Teen Social Action

The JCC provides Westchester Teens with numerous programs that instill Jewish values and enhance leadership qualities. The backbone of our program is built on the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

From donating clothing to organizing annual community wide food drives, there are countless ways to get involved and make a difference!

At the JCC

The Sunday/Funday Volunteer program provides opportunity for teen community service, Bar/Bat Mitzvah projects and College Credit through SNTI. Volunteers gain from the experience of interacting and supporting participants with developmental disabilities by mentoring, engaging in activities and building relationships. Volunteers often describe the experience as, “life changing.”  The Special Need Training Institute (SNTI) program is limited to 10 individuals 14 years of age or older who participate in a training program funded by ZB. & J.E. Butler Foundation.  The JCC of Mid-Westchester works in coordination with JCC on the Hudson to provide the SNTI opportunity for teen volunteers.  SNTI participants need to volunteer for 70 hours in Sunday/Funday, attend 4 classes and a full day conference.  SNTI participants will earn one college credit.

For more information, see our Developmental Disabilities Enrichment Services pages.

Charley Moskowitz
Director Developmental Disabilities Enrichment Services
914-472-3300 ext 361, moskowitzc@jccmw.org

Get involved with local Westchester Organizations

Organization Phone Number Volunteers Donations Needed
American Cancer Society Discovery Shop 914-238-4900 Yes Clothes, furniture, housewares, etc
Andrus Children’s Center of Yonkers 914-965-3700 ext. 1241 Yes New toys, games, Educational toys for newborns thru 3yr old, Baby’s snow suits, gift certificates, NO furniture
Big Brothers 914-963-4453 No Clothes, books, toys
Eastchester Community Action Program 914-337-7768 Yes Food, clothes, furniture, toys, books, etc.
Goodwill Industries 718-721-2900 No Everything
My Sister’s Place 914-683-1333 Yes (ask for Lauren) Small kitchen appliances, socks, underwear
National Kidney Foundation of NY & NJ 212-629-9770 Yes (at various times during the year) No
New Rochelle Animal Shelter 914-632-2925 Yes (Must be 14-18 yrs old) No
New Beginning of Westchester 914-923-4889 Yes Everything except furniture
Open Arms 914-948-5044 Yes Men’s clothes and toiletries
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church 914-273-2051 Yes Everything
Song Catchers 914-654-1178 Yes (Music instructors, office assistants) Musical instruments
United Hebrew Geriatric Center 914-632-2804 Yes No

It’s Just a Click Away – Tikkun Olam

All it takes is one minute every day: Simply click on each of the links below. When the page loads, click the “Give free ___” button and money/food/resources will be given to the respective organization in exchange for your viewing the sponsor. A quick, easy, and free way to make a difference.

More Volunteer Opportunities

Many thanks to our partner Areyvut for their contributions to this prepared list of opportunities.  Areyvut is a non-profit organization that empowers Jewish youth with the experiences that will enable them to infuse their lives with the core Jewish values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social justice). www.areyvut.org

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

American Jewish World Service: The AJWS not only offers grants and technical assistance, but also sends skilled volunteers to work with their project partners, sharing their particular skills and expertise. Their volunteers participate in the physical and practical rebuilding of communities and in the process find their own lives are transformed. To learn more about their volunteer opportunities visit American Jewish World Service

City Cares: Across the country, millions of concerned Americans face the challenge of finding a way to reconcile a busy lifestyle with an interest in volunteering. Local CityCares organizations were formed in response to this challenge, with the goal to make volunteering possible for everyone. CityCares affiliates, known as “Cares” or “Hands On” organizations, engage over 250,000 volunteers in direct service to their communities each year. In cities large and small, 30 Cares affiliates have been established in the U.S., one affiliate in the Philippines, and an additional 13 partner organizations in the U.K. CityCares was formed in 1992 to serve as the umbrella organization for these local CityCares organizations. The primary mission of CityCares is to provide support for and strengthen the existing CityCares network, while fostering the development of new CityCares organizations. For information about NYC Cares, visit New York Cares.

DOROT: Since 1976 DOROT has worked to improve the quality of life for elders in New York and to bring the generations together in friendship. DOROT mobilizes volunteers to help the frail and homebound elderly. They service about 10,000 seniors and caregivers each year through a volunteer corps of about 8,000, over 2,000 of which are under the age of 18. DOROT offers volunteer programs for schools, synagogues and youth organizations. There are family volunteer opportunities in addition to a diverse menu of teen volunteer projects. Among the activities teens deliver meals and holiday gifts, shop for seniors who are too frail to shop for themselves, train seniors on computer use, and spend time visiting with homebound seniors. Teens meet and interact with other students while fulfilling their school’s community service requirement. Volunteering is flexible and can be after school, on Sundays or during vacation. For more information visit www.dorotusa.org or contact DOROT at 212-769-2850.

