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Repairing the World: Youth & Family

Repairing the World: Youth & Family

Even during these uncertain times, there are many ways each of us can continue performing chesed, or acts of loving kindness. Whether virtually or in person and socially distant, we can each engage in tikkun olam.

Below are some family- and youth-friendly tikkun olam opportunities. We know there are many, many more. Feel free to email our Manager of Family Engagement and Central Tots .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have something you’d like to share here. We also encourage you to explore additional tikkun olam opportunities at our Adult Engagement Repairing the World page.

Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some in-person service opportunities may be on pause until further notice.

Youth Opportunities

Central Service Corps

Students grades 5–8 and their families

Join our Central Service Corps! This program includes study and action as Central members in 5th–8th grade and their parents engage in service projects with New York City’s non-profits. Together, we study Jewish texts and the wisdom they offer for today’s social justice needs and volunteer monthly with a variety of the organizations that are tackling these issues. Register here.

LCLJ Madrichim

Students grades 7–12

CenSyn Teens have the opportunity to become madrichim, or guides, for our elementary age classes. Madrichim assist LCLJ educators in the classroom and act as mentors for our younger students. It’s a meaningful (and very fun) way for teens to be a part of their larger community and continue their involvement in the LCLJ. If interested in being a madrich/madricha, please email Assistant Director of the LCLJ Eve Morin.

Central Climate Change Initiative

Students grades 7–12

The Central Climate Initiative was created by six CenSyn teens with a goal to educate people about the importance of climate change and to improve the sustainability of our synagogue, city, and state. In partnership with activists, advocates, and experts, the LCLJ teens have brought educational programming on climate change to Central members, as well as lobbied for climate justice with city and state elected officials. Visit here for more information on how to join the Central Climate Initiative.

Midnight Run

Students grades 8–12

Our 8th through 12th graders sort through clothing, organize toiletries, and make bag lunches to distribute to those in need around Midtown Manhattan. 

Religious Action Center (RAC) in Washington, DC (currently virtual) 

Students grades 9–12

The RAC’s unique weekend seminar dedicated to civic action is an opportunity for CenSyn Teens to meet their fellow Jewish high schoolers from across the country and learn about the U.S. legislative process. Sessions include discussions on current issues and legislation, the role of the Reform movement in politics, and lobbying with our local representatives. 

Family-Friendly Opportunities for All

Poverty and Food Scarcity

Bake for Central’s Breakfast Program

Bake cookies or muffins for Central’s long-running Breakfast Program and add some sweetness to someone’s day. Volunteer bakers must supply at least 50, but ideally 75, individually wrapped items. Drop off baked goods sealed in individual, resealable plastic storage bags on Wednesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 9:00 am–3:00 pm at The Community House, 123 East 55th St. Before drop off, please email the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) so they know to expect you.

Run a Food Drive for City Harvest

Every year City Harvest delivers 109 million pounds of nutritious food to New Yorkers in need. Mobilize your network of friends and family to help you run a food drive and collect donations for City Harvest. To learn more, read this.

Dig in the Dirt at an Urban Farm

Green Bronx Machine (GBM) is an urban farm in the Bronx that provides tens of thousands of pounds of food for those who need it most, in addition to using urban agriculture as part of a hands-on educational curriculum. Currently, GBM is donating produce to cancer patients who live in public housing. They are in need of volunteers to socially distanced help with gardening and farm work. Contact GBM educator .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Fill Upper East Side Community Fridges

Central Synagogue is proud to partner with Grassroots Grocery and the NYCHA Holmes House Tenant Association to bring the first Community Fridge to the Upper East Side. Sign up to help provide dignified food access to our neighbors here

Women and Children

Pack Snack Bags for Kids in Transitional Housing

The Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS), which provides housing, health, and social services resources for the homeless and most vulnerable needs snack bundles for kids in transitional housing. Pack resealable plastic storage bags with individual servings of chips, pretzels, crackers, granola bars, trail mix, dried fruits or nuts, etc. and drive or mail your bags to CUCS Office at 198 E 121st Street, New York. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), to let her know to expect your package. For more ideas of how to help CUCS, please visit

Collect Baby and Children’s Supplies for At-Risk Families

Little Essentials provides child and baby items to families living in poverty. You can help by donating new and gently used items for children (ages newborn to 5 years old). Visit Little Essentials donation page for more information on what is needed and how to donate.

Run a School Supplies Drive

The Back 2 School Store, a project of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), is a special "department store" shopping experience designed to build self-esteem and enthusiasm about the upcoming school year. Each summer, the Back 2 School Store outfits 200 elementary school children from low-income households with a complete set of new clothes and school supplies to help get them ready for the school year. NCJW NY needs help collecting brand new, sealed packages of children’s underwear and socks; packs of crayons, markers and pencils; backpacks; hats and gloves. For more information, contact NCJW NY Director of Community Programs .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Elderly


DOROT works with older adults 60 and up to provide vital services and companionship to those who have difficulty leaving home without support. During COVID, volunteers help combat social isolation through connecting with older adults virtually, as well as safely delivering packages. For more information about how you and your family can help, contact DOROT.

Our People

Benjamin Korman

Manager of Family Engagement and Central Tots

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

(212) 838-5122 x4038