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Local Teens Participate in International J-Serve Day
A few weeks ago, thousands of teens across the globe joined together to make their own community and the world a better place by participating in J-Serve, the annual international day of Jewish youth service. J-Serve provides teens with the opportunity to fulfill the Jewish values of gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness), tzedakah (just and charitable giving), and tikkum olam (responsibility to repair the world).
Here in Los Angeles, as part of J-Serve, over 200 teens from throughout the area gathered at Shalom Institute in Malibu for a day of community service, that is also referred to as The Big Green Day, including participants from Sherut L'Olam Teen Leadership Corps which is funded through an IRA (Incentive Regional Allocation) grant of The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance. “It was inspiring to witness the strong leadership and successful outreach shown by the Sherut L’Olam teens. It was also heartwarming to see such devotion for social action and communal giving by so many,” said Bill Kaplan, Executive Director of the Shalom Institute.
The teens planted fruit trees, developed a nature trail, created a split-rail fence border leading to the new orchard area, and began building four "keyhole garden" sustainable planter boxes.
According to Alyssa Scott, Sherut L’Olam teen, “I had a really fun time! But even more than that, the work that we were doing was benefiting the camp and our community.” Added Jason Block, BBYO Teen Regional President, “Seeing teens from all denominations and various youth groups inspired me to take a larger role in Jewish service. The most important part was that together we managed to plant the roots of friendship and seeds of a Jewish community that will continue to grow from generation to generation, l'dor v'dor.”
When ready for harvest, the fruit will be used to replenish local food banks in coordination with our Federation’s Hunger Initiative.
Want to get involved in volunteering through The Jewish Federation? Sign up for our June 2nd community service day.