JF&CS Volunteer News Spring 2013

JF&CS Young ProfessionalsA dedicated network of young adults throughout Greater Boston is making a difference at JF&CS. Last year, the agency began building the next generation of volunteers through JF&CS Young Professionals.

"These young professionals want to connect to each other and the Jewish community," said Claire Marcus, Senior Development Associate at JF&CS. "There are a lot of ways to be engaged here. We want to educate them about what we do and create the next generation of leaders, donors, and advocates for JF&CS."

Claire found that young adults want substantive hands-on volunteer opportunities and ways to meet new people, yet they are busy building their careers and can't commit to a set schedule. To meet the needs of these busy activists, JF&CS has introduced one-time volunteer opportunities with a social twist.

One of the group's first events was at the 2012 Annual Benefit when 160 young professionals joined an "after-party" for dessert and to socialize and dance. Since then volunteers have packed Rosh Hashanah holiday bags and made deliveries for the JF&CS kosher food pantry, Family Table; celebrated Chanukkah and Passover with our elderly clients; and shared Friday night Shabbat dinners with adults with disabilities.

Tamar Kooy, an investor relations associate, has been active in the group since its inception. "A big part of what makes me want to volunteer is that I really believe in the purpose of the organization. The staff is passionate and motivated and makes me want to get involved," said Tamar. She is familiar with the agency through her mother, Diana, who was one of two professional quilters who contributed to the JF&CS Parkinson's Quilt Project.

Tamar works long days but wanted to find a way to give back. "Once I graduated and started working I wanted to find something else to do. It was tough to find organizations that will let you volunteer on a casual basis," she said. "These events are fun. You can do this when you have the time. It's very manageable."

Andrew Gordon, an engineer, has also enjoyed his involvement with the group. "I wanted to give back and help out but never knew the best way. JF&CS Young Professionals is geared towards giving back in a way that's suited towards my age group," he said. "Set aside a few hours on your calendar to attend an event, and JF&CS staff take care of all the logistics and organization. The hardest part is taking that first step, but it's absolutely worth it."

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about getting involved with JF&CS Young Professionals, please contact Claire Marcus at cmarcus@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5036.

Read more articles from JF&CS Volunteer News Spring 2013.