Translated from the Hebrew, “avodah” means “work” or “service” – or even “life’s work.” As AVODAH corps members, 24 post-college young adults each year may well discover their life’s work. During a year of service they invest 40 hours per week at local antipoverty organizations and participate in intensive educational programs, from trainings in activist skills to workshops on urban poverty. Here in the District, a stunning one-fifth of residents live in poverty, so AVODAH is ideally poised to make a difference by building the staffing capacity of nonprofits that work with those who are most in need. These organizations significantly expand their reach, while AVODAH corps members find the inspiration to work for social justice throughout their lives. In 2012, DC corps members added more than $470,000 in staffing capacity to local organizations, making a positive impact on more than 28,000 people in need. Recently, 95% of corps members (past and present) affirmed that AVODAH strengthened their commitment to social justice. There is, indeed, promise for the future.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County

Age Groups Served: All

Population(s) Served: All

Schools They Work In: Thurgood Marshall Public Charter School; DC International Public Charter School; Powell Elementary School; Sela Hebrew Public Charter School

  • Low-income DC residents served:   200,000
  • Staffing capacity added to local antipoverty organizations:   $3.5 million
  • Emerging leaders who have participated in AVODAH's yearlong Service Corps program:   208
  • Local partner agencies, front line organizations serving low-income DC residents and communities:   40

Awards & Recognition

Slingshot, October 2014


  • Speaking Up for the Poor
    Tue Sep 10 2013, The New York Jewish Week  
    The Jewish Week speaks interviewed AVODAH's executive director Marilyn Sneiderman to discuss the impact and importance of our work.

Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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