Volunteering + Values: Connecting the Dots

Posted on July 17, 2011

     There was an article by Jon Rosenberg and Lisa Eisen titled, “Volunteering + Values: Connecting the Dots” which highlighted the importance of making volunteering a meaningful part of a young philanthropic Jew’s life.  The article lists, among others, “establishing a rich continuum of high-quality Jewish service-learning experiences from b’nai mitzvah through the post-college years” and “turning our communities and institutions into hubs of effective volunteering through partnerships with Jewish social service agencies, schools, and secular and interfaith organizations” as a couple of ways to make service meaningful to Jewish teens.  Giving tzedakah should progress throughout a person’s lifetime.  From putting money in the pushka as a child to donating money to organizations when older, a person should be constantly growing, and making volunteering meaningful every step of the way.  Like Rosenberg and Eisen, we at Areyvut believe, “we can build a community in which service is viewed as intrinsic to Jewish life, [where] Jews lead lives of service, and [where] volunteering and service-learning are fully incorporated into Jewish organizations.”
     “The time is now for our community to make it our priority to help young Jews connect the dots between their service and the millenia-old values that provide much of the moral and ethical foundation of Jewish life – tzedek (justice), chesed (loving-kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world).  We must provide the tools and experiences to deepen young Jews’ commitment to service while demonstrating to them that service in the betterment of humanity is authentically Jewish.”

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