Repairing Together is a program of MJDS that links students from schools of different cultural and racial backgrounds to teach tolerance, peace-building and diversity. Through these experiences, students collaborate with area non-profit groups to participate in social and environmental action programs to learn about one another and to build empathy and appreciation for people from differing backgrounds.

Repairing Together guides our students to learn and live the core Jewish principle of tikkun olam (repair the world). Through interactive experiences that connect our students to the community around them, they are empowered to make the world a better place.

Who We Are

Repairing Together is a Milwaukee-based non-profit organization, aimed at bringing children from different backgrounds together. Established in 2016 by Elsien Crawford, we partner with local schools to share and celebrate the cultural, racial and social differences in our local communities.

Our partners include Milwaukee College Prep 38th Street campus, Bruce Guadalupe School UCC and the Indian Community School. Repairing Together works with local organizations such as the Urban Ecology Center, Victory Gardens Initiative, the Hunger Task Force, Serve2Unite, Arts@Large, Holocaust Education and Resource Center, Hours Against Hate, UW-Milwaukee and more.

What We Do

Through a close collaboration with our partner schools and non-profit organizations in Milwaukee, we develop intensive programs that teach lessons in empathy and understanding to children from different backgrounds. Through these programs, children are given the opportunity to take part in a number of group activities where they create diverse friendship groups for life.

From kindness and respect to repairing the environment and the world, to becoming our future leaders and visionaries, our programming is structured around shared values from a Jewish perspective, which happen to be common values across all communities.

Repairing Together

Our Programs

Repairing Together creates its programming to help facilitate and teach specific segments with input from students. We take special care to measure the effect felt on students -- eighth graders complete an empathy survey at the beginning of the year and at the end of the same school year to gauge any shifts in their attitudes. Additionally, each program includes a post-event evaluation for students and teachers alike. Our program is dynamic and designed to meet the needs of those involved. As a result, we regularly review feedback and suggestions from all participants.

Our Vision

We envision a journey for all students who participate in the Repairing Together program. Children in first grade enter into the programming and grow through the years together with partner peers, until they finish eighth grade. Throughout their journey, students create lifelong bonds with students from the other partner schools.

Sponsors and Donors

Repairing Together applies for grants and funds through different local foundations and private donors so that we can offer our programs completely free of charge to our involved schools.

What is Unity Fire MKE?

Milwaukee Native American community members reached out to MJDS and the Repairing Together program to participate in a peaceful prayer and meditation vigil during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Unity Fire followed Native American traditions with the fire being observed 24-hours a day for four consecutive days. Tobacco and water ceremonies were held daily and a special crew of pipe carriers offered a daily, traditional pipe ceremony.

The Unity Fire MKE was held for our community's healing as we fear for our elders, children and those most vulnerable. It was held on the Wgema Campus, courtesy of the Forest County Potawatomi. Students from DOC/UWM created the documentary.

See all of the Repairing Together videos on the YouTube playlist.

Watch the Oneida Opening prayer, the words that come before all other words.

Watch three stories about Thanksgiving told from historical and contemporary Native American perspectives.