Archive for September, 2014

On your marks, get set, go!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

On your marks, get set, go! Yachad runs a marathon, not a sprint.

Hello everyone.  I’m Kaety, Yachad’s newest AVODAH Corps Member.  I’ll be a part of the Yachad team for the next year and am so looking forward to doing my part in building happy and safe homes and connecting with all of you who support our work.

Nearing the end of my first month here, I have a pretty good understanding of how things work.   What stands out the most to me is that what we do at Yachad is like running a marathon–let me expand on this.  We train all year long by taking applications, getting to know our homeowners, and building relationships.  We also stay focused on long term results, maintain a steady pace, and realize that winning the race isn’t dependent on how fast we can sprint through projects, but on the strong work and effort that we put in from the starting line all the way to the end, when we can burst through the finish line tape and close a home that we feel good about.

The last few weeks, we’ve been prepping for our marathon with a strong start and our long term goals in mind.  We’ve even started picking up speed along the way with our Fall program, ‘A Home for the Holidays.’  Highlights include the addition of a new AVODAH Corps Member (me!), our Homeowners Workshops getting started, and our excitement about the annual Community Builders Bash that is coming up soon.  With these projects starting up strong, I’d say we’re more than ready to ‘run’ with what we’ve got!

Homeowners Workshops

Past homeowner from Sukkot in Spring 2013, Crystal Jones, speaks about her own experience with the program.

The past two Sundays we’ve come together at the MLK Memorial Library for our Homeowners Workshop.  The workshop brought out 8 of our families and 17 people all together.  We met the families over snacks and prepared them for the work we will be doing together throughout the next few months.  Everyone enjoyed getting to know each other and the grandchildren who tagged along even got to play some games together in the children’s library.  These homeowners will be a part of our ‘Home for the Holidays’ program.  The workshops guarantee that our partnership and the repairs made to homes will be successful and lasting, and also offer the tools for homeowners to actively maintain these repairs.  In all, there will be three workshops that the ‘Home for the Holidays’ families will attend. We’re looking forward to next week’s workshop!

We’re getting excited about the Community Builders Bash–and hope you are too!

Mark your calendars: the Community Builders Bash will be Sunday, November 9th!
Every year, Yachad celebrates the accomplishments and dedication of a local leader who embodies the spirit of “community building” with the Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg Community Builders Award.  The award is named for a devoted spiritual leader and one of the original Yachad Founders.  This celebration is a chance to honor the achievements of a community leader and come together as a community of real estate and building professionals, nonprofit leaders, community activists and supporters of Yachad to raise funds for Yachad’s programming.

This year, we will honor Irma Poretsky with the Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg 2014 Community Builder Award.  Two years ago, Irma launched Yachad’s Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative which in its first year raised $100,000 to repair many of Yachad’s homes.  Her own gift went to renovate a home in Anacostia to make it fully accessible for the homeowner who had suffered a debilitating incident. When it was time to celebrate the project’s completion, Irma joined the backyard barbeque party on a muggy August afternoon to help cut the ribbon.  We want to acknowledge Irma for her compassion and philanthropic generosity, which she notes is motivated by her experience of coming from very humble beginnings.  Irma has been a large part of Yachad’s work since her husband Lester Porestsky z”l, first served on the Board of Directors a decade ago.

We will also present special honors to five synagogues and their leaders who have partnered with Yachad as part of Sukkot in Spring for the past 20 years.  We also welcome and acknowledge Hillel leaders at area universities who are the latest new partners with Yachad.

Adas Israel Congregation: Joel Fishman, Edward Kopf, Jerry Levine; Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation: Jayme Epstein, Julie Farkas, Rebecca Farkas, Hope Gleicher, Alan Kanner, Louis Tenenbaum; Temple Micah: Roberta Goren, Rochelle and Edward Grossman, Douglas Meyer, William Page; Temple Rodef Shalom: John Huennekens, David Lawrence, Russ Roseman, Curt Sandler; Washington Hebrew Congregation: Rabbi Aaron Miller; American University: Jason Benkendorf, Erine Jones-Avni; University of Maryland: Amy Weiss; Georgetown University: Rabbi Rachel Gartner; George Washington University: Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, Nicole Hollander.

We thank all of these volunteers for their meaningful contribution to Yachad’s work.  We can’t wait to celebrate with you all at the November 9th Community Builders Bash.

We’re putting on our running shoes

The staff here have all put on their running shoes and we’re ready to start this marathon the Yachad way, keeping you updated and involved along the run.  We’re looking forward to a meaningful season full of rebuilding!

With a smile,

Kaety and the Yachad team