Reflections

Amy Weiss, Repair the World Director of Service-Learning Initiatives, University of Maryland Hillel

"My goal is to help students define justice for themselves."

Social justice and serving others have always been underlying themes in my life. Growing up, my family and I would volunteer at soup kitchens, assist with drives and other service activities.

“My Work at Maryland Hillel and with Repair the World, have shown me that social justice is more than just volunteering for an hour—it is a fundamental part of who we are as Jews. One must fully engage themselves in an issue and persist until change is made.

“The Torah is filled with teachings on how to create a just world. It is easy for these words to remain an idea on a page or to become someone else’s responsibility. I want students to see these teachings as a moral imperative and call to action both as a human being and as a Jew. I tell my students to pick one thing they want to change and then harness their passion and skills to do something about it.

“I am forever grateful to work with college students. They bring passion, energy, endless resources and ideas. My goal is to help every student define justice for themselves through service, alternative spring break opportunities and lasting connections with those in need. I want every student to become an active global citizen, inspired by the Jewish principles of Tikun Olam.

“Working closely with Repair the World has changed the way I see service and Judaism. Repair the World has instilled in me, Hillel and countless other Jewish organizations, the imperative of working in solidarity with communities to create sustainable change. Repair the World has assisted Hillel in creating making service a defining part of Jewish life on campus through the development of programs that meet true community Repair’s support has allowed students to engage in work on behalf of the homeless of DC, raised academic achievement in local high schools, brought ethical dilemma conversations to juvenile detention centers and so much more. Our Hillel community is choosing to engage in addressing pressing community needs and acting on the call of the Jewish people to Repair the World.”

Read more about our work in Service