YU Students Engage in Volunteer and Service Learning Missions Around the World
This winter break, 90 Yeshiva University students took part in an array of hands-on community building projects in Israel, the United States, Nicaragua and Mexico.
Organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, the missions differed widely in focus, ranging from service-learning and experiential education to humanitarian aid. Building on the success of the Counterpoint Israel summer program, 39 YU students ran a series of winter camps for 500 Israeli teens in Jerusalem, Kiryat Malachi and Dimona that sought to strengthen their English language skills and facilitate self-exploration through art.
In Mexico, 16 students assisted with farming and harvesting in local private and public gardens, building pools for aquaculture development and contributing to the community’s ecotourism project, in collaboration with a local non-profit organization that works within the Mayan community to promote environmental sustainability, advance the integration of women in the economy and strengthen the capacity of grassroots groups.
A group of 16 students also volunteered in Nicaragua with Servicios Medicos Comunales, an NGO that promotes community-based sustainable development in the southwestern district of San Juan del Sur, by assisting with the construction of a public library—a project started by previous CJF winter mission participants. And 19 students traveled across Texas—from Houston to San Antonio to Dallas—on the CJF’s “Jewish Life Coast to Coast” program, meeting with local rabbis, educators and communal leaders to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by these diverse Jewish communities. Read the rest of this entry…