On Sunday, September 23, Areyvut sponsored a Community Service Expo at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. Below is an article that appeared in the October 5 issue of The Jewish Standard:
Hundreds of families attended the first Bergen County Community Service Expo at the Kaplen JCC in Tenafly on Sept. 23. Co-sponsored by the JCC and Areyvut, the Bergenfield-based organization committed to promoting the Jewish values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity), and tikkun olam (social justice), the fair featured representatives from more than 20 organizations. Its goal was to connect teens, pre-teens, and their parents with a variety of volunteer opportunities to fulfill bar/bat mitzvah projects and community service obligations for their schools.
According to Areyvut’s founder and director, Daniel Rothner, the organization is committed to helping every student and family develop a project that meets their needs. “Areyvut’s team of educators works with program participants to design and implement projects that cater to each child’s interests and personal development goals,” he says. “Areyvut aims to ignite a lifelong commitment to social justice, charity, and kindness.”
The large turnout was encouraging to the fair’s organizers and participants, which included Englewood Hospital, Music for All Seasons, Ruach Tova, Sharsheret, Bears from Bergenfield, the American Cancer Society, Jewish Home at Rockleigh, Giving Arts & The Creative Judaica Kit Company, Noah’s Gift Foundation, and the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.
Other organizations represented were Yachad, Youth Consultation Services (YCS), Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County, PERC, New Jersey Students for Peace, Raising Awareness Destination: Darfur (RAD:D), Jewish National Fund, Jewish Association for Developmental Disabilities (J-ADD), Friendship Circle, Baby Basics of Children’s Aid and Family Services, and Canine Companions for Independence. Areyvut and the Kaplen JCC’s Camp Dream Street and Special Services were also present.
The response to the Expo was “phenomenal,” according to Rothner, who expects to plan another fair soon with the JCC. He reported positive feedback both from organizations and attendees. “It was great to see families with 8- and 9-year-olds there, getting some knowledge about future possibilities of projects that reflect Jewish values.” In order to put the projects in a meaningful context, more than 70 young people created tzedakah boxes for family and friends and made personalized cards for soldiers in Israel and hospitalized children.
To bring Areyvut to your local school, synagogue or community please contact Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-244-6702.