AMERICAN JEWISH SOCIETY FOR SERVICE INC

Rating: 5 stars   5 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 10319 Westlake Blvd Suite 193 Bethesda MD 20817 USA

Mission: To give Jewish teens the chance to put their values into action while serving people in need.
Geographic areas served: US

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

As a Jewish teenager growing up in New York City, there are few opportunities to do physical community service. Sure, i've spent hours at nursing homes and tutoring centers, but I wanted to do something that would use my physical strength and energy to help people, after all, i'm young and willing to help. I signed up because I wasn't in the mood to sit and chat with someone, I wanted to work. When I arrived in Tucson, Arizona with the 20 other people on my program, I really got the best of both worlds. We worked at a transitional housing shelter for homeless veterans. Our physical labor involved fixing up living quarters and storage sheds for the veterans. We worked with the veterans, and the work was like occupational therapy for the veterans. While we were there, we got one of the veterans to go to college, another in touch with his family, and a third moved into his own apartment. It was a life changing experience to do the work and watch these veterans get back on their feet. I am normally not the type of person who writes a lot about anything, but even three months after it was over, I am still talking about it. I would recommend this program to anyone who is physically capable of manual labor.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly amazing. They inspired me to continue working even when I was tired. I love all the people with whom i went on ajss.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Last summer, I spent the summer working with AJSS in Tucson, Arizona, and I must say that it changed my life. I learned a lot about the people that we were working for and about Jews from all over the country. Never have I had such a meaningful experience. I took pride in my work, and came to a new understanding of the country.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Diverse and lively.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do a lot to change the way that the country thinks Jews.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

AJSS changed my life when I was 16 and participated in a summer work project with the organization in Madisonville, Kentucky. I worked hard, helped others, learned about America, and had a remarkable social experience. Weekends with the group included camping and trips to St. Louis and Nashville. And never did I wear my Judaism so proudly. It is difficult to overstate how profound an experience it was for a Jewish urban teenager such as myself.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing teenager after teenager come home from an AJSS project saying it was the best experience of their life.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

show more of the rural poor in this country that Jews don't have horns.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

AJSS was and continues to be instrumental in shaping my identity, both as a Jew and as a responsible citizen. When I was 17, I joined other Jewish teens in Escanaba, Michigan where we worked building homes with Bay de Noc Habitat for Humanity. Although we came from a range of backgrounds, we came together that summer to form a vibrant Jewish community that truly made a difference in our lives and in the lives of those we served. I grew up secular, without exposure to Jewish youth groups or Jewish camps. AJSS was one of the first positive Jewishly-oriented experiences of my life. Ten years later, I returned to AJSS as the Assistant Director on a trip to San Juan, Texas. There we worked with Proyecto Azteca, a non-profit organization building affordable housing for low-income families. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude towards AJSS for helping me realize my goals in the field of Jewish Education, and for being an experience that combines the best elements of Jewish camping with Tikkun Olam, the service work at the heart of the Jewish value system. Now in my first year of Rabbinical School, I am proud to say that I hope to make AJSS a part of my life for many summers to come.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of countless Jewish teens who have not been exposed to more traditional Jewish summer programs, and remind both participants and host organizations that Tikkun Olam involves all communities -- not just the Jewish community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer in Jeanerette, LA, with 12 other teens and we built houses for low income families. AJSS is a great organization and for 60 years has been giving teenagers the chance to put their Jewish values into action by serving others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptionally committed to the work and to making the entire experience meaningful and valuable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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