Developing leadership skills and instilling a genuine passion for volunteering in their own communities and around the world.
Increasing awareness and compassion for those less fortunate while deepening their appreciation for their own lives.
Strengthening their Jewish identity and connection to Jewish values through an immersive, hands-on experience of tikkun olam, as well as follow-up activities.
“Over the past 7 years, Green Light New Orleans has received the help of NCSY students on a regular basis. The volunteers from NCSY have been crucial in helping advance Green Light’s mission to build a more sustainable city. The groups have been involved in all our programs; they have helped install thousands of energy-efficient light bulbs, painted dozens of rain barrels, and improved access to healthy food through Green Light’s backyard vegetable garden program. We highly value the long term partnership we have with NCSY. Involvement over a long period of time brings the highest value to our mission!”
“NCSY chessed relief missions provide a unique Jewish ‘out-of-the-box’ educational experience for public school teens. The missions take the teens out of their comfort zone, allowing them to grow their leadership skills and learn about Judaism in a new and meaningful way. Through work in other communities outside of their own, the teens learn that Judaism is not something that only exists in their Hebrew schools or JSU clubs, it is something that is much greater than their personal community.”
“In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon, reminds us that it is not on us to complete the task, though neither are we free to abandon the work. Though the recovery efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey will continue for years, NCSY-ers who participated in Act Now Houston’s volunteer initiative, indeed lived their Jewish values of repairing the world. Over the weeks and countless hours that the teens helped to re-build damaged homes, they not only increased their own competency, confidence, empathic understanding, and moral character, they also strengthened community. And one might wonder, is it possible that unskilled, unexperienced volunteers could learn how to install new floors and sheet rock and actually be helpful? The simple answer is absolutely. With the right tools and (equally important) intention, anyone with a few hours can make a contribution to the incredible work of helping to bring a family home. It is about the collective joining in solidarity and action, showing up to meet the needs of those you serve, and the compounding contributions of volunteers who build upon the work that came before them and pass their work to those who will come after, which restores and revitalizes humanity.”
“In just a few short days, NCSY gave my students a sense of purpose and helped them feel like they were making a real difference. You should have seen the students’ reactions when the homeowners came outside with tears of thanks. It was incredible.”
“We are very grateful to NCSY for the opportunities they afford the Ma’ayanot students. We value the chesed missions because they allow our students to interact with a population that they would not ordinarily have exposure to and because it forces them to reach beyond themselves and give back in such a meaningful way. It is because of NCSY’s continued generosity and commitment to informal education that we are able to give our students this incredible opportunity.”
“The mission was truly transformative because NCSY got these teens to step outside their familiar, insulated community, to physically volunteer their time and labor for complete strangers. After being exposed to the aftermath of these natural disasters and meeting those who were affected, my students were able to understand that it’s a responsibility that we, as Jewish people, have to make the world a better place.”
“Thirteen years ago I was given the privilege of participating in the first ever NCSY Relief Mission. On that memorable trip, I grew tremendously and learned that I have the ability to accomplish things that I never thought I could do. I learned more about my Jewish identity and my role in the greater Jewish community and how my actions can positively affect so many people around me. This experience certainly helped me become the person I am today. Now, as an educational director of the NCSY Relief Missions, I am excited to impart these invaluable experiences and lessons. I know that one day, these participants will also become passionate leaders in the Jewish community, each in their own way, because of their experiences on NCSY Relief Missions.”
“Having taken part in NCSY chesed missions both as a high school student and teacher, I see first hand what these missions are able to accomplish and the responsibility they instill in high school students. These chesed missions balance so many different objectives and Rabbi Katz has succeeded in developing a program that can really impact the greater Jewish community on so many different levels.”
“The true impact of the mission was revealed after my students returned home. They were inspired to take on new leadership and volunteer roles in their local communities, so essentially these missions are helping us create a better Jewish future. If only all of our students could have this experience!”