What is J-SERVE? J-Serve is the International Day of Jewish Teen Service. It is a day where you will have a chance to do some good, to be an altruist. There are lots of possible areas you can help: working with the elderly, helping the homeless, befriending a child with special needs, and more.
When is J-SERVE? Sunday, April 15, 2018
Where is J-SERVE Happening? Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ 901 Rt 10 Whippany, NJ from 11:00am - 3pm
What are the Goals of J-SERVE? The goal of J-Serve is to highlight the importance of service in the lives of teens and in the Jewish community by creating service projects in which Jewish communities can mobilize across denominational and organizational lines to make a difference in their communities and the world. J-Serve and its partners are committed to the idea that service is an important part of a life-long continuum that engages, maintains, and strengthens teen involvement in Jewish life.
This is a call for every Jewish teen worldwide to make a difference in the lives of others by being a#gamechanger. J-Serve's emphasis this year will be using service as a means to change the game in your community through a global day of Jewish youth service and the participation of key gamechangers in your community.
J-SERVE 2017 PRESS RELEASE!
J-SERVE 2017, the annual day of Jewish teen service, was held in our region on April 2
Community Wide Event: This was by far the largest J-SERVE performed in our region, with well over 300 teens participating. Over 40 teens served on the J-SERVE committee as AMBASSADORS of Jewish teen programs, organizations, synagogues and day schools all over Greater MetroWest, meeting regularly since November as to help plan, lead, and recruit for J-SERVE.
Comprehensive Day of Service: The day included FOURTEEN hands-on service projects on a diverse array of topics (with speakers or organization representatives at each project), a service opportunities expo with 20 organizations, very successful donation drives, 2 inspiring teen speakers, 19 teen-lead focused Jewish learning groups, and 19 teen-lead “reflection mix-up” groups. For our professional photographer's pictures, click here: set 1, set 2.
Highlighting Teen Leaders: Other than the exceptional teens on the J-SERVE committee, a number of teens who have formed non-profits or lead social initiatives were featured. Donations were collected to aid the efforts of Kayla Legatt, Emma Rothman and Jessie Kransdorf; speeches were presented. by Sammi Glennon, anti-bullying non-profit leader, and Julie Averbach, sibling support comic creator.
Diverse Service Opportunities: The 14 service opportunities met a diverse range of community and international needs. These were divided into 6 themes.
The “Hospitality” theme included a service project creating ready-to-play games and activities for kids at Homeless Solutions in Morristown, creating Seder plates for impoverished Jewish seniors with help from a dozen adults with special needs from JESPY house, and creating care packages for Israeli “Lone Soldiers” (soldiers in Israel from America).
The “Healing” theme included a project supporting spinal cord injury patients at Kessler rehab and a project with United Hatsallah (a first response group) creating medic bags for responders in Israel (this project also included a CPR training course).
The “Against Violence” theme included an anti-bullying training led by Sammi Glennon followed by the creation of “Survival Bags” comprising symbolic items for kids/teens facing bullying, along with the “In Her Shoes” program by Rachel Coalition, a domestic violence educational simulation followed by a packing project to benefit kids at courthouses waiting during domestic abuse litigation.
The “Inclusion” theme involved two projects with CPNJ; “Buddy-It-Up” involved sports and activities to form personal connections with adults with disabilities, and the “Rooting for Heroism” project involved creating motivational signs for children competing in the Weelin’ and Walkin’ race.
The “Intergenerational Service” theme involved projects where teens and Seniors could work together and learn from each other. These projects included creating family trees for Holocaust survivors, creating Passover Seder items with Seniors at Lester Senior Housing, and creating potted plants and birdhouses (also at Lester).
The “Social Justice” theme involved contemporary issues, each including significant learning regarding the topic at hand. The projects involved creating first aid kits for Syrian refugees (with notes that said “Peace” in English, Hebrew and Arabic) as well as creating “Survival Kits” along with volunteers from Newark Conservancy for former inmates at prisons to combat recidivism.
All service projects included speakers or organizational representatives to explain the mission of the service partner and additional information about the social justice concerns that the partner addresses.
Just the beginning – For more information about ongoing Jewish Service Learning opportunities for teens in our community, contact Michael Strom at 973-929-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org