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Teen Leadership Program Seeks Student Volunteers to Help Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

Registration opens April 3 for J-Teen "Day of Service."

Registration opens on Wednesday, April 3 for J-Teen Leadership’s “Day of Service,” in which student volunteers are invited to join a recovery assistance project on Long Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

J-Teen Leadership -- a White Plains-based community service leadership development initiative for Jewish high school students -- is currently focusing on local areas in need as it organizes the event on Sunday, April 28th as part of J-SERVE: International Day of Jewish Youth Service.

The majority of expenses related to the “Day of Service” project are being underwritten by J-Teen Leadership, with a supporting “Connect to Recovery” grant from the UJA-Federation of NY, as well as support from the BBYO/Schusterman Foundation.

During the “Day of Service,” teen volunteers will assist the Barry and Florence Friedberg Jewish Community Center- Long Beach Branch on Long Island, NY. The organization’s facilities suffered extensive damage in the storm, and its staff is currently working out of a trailer. Additional projects will involve helping local residents on projects such as painting, plastering, gardening, dry walling and beach clean up.

J-Teen Leadership, whose projects are planned by teens for teens, has dedicated several service projects for Hurricane Sandy relief since the storm occurred, including a clothing drive in November, a service trip to affected areas of Brooklyn in January, and a site visit in March to map out specifics for the Day of Service.

The prolonged focus on regional areas in need reflects a new shift in priorities for the organization.

“Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the students themselves decided to change the direction of the rest of our projects this year, and focus on local causes,” said Abbe Marcus, director of J-Teen Leadership. “This super storm hit close to home, so this day of service is really about helping our neighbors.”

This J-Teen Leadership program exemplifies its core mission, to develop leadership skills in high school students. The two student co-chairs of 2013 Westchester J-SERVE are also co-chairing the 2013 “Day of Service.” Josh Girsky is a sophomore at Mamaroneck High School, Mamaroneck. Lauren Levine is a junior at Rye Country Day School, and a resident of Greenwich, CT.

“When our teens go on these missions, they are moved, transformed, and strengthened in their convictions to continue to provide support,” added Marcus. “They’ve realized the enormous impact of this storm, and that their assistance has had a ripple effect among the communities they’ve helped, staff and alumni who are participating, and our partnering organizations.”

An additional 13 teens are on the planning committee, including: Zoe Moskowitz, Lilah Schaeffer, Remi Rosmarin, Aaron Afran, Jacob Nurick, Sadie Biale, Lauren Keats, Melissa Last, Kyle Cohen, Koral Ben-Simon, and Shiran Ben-Simon, Talia Shiovitz and Kyle Price. 

Registration and additional information is available online at: www.jteenleadership.org. There is a $18 per person registration fee. Bus transportation will be available for project volunteers from points in Westchester County, Greenwich, CT and New York City. Volunteers will also receive T-shirts, water bottles and refreshments.

Since its inception in 2005, J-Teen Leadership has organized more than 75 volunteer service projects both domestically and abroad. The organization welcomes teens from Westchester, New York, and Connecticut from all backgrounds and affiliations. Through local service projects and hands-on service trips, the teens strive to improve the world while building skills in leadership, advocacy and philanthropy.

Locally, students participate in environmental clean-up and literacy projects, food bank projects, toy drives, visits to health care facilities, and other immersive days of service. Further afield, humanitarian service trips have included visits to Cuba, Haiti, and Louisiana. 

Companies interested in sponsoring this particular event, or donating materials, are asked to contact Abbe Marcus at abbe@jteenleadership.org. For more information, visit J-Teen Leadership online at: www.jteenleadership.org, or by calling 914-328-8788. The J-Teen Leadership office is located at 701 Westchester Ave., Suite 203E, White Plains, NY 10604.

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