November 26th, 2013
The 2013 Community Builders Bash was a Blast!
Enjoying delicious food catered by Design Cuisine and the beautiful atmosphere of Washington Hebrew Congregation, people came together to celebrate Yachad’s work over the past year and to learn more about what can be done to Mobilize, Invest, and Transform homes, lives, and communities. Martha and Stuart Bindeman were presented with the Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg Community Builder Award, a hand-crafted tzedakah box made by Bethesda artist, Zachary Oxman, in honor of their work in the community.
Joshua Weinberg, Audrey Lyon, Marcia Weinberg, Martha Bindeman and Stuart Bindeman, the honorees
Speakers at the event included Rebecca Rivera, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School, who mobilized her peers to make a local crisis center feel more like home. Nancy Taylor Bubes spoke about her volunteer work with Yachad and her work investing in communities. Finally, homeowner Chrystal Jones gave a moving speech about how a partnership with Yachad has transformed her home, her life, and the lives of her family.
Joseph Firschein, Yachad Treasurer, and Dan Ehrenberg, President visiting with Pastor Marlow Mitchell and his wife Pamela
Be part of Yachad’s work. There’s still time to make a year-end donation to honor the Bindemans or Yachad with a donation to the Community Builders Bash.
C’mon, what are you waiting for?
October 23rd, 2013
On Sunday, volunteers from Temple Rodef Shalom and McLean Islamic Center became master painters as they tackled a repair project for Homestretch. Homestretch works with individual families for as long as two years, helping them with training and education, job placement, budgeting, home management, and other skills on the path out of homelessness.
The group of twenty people from Temple Rodef Shalom and McLean Islamic Center painted a three bedroom apartment, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, and cleaned the carpet, making a bright, shiny, welcoming home for a family in transition. A great time was had by all, and at the end of the day the volunteers were tired but satisfied with a job well done! Thank you to Rabbi Saxe and Dr. Chaudhry for their wonderful recruiting effort and your support. A special thanks goes out to Nikki for the bagels, Dr. Chaudhry for the wonderful case of pineapple juice, and Rabbi Saxe for the pizza. Yachad looks forward to working with this wonderful group again and we can’t thank them enough for all of their hard work and good spirits.
October 15th, 2013
This past Thursday, 40 employees from Bernstein Management Corporation worked alongside the Frazier family at another successful Yachad Neighbor to Neighbor home repair project. Ms. Frazier has lived in her home since 1997 which she inherited from her stepfather in 2000. She lives there with her sister, her sister’s five-year-old granddaughter, and her 27-year-old nephew. Since inheriting the house, Ms. Frazier had the roof fixed and house painted, but for years the house has needed additional repairs.
Thanks to forty wonderful employees from Bernstein Management Corporation who worked extremely hard throughout a very rainy day, all the necessary repairs were made, and then some. They cleared out the basement, painted the whole house, took up old, dust-laden carpeting, cleaned and waxed floors, repaired locks, fixed plumbing leaks, and repaired electrical fixtures. They also installed handrails on two flights of stairs to make the home accessible for Ms. Frazier. Bernstein Management Corporation went above and beyond too, by making an extra trip to a specialty electrical store to find an appropriate part for a baseboard heater. The Fraziers now have the correct part installed and will have a comfortable basement temperature while saving energy and money on their electrical bills.
Bernstein Management Corporation and their workers did a phenomenal job enthusiastically making repairs. They worked alongside Ms. Frazier and her sister, who were incredibly grateful and eager to assist. By the end of the day the home was transformed into a space that not only is much safer, more accessible, and energy efficient, but also is more decorative, open, and feels more like home.
October 7th, 2013
Yachad’s young professionals came together on Sunday to put finishing touches on the Hickmans’ home in Southwest DC. Yachad has had an ongoing partnership with the Hickmans, and you may remember their family’s story. Yachad Uniters had a great time finishing up painting and repairs and seeing the beautiful, transformed home that the Hickman house has become. Volunteers worked side-by-side with members of the Hickman family to complete the repairs. The Hickmans’ nephews, who also joined in on the work and are avid engineering students, were extremely excited to talk to a volunteer that works at NASA. Much learning and fun were had by all.
Thanks to Yachad United for another successful project and to the Hickmans for welcoming us into their home.
September 26th, 2013
Thanks from Marie Reed Elementary
Students and staff from Marie Reed Elementary School were extremely appreciative of and inspired by the work done by Yachad volunteers from Georgetown Day School and Yachad United. Check out these photos of them enjoying their new environment, as well as the thank you notes from the students and staff. Thanks to everyone who made this project possible!
Thank You Notes from Students
Thank You Letter from Marie Reed
September 9th, 2013
Year in Review
The Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mark the transition from the previous year to the new Jewish year.
Before we say goodbye to the Jewish year 5773, we thought we would send it off in style with the
TOP 10 MOMENTS FROM 5773
10. Volunteers came together at a co-op near 14th Street, NW to help low-income residents maintain their building amidst development pressures in the neighborhood.
