Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

New program engages Jewish college students in volunteer service

 

November 27, 2020

Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Serve the Moment summer corps, taken in Brooklyn.

Repair the World and Hillel International are collaborating to mobilize thousands of college students in meaningful volunteer service and learning through the national Serve the Moment initiative. About 100 Hillel "Campus Corps Members" will serve on campuses throughout the world and recruit peers to engage in ongoing service work with local nonprofits to address urgent needs in their communities.

"Jewish college students witness inequity and racial injustice in their neighborhoods and across the country," said Cindy Greenberg, CEO of Repair the World. "They want to create change by living out their Jewish values. These issues and social disparities have been amplified by the pandemic and the racial reckoning across the country. Together with Hillel, and with the resources of the Jewish Service Alliance, students now have the support and tools to engage and connect their Jewish values with their passion for service."

Launched in June, the JSA is a coalition of organizations powered by Repair the World and including Hillel International, which is mobilizing tens of thousands of young people to do 100,000 acts of needed and meaningful service for COVID-19 relief, grounded in Jewish wisdom. As part of JSA's Serve the Moment initiative, Hillel Campus Corps Members will lead service efforts addressing four key areas - hunger, education, employment, and mental health - and the program will offer training, resources, and best practices so that they carry out this work in the most effective ways. The service work will be a combination of in-person and virtual volunteering, some episodic and some a part of time-bound national Serve the Moment campaigns. This is just the latest partnership between Repair and Hillel to strengthen and maximize service opportunities for young people. 

"The Hillel Campus Corps Program is an opportunity to elevate service among Jewish college students across our entire movement," said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International. "In what remains a challenging period, our students are looking for ways to serve and support their local and global community alike, and through our partnership with Repair the World, Hillel will empower students to have a real and sustaining impact."

Young adults increasingly engage in Jewish life and build community through meaningful service work combined with Jewish learning. Fifty percent of Jewish young adults have volunteered in the last year, revealing this initiative's potential to reach a wider audience of Jewish young adults than those who are already deeply engaged in Jewish life.

Hillel will select 100 Corps Members across the 550 campuses it serves around the world. These students will engage in 10 hours of service/week, including at least three monthly service projects where they will each recruit at least 25 peers to serve. Campus Corps Members also will attend Serve the Moment learning sessions twice per month. In total these Corps Members from 100 campuses will engage at least 2,600 students in service and 5,100 acts of service and learning during this academic year.

 

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