Tzedakah is a Hebrew word commonly translated as charity, though it is based on the Hebrew word tzedek, meaning righteousness, fairness or justice. In Judaism, tzedakah refers to the religious obligation to perform charity, and philanthropic acts, which Judaism emphasizes are important parts of living a spiritual life; Maimonides says that while the second highest form of tzedakah is to anonymously give donations to unknown recipients, the highest form is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of living upon others. Unlike philanthropy, which is completely voluntary, tzedakah is seen as a religious obligation, which must be performed regardless of financial standing, and must even be performed by poor people; tzedakah is considered to be one of the three main acts that can annul a less than favorable heavenly decree.
- The Marjorie and Robert Kohn Pledge 13 Program is a voluntary program for Jewish student preparing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students commit to giving a minimum of 13 hours of community service to JFCS organized events or through other organizations.
- Family Mitzvah events are inter-generational events scheduled four times a year that instill the idea of performing mitzvahs in young children. Fun family activites occur around Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and Hanukah.
- Doris L. and Theodore B. Meyers Shabbos Friends Program are volunteers who make a once monthly visit to an assigned assisted living or nursing facility to share a bit of Sabbath delight with the Jewish residents living there. The volunteer brings grape juice and a freshly baked challah for each individual and says the Sabbath blessings as well.Please contact Kim Toebbe, Volunteer Coordinator, at 452-6341, ext 103.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES at JEWISH FAMILY & CAREER SERVICES
JFCS welcomes and is grateful for volunteers, who are needed throughout the organization. From basic office support and fundraising help to hands on work with clients, we can find a fit for every skill level.
Some of these options are weekly, while others can adapt to an irregular schedule at the volunteer’s convenience. Some options might not be available at any given time due to volunteer capacity.
- JFCS Committee Member- joins existing committees such as Mosaic, Golf, Family Mitzvah, Food Pantry and other operational committees.
“In-House Volunteer Opportunities:
- Clerical Assistant- assist staff as needed with office duties such as: copying, mailing, reminder calls, data entry, etc.
Volunteer Opportunities for Youth and Families:
- Pledge 13 Participant- volunteer opportunities for youth preparing for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah; Pledge 13 to perform 13 or more hours of community service either with JFCS events or other means.
- Family Mitzvah Events- help to plan and orchestrate four events each year for parents and their young children to perform “mitzvah” activities together.
Volunteer With Seniors:
- Senior P.A.L.S. Driver- transport older adults to appointments or to run errands; current driver’s license and car insurance required.
- Telephone Reassurance Caller- commits to call a senior client 3 times per week to provide consistent contact, reduce isolation and provide companionship.
- Friendly Visitor- visit a senior client in his/her own home to provide social stimulation and companionship twice per month.
- Oral History Interviewers- join existing committee to interview Jewish seniors in order to archive their personal stories.
- Oral History Videographer- videotape the interviews of Jewish seniors in order to video archive their stories.
- Special Speaker- alert us to your particular professional experience to become a resource for some of our senior groups and clients.
- “Shabbos Friends” Volunteer- Visit a long-term-care facility once per month to celebrate the Sabbath with Jewish residents who live there. JFCS provides all supplies: candlesticks, challah, grape juice, cups and calling cards.
- Shabbos Friends Assistant- helps organize Shabbos Friends bags on the first and third Friday mornings so that volunteers may pick up Shabbos Friends bags by 10:30 AM.
- Outreach Caller- make calls from home or at JFCS to educate others about services offered by the Klein Older Adult Department at JFCS. Training provided.
Volunteer With Career Services:
- Employment Advisory Council Member- joins existing committee comprised of Human Resources professionals whose mission it is to advise and assist clients with employment and related needs.
- Research Assistant- investigates as needed interesting leads and resources on the computer for career clients. For example: wheelchair coaching, professional clothes closets, etc.
- Computer Coach- offer as needed some computer one-on-one help to jobseekers and others unfamiliar with using computers.
- Financial Literacy Tutor- volunteers as needed to teach financial literacy classes for which JFCS provides training and materials.
Volunteer With Immigrants and Refugees:
- Mentor a Multicultural Client- meet with client as he/she transforms a business idea into a written plan; help client research basic tasks to get a small business open.
- Coach a Multicultural Client- assess the business owner’s current management and operations situation; offer advice and suggestions to help further that micro business.
- Consultant for a Multicultural Client- we need business professionals to provide a few hours to class graduates in fields such as: law, accounting, computers, record keeping, marketing, insurance, real estate and other aspects related to running a small business.
- Tutor- tutor individual clients or a small group in English either for citizenship purposes or to enhance their English skills. Basic household issues related to job placement information such as: how to make sandwiches for an American client, kosher kitchen rules and regulations, etc.
- Class Assistant- assist staff member during regularly scheduled classes with tasks as needed.
Volunteer With the Development and Marketing Department:
- Writer- writes occasional articles for publication in our newsletter or local papers.
- Photographer- attends and photographs events for publications as needed.
- Basket of Blessings Assistant- assists staff with delivery to necessary locations.
- Outreach Assistant- assists staff with making outreach deliveries or pick-ups.
Volunteer With the Counseling Department:
- Staff Assistant- assist staff with data entry, transcription and typing notes. Keep department aware of area workshops, seminars, parenting classes or other events with therapeutic benefits for clients.
Volunteer With Our Office Manager:
- Gardener- help staff maintain our current landscaping with periodic weeding. Create new features with use of pots provided by the agency.
- Handyperson- assist staff with small routing maintenance jobs monthly such as changing light bulbs, light painting, window washing and light repairs.