Vision in Action: Evaluating JDC Entwine’s Continuum of Service and Engagement

In 2014, Entwine received a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation to support the continued expansion of select programs, to track and evaluate Jewish identity and service learning outcomes produced by the programs, and ultimately to develop Entwine’s internal capacity for ongoing self-assessment and learning.

In April 2015, Rosov Consulting was commissioned to carry this evaluation and capacity building efforts. The study included three separate, but closely related, components:

• An alumni study of Entwine trip and fellowship participants who were involved in the program between 2008 and January 2015.
• A real time study of trip and fellowship participants between June 2015 and February 2016.
• An assessment of Entwine Learning Networks across the country, encompassing leaders, participants, and trip-alumni nonparticipants in various communities.

Both the alumni and real time studies employed a combination of quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (focus groups and interviews) methods. The Learning Network assessment used qualitative methods (focus groups), with supplemental quantitative data that was obtained though the Alumni survey.

Vision in Action: Evaluating JDC Entwine’s Continuum of Service and Engagement, January 2017

Building Jewish Community through Volunteer Service; Repair the World

Repair the World (RTW) was founded in 2009 to make meaningful service a defining element of American Jewish life. It is the only organization devoted exclusively to mobilizing young Jews to volunteer in tackling pressing local needs. In fall 2013, Repair the World launched its signature program, Repair the World Communities, in four cities: Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. New York City was added, also as a pilot, in fall 2015, following a year of site development. In each of these communities, a full-time City Director oversees the program and its base of operations, known as “the Workshop.˝ Each City Director supports a cohort of fellows (ages 21-26) who make an eleven-month commitment to volunteer and study while they accomplish their core mission to recruit and engage Jewish young adults in volunteering and service-related activities. Communities focuses primarily on two causes that resonate with Jewish millennials— education and food justice—and uses volunteering as a way to engage with these issues.

Before launching Communities in 2013, Repair contracted an Independent Evaluation of the program’s impact to be performed at the end of 2015. This report shares the fresh results, informative to anyone working to engage young Jewish adults or to design meaningful service opportunities, such as:

  • Done right, service attracts large numbers of “unaffiliated” young adult Jews.
  • Service through a Jewish lens can be “sticky” and keep participants engaged.
  • Participants build new forms of Jewish communities around their service.
  • Service connects meaningfully to Jewish identity formation and Jewish values.

Building Jewish Community through Volunteer Service – Repair the World Communities: Summary Report on the Independent Evaluation, March 2016