The following essay on community service was written by Chloe Genick, a middle schooler, enrolled in City Congregation’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. Students spend a year and a half researching their heritage, values and beliefs, and write on a Jewish subject of their choice, their major project; they also perform 13 hours of community service, and write about it. An example of this component can be seen below. The process improves both the student’s writing and critical thinking skills, as well as their self confidence and overall maturity.
I volunteered at a variety of places for my community service project. I donated my clothes and helped teach a dance class for kindergarteners. What stood out to me the most, and what I thought was the most helpful for me to do, was volunteer at “Boca Helping Hands”. This is an organization that provides food, medical assistance and education, and it is in Florida right near my grandparents. I volunteered twice when I was visiting my family, and my brother and I stayed the entire day. My grandfather works at Helping Hands every Tuesday and he hands out bus passes. I helped with the food.
When I volunteered at “Helping Hands”, I made sandwiches on and then wiped down all the tables so everyone would have a place to sit. I then gave everyone food and I made sure that there were enough drinks. I also poured the juice. We arrived at 9:00 am and made the sandwiches until 10:45. Then we set up tables for the people who came to eat at “Helping Hands”. People arrived at 11:00 then we left at 1:00-1:30m PM.
I enjoyed working at “Boca Helping Hands”. I was happy to be doing something for other people and I was glad that I could help people and make their day better. I also enjoyed spending time with my family and helping the less fortunate. My grandmother, my brother and my grandfather and I all went together to help. It was fun working with my family and I got to meet other people who volunteered at “Helping Hands”. My brother and I were excited to help serve food and drinks. It was cool to see all the different people and I felt good that I was helping people who weren’t as fortunate as I was.
Another thing I did for my community service was helping my ballet and modern teacher with a younger class that she teaches on Saturday. Two of the girls go to my school and were in Kindergarten. It was fun for me because I got to help choreograph and teach a ballet dance that the students performed in at the end of last year. I also found it fun because I got to see how my dance teacher figures out our warm ups and other interesting strategies that go into teaching a dance class.
My mom and I clean out my closets about every month, and we always donate my clothes that I don’t need any more. We did this at the beginning of my community service project. I liked helping people and I learned a lot from my experience at “Boca Helping Hands” I didn’t know what to expect at first and I didn’t know how I was going to interact with people, but when I got there it was easy and I wasn’t shy or worrying about anything. I was just focused on helping and doing my part while I was there.