Volunteer Opportunities

At Central Synagogue

Nearly two thousand years ago Rabbi Tarfon said, "You are not required to complete the work, but neither are you free to absent yourself from it."

There is so much brokenness in our world that the task of repairing it seems nearly overwhelming. Nonetheless, we are called to take responsibility for the society in which we live. Though the task is great, the opportunity to make an impact is limitless. One need only take the first step.

Social justice is a core value of Judaism. Our community’s commitment to social justice in the world is an integral part of who we are at Central Synagogue. It is truly a way of life for our community and throughout the year we pursue justice in all its forms.


Volunteer with Central Synagogue and UJA

Scroll down in the window below for local service volunteer opportunities with UJA network agencies.

Please Note: You will need to create a Time for Good account to register.

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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.


English in Action

Thursdays, 10:30am-12:30pm | Community House

Volunteer tutors meet one-on-one each week with their assigned student for two hours of self-directed conversation. Those who are tutored may be students here for graduate studies, or spouses of UN or corporate employees, as well as immigrants hoping to obtain American citizenship. The tutors learn as much about their students’ countries and cultures as the students learn about the US. Lasting bonds are often formed between tutors and students. This program is put on in coordination with the English-Speaking Union, which helps foreigners in New York City feel at home with our language and culture. If you are interested in learning more, please email Hallie Isquith at isquithh@censyn.org and she’ll put you in touch with the program’s lay leaders.


Why Knot Knit Mondays

Alternate Mondays, 10:00am-12:00pm | Community House

Monday mornings new and experienced knitters are busy creating beautiful pieces of clothing that are donated to New Yorkers in need. Extra hands are always welcome. Don’t know how to knit? This is also a great way to learn!

Contact knitting@censyn.org for more information.


Central Volunteers at St. Xavier Soup Kitchen

Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 11:45am - 3:30pm | St. Francis Xavier Mission Soup Kitchen in Chelsea

Come join Central Volunteers as we prepare and serve meals together at the St. Francis Xavier Mission Soup Kitchen in Chelsea.  St Xavier-Mission does great work serving low-income, working, and homeless individuals.  Each month we will meet on a Sunday from 11:45am to 3:30pm and do vital work for the soup kitchen.  All volunteers must be at least 14 years old, and groups of teenagers under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.  Join your Central community as we engage in this important work.  RSVP to soupkitchen@censyn.org .


Brain Games

Thursdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm | Community House, room 503

Brain Games is a program put on by the AHRC intended to help adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or traumatic brain injuries improve their short-term memory and cognitive ability. These games help build self-esteem and self-confidence through friendly competition and structured socialization. Brain Games is intended as a group activity rather than a contest among individuals. Volunteers and participants are encouraged to try their best and have fun! Members and non-members are welcome.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Flynt and Sandra Rumayor at braingames@censyn.org.

Register Here


Power Hour at PS 140

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 3:00pm - 5:00pm | PS 140, 123 Ridge St, New York, NY 10002

Would you like to be a Homework Helper?  Join us on Tuesdays at the after school program of PS 140 on the Lower East Side. During their after school homework help hours, Central Volunteers work with second and third graders from 3:00-5:00pm.
You do not need to have prior teaching experience; anyone can make a big difference through their participation. We simply ask that you commit to a full year of participation when you join. By joining the Central Volunteers at PS 140, you’re certain to make an impact on the students just as they make an impact on our community. Volunteers ages 15+ welcome. RSVP required – please email AfterSchool@censyn.org if you’re interested.


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