End of Summer "Must Read" List from Repair the World

August 14, 2013

Repair the World tackles pressing local needs by mobilizing the Jewish community to volunteer. Repair enables people to transform their neighborhoods, cities and lives through meaningful service experiences rooted in Jewish values, history and heritage. This post appears as part of Repair's back-to-school blog series.

As much as it hurts to admit it, summer is winding down and the new school year is around the corner. But there is still time to tackle that summer reading list you’ve been putting off.

Last year, Repair the World brought you some of our favorite do-gooding, world changing summer reads. This year, we reached out to some of our partner organizations for their suggestions. Thanks to the good folks at the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies (AJFCA), Hillel, Moishe House, and the Schusterman Philanthropic Network for answering the call and sharing their favorite inspiring titles.

Read on, and see if you can spot the theme that emerged between most of these books. (Hint, check out the titles!)


Cause for Change by Kari Saratovsky and Derrick Feldman: Co-written by Repair the World board member, Kari Saratovksy, this book focuses on engaging the Millennial generation in world changing work. “I’ve read it, highlighted it, and scattered it with Post-it notes,” said Jenni Gates Beckman, of AJFCA. Find out more information about the book at the Cause for Change website.


Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder: This stunning book, written by a Pulitzer prize winning author, tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer’s quest to fight tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru, and Siberia. As a character, Farmer is smart and charismatic, and Kidder’s descriptions of the worlds he visits are remarkably vivid. But the book’s real strength is how it highlights the possibility of making change even in the most insurmountable-seeming situations. “Of course this book,” said Hillel’s Michelle Lackie, when asked for her suggestions.

How to Change the World by David Bornstein: Need a dose of inspiration? Read this collection of profiles written about incredible “social entrepreneurs” – people who have made changing the world their life’s work. The featured case studies include a Nobel peace prize winner who led an international campaign against landmines, an educational entrepreneur who established schools in the slums of Brazil and a woman who helped compel American corporations to respond to environmental degradation.


Who Ordered this Truckload of Dung by Ajahn Brahm: Okay, okay, so the title is…intriguing. But this compilation of more than 100 funny, wise, and deeply touching stories about love, life, pain, and growth are well worth the read. The author, a Buddhist monk, shares stories that can be read to children and adults, and that will be inspiring to both. As Jordan Fruchtman of Moishe House said, “It’s not a new book, but it’s my favorite!” As far as we’re concerned, that’s a pretty strong seal of approval.


Change by Design by Tim Brown: This book bursts the myth about innovation that “brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses.” It makes a case for “design thinking, which focuses on collaboration approach to problem solving. As CEO and President of IDEO, a company that has been ranked as one of the most innovative in the world, Brown definitely knows his stuff. Ever wished you or the organization you work for could be more creative or more innovative? Read this book. Suggested by Jenny Maenpaa of REALITY.

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton: Former President Clinton’s book came out in 2007, but remains vitally important today. It is a call to action that explores how companies and organizations around the globe are changing the world for the better, and urges all readers to find ways to plug in to the movement, “regardless of income, available time, age, and skills.” This book was also suggested by Jenny Maenpaa.

The Schusterman Philanthropic Network is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.

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