Archive for April, 2013

Temple Micah Changes Lives

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Earlier this month, volunteers from Temple Micah, a Washington, DC congregation, worked alongside a DCPS teacher and her adult son to repair their home.

Ed Grossman, William Page, Roberta Goren and Doug Meyer, four champion volunteers lead the group through Yachad’s Sukkot in Spring program. Not only did the volunteers work endlessly to do repairs around the home, their congregation also sponsored the work so Yachad was able to send in a professional roofer to fix the leaky roof.

The homeowner and her son will continue to work with Yachad throughout the year with the Homeowners Education Program (sponsored in large part by the Howard Stanfield Memorial Fund). Alongside with 20 other homeowners throughout the year, they will gain more information on budgeting for homeowners, avoiding scams, and tips on DIY home maintenance.

A very special thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers from Temple Micah including:

Ed Grossman
Leslie Goldman
Steve Goldman
Roberta Goren
Peggy Halpern
Adam Issan
Susan Landfield
Doug Meyer
William Page
Marilyn Park
Jonathan Westrich

Yachad’s Grown Up Field Day @ Marie Reed-May 5th! (Press Release)

Friday, April 26th, 2013


Washington, DC (April 26, 2013)- Yachad (yah-khad) invites everyone 18+ to “get their kid on!” this Cinco de Mayo. Yachad will be hosting a Grown Up Field Day @ Marie Reed full of obstacle courses, relay races, mind challenges and field games, all with a home-repair twist. The event, which will take place on May 5th from 11:45am to 3pm at Marie Reed Elementary School’s field , with bar specials in Adams Morgan to follow, is a fundraiser for Yachad and their young pro network, Yachad United.
Yachad is a nonprofit that brings communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the DC area. Their young professional network, Yachad United, consisting of young pros who choose to network while giving back to the community, needs to raise money in order to complete two large scale repair projects throughout the year. Not coincidentally, one of the repair projects will be at Marie Reed Elementary School.

Teams of 4-6 people will compete for glory, beer specials, and bragging rights, as well as prizes. The best, worst and best-costumed team will receive prizes from partners including Balance Gym, Pleasant Pops, Vita Coco, KIND Snacks, as well as others. Other partners include Millie & Al’s, Grand Central, The Blaguard, Tryst, Kickball365, Landshark Lager, Los Lobos Burrito Cart, Captain Cookie and the Milk Man and more.

100% of the net proceeds will be donated to Yachad thanks to the large volunteer force being lead by Yachad board member and real estate broker, Jason Kastner and special events consultant, Rachel Miller Griffith. “This event lets us come together for the community and also compete against each other in a really fun way. The buzz around the event is incredible and we cannot wait,” Miller Griffith says.

To register, visit For more information on the event, or to partner with Yachad, please email Individual or team registration is open now while spots last for $25/participant. Limited individual registration will be open the day of for an additional $10/participant.

Yachad’s mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area. Yachad means “together” in Hebrew, and that is how we do our work through partnerships with homeowners, houses of worship, nonprofits, and other community stakeholders. We mobilize skilled and unskilled volunteers, invest financial resources, and, through our work together, transform people and properties. Our mission is rooted in the Jewish commitment to seek justice by engaging in acts of loving kindness. We welcome people of all faiths to share in our work to keep our communities diverse and vital.

Contact Kendra Rubinfeld for Info:
202-296-8563 (w); 202 681-1151 (c)
Photos available upon request.

The JBG Companies Gives Back in a Big Way

Friday, April 26th, 2013

The JBG Companies is working with Yachad through the Neighbor to Neighbor Program. They have generously agreed to sponsor a family’s home in Benning Heights, DC. Not only are they financially sponsoring the repairs in the home, including roof and electrical rehab, painting, carpentry and accessibility renovations, a group of their committed volunteers came together on Wednesday to do some of the work themselves.

Together with the homeowners, they worked to make the house a home again.

It was a fantastic day for everyone. One of the volunteers wrote this to Yachad the day after the project.

“I really enjoyed the experience. Robin did a great job organizing everyone such that we were all working the entire time, and thus able to complete so much work. This is the first volunteer event I have been to that has been so well run, and one where I could see and know that I was actually aiding in making a tangible difference. Thanks for the opportunity.”

Volunteers from The JBG Companies will return to the home on May 10th to finish the work they started.

If you or your company would like to do something like this, please contact

Teens Helping Teens

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

About 25 CES Jewish Day School students and parents happily partnered with Yachad last Sunday as they made significant repairs to the Covenant House’s Crisis Center for teens in Anacostia. For many of the students, it was their first time in Anacostia, and as they painted, hammered, and scraped, they learned new skills and about how less fortunate teens live in their city.

