For our upcoming special section on philanthropy, the Forward will profile American Jews aged 21 and under who are making a difference, locally or globally, with cool new approaches to helping others. We are looking for young people who are having a direct impact on their community in the novel way they are confronting poverty, violence, injustice, discrimination and ignorance. Post your nominations here, or email TopTen@forward.com, and be sure to include your contact information. Then watch for the final list in the November 11 issue of the Forward, and be inspired.
A just-released study on young Jews and volunteerism reveals that, although young Jews are committed to community service and volunteering, they tend not to associate that interest with their Jewish identities. This is the case despite the fact that commitment to volunteerism increases with a young Jew’s level of religious involvement. The study also found that most service work is locally based, and that Israel is not a focus for young Jews’ volunteer efforts.
The study, called “Volunteering + Values: A Repair the World Report on Jewish Young Adults” was commissioned by the service organization Repair the World and was conducted as a collaborative effort between the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University and Gerstein | Agne Strategic Communications. It used a sample of young Jewish adults, ages 18-35, from among the 300,000 diverse applicants to the Taglit-Birthright Israel program. Some survey respondents were alumni of the program, while others were not. Additional respondents were chosen through Knowledge Networks, which provides a representative sample of the U.S. population using probability-based sampling techniques.