Idealist: Idealist is a program of Action Without Borders, an agency that connects people, organizations and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives. Action Without Borders is independent of any government, political ideology or religious creed. Its work is guided by the common desire of our members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect. To find a volunteer opportunity visit Idealist.org

Jewish Coalition for Service: A website of over 50 programs that do volunteer work in the US and abroad, and more than a dozen programs are specifically for high school students. Spend a 1 to 2 weeks or a summer on construction projects in disadvantaged communities; explore the connection between community service, political activism and Jewish values; travel through Israel with other American and Israeli teens, work in developing countries, and more! For more information, visit The Jewish Coalition for Service.

Jewish Federation/Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s TOV Volunteer Network (Tikkun Olam Volunteers):Started in 1996, TOV links prospective volunteers to volunteer opportunities in the Jewish and larger community to participate in the mitzvah of tikkun olam, the repairing of the world. To find a volunteer opportunity contact the JUF TOV Volunteer Network at 312-357-4762 or via e-mail at tov@juf.org. For more information about TOV visit Chicago Jewish Community On-line

KEDMA: KEDMA empowers post-high school students studying in yeshivot and seminaries in Israel to run social action campaigns and programs. KEDMA tries to connect yeshiva students to the ‘real’ Israel through volunteering in chesed projects and to build a network of young Jewish leaders and activists who will initiate similar programs on college campuses. For information about KEDMA contact them at 02-500-3303, via e-mail at kedma@netvision.net.il or visit their website at Kedma.org/

Kids For Community: Kids For Community is a free online database that lists New York City volunteer opportunities for children and families. Currently they have over 250 volunteer opportunities that range from starting your own food drive to working with the elderly. To find an opportunity that meets your needs please visit them at www.kidsforcommunity.org

Livnot: Founded 21 years ago, Livnot is a unique program designed for young Jewish people to explore themselves, Israel and their Judaism. Through hiking, community service projects, classes and workshops participants are engaged in a dynamic and open environment of self discovery. Livnot courses are known to be fun but intense. For more information on volunteering in Israel please visit http://www.livnot.org/

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.  For more information about MAZON, visit www.mazon.org

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty: The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty serves more than 100,000 clients every year in all five boroughs of New York. Met Council provides crisis intervention, counseling, kosher food distribution, career services, housing, furniture, clothing, home care, family violence prevention and home repair services to those in need. They provide many chesed opportunities within all of their departments throughout all five boroughs. Volunteer opportunities include friendly visits to frail seniors, food packaging and distribution and phone calls to the sick. To volunteer and/or for more information call 212-453-9619 or visit their website at Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty

Network for Good: Network for Good is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the Web to help people get more involved in their communities – from volunteering and donating money, to speaking out on issues you care about. To find a volunteer opportunity visit  www.networkforgood.org

New York Cares: New York Cares’ mission is to unite and enable caring New Yorkers to help people in need and improve our city through volunteer service and creative giving. To find a volunteer opportunity visit them at New York Cares.org

One Family: One Family works to provide assistance to Israeli victims of terror. They provide a vehicle for people to get involved in helping victims of terrorism in Israel who have been left orphaned, maimed, and traumatized by the recent violence. In Israel, they have three offices where volunteers can assist in a variety of tasks from administrative duties to providing direct aid to victims. For more information and to discuss specific volunteer opportunities contact the New York office at 866-9-1FAMILY, the Jerusalem office at 02-571-4516, via e-mail at info@onefamilyfund.org or visit their website at www.onefamilyfund.org

Points of Light Foundation: The Points of Light Foundation, founded in 1990 by former President George Bush, is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes volunteerism. It is the nation’s leading advocate for and authority on volunteering. The Foundation was created in an effort to tap the creative energy of the people and its organizations to connect communities and individuals. For information on volunteer opportunities visit Points of Light Foundation

The Jewish Agency for Israel: The Jewish Agency for Israel has put forward a list of volunteer projects that comprise $85 million of critical unmet needs above and beyond core allocations. Please visit their website at the  Jewish Agency for Israel