The Covenant House’s Crisis Center provides temporary housing for teens all around DC who have nowhere else to go. The center is the first place many troubled teens come to get their lives back on track. Yachad has been working with the Covenant House to help get their crisis center in better, more welcoming condition. Thanks to volunteer groups like JDS, the project is going very well.

Want to learn more about how you can organize your group of volunteers, click here.

Want to learn more about volunteer opportunities for teens during the summer, click here.

Washington Jewish Week

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Did you see Yachad in this year’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide produced by the Washington Jewish Week?

If not, here is the great story by Suzanne Pollock about a different kind of Bat Mitzvah.

Want to learn more about how you can celebrate your Bar/Bat Mitzvah like Mollie? Find out more about our Mitzvah Party program here.

Acker & Sons Go Beyond the Call of Duty

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

This was an email written from Alan Kanner, Yachad volunteer and board member. He has been working to organize a group of volunteers from Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation. They have been renovating the first floor of a family’s home in Anacostia so that the husband, who had a stroke nearly 4 years ago, can live comfortably and accessibly in his home.

Yachad has been working to bring together the synagogue, congregants, volunteers, professional contractors and recipient family so that lives can change. This is lovely insight into the power of kindness and the incredible dedication our volunteers and partners have to our mission.

The Jones Family

Dear Yachad,

I wanted to let you know about my experience this morning with Acker & Sons, our plumbing subcontractor that I told you had volunteered to donate the plumbing labor on the Jones home in Anacostia.

I discovered last night literally as I was walking out the door of the Jones home after spending 11 hours with a total of 24 volunteers that we had inadvertently cut off the water to the kitchen. This happened after I had already spent about half an hour doing some plumbing repairs which I was sure would enable us to restore water service to the house. Fixing this latest problem was almost certainly beyond my ability (without at least 4 trips to Home Depot). I drove home last night worried that the family would have no ready supply of water available for Mr. Jones (who cannot leave the first floor) and crossing my fingers that Acker & Sons would be able to help us out this morning.

I called Larry Dove, Acker’s supervisor in charge of the project, at 7:30 this morning. By 7:50 I had received a call from a plumber saying he was going to head to the job. The water service was up and running by 11:30 this morning. Amazing, right?

I knew you would be thrilled to hear this story and hope that you can add it to your collection of stories of truly good people joining together to help people in need.


Photos from the project:

Yachad to Testify in front of DC Council to Support the Humanities Council

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Testimony of
Kendra Rubinfeld, Program Director
Yachad’s Our City Film Festival
To the Committee of the Whole
Friday, April 12, 2013

Good afternoon, Chairman Mendelson and members of the DC Council. Thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of the work being carried out by the Office of Planning, specifically the Historic Preservation Office. My name is Kendra Rubinfeld and I am the Program Director of Yachad. I am also a resident of Ward 2. My organization has been the recipient of a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, which is funded in-part by the Historic Preservation Office for four years. The Historic Preservation Office provides valuable funding for the Council’s DC Community Heritage Project – which helps residents research, document, and educate the public on the rich cultural history of our city.

Yachad is a nonprofit that works to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods in the DC area. Annually, we host a film festival to expand the mechanism of how we bring communities together to encompass film screenings. All of the films that we screen are about or take place in Washington, DC, highlighting the history, cultures, neighborhoods and residents that make our city unique.

The funding that the Historic Preservation Office provides to the Humanities Council allows organizations like mine to relate the history and culture of every neighborhood, and to make that history accessible to future generations. Having just completed our sixth annual event in March at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street, NE, we can confidently say that we have encouraged pride in DC, incited fascinating discussions concerning DC’s history and various cultures, and bridged gaps between our city’s diverse populations. Over the last six years we have given independent filmmakers who tell our city’s stories, a stage to not just be heard, but be celebrated. Some films that have screened to audiences of over 100 people at a time, would be: Locating U, a documentary highlighting the past, present and future of Historic U Street, NW; The Tivoli: A Neighborhood Landmark Reborn, about the 80-year history of one of America’s most elaborate movie houses, The Tivoli in Columbia Heights; Ballou, a documentary that follows the Ballou High School’s marching band as they journey to win the National Band Competion; The Game Comes Home, a documentary about the history of Washington’s baseball leagues; Straight Up Go-Go and An Impression: Dischord Records, two documentaries about the music scenes that arose in DC, Go-Go and Punk music. These are only a few of 65 films that we have screened so far. We are currently working on an online, public archive that lists and describes all of our screened films and makes them available to watch.

Without the continued support of the Humanities Council, we would not be able to continue hosting such an important event.

I wholeheartedly support the Historic Preservation Office and their support for the Humanities Council. These two entities continue to invest deeply in connecting DC residents to our shared history. I also invite you to attend or participate in the events and programs that they provide to our community. Your soul will be enriched by the experiences they offer. I will now be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Thank you.