Youth Volunteering: Bar or Bat Mitzvah Projects and Older Teens
Volunteering is a great way for youth to gain skills, meet interesting people and have fun while being helpful, and we welcome you to consider volunteering with Jewish Social Services!
We have opportunities for both 12-13 year olds doing B'nai Mitzvah projects, as well as for older teens. Complete job descriptions of these projects are available on request.
A meaningful Bar or Bat Mitzvah project complements Jewish education and promotes Jewish values. It should be logistically possible, helpful to someone in need, appealing to and achievable by you, the student.
The right project is one that will provide a good volunteer experience while benefiting our clients. Students and parents are welcome to bring their ideas to JSS while realizing that the agency's first obligation is to our clients.
At Jewish Social Services we can:
- Help you decide what kind of project would be personally meaningful and appropriate,
- Provide a suitable project to do for Jewish Social Services,
- Direct you to other community resources and agencies if necessary.
The availability of some of these projects will vary with the current needs of our clients.
- Make kits of emergency supplies such as flashlights, batteries, snacks, bottled water and emergency numbers for seniors and people with disabilities,
- Plant spring flowers for agency clients,
- Yard work and gardening,
- Play piano or other instruments at a local nursing home,
- Collect school supplies and a backpack for a student in need,
- Raise funds for JSS programs through car washes, yard sales, etc.,
- Collect food, toiletries, cleaning supplies light bulbs, etc. for JSS clients,
- Friendly Visitor,
- Computer assistance for a client.
Friendly visiting involves regular weekly visits to an elder or person with disabilities for the purpose of establishing a meaningful friendship. Friendship is a two-way street; it includes conversation and sharing of oneself, takes time to develop and requires nurturing. Visitors commit to the Friendly Visiting program for one to two hours a week for six months or more. It requires excellent follow-through, the active participation of the volunteer and commitment to a Jewish Social Services client. It's often a very rewarding experience. There may be an opportunity for you to volunteer with your family.
Applying to volunteer
- Complete our Online Youth Application or Written Youth Application, including two references,
- Interview at JSS to determine your interests, skills and capabilities; parent(s) will be asked to join us at the end of the interview,
- Parent/guardian signs permission
- We'll assign you to your project.
What students can expect to do:
- Participate actively in the interview,
- Sign a volunteer agreement,
- Maintain client confidentiality,
- Have supervision by Director of Volunteer, Services, including setting target dates to achieve different parts of your project,
- Report regularly to the Director of Volunteer Services, using the required JSS format,
- Contact JSS by phone or e-mail with questions and concerns about the project,
- Notify JSS when you are finished volunteering,
- At the end of the project, come in and tell us what your experience meant to you and how you think you might have made a difference through this particular project.
What parents will do:
- Sign our permission slip,
- Provide logistical support, e.g., drive the student when necessary, and help the student obtain supplies,
- Help the student stay on track to fulfill his or her commitment.