Temple Sholom teens volunteer time for Habitat for Humanity

Temple Sholom’s Assistant Rabbi Rav David with teen volunteer Rachel Kleinhandler.

Temple Sholom’s Assistant Rabbi Rav David with teen volunteer Rachel Kleinhandler.

On Sept. 7, teens from Temple Sholom’s Judah BBYO chapter as well as Temple Sholom’s teen choir, and JTeen of Westchester gathered in New Rochelle to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Westchester.

The teens were assigned to work on renovating a furniture recycling center. The facility is under construction and is in the process of being demolished. The teens were asked to rip up, tear down and dig out the dilapidated building and surrounding grounds to help prepare for the new structure. When complete, the furniture recycling plant will provide individuals in need access to essential furniture for their household and will be operated by Habitat for Humanity

Temple Sholom’s Assistant Rabbi David Saiger and Cantor Asa Fradkin led the group. Jim Killoran, Habitat for Humanity of Westchester’s director, guided the young volunteers through their objectives for the day. The teens were enthusiastic and quickly got to work.

“The idea actually came from one of our own BBYO teens, Brandon Levine. I’m proud of his work and of all the teens that showed up and got their hands dirty for an excellent cause,” Rabbi Saiger said.

Jason Schoen, a 16-year-old member of Temple Sholom’s Judah Chapter of BBYO who attends Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, N.Y., helped paint the outside of the building.

“The Judah Chapter of BBYO helps raise money for important causes throughout the year. We volunteer to help everything from cancer to bullying,” he said.

Temple Sholom in Greenwich is home to a vibrant group of teen leaders. Their Judah BBYO Chapter was founded in 2012-13, is comprised of eighth to 12th grade Jewish teens from the greater Greenwich community, and is part of an international Jewish youth movement. Under the guidance of Rabbi Saiger, the group elects its own officials and plans community service projects and social programs throughout the year.

“Regardless of a teen’s synagogue affiliation, they are welcome to join and attend the biweekly meetings held every other Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8 at Temple Sholom,” said Rabbi Saiger.

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