Honoring Commitment to Service

I hope that the little burst of warmer weather that hit the area on Wednesday was a welcome reminder that even this brutal winter will end and that spring is just seven days away. And if spring and Passover are on the horizon, then JCRC’s yearly celebration cannot be far behind!

This year's JCRC Celebrates (look for details soon) will focus on “Generations of Service,” honoring the leaders and volunteers in JCRC’s multiple service programs including the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy, ReachOut! (for young adults) and TELEM (for middle and high school students). We will pay tribute to our volunteers, who are having such a positive impact on Greater Boston through their sustained commitment to service and are themselves so enriched by the experience.

To illustrate the depth of our volunteers’ commitment, one needs to look only at this past winter, and the “snowpocalyse” that resulted in so many closings and cancellations. In the midst of this incessant cold and snow was a planned service trip by a TELEM group (from Temples Shir Tikvah in Winchester, Sinai in Sharon and Congregation Or Atid in Wayland) to Brooklyn, a return visit to sustain their commitment to communities still suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  The trip was part of an ongoing partnership with local relief groups providing volunteer assistance to low income residents unable to rebuild their homes unaided. As fate would have it, one of the many major winter storms to hit Boston arrived just as the TELEM group was scheduled to depart. The chaperones and staff were on the verge of canceling, but the TELEM teens were insistent – no way would they miss this trip and the chance to help out this community in need! So at the crack of dawn on the following day, they headed to Brooklyn to remove debris and mold and to apply fresh coats of paints on the houses of their new friends.

Our TELEM participants volunteering locally exhibited the same depth of commitment to their work. Students from Temple Beth Emunah in Brockton were getting ready for their weekly volunteer visit with the residents of the Simon C. Fireman Community in Randolph, when the bus company that transports them cancelled due to the treacherous wintry conditions.  Undaunted by the weather, three of the teens immediately jumped into a car and drove themselves right over. Needless to say, the residents, though perhaps a bit shocked, were thoroughly delighted when their young companions showed up in their own in the midst of a snowstorm!

We’re proud of the many ways in which our volunteers are living their Jewish values and honoring their commitment to building a stronger and more vibrant community. We look forward to sharing their stories and introducing you to them at our Gala on May 19th.

Shabbat Shalom,
Jeremy