Archive for September, 2010

Our Honoree Takes a Tour

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Last week our Community Builders Bash honoree, Kenneth Luchs, and his lovely wife, Susan, joined us for a tour of some of the good things Yachad has been doing lately. Staff members, Audrey Lyon and Kendra Rubinfeld, and board members John Eichberg, Josh Weinberg and Ilan Scharfstein were part of the tour as well as we viewed the following properties. Mr. Luchs wanted to see with his own eyes the work that Yachad is doing, and we were happy to show him. Take a look at the tour…

We started out at the Emory Beacon of Light, one of Yachad’s Faith-to-Faith partners. Cynthia Johnson, the architecht from A.R. Meyers met us there to discuss what she designed for the Brightwood Storefront Project that was completed earlier this year.

We then crossed the street to take a look at the completed project. Thanks to Yachad’s project management, funds from the city, leadership from Emory Beacon of Light, Total Management for their construction, and A.R. Meyers’s design, the entire block is a place residents can be proud of.

We then stopped for a quick bite at Julia’s Empanadas, one of the stores whose storefronts had been renovated. Delicious!

We then drove up further north to visit the 2nd Street, NE Cooperative that Yachad has been working with this year. Through a grant from the National Fair Housing Alliance, architectural design by Century and Associates, and the help of all of the Ramp it Up! teens over the summer, Yachad has completed a large scale access ramp that makes six units accessible. Soon, Yachad will have professionals renovate the interiors of the six units to be accessible as well and then once the job is completed, the units will be rented and sold affordably to people with physical disabilities affecting their mobility and people aging in place.

All in all, it was a lovely day in the neighborhood.

Please join us to honor Mr. Kenneth Luchs and all that he has done in the community on November 21st, 2010 at Yachad’s Annual Community Builders Bash. Buy tickets here.

A Ramp to Somewhere

Monday, September 27th, 2010

On Sunday, September 26, about 30 congregants from Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue worked to build an addition onto the large ramp that was built this summer through Yachad’s Ramp it Up! program. The day was spent in NE Washington where Yachad has been working to make units in an affordable housing cooperative building accessible. The project was part of Yachad’s Mitzvah Party program where groups can sponsor the repair or build of a home or community center in need. Congregants of all ages came together to work on this project, extending the ramp to make two more units accessible, an addition to the already four units made accessible over the summer. Rabbi Fred Dobb worked side-by-side with the congregants and Louis Tenenbaum, Yachad board member and professional carpenter led the project. Now that the units are accessible from the exterior, Yachad will be working under a grant from the National Fair Housing Alliance to renovate the interiors of each of the six units, making the inside accessible as well.

More photos on our Facebook Page and on Flickr!

In 1792 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue…

Monday, September 20th, 2010

In 2010, you and fellow volunteers can chip in to help those in need.

Monday, October 11, 2010 for We the People-Columbus Day

Join Yachad as we repair the main site of StriveDC, a fantastic nonprofit that Yachad has partnered with. STRIVE DC assists unemployed individuals in the Washington, DC area in obtaining the skills to get and keep a job through its intense three week attitudinal training course where people who lack these basic skills are transformed into work ready individuals.

We will be working to pull up the carpeting throughout the old and stained carpeting throughout the building so that professionals can come and install new carpeting. This will be a great help because as the Executive Director of STRIVE DC said,

“We want the building to look professional because we are trying to teach professionalism. When the carpets are stained and the building looks worn down, we feel worn down. It would be so nice to work and teach in a building that we are proud of.”

Sign up here.


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Hungry? Join us for BRUNCH with a PUNCH as we teach you how to lead our volunteers to repair a home. Whether you have DIY/Handywmen skills already or not, we invite you to join. Richard Feldman of Feldwood Construction will be teaching you priceless DIY home repair skills as well as tips on how to organize our volunteers on site.

Come join us on Sunday, October 3, 2010 from 11am-3pm at Refuge of Hope Church at 10 P St, NE, Washington, DC (Near NY Ave. Metro).

It’s free and brunch will be served! It will be hands-on and fun.
RSVP to by September 29th.

News Release for Our City Film Festival

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Kendra Rubinfeld
Office: 202-296-8563; Cell: 240-462 -6587

Local Film Fest Wants to See Your DC
Fourth Annual Our City Film Festival Offers Three Ways to Participate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2010) – The Our City Film Festival is only festival that showcases DC-focused films, encouraging filmmakers and film students to make films that will bring our communities together and celebrate the rich cultures, stories and scenes that make up our city. In order to encourage more creativity and see more DC residents’ perspectives, the festival is offering three ways to get involved and win prizes and audiences.

For the main film festival in February 2011, the festival is currently accepting film submissions. Narratives, documentaries, experimental, animation, shorts and features are all welcome as long as they take place in or are about someone or something in DC. Early submission deadline is September 1, 2010 and regular submission deadline is November 1, 2010. Cash and product prizes awarded to winners, and films are screened for nearly a thousand. Find out more online and to download a submission form.
Link to information on submission process:

For those social-media-inclined creatives, Our City is also hosting a video contest online for DC-focused films. This contest is being sponsored by The Washington City Paper and the winner of the online contest will be screened at the Opening Night Party at R.F.D.’s and receive product prizes and a $100 gift certificate to Penn Camera.
Link to information on submission process:

For those who prefer the still type of documentation, an online photo contest is also available and easily accessible through Flickr. Any photo of DC that is not of the mall or a monument is acceptable, and the winners receive two free tickets to the film festival’s screenings and the Opening Night Party.
Link to information about submission process:
Photos Available:

“DC is more than monuments, politics and traffic and the Our City Film Festival is here to prove it,” says Festival Director, Kendra Rubinfeld. “This year we are trying to get even more people involved in showing us their DC. We know there are stories out there that deserve to be told.”

The festival is run by Yachad, a nonprofit for affordable housing and community development. Yachad means “together” in Hebrew. The organization helps neighbors help neighbors by mobilizing skilled and unskilled volunteers to work side-by-side with those they serve, to repair the homes and neighborhoods of low-income DC residents. Yachad started The Our City Film Festival to further their efforts of uniting communities outside of house repair.