What are you doing for others?

Cam Campbell, 18 years old of Temple Shir Tikvah in Winchester, has been a passionate participant in community service since elementary school, when he started a food donation program called "Mac and Cheese for Those in Need." In high school, he joined efforts to repair homes damaged by natural disasters in New York and New Jersey on five different TELEM teen service trips. Now, Cam is lending the skills he honed as a youth on these trips to local repair efforts as part of JCRC’s Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 15th. This time he’ll be bringing his mother, Angel, and his younger brother, Ian, along, as they work to refurbish the interior of the Second Church Enrichment Center with Rebuilding Together Boston.

Rebecca Sweder joined JCRC as a young professional in 2004 to oversee the development of an innovative new teen service learning program. Under her leadership, JCRC partnered with a dozen synagogues and schools, created a curriculum, and crafted quality service experiences at community-based non-profits throughout Greater Boston. Thirteen years later, TELEM has engaged over 8,000 Jewish teens and continues to thrive as a vibrant service program. Rebecca Sweder Platt now works as a school psychologist, and she and her husband, Charlie, have three children of their own. And though their children are only aged four, six, and eight, Rebecca knows that it’s not too early establish a habit of service, to guide and inspire her children throughout their lives. So on MLK Day this year, she and Charlie will be joining us too, bringing Jordan, Simon, and Stella with them to the Blackstone Elementary School to beautify and revitalize this Boston Public School.

Throughout the year, our service programs – The Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for LiteracyReachOut!, and TELEM – reflect our deep commitment to connecting our Jewish community to ongoing service and creating a more just and compassionate world. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service provides a unique opportunity for all to participate – children, adults, and families – whether by painting and repairing community spaces, providing a hot meal to homeless individuals, offering companionship and conversation with seniors, or spreading the word about adult education and vocational services through Jewish Vocational Service (JVS).

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?” As we heed his call on the day that honors his life and legacy, we invite you to join us in service to our community – and to his dream.

Shabbat shalom,

Jeremy