Empowering the Next Generation
17th February 2012
One of my favorite aspects of the job is connecting with students and showing them how they can feel empowered by Tzedakah. I never thought I would morph into a pseudo-teacher but it’s turned out to be a fascinating experience. There’s that innate sense of joy you receive when students at a synagogue or day school remember you from a previous visit or get excited about what they can do to repair the world. When they generate their own excitement for advocacy and philanthropy and engage in thoughtful discussion, it’s a homerun for someone like me whose primary responsibility is to build our membership database and get individuals to think more closely about Tzedakah
However, I can’t disregard the main catalysts who help us achieve this goal: the educators on the inside who support our mission and generate enthusiasm among the students. A fantastic example of a true Tzedakah collaboration has been with our dear friend and partner Charlie Sherman, who is the School Director of the Am Yisrael Congregation just outside of Chicago. Charlie was kind enough to connect us with the students via Skype, and we discussed how to create mitzvah projects with substantial impact in the community through our site. In speaking with them, I sensed their enthusiasm and noticed it tangibly when they were eager to write blogs on their Am Yisrael JChoice group page. These blogs consisted of ideas for mitzvah projects.
Through this initiative and with Charlie’s help, I’m glad to say it’s been an ideal situation for the both of us. Charlie’s students use our site to find great JChoice causes to align with and as a result, develop more powerful mitzvah projects. It’s great when we can work with groups to jumpstart a stronger mitzvah and Tzedakah consciousness; it’s about fulfilling our greatest potential through Tikkun Olam.
By Jeff Remis, JChoice Programming Associate