The Jewish Mentor Program
Submitted by: Category: Engaging in Our Community
The Big Idea
The Jewish mentor program is designed to engage kids and adolescents to understand their Jewish culture and religion better, as well as continuing to get enjoyment out of being Jewish. The Jewish Mentor Program would consist of a group of volunteers trained by Rabbis, Hebrew school teachers or approved members of the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community to share and initiate a positive Jewish experience in Jewish kids and adolescents in order to give them a broader understanding and liking of all aspects of Judaism, including prayer, the Talmud, our history, Kabbalah, the Zohar, Israel, our successes throughout history and the many definitions of what it means to be a Jew. This would help strengthen bonds within the younger Jewish community and would count as volunteer credits for high school and college students. This would not only teach kids and adolescents about Judaism, but also Jewish values such as tikkun olam (our responsibility to help repair the world), compassion and responsibility.
The Jewish Mentor Program has several main goals. They are the following: Initiate a strong interest and liking to all aspects of Judaism at a young age. Teach Volunteers the importance of helping out the community, tikkun olam (our responsibility to help repair the world), compassion and responsibility, so that they can take these qualities and become upstanding members of the community. Help develop lasting relationships within the Jewish Community. These mentors will form lasting bonds with their students that will help tighten Los Angeles's Jewish Community's bond. Give high school and college students a fun and productive way to earn volunteer credits. Help make the entire Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community feel like a close family.
This Is A Great Idea Because
The Jewish Mentor Program is a unique program that takes Jewish adolescents and pairs them with younger children. They are not so far apart in age and may be able to relate. Adolescents and children tend to be able to communicate with each other differently than they do with adults, as they consider themselves more as equal peers than as a child with a parent who has more power than them. When added to teaching from adults such as parents, rabbis and other qualified adults, it can give young Jewish children a better understanding and a bigger interest in Judaism than ever before. In addition, the fact that volunteer credits for high school and college students can be earned is very unique incentive. Programs like this have been implemented before, but not in a Jewish community. This would be a milestone and a model for more programs like this around the world.