Each year as Avodah Corps Members ("avodah" means "work" or "service"), 24 post-college young adults may well discover their life’s work. During their year of service they commit themselves to local anti-poverty organizations and participate in intensive educational programs, from trainings in activist skills to workshops on urban poverty. Here in the District, where one fifth of residents live in poverty, this program is ideally poised to make a difference. Avodah’s placement organizations significantly expand their reach, while Corps Members strengthen their resolve to work for social change throughout their lives. In 2015, DC Corps Members added over $470,000 in staffing capacity to local organizations, making a positive impact on more than 23,000 people. To date, nearly 300 young people have participated in the DC Service Corps, 95% of whom affirm that Avodah strengthened their commitment to social justice work. There is, indeed, promise for the future.

COVID-19 Update: Corps Members are stepping up to empower individuals, communities, and dozens of nonprofit partners to meet growing needs. Participants are making door-to-door food deliveries to at-risk populations, teaching and assisting students who have transitioned to online learning, ensuring that immigrants and refugees have access to legal assistance and digital paperwork for their cases, increasing the capacity at DC's homeless shelters and food banks; helping their clients apply for much-needed benefits and food assistance. Alumni are serving on the front lines, as nurses, medical students, and health workers, and in government, roles to address the pandemic.

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 (FY2016)

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

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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