Connecting Colorado’s Jewish Teens

Jewish Teens join in Global Movement to Serve their Community

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Over 80 teens came out for this year’s J-Serve, the International Day of Jewish Teen Service in Denver. Teens focused on either advocacy or community service to help make a difference in their community. The entire day was planned by a committee of teens who are passionate about repairing the world including Ari Diamond, Joel Douglas, Margalit Goldberg, Julie Grossman, Miriam Weinraub, Tali Williamson and Alex Zinn.

The J-Serve teen committee planned a wide variety of projects this year impacting many different individuals. They:

  • Learned about food justice issues and advocacy
  • Created art pieces to be hung at Judi’s House
  • Made 654 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless
  • Created cards for children from around the world undergoing heart surgery in Israel
  • Decorated bookmarks for new books being donated to children learning English through the Denver Public Library

This year’s committee wanted to impact a variety of populations and give teens the opportunity to delve deeper into advocacy. “Ekar Farms was happy to partner with us on this project. Margot Sands provided a wonderful program that gave teens a foundation in understanding food justice issues, as well as tools to advocate on this issue or any other they are passionate about,” said Karen Silverman, Executive Director of jHub.

Joel Douglas, one of the committee members, was also excited about creating art for a nonprofit. Along with Ian Solow-Neiderman, Regional Director of Rocky Mountain Region BBYO, they came up with a plan to decorate windows to hang as art pieces. “The project gave teens a different way to express themselves while reflecting on the experience of grieving children who visit Judi’s House,” said Solow-Neiderman.  Over spring break, they proudly presented the pieces to staff at Judi’s House. 

J-Serve is a yearly community wide program that 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, the responsibility to repair the world. This year, J-Serve received generous support from the following organizations: B’nai Havurah and BBYO International.  J-Serve is organized locally by jHub, an association of 25 Jewish teen serving organizations and RMR-BBYO, the leading pluralistic teen movement. For more information, contact info@jhubco.org.

 


J-Serve Teens Make a Huge Impact

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One hundred twenty seven teens came out for this year’s J-Serve, the International Day of Jewish Teen Service in Denver. The teens packed 315 Comfort Bags for children in foster care, children who have just arrived in America as refugees and men and women who are experiencing homelessness. Comfort Bags for kids included essentials like toiletries as well as stuffed animals, books, sunglasses and school supplies. Adults received a most sought after item, new socks, in addition to toiletries. Teens also decorated pillowcases and cards for each bag.

Jewish teens representing every youth group, camp and club came together to work on this year’s project at Temple Sinai. The teen planning committee included Ari Asarch, Jessica Cantor, Sophie Cardin, Sofia Epshtein, Margalit Goldberg, Ely Merenstein, Alana Perlmutter and Lina Zaychick.

Prior to packing the bags, representatives from Denver Department of Human Services, Denver Health Foundation, Jefferson/Gilpin CASA and Urban Peak spoke about their clients and the impact the Comfort Bags will make. “Remember that as Jews, we were refugees many times in our history. These bags will bring enormous comfort to children who have fled other countries and just arrived in the US,” Robin Engleberg, Program Director, Denver Health Foundation told the crowd.

“This was an amazing event,” said Karen Silverman, Executive Director of jHub, and one of the organizers. “To see 127 teens learn together and then do Tikkun Olam is very powerful. The teens were very thoughtful in their discussions and did a great job creating cards and pillowcases that will be meaningful to the recipients.” After receiving the delivery of backpacks, Betsy Ruckard, Denver Health Refugee Services Coordinator said, “It was so wonderful to receive the donation of back packs and school supplies today for our young refugee patients!  We were especially touched by the notes inside that said, ‘Welcome to America’.  Thanks so much for thinking of us.” 

J-Serve is a yearly community wide program that 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, the responsibility to repair the world. This year, J-Serve received generous support from many organizations and companies including: B’nai Havurah, BBYO, Bombas Socks, Chameleon Solutions, Colorado Rockies, J-Serve, Kroenke Sports, Sage Hospitality and Staples Foundation. J-Serve is organized locally by jHub, an association of 25 Jewish teen serving organizations. Finally a big thank you to Photography by Avital for these great pictures! For more information, contact info@jhubco.org or www.jhubco.org

 

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