Just one volunteer experience can be meaningful, but we know that sustained community service can change lives. Here’s what one student had to say about his time in the B’nai TELEM program.
“[Praying] is not the only way to honor G-d, as there are still many other ways to do so. In our religious school, we talk about ways to do G’milut Hasidim, acts of loving kindness. We talked about helping someone who is robbed or attacked, we talked about respecting our elders, and we even made prayers of our own to thank G-d.
We have a program called B’nai TELEM where once a month we visit places that can use our help doing good things for others, including those who may need company or those who are poor and cannot afford new clothes or a home. Some of the trips we have been on include going to a place called Cradles to Crayons, where we made packages of clothes or books that will be sent to poor people all around the Boston area. We have also been to Evan’s Park, to visit with the elderly. We started up conversations and we played card game to keep them company.
There are even simpler ways to honor G-d, such as raising tzedakah to go to poor people in need. There are also local community service projects you can do on mitzvah day. Making meal offerings or ancient animal sacrifices were one way to honor G-d, but as you can see, not the only ways you can honor G-d. Just as with the use of precious [materials], the important thing is not to be stingy about your offer.”
To learn more about B’nai TELEM or other TELEM family programs, or get involved with this innovative community service movement, please visit our website.
Daniel Likoff is a student at Temple Shalom in Newton. He was enrolled in B’nai TELEM student last year when he became a bar mitzvah, and is now an active 8th grader in their Connecting Generations TELEM track, volunteering with seniors at the Weeks House in Newton.