Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ
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Ongoing Federation Volunteer Opportunities

Update the JewishGen Worldwide Burial Registry

Our Jewish cemeteries in Newark serve as not only the final resting place of tens of thousands of Greater MetroWest community members who settled and resided in Newark between the 1870s through the present, but also serve as a repository of our Greater MetroWest history.

Help us preserve this history in our Newark Jewish cemeteries photographing gravestones. These photos will be sent to the JewishGen Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) to accompany the burial information. These photos will offer an opportunity for people living far away to “visit” their loved ones in these cemeteries, as well as to preserve the historical value of the graves.

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Prepare for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

Preparing for your bar or bat mitzvah is a very important time in your Jewish journey. Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ is here to help you find a mitzvah project that best fits your interests, skills, and time available. Mitzvot of Greater MetroWest provides so many exciting ways that you can give your support and make a real difference in our community.

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Volunteer with the Holocaust Council

Shabbat/Holiday Bags for Survivors: Assist in delivering quarterly Shabbat/holiday bags to our local Holocaust survivors.  

 3G: Telling Our Story: Preserving the memories and legacy of the Holocaust from the perspective of a grandchild of a Holocaust Survivor (3G). Volunteer to share your family’s story of survival to the Greater MetroWest community or complete the WEDU (we educate) writing program on your family’s history of survival. The WEDU writing program helps a 3G research, write and complete a presentation to preserve their family legacy. Please inquire about the recently launched third generation Holocaust Survivor Descendant (3G) network here in Greater MetroWest and learn how you can volunteer to share your family’s story.

Become a Moderator for Keeping the Stories Alive: On behalf of the Holocaust Council a volunteer can provide or create connections with local schools, synagogues, businesses and municipalities to bring programs such as Survivors Speaks, Class Adopt A Survivor and Twin With a Survivor to their community.  We are looking for volunteers to become a moderator for our Suvivor Speaks programs (training included in the opportunity).

Twin with a Survivor: Twin with a Survivor is a program designed to help a b’nai mitzvah perform the mitzvah of becoming a witness to those who witnessed the Holocaust. (The mitzvah: to “remember the evil with Amalek perpetrated on us” – Ki Tazi).  The student will meet and get to know a Holocaust survivor, will include the survivor’s experience in his or her speech, and will recall that survivor at anniversary bar/bat mitzvah commemorations. Through a variety of options, or one that the students can create on their own, they are asked to share their survivor’s story with the greater community.

On-call drivers: On as a needed basis provide transportation for a Holocaust Survivor to a Survivor Speak or an appointment.

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Help Deliver Fresh Meals

JESPY House hosts community Shabbat dinners each week for their members (adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities). They welcome guests from the community to join them, volunteering to lead the group in learning, singing, or dancing at the beginning of these dinners. This is a wonderful way to help build and connect with community. Great opportunity for a family or small group!

Help deliver fresh meals for our community’s most vulnerable members. JFSMW Volunteers pick up freshly cooked meals in Livingston and deliver them to homebound older adults and Holocaust survivors throughout Essex and Morris Counties. Volunteers are primarily needed to delivery holidays meals on Wednesday November 23 for Thanksgiving and Friday December 16 for Hanukkah. Meals are also sent out on Tuesdays to the survivors participating in JFSMW’s Chai Café. Meals are picked up in Livingston between 11-11:30 a.m. and must be delivered immediately. Volunteers can sign up for as many or as few deliveries as they like.

Dignity Grows

Dignity GrowsTM empowers our neighbors in need by providing menstrual and hygiene supplies. We remove obstacles to better self-esteem and health by providing personal hygiene essentials each month. Dignity Grows mobilizes volunteers to organize, assemble, and distribute free, reusable zipper-top totes filled with a month’s supply of soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, along with menstrual products or shaving cream and razor kits. Federal grant programs don’t cover these items, and people often don’t think to donate them to food pantries. Through the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and Dignity Grows, you can help those suffering from poverty by providing the essential hygiene items needed for daily life.

Reading Buddies Program with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest

Reading Buddies, a program of the RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties at Jewish Family Service MetroWest, engages older adult volunteers in promoting childhood literacy in public schools. Volunteers age 55+ read to the same small group of students each week throughout the school year using a read-aloud format that supplements the school’s regular reading curriculum. Reading Buddies is a one of a kind program that uses volunteers to support children grades K-2 and educators in the classroom. This is an in-person volunteer opportunity, based in public school systems. Reading Buddies is a one-hour commitment once a week for the school year. All volunteers must be age 55+ and submit to a background check. Volunteers must live in our service area: Essex and/or Hudson Counties, NJ. Books and training are provided.

JFS is currently in need of readers in West Orange, Jersey City, and Orange. Shifts available in both the morning (9-10 a.m.) and afternoon (2-3 p.m.).

To learn more about how to bring Listen to Children and/or Reading Buddies to your school, contact Julie Cramer-Le at [email protected] or (973) 637-1761.

Big Brothers Big Sisters GMW

Are you looking for a meaningful way to make a difference? You can impact the life of a young person living in a vulnerable family situation and improve their community at the same time by becoming a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties. Becoming a “Big” would involve 4-6 hours per month of in-person time spent with your “little” following an intensive application/match process.

Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Support

As we approach the ninth month of war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis in Europe has entered a new phase and JFNA’s Global Volunteer Hub is seeking more Russian and Ukrainian-speaking volunteers with specific skill sets. Apply here, find more information here, or contact Hannah Miller.