A New Jewish Service-Learning Grant Program

INSPIRE your teens to make a difference in the lives of others while enriching their own experiences and empowering them to change the world for the better.

Compassion. Connection. Commitment.

What We Do

BetterToServe is a Jewish service-learning grant program for 10-12th grade students. Central to the program are:

  • Dedicated learning of Jewish texts and concepts related to service and

  • Sustained volunteer service in the community in one issue area

Accepted programs will run two teen cohorts over a two-year period to tackle your community’s pressing needs. Teens will learn Jewish ethics of caring for others and work in partnership with a local or national Jewish social service organization to do meaningful service in the local community. Through an interactive website and national webinars, students will become part of a national cohort of their peers.

Eligibility

In its pilot years (2022- 2024), only high school programs that have successfully implemented a BetterTogether program will be considered.

The project must be supervised by a teacher, school administrator, or project director who is deeply committed and passionate about Jewish service and service learning.

The leader will need to commit to participating in a 2-hour online training in the summer of 2022 and sharing experiences with other participating schools.

Up To

$20,000

Per Year

Legacy Heritage requires that each application include a strategy for sustainability for the project after Year 2 (a plan for funding the project beyond the term of the grant).

How It Works

The Nuts and Bolts

The program requires a minimum of 32 hours of meaningful learning and volunteering:

The new BetterToServe curriculum is an exciting journey exploring Jewish communal needs, leadership skills, and Jewish values (16 hours minimum).
Schools will teach the first half of the curriculum prior to the volunteering and the second half while the volunteer projects are taking place.
Four national webinars.

Service

One

The teens may choose one of the following service categories to focus their volunteer efforts:
• Poverty (including food insecurity)
• The Environment
• Caring for Jewish Cemeteries
• The Elderly/Holocaust Survivors
•Inclusion and Disability

Important note: advocacy work in these areas will not qualify as volunteering.





Two

Programs will implement a sustained volunteer project to address one need in the community (8 volunteer sessions for a minimum total of 16 hours). Each teen leader may choose to recruit another 2 students in the school to participate if volunteer projects have capacity.

Three

Programs must partner with either a local or national Jewish social service agency (e.g., Jewish Family Service, UJA Federation, senior home, Mazon, Hazon).

Additional Components

Students will participate in a local writing contest, and the winner from each will receive a robust scholarship toward either a Jewish summer camp experience or an Israel gap year. The local winner will participate in the national BetterTogether writing contest, and winning schools will receive generous scholarship funds.
Each teen will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the year to enhance their college resumes, and the school will have a BetterToServe banner and a plaque with the name of the participants.
Programs will conduct a culminating community presentation and celebration.

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