Work with the Urban Resources Development Corporation (URDC) to help with house renovations in Philadelphia (Germantown, Mt. Airy, East Oak Lane areas) for the senior citizens and low-income owners.

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 8:00am - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 7:00pm

I’m pleased to let you know that this summer, as in 2016 and 2017, Mishkan Shalom and the Interfaith Community Building Group will be working with the Philadelphia-based Urban Resources Development Corp. (URDC) to help renovate houses for low-income people and senior citizens in Germantown and Mt. Airy.  Mishkan is one of 12 northwest Phila. congregations comprising the URDC Board. URDC is an interfaith, non-profit organization, whose mission is “to stabilize communities in Germantown, Mt. Airy and northwest Philadelphia through home repair and rehabilitation.” It uses no public funding. The intention of URDC is to build community as well as repair homes. Participants are encouraged to interact with home residents, as well as participants from other congregations.

Mishkan members will have an opportunity to participate in a work week this summer (July 8-13) that Mishkan will co-sponsor with the Interfaith Community Building Group (ICBG), founded 22 years ago by Mishkan members and including participants from St. Vincent de Paul Church and other local congregations. Mishkan members and children under parental/adult supervision are invited to participate all week or for part of the week, which will culminate in a communal Shabbat dinner on Friday evening, July 13 (as is the custom of the ICBG at the end of each work week). A donation of $50/person (to Mishkan Shalom) is requested for the work week to cover some building materials and food, including for a final Shabbat dinner. (The donation can be pro-rated for partial-week work.) Here are the details:

Participants: Anyone 16 or older may join the group. Any child 11-15 may participate with an adult supervisor (e.g., parent, guardian) at all times. Though construction skills are always helpful, they are not required to participate.

Crews: As we will be working at different houses, we anticipate crews of 4-5 people/location, including potentially working with homeowners, URDC Board members and members of constituent houses of worship.

Communal activities: It is important to us to make connections and build relationships with our host community, and also to reaffirm our connections with each other. Here’s our preliminary schedule for the week:
Sunday, 7/8/16: URDC orientation; communal dinner.
Monday, 7/9/16-Friday, 7/13/16: Work days (approx. 8 am - 4:30 pm).
Evenings: Some communal dinners during the week with programs—e.g., on URDC’s work, community building, Germantown history. A final Shabbat dinner on Friday night.

Daily gathering / reflection: We will meet each morning at a Germantown church, and someone in the group will offer a brief reflection for the day, and we will then move on to each individual work site. Carpooling encouraged.

Donation / Cost: $50/person to cover some group food, including the Shabbat dinner, miscellaneous costs and a donation to URDC. If you are working only part of the week, you have the option of pro-rating your donation at $10/day. (Make tax-deductible checks payable to: Mishkan Shalom; write “Interfaith Community Fund” on memo line; and mail to Lance Laver, 200 Garnet Lane, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.)


--Work days (all week or partial). If partial, and you know, please indicate the specific days.
—If you plan to attend the Shabbat evening dinner on Friday, July 13.
—For anyone under 16: Name, age, parent/guardian supervisor.

What Congregations are Members of URDC? First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG), First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Germantown Mennonite Church, Providence Baptist Church, James United Methodist Church, New Bethel AME, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church of Germantown, St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, Bethlehem Church of God Holiness, Mishkan Shalom, Canaan Baptist Church..

Organization info:
Joseph Waldo, Executive Director, Urban Resources Development Corporation
URDC phone: 267.289.2159; URDC website: <>

Thanks, and looking forward to another special work week together in July,

Lance Laver <>
610.668.9845 (H./O.)
267.240.4477 (C.)



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