Archive for November, 2012

Young Pros Unite

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Yachad United, Yachad’s young professional network, came together for their second repair project of the year to paint the only remaining affordable cooperative in the U Street neighborhood, side-by-side with the residents of the building.

“It was a fantastic day. People had a great time and we made a real difference,” said Jason Kastner, Host Committee member and co-founder of Yachad United.

A difference indeed. Check out the before and after photos below. They group of nearly 30 volunteers took over the job from the Adas Israel group there the week before, turning the primed hallways from white to a gorgeous two-toned foyer.

Want to see more photos? Follow us on Facebook and check out the album.

Are you a young pro and want to join us for the next project? Email us and we will keep you posted!

Special thanks to all volunteers (listed below), Local 16 for the complimentary drinks post-project, and My Sister’s Place for the volunteer assistance.

Laura Abernathy
Jena Belinkie
Sara Binkofsky
Deborah Ben-Moshe
Mari Cohen
Jennifer Czekaj
Andrew Czekaj
Steve Davis
Ilana Fried
Jay Greenberg
Donna Greenblatt
Chris Griffith
Brian Hart
Nikki Hollander
Pamela Kasenetz
Jason Kastner
Jeryn Koritzinsky
Rachel Miller
Amy Morse
Chris Riley
Rachel Sklonick
Glenn Stewart
Jenn Yateman
Dan Zeltser

Volunteers Served to Honor Those That Served

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

On Veterans Day, Yachad mobilized 35 volunteers to repair two buildings in the DC area. One building, Emory Beacon of Light’s offices, was repaired by a group from Yachad’s We the People Federal Holiday Project, a chance for individuals to volunteer on their day off. These offices are up in the Brightwood neighborhood and volunteers spent time painting the access ramp and the exterior window sills.

The second building was repaired by volunteers from Adas Israel Congregation and Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ. They worked alongside the residents of one of the only affordable housing cooperatives in the U Street neighborhood. The residents contacted Yachad a couple of months ago in hopes that they could work to bring their building up to par with the luxury condos in the neighborhood.

The group got a great start by priming the entire first floor. More volunteers will pile in this coming Sunday through Yachad’s young professional group, Yachad United, to do more work. One of the best parts about this project starting on Veterans Day? Three of the residents are veterans! A special thanks to Linda Segal, Joel Fischman and Lynda Mack for organizing the project.

A Wonderful Evening

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Last night Yachad held its Community Builders Bash at American University’s Katzen Center.  It was a very special evening, chaired by Tina and Albert “Sonny” Small, Jr.  David Reznick of CohnReznick was our honoree and was presented with the Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg and a special tribute was given to Lester Poretsky, z’l, former Yachad Board Member.

Some Highlights:

  • Photos of the evening can be found on our Facebook page here.
  • This video was shown to start the program:
  • We announced our new Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative that allows generous Yachad supporters, who want to make a direct impact on their neighbors’ lives, to sponsor a house.
  • Robin Beck, a homeowner who received Yachad’s assistance in 2012, gave a beautiful speech which can be read below:

Thank you, Kendra.  Good evening everyone.  I am blessed to be here in front of you to tell my story.

In Shel Silverstein’s children’s book, The Giving Tree, it follows a boy and a tree.  Every time the boy approaches the tree, the tree gives the boy a part of itself.  The tree does this until there is nothing left but a stump.  When I first found Yachad, I was a stump.

I had given myself away, letting anyone who needed help come and stay with me. 11 family members were living under my broken roof, and no one was helping around the house. I was depressed, disgusted, hopeless, and defeated. My house was falling apart and I was falling with it.

I needed help with these repairs, but before that, I needed to take control of my situation.  At a Yachad informational meeting I asked Kendra if I would be accepted into the program.  She told me honestly that Yachad could not help me unless my family helped me first.  When I heard this, I felt relieved.  I needed to hear my situation from a third party to really see it.  That night I called a family meeting and I said that everything needed to change.  That was a turning point.

My family worked together to clean up the house.  As a sheet metal worker, I was able to do some repairs with help from my family.  I invited Yachad back to see the changes we made. A week later, Kendra called to let me know we had been accepted.  I was overjoyed.

Since that phone call, our roof has been replaced, my kitchen floor redone, plumbing and electric repaired, and new cabinets and appliances are being installed in my kitchen.   I learned new skills, and was able to retile my bathroom.  My kids helped me pull up carpeting and paint.  We worked hard alongside the volunteers and contractors.  It was like a family- loving and caring, but at the same time, everyone was so respectful and professional.

My life has been transformed.   Many of my family members have moved out of the house and found housing of their own.  Now it is only me and my teenage children.   My kids walk around and just stare at the house that has been transformed into a home.  They now take pride in keeping the house looking nice because they were involved in making the changes.

Hiring Part Time Construction Managers

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Job Description:
Yachad, a DC based housing nonprofit, is seeking a part-time construction supervisor. The person must be able to plan and supervise unskilled volunteers at various work sites as well as conduct inspections of homes throughout the DC area, evaluating electrical, plumbing, and other construction issues. Compensation is on an hourly basis, commensurate with experience. The position offers between 20-40 hours of work a month.

• Candidate will have good people skills, able to oversee unskilled volunteers and multi-task. Teaching experience or volunteer management is a plus.
• Must be able to work on some Sundays and some federal holidays.
• Candidate should have requisite skills to inspect potential project sites and prepare reports and budgets detailing the needed work.
• Candidate will have requisite skills in the construction trades such as, carpentry, electrical, plumbing and drywall. Having an active DC, MD or VA contractor’s license is a plus.
• Experience working in social work or with low-income populations is a plus.
• Candidate must have a valid Driver’s License and a car. A truck or van is a plus.
• Competitive pay.
Submit resume and work-related experience to:
Audrey Lyon, Executive Director