8. Yachad’s Our City Film Festival rocked it as part of the INTERSECTIONS Festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
7. Synagogues from all over the DC, MD and VA area participated in Sukkot in Spring, transforming homes and families.
6. Yachad United, Yachad’s young professional group, acted like kids and raised money for a great cause for Yachad’s Grown-Up Field Day.
5. Yachad welcomed new Faith to Faith partners, Zion Baptist Church and Majid Muhammad Mosque.
4. Yachad introduced their Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative and had an overwhelming response from JBG Companies, Washington Fine Properties, Forest City Enterprises, Bernstein Management Corporation, and many more.
2. Interns come to our rescue! This year we had three amazing interns including Michael Abrams, Isabel Nathan and Dina Goodman.
1. Yachad’s Homeowner Education Workshop (sponsored in large part by the Howard Stanfield Memorial Fund) was a great success. Adding 9 hours of in-class instruction, mandatory curriculum and a private meeting with a Certified Financial Planner, all of our partnering homeowners were empowered with the knowledge and resources to keep up the repairs on their home.
Join our young professionals, Yachad United, for a fall repair project. Click here to sign up today!
September 3rd, 2013
Selah Bickel wanted to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah with her friends and family, but she also wanted to do a real mitzvah. That’s where Yachad came in. Her family sponsored a Yachad Mitzvah Party and was able to invite all of her friends and family to roll their sleeves up and repair the home of the Robinson family. Mrs. Robinson is a widow, a single mom, and a very strong woman. She cares for her two children and one grandchild in their small ranch home in Prince George’s County. Her younger daughter, Jazzmine, is a wonderful girl with Cerebral Palsy. She demands a lot of assistance from her family.
Selah and her friends and family spent time doing repairs to the accessibility ramp (Yachad had installed in 2007 through their Ramp it Up! program), painting, installing a clothes washer (Mrs. Robinson had to go to the laundry mat because her washer had broken earlier this year), and more.
A very special thanks to The Bickel/Adler family, their wonderful friends and family and Community Forklift (for the washing machine donation).
August 19th, 2013
Montgomery Blair incoming senior, Rebecca Rivera, made a lot of money this summer. Then she spent it all to improve a teen crisis center in Washington DC.
Rivera had been looking for a project that would put her creative skills to work to earn the Gold Award, the Girl Scouts most prestigious and demanding badge. We connected Rebecca with The Washington Covenant House’s teen crisis center (with whom we have been doing a series of repairs) in hopes that she would feel inspired. As a budding seamstress, Rivera could not help but notice the dingy, threadbare curtains hanging loosely about the windows. She then met with several of the kids who stay at Covenant House and asked them what kind of drapes they would prefer. Overwhelmingly, the teens told her they wanted something bright; something that felt more like a home and less like a prison.
Girl Scouts seeking the Gold Award are given a $50 stipend. Rivera used the money to buy clay. From the clay she made pottery. She sold the pottery at a market in Silver Spring. She used the money she made to buy the fabric to make the curtains to give to the Covenant House. One of Yachad’s volunteer handyman installed the curtain rods and Rebecca and her troop of volunteers installed the curtains on a Sunday in August.
A very special thanks to:
Jennifer Manguera, Yachad office mate, Girl Scout troop leader and matchmaker
Vernell Payton and Larry Gold of Covenant House
Marc Zweben, handyman and superhero
August 19th, 2013
You may remember Yachad’s Grown-Up Field Day at Marie Reed back in May. We raised money to repair the school while competing in hilarious obstacle courses and a giant game of capture the flag. We promised we would return to Marie Reed in the summer to do repairs to the school. We kept that promise and last week both a group of teens from Georgetown Day School and a group of Yachad Uniters (Yachad United is Yachad’s young professional group) helped repair the school and get it ready for the school year!
A special thanks to all that participated and to Yachad United’s amazing Steering Committee. Check out pictures below as well as on our Facebook page here.
August 16th, 2013
Georgetown Day School (GDS) students came together this week to help give another school a hand.
Yachad worked with GDS’s summer service program to match about 20 students and teachers to a partnering public school, Marie Reed Elementary School, located in the heart of Adams Morgan. The students and teachers learned more about the needs of the District’s public schools and had a chance to get their hands dirty (literally), helping to get the school ready for the 400 elementary school kids starting on August 26th.
Working side-by-side with the students and teachers was Marie Reed Elementary School Business Manager and parent, Phallon Lattimore, as well as the school’s principal’s son. This made the day all the more meaningful for the GDS group.
Yachad’s young professional group, Yachad United, will head back to Marie Reed on Sunday to finish the work started by the GDS students. Yet another example of working together!
Check out some photos below of the students painting murals on 4×4 boards. These will then be hung onto the walls by Yachad United on Sunday.