Volunteer Opportunities

At Central Synagogue

Make Personal Connections through Central’s Congregant-to-Congregant Visiting Program.

This expanded initiative, which is overseen by Central’s Caring Committee, matches Central Synagogue members with those who may be home bound, recovering from illness, or simply interested in meeting new people. Participants meet on a monthly basis and connect in each other’s homes, over coffee or lunch, or a mutually enjoyable activity. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to learn more about this program.

Volunteer for Dorot's Rosh HaShanah Package Delivery

Sunday, September 22, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Community House

Bring warmth and companionship to an older neighbor. Sign up for orientation, package pick-up, and a home visit assignment.

Register »

Mentors Matter: Helping Under-served High School Seniors with Central Congregants

400 high school seniors and only 1 college advisor. That’s what these wonderful, talented students are facing just a couple blocks away from our synagogue, at the High School of Art & Design, an extraordinary, state-of-the-art middle school/high school for kids with artistic talents who major in architecture, painting, drawing, cartooning, film, fashion, graphic design, set design.

Alumni include Art Spiegelman, Calvin Klein, Tony Bennett, and artist Lorna Simpson.

Most of these kids are from immigrant families. Several are DACA Dreamers. Few of their parents have gone to college. Most have few resources and little-to-no parental support or college-literacy when it comes to applications — how to fill them out, apply for financial aid, think about a college essay, meet deadlines, etc.

Central Synagogue is now partnering with HSAD to fill the gap on mentorship for these seniors — committing to helping at least 2-3 classes next year. If you are a Central Synagogue member or on the waitlist, we hope you’ll considering being one of these mentors. Click here to learn what’s involved and read our FAQ.

If you have questions, would like to get involved, or know of someone in particular whom you think might be a good fit for this program, please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Upcoming Opportunities

Breakfast Program

Thursdays & Fridays, 6:00-7:30am | Lese Lobby

The Breakfast Program, formerly known as the Caring Committee Feeding Program, is among Central Synagogue’s longest ongoing social justice projects. Originally conceived and implemented by longtime congregant Nat Shapiro in 1983, the Breakfast Program was started in response to Mayor Koch’s outcry for New York City’s religious institutions to respond to an exploding homeless and hungry problem. Today, many clients of the Breakfast Program are working poor who greatly appreciate and regularly rely on the warm, nutritious start to their day. Volunteers assemble every Thursday and Friday morning in Lese Lobby (Community House) to prepare and serve the most important meal of the day. A bag lunch is also handed out to clients. These lunches are prepared the prior evening as part of Central Synagogue’s Sandwich Making Program. Volunteers must be in the 6th grade or older; those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Sign up is required in advance to volunteer. For more information or to sign up, contact breakfast@censyn.org.

Stories from the Inside: A College Education in Prison

Thursday, February 13, 6:00 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion

Join the Central In Action Team for a night of revelation and storytelling as we launch Central’s newest advocacy campaign: the reinstatement of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for men and women who are incarcerated in New York State.

This bill would grant thousands of men and women access to higher education, a measure which has proven to reduce recidivism rates and increase safety within prisons.

Together we will learn about the ways in which access to higher education in prison has the power to transform lives. Special guests will include Sean Pica, Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, and Ivelisse Gilestra, Community Organizer at the College and Community Fellowship.

Snacks and beverages will be served.

Register »

Celebrate “National Refugee Shabbat” With Emma’s Torch

Friday, March 20, 2020, 7:30 - 9:30 pm | Lindenbaum Pavilion

In the spirit of “welcoming the stranger,” we invite you to join our community for a special Shabbat dinner catered and hosted by training chefs from the organization Emma’s Torch, which provides refugees with culinary training, ESL classes, and job interview preparation. During the dinner we will not only eat a delicious Shabbat meal together, but we will also hear from alumni of the program and other speakers about important issues relating to refugees in the United States.

Adults: $25; Children under 18: Free

Register »