BBYO Teens Volunteer Nationwide for J-Serve 2009
June 11, 2009
Thousands of BBYO teens made up the approximately 10,000 teens that spent April 26, 2009 as a united movement committed to making a difference in more than 70 communities across the country as a part of J-Serve 2009: a national day of Jewish youth service.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of J-Serve, which is designed to encourage Jewish service, community building and creation of connections across religious and societal lines. With three dozen project sites across North America, BBYO teens embraced the value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Many of BBYO’s J-Serve 2009 projects officially kicked off BBYO’s new initiative for service and advocacy, the Stand Up Campaign, which encourages youth education, advocacy and activism on a local level. Launched at International Convention 2009, Stand Up is quickly becoming a powerful force in BBYO communities, inspiring J-Serve projects such as:
• Hosting a Walk-A-Thon for Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research, a foundation started by the parents of a BBG alumna who passed away from a brain tumor, in Mountain Region. • Cooking meals for 70 families who have children who are cancer patients at the local hospital Omaha and Mid-American Region. • Bringing together Jewish and Muslim teens for various service projects in Central Region West. • Raising nearly $30,000 to build a local family a home through Habitat for Humanity in Memphis BBYO. • Visiting lower-income schools in the area to paint, clean and install new technology in Connecticut Valley Region. • Staying Up All Night for Israel in Eastern Canada Region and Lake Ontario Region. • Rallying for Darfur with teens of all faiths and backgrounds in Great Midwest Region. • Raising awareness for people with disabilities in Lonestar Region.
“Through Stand Up, we embrace a local issue that we can really affect and through J-Serve we are able to make it part of a powerful, national day,” said Yael Brown of Houston, TX. “Knowing that we are choosing projects that we care deeply about and also part of a bigger movement of thousands of teens is truly inspiring.”
J-Serve is a collaboration of PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values and the Jewish Coalition for Service, with additional support by partner agencies and foundations. J-Serve is the Jewish service component of the annual Global Youth Service Day of Youth Service America. J-Serve 2008 generated 85 community service projects across the country and attracted 10,000 teen volunteers. The days events focused on helping those in need, which coincides with BBYO’s teen-driven program initiative called Stand Up where teens focus on bettering the world around them through service, advocacy, and philanthropy. Those interested in participating in a J-Serve project can find additional information on the J-Serve web site, www.jserve.org.