Service and Leadership Opportunities

The Religious School of Congregation Emanu-El has a long tradition of supporting the work of organizations working for social justice through weekly tzedakah donations made by its students.


The Mitzvah Corps program is a wonderful opportunity for seventh graders because it helps students find immediate relevance to their Jewish studies. Mitzvah Corps students put Jewish teaching into practice by participating regularly in hands-on community-service opportunities. In this program, students will learn how to make the world a better place based on Jewish teaching and then volunteer with reputable organizations that confront important social issues affecting the world today. Students gain a sense of self-worth, community and Jewish identity by working together and following Jewish teaching to make the world a better place.


Tzedek League trains our eighth graders to be leaders in making change. In addition to providing a more frequent and deeper volunteer experience at the organization of their choice, this program teaches students about different methods of working toward social justice, including fundraising, advocacy, education and community organizing. Tzedek League meets two or three times per month, including a volunteer session and a Sunday Summit where the students learn about other methods of pursuing justice and plan the ways they intend to help the organization that they chose.


The Teen Leadership Council, made up of representatives from each of our teen groups and general teen representatives, helps bring together our teen community. The council plans events for leaders across the middle and high school programs, organizes community-service activities for all Emanu-El teens, and facilitates engagement with such temple-wide events as Mitzvah Day and the Purim Carnival. Council members come together at monthly meetings, where they learn and utilize leadership skills to engage the Temple Emanu-El teen community.

How would you use $10,000 to help New York City? This committee has been tasked with just that responsibility by Temple Emanu-El’s Philanthropic Committee. Eighth graders through 12th graders come together monthly to go through the grant-making process. Students choose an issue affecting New Yorkers about which they care, create a mission statement, and design an application that nonprofit organizations will use to request a grant. Committee members go on site visits to see what the organizations are doing and to decide who is deserving of the committee’s grant! The year culminates in a check-presentation ceremony. The committee meets one weekday evening a month. There is no fee for this committee, but teens are encouraged to make a donation of $36 or more to Temple Emanu-El’s Philanthropic Fund.

Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) offers temple members of all ages a wide variety of opportunities to volunteer to help those less fortunate in the community. For more information about the efforts of our Tikkun Olam committee, and opportunities to serve, click here.

Information about Mitzvah Day and other programs can be found on the temple website. Questions should be directed to the Tikkun Olam Committee.

For more information about the following opportunities, contact Emma Kate Lindsay, Director of Youth Learning & Engagement – (212) 507-9529.