Portlander Hayle Meyerhoff is Doing Social Justice Work in New Orleans


Photo: Hayle Meyerhoff. Courtesy Emily Williams

Avodah is a national network of Jewish leaders working to fight domestic poverty and promote social justice. In addition to service at leading nonprofits, participants in their Jewish Service Corps live together as a community and engage in weekly educational programs to deepen their understanding of domestic poverty, Jewish identity and how to stay in the work longterm.

Hayle Meyerhoff of Portland is an Avodah Service Corps Member who has been serving as a Unanimous Jury Specialist at Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans since August 2020.

“I joined Avodah for the opportunity to do criminal justice reform work, live in a community with other young Jews committed to social justice, and move to a new city. The project is committed to fighting for justice for people who were convicted by a non-unanimous jury,” says Hayle. “I spend my day communicating with incarcerated folks and their family members, working with courts to find records of non-unanimous convictions. I feel honored by the opportunity to do this work and address a small piece of the harm that the carceral system has inflicted.”

For 20 years, Avodah has been inspiring Jewish leaders to commit to a life of social change, promoting a vision of Jewish life rooted in justice, and engaging the broader Jewish community in some of the most pressing issues facing our country at a local and national level.

“Living in an intentional community of other young Jews and experiencing Avodah’s training has helped me think critically about my position as a young white person engaging with social justice work,” says Hayle.

Avodah is committed to building a service corps that inclusively represents the diverse Jewish Community. Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Jews of Color, people of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, LGBT2QIA people, and people who come from poor or working-class backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

If you’re between the ages of 21-26 and passionate about getting into the justice game for the long haul, you could have a place in this growing community. Applications are now open. Apply by the next deadline on February 25.

Spend a year in the Jewish Service Corps working at a leading anti-poverty nonprofit in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Washington, DC, or San Diego. Corps Members live and learn together in a supportive, pluralistic community at the crossroads of justice and Jewish life. Join us to build the foundations for careers, Jewish community, and lifelong activism in social and economic justice movements.


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