TORONTO — Five hundred Toronto-area teens will participate in an afternoon of community service on April 22.
They, along with 10,000 Jewish teens from around the world, will take part in J‑Serve, the Global Day of Jewish Youth Service.
J‑Serve is the Jewish service component of Youth Service America’s annual Global Youth Service Day and also coincides with the fifth annual ChangeTheWorld – Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge. The province’s three-week challenge kicked off April 15 in partnership with Volunteer Canada’s National Volunteer Week, Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism and civic participation.
This year marks the third year in which Toronto-area teens will participate in the international initiative, thanks to funding by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the BBYO Panim Institute.
The Toronto project, hosted at the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, Wallenberg campus, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., has been co-ordinated by BBYO in an effort to encourage community building and connections across religious and societal lines.
“When registering at Jserve.ca, teens are asked to choose one of 16 service opportunities across the city,” said Kevin Goodman, executive director at BBYO’s Lake Ontario region. “The site also enables parents and community members to register as project chaperones to see first-hand the power of 500 young people eager to impact their world.”
J-Serve Toronto 2012’s service opportunities include the following activities.
• Tree-planting and cleanups at three Toronto parks
• Packaging books for a Frontier College literacy program
• Leading a thank-a-thon for the Jewish National Fund
• Joining DANI (which helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive challenges) participants for an Olympic day
• Preparing clothes for distribution by a clothing bank
• Participating in a political letter-writing workshop facilitated by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, a social justice workshop facilitated by Free the Children’s youth programming department, or a social-media focus group for Pencils for Kids
• Planting flowers and preparing rooftop gardens for the Kehilla Residential Program
• Decorating knapsacks and educational tools for Save a Child’s Heart
• Providing child care at the Schwartz/Reisman Centre
• Organizing props for Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre
• Assembling school supply kits for families in need and making sandwiches for distribution to Toronto’s homeless with Ve’ahavta, the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee
• Working the phones at a Zareinu Educational Centre telethon to promote its 15th annual Moveathon