Many religious organizations require their congregation’s youth to volunteer for several hours. However, the youth of Congregation Beth Torah have a totally different idea. They volunteer in their community on a regular basis not because they have to, but because they want to volunteer.
Congregation Beth Torah’s school curriculum is based on three core values: God, Worship, and Acts of Loving Kindness. Through these values, youth feel a balance in their life. Beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing through college, youth are given countless opportunities to serve their community.
The youth of Congregation Beth Torah serve their community in many ways.
A few of these include: Organizing fundraisers to provide financial assistance to people and organizations, Being counselors at children’s camp, Collecting and donating things such as games, art supplies, socks and more than two tons of food, Hosting holiday parties, Performing plays, Lobbying for social justice causes, Making and delivering cookies for working firefighters, every year on Christmas Day.
It’s true that Congregation Beth Torah benefits from the service that these youth provide, as do many organization in the community.
A handful of these organizations include: Pets for Life, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Hadassah Hospital, Tsunami Relief, Camp Rainbow, a camp for children with serious illnesses, Grand Avenue Church, Rose Brooks Domestic Violence Shelter, Village Shalom, Yachad Kosher Food Pantry, Harvesters, Start, a homeless shelter for families.
For the 350 youth in Congregation Beth Torah, volunteering does not seem like a big deal. It is just a part of life. However, between fundraisers, collect and donated projects, performances, and lobbying, the youth of Congregation Beth Torah have done and continue to do amazing things in their community. Beyond any group I have ever met, they are most deserving of this award.