Students to Spend Winter Break in Jewish Communities Across Midwest on Mission of Personal Growth and Community Building
Yeshiva University’s Office of Student Life announced today that 14 undergraduate students will participate in a special Midwest edition of its annual “Jewish Life Coast to Coast” service learning and experiential education mission during the YU’s upcoming winter intersession. From January 10 – 17, the student leaders will take part in an array of community building projects in Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Columbus, while developing their own leadership, teaching and advocacy skills.
The weeklong mission aims to broaden the students’ Jewish communal knowledge through informative meetings, hands-on volunteering and the students’ implementation of educational programs in schools, synagogues and community centers.
“Providing our students with the opportunity to embed themselves in big and small Jewish communities across the Midwest and engage with local rabbis, educators and communal leaders will allow them to explore the region’s rich Jewish history and gain a better understanding of the personalities and challenges that have shaped each of these unique communities,” said Talia Molotsky, student life coordinator on the Israel Henry Beren Campus. “The experience will also challenge them to take on leadership roles and strengthen their commitments to Jewish life.”
Highlights will include meetings with executive staff members from the Jewish Federation of Kansas City, the JCC of Milwaukee, and a philanthropic foundation in Columbus; a private audience with Rabbi Benzion Twerski and Rabbi Chaim Twerski, the third and fourth generations of the famed Twerski family to lead Congregation Beth Jehudah of Milwaukee; and a volunteer initiative focused on collecting and sorting clothing donations for the poor in Chicago.
“Engaging with Jewish communities in the Midwest will open our students to the diversity and vibrancy that permeates Jewish life outside the New York metropolitan area and help them see that there are always opportunities to make a difference no matter where they go, whether around the corner, across the country or on the other side of the world,” said Rabbi Ari Sytner, YU’s director of community initiatives. “It is our hope that the students internalize these real-life lessons about community, philanthropy and Jewish education, step up as the young Jewish leaders their local Jewish communities need, and employ their unique talents and abilities to shape the Jewish communal landscape.”