2017-05-10 / Columns

Now is the right time for all those interested in volunteering

Federation President

At the end of April, Federation concluded its fourth Federation Leadership Institute (FLI), a program designed to educate and hopefully inspire current and future Jewish communal leaders. Congratulations to Jewish Federation Board Vice President and FLI Chair Ivy Brown Rovner and Ronit Boyd, planning director for the Center for Impact and Innovation, for their incredible efforts to groom this batch of future leaders to our system.

To date, 120 individuals have participated, grown their leadership skills, and moved on to help sustain and grow our vibrant Jewish community. FLI grooms these individuals for leadership roles in Federation, its agencies, our synagogues and other local and national Jewish organizations. FLI brings together current and rising leaders from within our community, allowing them to learn and share knowledge as well as new and exciting innovative approaches that will benefit all of our Jewish organizations.

There is no shortage of opportunity to get involved in our Jewish community. Take a look around. If leadership isn’t yet for you, there are numerous other ways to make a difference. Join a committee. Attend an event. Volunteer to help someone in need. Our community calendar is full of events that engage, educate and entertain our community, and yes, help raise the funds for Israel and for those in need locally.

In the past weeks, we have observed a moving Yom Hashoah commemoration thanks to JCRC, Stepped Out With JFCS, partied at the Linc at the Katz JCC’s Big Event, and kicked back to enjoy Senior Housing’s Tacos & Tequila. We are also looking forward to Federation’s own Event for Women next week. These events attract thousands of attendees and could not have been the success they were without hundreds of volunteers.

The upcoming PJ Library 8th Birthday Bash is a fun-filled event for the entire family that raises dollars to pay PJ Library forward to new families. Aleph’s Spring Fling not only shows appreciation for some of our hardest working staff—our home health aides, but also offers the recipients a chance for a fun afternoon outside of the homes where they work.

Maybe your passion lies with helping those in need. Become a volunteer and make a difference in someone’s life. There are abundant volunteer opportunities within each of Federation’s areas of impact: Older adults, special needs, Israel and overseas, community engagement, and family and youth. These volunteer opportunities require anywhere from a morning or an afternoon of your time to an ongoing, more long-term commitment. Make lifelong friends in the process. Become a visitor and hopefully a friend to a special needs individual, or bring companionship to older homebound adults.

Do you enjoy driving? Deliver kosher meals-on-wheels or transportation to and from medical and other essential appointments for those who are not able to drive.

Do you enjoy watching children learn? Become a volunteer in a preschool classroom or a reading mentor for an underprivileged child in elementary school.

Make a difference!

You can also volunteer directly for an agency. The Jewish Community Foundation provides numerous volunteer opportunities such as helping to keep up the New Camden Cemetery. The Jewish Community Voice is always looking for someone to write about their favorite South Jersey activity or a new trend.

So, in conclusion, try volunteering. It’s good for the soul. I can guarantee you will enjoy it and sign up for more. If you wish to do so, you can head to jewishsouthjersey.org/volunteer to learn about all the volunteer opportunities that are available. You can also contact the Federation Concierge and they can connect you with the right agency or department where you can make a difference. The concierge is available at (856) 673-2554 or by emailing concierge@jfedsnj.org 


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