As kids get a little older and enter their teenage years, the summer experience changes. Many of them don’t want to be a camper anymore, but they are too young to work or to be counselors.
This is a great time to encourage them to look for volunteering camps or activities to fill their summer schedule. By giving – they often gain even more than they give and Jerusalem is a great place to make this happen.
Inspired by a few emails I received on the same day requesting ideas for volunteer activities, I started to look into options for teens & young adults. The best scenario is when there is an equal need on both sides. After a nice conversation with a friend who has a child with special needs, I realized that families like hers are often short handed over the summer. Without the usual routine and school schedule, these families have to find new ways to entertain their child with special needs.
That’s where the Friendship Circle comes into play. Nechama Dina of the Southern Jerusalem Friendship Circle has created a great summer volunteering program were she can place teens and young adults with families in need. Whether you are looking for a job for a few hours or for a whole day, she can find a family that will appreciate your help. Contact the Friendship Circle.
My next stop for great volunteering ideas was Hannah Cohn, the Queen of Chesed (at least that’s what I call her). Hannah runs Gift Israel which is a non profit bringing chesed into the lives of kids and tourists. She creates custom programs for local schools and families visiting Jerusalem that focus around giving back to the community. Sure enough Hannah had also planned a local camp to focus on volunteering.
The GIFT Israel SUMMER KAYTANA – Grades 4-8. Everyday Heroes: arts & craft activities, volunteering, trips to different charities, treats and surprises…..located in Katamon. Sign up by emailing email@example.com
For young adults there will be a special program through Torat Reva Yerushalayim – where volunteers can spend time with seniors at an old age home in Southern Jerusalem. Programs focus on Torah learning together in English, Hebrew or French.
There is one more summer workshop worth mentioning that can also be a great educational experience for teens. The YCI Debate Workshop will take place in Pelech High School and brings together kids of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds to learn the art of debating. It is a one week camp July 10-15 and ends with a “Mock” Debate Event.
There are also some great volunteer opportunities in Jerusalem to do during the year and especially for families vacationing in Jerusalem. Whether its Pantry Packers, Ohr Meir & Bracha, Tachlit or Susan’s House, there is always someway to help.
If you hear of other volunteering opportunities make sure to let us know by leaving a comment or emailing Fun In Jerusalem.