New Program Will Engage Thousands of Jewish College Students in Volunteer Service

Serve the Moment summer corps, taken in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Shulamit Seidler-Feller.

Repair the World and Hillel International are collaborating to mobilize thousands of college students in meaningful volunteer service and learning through the national Serve the Moment initiative. About 100 Hillel “Campus Corps Members” will serve on campuses throughout the world and recruit peers to engage in ongoing service work with local nonprofits to address urgent needs in their communities.

Launched in June, the JSA is a coalition of organizations powered by Repair the World and including Hillel International, which  is mobilizing tens of thousands of young people to do 100,000 acts of needed and meaningful service for COVID-19 relief, grounded in Jewish wisdom. As part of JSA’s Serve the Moment initiative, Hillel Campus Corps Members will lead service efforts addressing four key areas – hunger, education, employment, and mental health – and the program will offer training, resources, and best practices so that they carry out this work in the most effective ways. The service work will be a combination of in-person and virtual volunteering, some episodic and some a part of time-bound national Serve the Moment campaigns. This is just the latest partnership between Repair and Hillel to strengthen and maximize service opportunities for young people. 

According to the Unlocking the Future of Jewish Engagement report released earlier this year, young adults increasingly engage in Jewish life and build community through meaningful service work combined with Jewish learning. Fifty percent of Jewish young adults have volunteered in the last year, revealing this initiative’s potential to reach a wider audience of Jewish young adults than those who are already deeply engaged in Jewish life.

Hillel will select 100 Corps Members across the 550 campuses it serves around the world. These students will engage in 10 hours of service/week, including at least three monthly service projects where they will each recruit at least 25 peers to serve. Campus Corps Members also will attend Serve the Moment learning sessions twice per month. In total these Corps Members from 100 campuses will engage at least 2,600 students in service and 5,100 acts of service and learning during this academic year.