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New “VolunTeams” Program Offers Opportunities for Hands-on Involvement in the Jewish Community

A new initiative of the Jewish Volunteer Center of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation seeks to improve the quality of life for local residents by creating “VolunTeams” that focus on different ages and geographic areas to best serve specific community needs.

Beginning in November, six different teams of volunteers will dedicate their time and energies to benefit specific Jewish causes, institutions and programs.

  • Miami Beach Gives Back will participate in service projects in cooperation with Federation’s Miami Beach Branch. One of its first projects will be an Oneg Shabbat social program for older adults on Friday, December 25.

  • North Dade Gives Back will serve the community through outreach efforts coordinated by Federation’s North Dade/Aventura Branch. Its first major event will involve participation in “Everything but the Turkey,” the annual Thanksgiving program to benefit Miami’s homeless population.
  • The Social Action Network will focus on Jewish community-based projects involving young professionals through The Network, Federation’s under-40 connection. Among the group’s activities will be a day of fun at Ronald McDonald House, the residence for families of children undergoing hospital treatment. Another event will focus on meaningful interactions with a rapidly dwindling Holocaust survivor population in Miami-Dade County.
  • The VolunTeens will take part in service projects planned by Federation’s Teen Leadership and Service Boar in conjunction with various Jewish agencies in Miami. Its first activity will be an Israel advocacy program for teens in partnership with Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council. Participants also will be involved in Federation’s Super Sunday/Good Deeds Day in March and the National Day of Service in April.
  • The Literacy VolunTeam will present special events and readings at Miami-Dade County Public Libraries in cooperation with PJ Library, a national program that provides books with Jewish content to pre-school and school-age children free of charge. Activities will be coordinated to celebrate Jewish holidays and other significant Jewish traditions.
  • The Older Adult VolunTeam is a family-friendly group that will be involved in hands-on activities in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Miami. Participants will organize a series of events with seniors during after-school hours to build intergenerational relationships.
  • According to JVC Chair Tobi Ash, the VolunTeams initiative was conceived to bolster the level of volunteerism in the Jewish community by organizing activities that are geographically convenient to volunteers and attract the involvement of new and interested individuals with common outlooks.

    “We planned some of the VolunTeams with the idea of focusing on volunteer programs that serve specific geographic sections of the Jewish community because volunteers are more likely to participate when activities are easily accessible,” Ash said. “Other VolunTeams were created to attract like- minded peer groups of volunteers who share interests, philosophies and concerns.”

    The VolunTeams program also has been envisioned as an entry point for individuals interested in greater involvement and future leadership in the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and its family of local social-service agencies.

    To register or obtain more information about JVC’s VolunTeams program, contact JVC Director Lori Tabachnikoff at or 786.866.8680.

The Mission of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is to mobilize human and financial resources to care for those in need, strengthen
Jewish life and advance the unity, values and shared purpose of the Jewish people in Miami, in Israel and around the world.

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