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5 Ways to Give Purim Food Gifts (Mishloach Manot) To Those in Need

March is Get To Know Your Neighbors month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for inspiring posts.

Giving mishloach manot, the gifts of food people share on Purim, is one of the most delicious Jewish traditions. Derived from the Book of Esther and literally translated as “sending of portions,” people bundle up hamantaschen and other edible goodies (brownies, granola bars, raisins, juice boxes) and deliver them to friends and family.

But get this: giving mishloach manot have an underlying message of social change. Each person is required to deliver at least one Purim basket to someone else. The reason? To ensure that everybody, wealthy or not, has enough food to enjoy their Purim celebration. In other words, it’s a bit of food justice built right into the holiday!
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Rock Purim this Year At a Social Change-Themed Party

March is Get To Know Your Neighbors month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for inspiring posts.

Purim is almost here, which means it’s time to figure out where to party! And where to tap into some of the year’s most exciting Jewish social change events of the year. In addition to celebrating Queen Esther and Mordechai’s triumph over Haman’s plot to dispel of the Jews of Persia, Purim contains some deep social change themes.

So raise a toast, get to know your neighbors, and get yourself into the Purim spirit at one of these great events around the country:
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March is Get To Know Your Neighbors Month at Repair the World

March is a month with many wonderful qualities. It heralds the beginning of spring, it ushers in 31 days focused on celebrating great women throughout history, and it is typically the month Jews celebrate the festive holiday of Purim.

But here at Repair the World, March means something else in addition to all those great things. Over here, it’s “Get To Know Your Neighbors Month.” Repair the World’s fellows in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Baltimore are gearing up to nurture relationships with their neighbors and engage them in deep and meaningful ways. After all, a huge part of community organizing and bringing about positive changes includes listening to what members of a community need and want, hearing and acknowledging their stories, and building the bonds/cultivating the local leaders necessary to set and achieve goals together. When you boil it down, that’s just a fancy way of saying, “let’s all get to know the folks around us – or whom we define as in our community.”

That’s why, all March long, we plan to celebrate with posts that help you get to know your neighbors a little better. By the time April rolls around, you might even find yourself whistling the famous Mr. Rogers ditty, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Join Reboot On March 7-8 For the National Day of Unplugging

From sundown to sundown, March 7th to 8th, thousands of people across the world from New York and Tel Aviv, to Warsaw and Australia, will turn off their cellphones, log out of Twitter, shut down their Kindles and take a 24-hour break from technology. Sounds kinda familiar, right? That’s because the ancient Jewish tradition of observing Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the inspiration behind Reboot’s fourth annual National Day of Unplugging.

Based around 10 universal principles called the Sabbath Manifesto – things like “get outside,” “find silence,” and “give back” – The National Day of Unplugging encourages people to temporarily disconnect from their hectic, fast-paced lives and reconnect to the world and people around them. Some folks will join in because they are traditionally observant Jews who “unplug” every week. Some will join because they think it’s eco-friendly to give their electronics a little break. And some will join in simply because they want the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends. So why do YOU unplug?
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Spotlight On: ThrdPlace’s “Local Platform for Social Action”

February is Build a Movement Month at Repair the World – join us all month for posts that are nothing short of world changing.

From Kickstarter to Indiegogo, there are lots of great crowd-funding platforms out there helping launch innovative projects from art shows to artisanal Sriracha startups. But we recently heard about a new one, ThrdPlace, that focuses exclusively on crowd-funding social action projects.

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Repair Asks: What Does Building a Movement Mean To You?

Repair the World’s blog is focusing on building a movement this month. We’re delving into why build movements at all? How do you do it? And what does it feel like when you’ve succeeded?

To tackle these questions, we reached out to some of our favorite world-changing organizations to ask them to share powerful moments from the movement-building work they do – meaning, times when they realized their work was contributing to something much larger. Their thoughtful, inspiring responses might just, ahem, move you.

Rabbi Rachel Kahn Troster, T’ruah
In March, 2013, I went with my older daughter to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for a few days of a two week march for farmworker rights. T’ruah and I had been partnering with the CIW for two years at this point, bringing delegations of #tomatorabbis to Immokalee to meet the CIW and go home and organize. I had a sense that there was a bigger fair food nation out there, but I had never seen it in action. On the March, I saw everyone coming together: people of all ages, from all over the country. Students, clergy, people of faith, hippie farmers, everyone. I was overcome with awe at the grassroots power–filled with determination and joy–that CIW had built, and tremendous privilege to be the Jewish voice in the mix. We are part of something historic. Onwards!
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Top 5 Most Inspiring TED Talks on Building a Movement

February is Build a Movement Month at Repair the World – join us all month for posts that are nothing short of world changing.

Got a question? On a quest to learn something new? Watching a TED Talk is always a great place to start. Their huge database of inspiring, mind-blowing, and perspective changing talks cover just about every topic under the sun – including how to build a movement. Here are our Top 5 favorite videos on the subject. Watch, learn, build!

Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement
Learn how to start a movement…by watching a bunch of hippies dance at a concert.

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