The National Jewish Coalition for Literacy: The National Jewish Coalition for Literacy is the organized Jewish community’s vehicle for mobilizing volunteer tutors and reading partners for at-risk children in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Their mission is to bring the skills and the concerns of America’s Jews to bear on the scandal of illiteracy by effecting a dramatic increase in the organized Jewish community’s involvement in the fight against illiteracy and in the number of Jews involved in that fight. For ways that you can help The National Jewish Coalition for Literacy and for a list of state coalitions visit them at National Jewish Coalition for Literacy

The National Mentoring Partnership: MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership is an advocate for the expansion of mentoring and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives nationwide. To learn more visit Mentor.org

The Virtual Volunteering Project: An index of links to major regional and nationwide sites in the U.S. and Canada that provide updated lists of volunteer opportunities at various different organizations. Visit ServiceLeader.org

United Jewish Communities: The United Jewish Communities represents 156 Jewish federations, 400 independent communities and 700,000 people across North America. To find the volunteer opportunities through your local federation visit United Jewish Communities

Volunteer Match: VolunteerMatch is dedicated to helping everyone find a great place to volunteer. To find a volunteer opportunity visit Volunteer Match

Volunteers for Israel: Volunteers For Israel is a non-political, non-profit, volunteer organization. It was formed in 1982 through the initiative of General A. Davidi to coordinate volunteers to help alleviate manpower shortages during the war in Lebanon. It provides the Diaspora Jew and other friends of Israel with an opportunity to participate directly in helping Israel. For information visit Volunteers for Israel

World Zionist Organization: The Hagshama Department of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) encourages young people to embark on a journey designed to empower participants in an ongoing process, in which the individual develops a sense of belonging and responsibility to the broader community. To learn about volunteer opportunities in Israel, visit World Zionist Organization

Get Behind a Cause such as…

Save Darfur

Since February 2003, government-sponsored militias known as the Janjaweed have conducted a calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation and displacement in Darfur. An estimated 400,000 people have died due to violence, starvation and disease. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and over 200,000 have fled across the border to Chad. Many now live in camps lacking adequate food, shelter, sanitation, and health care. Darfur, “near Hell on Earth,” has been declared the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

In 1994 in Rwanda, U.N. troops in Rwanda under specific orders from the U.N. did not intervene to end the genocide that occurred. Troops stood by and watched as nearly one million people were murdered. Yet the U.N. pledged in it’s charter to:

Here are ways you can help & educate others about Darfur….

  • Contact the U.N. and let them know that by not stopping the genocide in the Darfur, they are effectively supporting a Holocaust.
  • Ask a teacher to devote a class to teaching about Darfur (Potential Lesson plans can be found here: Save Darfur Lesson Plans
  • Host an assembly with a Darfur expert or one of the Lost Boys of Sudan . Please send an email to us atinfo@savedarfur.org for speaker suggestions or visit Lost Boys of Sudan to invite a Lost Boy of Sudan to speak at your school.
  • Send a letter to someone who can affect our country’s policy.
  • Discuss Darfur: Bring up the Darfur at non-Darfur community meetings. Propose ways the group can become more involved in helping to end the violence and suffering in Darfur.
  • Put together a photo exhibit featuring pictures from Darfur.
  • Ask your Rabbi to speak about Darfur in one of his sermons.
  • Send a petition to a politician
  • Organize a Demonstration and contact the media to receive publicity.
  • Donate money Save Darfur
  • Raise Money and donate the proceeds with a:
    • Bake sale
    • Car wash
    • Concert
    • Dinner or party
  • Fast to demonstrate solidarity with those in Darfur deprived of food and donating the funds that would have been spent on meals. Tell your friends and try to organize a group fast. Be sure to contact your local media in order to ensure community-wide awareness.
  • Wear a green wristband or a ribbon
  • Show a Darfur Video.
  • Visit www.savedarfur.com for more information and for suggestions on how to get involved.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Contact Politicians

Some people claim that contacting a politician is like speaking to a wall…these people are wrong. Though you may not get the opportunity to speak with the congresswoman or the senator, their representative will make a note of your stance on the issue. When the time comes to vote for or against legislation on any issue, senators and congressman take into account the positions of their constituents. Your phone call/email DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

President Obama
Send a letter to the president at:
President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Contact the White House by phone to voice your concerns: Phone: 202-456-1111

Vice President Biden
Send a letter to the Vice President at:
Office of the Vice President
Old Executive Building
Washington, D.C. 20501

Contact the White House by phone to voice your concerns: Phone: 202-456-2326

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand 
To comment on an issue, click Contact Senator Gilibrand and fill in the mandatory fields.

To voice your concerns/comments by phone, call: (212) 688-6262

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