to support current and past fellows as well as community initiatives that have nothing to do with JOI. They sacrafice their time, energy and money to work towards a better world!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand to other cities in the US. With only 10-12 fellows a year, their impact in slow, albeit meaningful. There is no other program like JOI in the country and I know so many people who would benefit from it!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 18, 2009

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October 18, 2009

The Jewish Organizing Initiative is a fabulous organization that is slowly transforming the social justice world in Boston---through the intentional cultivation of young leaders in organizing. JOI has changed the way that I look at the world and given me a radical new set of skills with which to address injustice. Never before have I been in a community that challenges me as persistently and effectively as this.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand outside of Boston, creating hubs of Jewish organizing in cities across the country!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

I have been involved with a number of organizationsn that have had JOI fellows and I have known a number of JOI fellows. Each fellow has made, at a young age, a major impact on the organization they serve and directly on the people at the organization. There are few non-profits that can claim that and mean it. If we could clone JOI and have in every major city, the impact would really be transformational. I think the aspect of JOI that I really love is the connection between organizing and its roots in Jewish history and text. This makes so much sense to me and can strentghten both the Jewish and the organizing communities at the same time.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

multiple organizations - JCRC, Keshet and Gesher City. Each have benefitted from the people and the organizing theory of JOI.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 17, 2009

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October 17, 2009

My experience at JOI was one of the defining moments of my early career and has critically impacted the way I approach my work and see the world! Learning how to develop others' leadership and organize around issues impacting a community are skills that have greatly benefitted me in my subsequent jobs and experiences. I also gained a new awareness of how inequalities manifest themselves in society and what we can do to change the status quo. Being part of JOI also enabled me to plug into a vast network of social justice and Jewish resources and organizations in the greater Boston community, and gave me the opportunity to meet amazing community leaders, activists and friends.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The in-depth community organizing skills that I gained through my work and through sessions with leading activists and organizers from across the northeast.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Passionate, dedicated and super-intelligent.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

I have had the pleasure of interacting on a personal and professional level with many of the JOI current and former fellows. They are an incredibly thoughtful group dedicated to social justice and Jewish community. The Boston Jewish and non-Jewish communities have been positively impacted by their work.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to know the great people and becoming familiar with the important work they're doing.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

The Jewish Organizing Initiative is a marvelous organization that puts money, in the form of people and financial support, where the mouth is, on social justice issues. JOI sent us the most wonderful Fellow who did vital tenant organizing in public housing for a year. We could never have afforded to bring her on without JOI's financial assistance, and the support, training, encouragement and resources that JOI provided to our Fellow made her experience, and ours, extremely rich. The whole endeavor was so very worthwhile that we have taken on that Community Organizer as a permanent employee. It would not have happened without JOI.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing us with trained, thoughtful, well-prepared young people who are ready to take on difficult social justice work.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hard to think of something.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's clarity of mission and ability to fulfill its mission.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

terrific; smart, focussed, lovely, very knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

train and support a whole bunch of Fellows who would then go out and change the world!

Ways to make it better...

the Fellow did not have to spend a number of Fridays at trainings away from work (which begs the question of when they would get very necessary training!)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

is finding Jews who are multicultural/multilingual. I think all of the Fellows were white. The one we chose speaks Spanish fluently, which is why we chose her, but it would be great to find non-white Jews, if possible.

One thing I'd also say is that...

It's really a great program. I'm not sure my time is "valuable", but there are a million worthwhile things I could be doing with these minutes, and the fact that I have chosen to spend them on JOI means that I really like what they do.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 16, 2009

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October 16, 2009

The Jewish Organizing Initiative is an incredible program. It trains jewish young adults to be leaders in the jewish community, and act effectively for real lasting social change. It has re-engaged me into the Jewish world, help me understand my own Jewish identity and has taught me valuable leadership skills. I am a much better organizer because of JOI.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have learned important organizing and leadership skills.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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