In the spring of 2015, seven years after moving to Boston, I was lucky enough to discover the LEADS program put on by CJP. LEADS is an eight-session introduction to what CJP and the Boston Jewish community have to offer, and it’s an amazing place to socialize with other young Jewish adults. I had lost touch with the Jewish community in Boston after law school, and I was really excited to dive back in.

A year later, to say that LEADS and CJP have had a significant impact on my life is an understatement. Through the program, I met some of my now closest friends, joined Jewish learning groups, and look forward to Soul Food Friday at Temple Israel every month. I have since become a LEADS leader, and most recently co-chair of Senior Prom. For those who don’t know, Senior Prom is an incredible event hosted by CJP and Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE). With the help of our young adult volunteers, we throw a party for the elderly at JCHE which includes dancing, wonderful conversation, a photo booth, and other fun activities (rumor has it there will be cookie decorating this year). It’s really beautiful to see the young adult community connect with the elderly – they have so much to teach us, and I can’t wait to see the smiles on everyone’s faces on May 1.

But more than just a great time, Senior Prom is an opportunity to see the work that CJP does outside of the young adult community. A lot of times we become so focused on what CJP has to offer us that we don’t get to see all the incredible work they do throughout the rest of the community. We forget that when we donate to CJP’s campaign, those dollars stretch so much farther than we realize. And when we volunteer our time, the recipients aren’t the only ones who benefit.