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JCC Teens Volunteer

Be The Change!

The JCC offers meaningful volunteer opportunities for teens to lead, work together on a team, learn, and most important, to make a difference.

J SERVE

About J Serve at the JCC

J-Serve is an annual day of service open to all teens in 6th-12th grade, and an amazing opportunity for teens to give back to their community while having a blast with their friends and learning about the value of service and community engagement.

There is no sweeter way to celebrate service than with your friends all around Pittsburgh! Join hundreds of Jewish teens from all across the Greater Pittsburgh Area for a day of speakers, service opportunities, and sweet treats. This is certainly a day that you and your friends do not want to miss! J-Serve is the International Day of Teen Service.

An International Day of Youth Service
J-Serve: International Day of Youth Service is a national program of BBYO, Repair the World, Youth Service America, and Rock the Vote. It is generously underwritten by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Since 2005, J-Serve has been part of Youth Service America’s Global Youth Service Day weekend.

This Year’s J Serve
This year’s J-Serve 2024 date to be announced soon!

Registration

Cost: J-Serve Pittsburgh is free for all participants. If you would like to support our efforts, please click below and designate your gift to J-Serve. Thank you.
Contact: If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Josh Cohen ([email protected]) and Erica Levin ([email protected]) and we will be happy to help!

Interested in joining us for a weekend of service?

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SAMUEL M. GOLDSTON TEEN ENGAGEMENT

Join a group of future Jewish teen changemakers and leaders to give away $10,000 to your local community!

About Goldston Teen Engagement

The Samuel M. Goldston Teen Engagement project is for Jewish 7th-10th graders who want to make a positive impact in the greater Pittsburgh community. In just 6 sessions, beginning in February, Goldston participants will become engaged community leaders by learning about Tikkun Olam, how to assess community needs, and what matters most to them. We will learn how to activate these skills and values in our everyday lives, and into our futures as engaged Jewish leaders.

Together, a cohort of Pittsburgh teens will:

  • Learn about social justice, philanthropy and fundraising through a Jewish lens
  • Learn about Judaism, Pittsburgh, and themselves
  • Allocate over $10,000 to a local non-profit of their choice!
  • Learn to evaluate and read grant proposals from local organizations
  • This amazing program is fun, educational, and looks GREAT on college applications!

Upcoming Dates

Goldston will take place over 5 sessions from January through March, every other week on Wednesdays. Each session will take place from

  • 5-7pm.
  • Jan 10th
  • Jan 24th
  • Feb 14th
  • Feb 28th
  • Mar 13th
*Option for a 6th meeting volunteering at/touring the organization of choice after the allocation process is completed.

Registration

Cost: FREE
Location: All sessions will be held in the Second Floor Teen Center at 5738 Darlington Road. Snacks will be provided.
Time: 5-7pm
Contact: Email Rebecca Kahn, Director of Teen Leadership, at [email protected].

Ready to get started? Apply for the 2024 Goldston Teen Engagement Cohort here.

Contributions are matched through a generous grant from Edward and Linda Goldston (z’l) in memory of their son, Samuel.

The Samuel M. Goldston Teen Engagement Project, hosted by The Second Floor at the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, is gearing up for its 18th year of Jewish youth philanthropy. Rebecca Kahn, Director of Teen Leadership, shared with us some of the differences to the program this year. These changes were influenced by her attending our recent Honeycomb Facilitator Training. The potential for greater reach is evident.

The Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh (where the JCC is located) is all too familiar with what a community needs after harrowing incidents of anti-Semitism. The community was well equipped to jump in following the attacks in Israel on October 7, 2023. Rebecca quickly organized a Teen Engagement “pop-up” session to discuss the needs of their community, engage in conversations with others from the community, and begin the change-making process. “Every teen who attended our pop-up in October is now a registered participant in our youth philanthropy initiative.” These teens came out to support their friends, but what they found together was more than friendship.

Beginning in January the teens – from 7th through 9th grade – will immerse themselves in the philanthropic process. Keeping the organizations that they will fund local is important to the program. Pittsburgh boasts the longest continuous Jewish community living in a city center in the United States outside New York City, and their pride and care of the community runs deep. “We have siblings of previous participants, families have had parents, and then children be involved in this community… the youth philanthropy program allows for the next generation to be a part of the history of this amazing place” shared Rebecca.

The experiential learning, which happens naturally in centers like The Second Floor, is enhanced by the Honeycomb grantmaking curriculum, Changemakers: A Journey Through Jewish Teen Philanthropy. The teens are bringing their own personal understandings and values to these programs with these goals in mind; “to have them [the teens] come away with a positive relationship with Jewish text, how it relates to their lives today, and to have a vested interest in giving back in whatever form fits the individual.”

With such a deep-rooted desire to give back to the community, and an overwhelming sense of belonging, The Samuel M. Goldston Teen Engagement Project has both a storied history and a bright future in the hands of their youth.

Nazun (Formerly Challah for Hunger)

Shape challah dough into beautiful braids while learning about tikkun olam, food insecurity, and raising money for local food access organizations!

Nazun meets once a month in Squirrel Hill.

Contact: For more information, email Maria Carson at [email protected].

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