Posted by Jacob Blitstein
It was on a warm, sunny Friday morning with Shabbat peaking just around the corner that the JVS/CJP Emerging Jewish Leaders interns held a day of service. We volunteered to plant a pumpkin patch at a JF&CS Supported Housing residence in Brighton, one of many JF&CS Supported Housing residences in Greater Boston.
The JVS/CJP Emerging Jewish Leaders internship provides college juniors and seniors opportunities to work in their fields of interest and develop their professional skills by interning at Jewish nonprofits in the area and participating in various development workshops.
I had been participating in the leadership program and interning in the Development and Fiscal departments at Jewish Family & Children’s Service for several weeks prior to the Day of Service. It was nice to get out of the office and enjoy the beautiful weather while volunteering to do something so rewarding.
The JF&CS residence we volunteered at provides 24/7 care for adults with disabilities. These houses help with the residents’ wide range of needs while giving them the opportunity to live independently and feel the freedom of living on their own.
Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was that there was no indication that the house I arrived at was a Supported Housing residence. It was an ordinary looking home that blended in seamlessly with the rest of the houses on the street. I think that this was an especially important part of the home, because it made the house look and feel “homey.”
We were welcomed and introduced to one of the people on-staff. After hearing a brief description of how the house works and about the people living there, we set to work. We were told we would be planting pumpkins because the people living in the house love pumpkins, and the timing was fitting with Halloween just around the corner. Having no prior experience planting, it was cool to learn about the process from fellow interns. I found the gardening itself to be remarkably soothing. After planting the seeds, we painted the raised beds we planted the pumpkin patch in.
After we finished the project, all the interns kept talking about the morning. Everyone had an amazing time and it felt so good knowing what we did would make other people happy.
Jacob Blitstein is a rising senior at Binghamton University majoring in accounting. Jacob is an intern at the CJP/JVS Emerging Jewish Leaders internship. When Jacob is not following the news and studying American history, he enjoys playing with his dog, Lucky.