Home » Blog » Volunteer to Make a Difference – Serve The Moment
Follow by Email

Volunteer to Make a Difference – Serve The Moment

The pandemic has widely and disproportionately impacted L.A.’s — and the country’s — most vulnerable residents. We’re looking for amazing young adults ages 18–29 to join a volunteer and service-learning fellowship to engage in critical racial justice work, tackle food insecurity, strengthen our education system, and help combat social isolation. Participants will receive a $750 stipend upon completion. Volunteer with local nonprofits (either virtually or safely in person) while learning about social inequities and systemic injustices.

Volunteer with local nonprofits (either virtually or safely in person) while learning about social inequities and systemic injustices.

Our Federation’s young adult initiative NuRoots is partnering with Repair the World, the Jewish Service Alliance, and dozens of L.A. service partners to mix urgent community service projects and meaningful learning. Serve the Moment corps members will volunteer, learn, and reflect together, focusing on social and systemic inequities and rooting the experience in Jewish values.

Applications for our summer 2021 cohort, which runs from June 21–July 30, are open through May 31!

Scroll down to see our amazing spring 2021 cohort, and please reach out to Chelsea Snyder with any questions at all.

Stephen Sanow, one of our many incredible Serve the Moment cohort participants, shares his experience as a volunteer with our partners at ETTA. 

During quarantine, I read the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s one of the most powerful books I ever read, plus it’s a short read, and I’m a slow reader so that made me like it even more. In the book, Frankl talks about how working on things larger than ourselves is what connects us to humanity and gives us the motivation to keep going no matter the circumstances. So, when I stumbled upon Serve The Moment’s email looking for volunteers, I instantly knew this was going to be a great experience that would connect me to things bigger than myself. In fact, it connected me to three: Judaism, the city of Los Angeles, and the autism community.  

For my time with Serve The Moment, I was paired with ETTA, a Jewish organization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (including autism) and their families. Part of my work with ETTA has been having one-hour Zoom meetings with several members from the program where we do things like cook, talk, and even research how to make famous Hollywood props (like the fin from Jaws). One of the warmest moments for me was cooking with an ETTA participant and seeing him and his family have such a happy experience cooking together. This moved me, because after a year of feeling lost and disconnected, here I was in their kitchen (via Zoom) and feeling like I was a part of their family — and I helped create this enjoyable moment. And when you think about all of the work Serve The Moment, its L.A. cohorts, and the ETTA organization are doing and all of the little moments they inspire for people…it really makes you realize how powerful this work is.  

I’ve noticed since my work with ETTA that I have become a better listener and focus on making experiences enjoyable for everyone and not just myself. Since then, I’ve been having more positive social interactions and better conversations. The members of ETTA have also taught me a lot more about Judaism. I am a Hebrew school dropout  and still have a rough estimate about what to do on Shabbat. So, it’s been nice to learn more about holidays and customs like counting the Omer, about which I had no idea prior to this. I also enjoy that no matter how connected you feel to Judaism the Jewish community will always be there for you.   

I recommend Serve The Moment to anyone who wants to feel more connected to their city. You get to work with great organizations, expand on the principles of Jewish culture, and get to make some new friends. But, most importantly, you get to be a part of something bigger. 

Related Posts