Volunteer Opportunities

At Central Synagogue

Shoe Drive for the Homeless - Your Shoes Can Change Lives!

April 1 - 30, 2019, Drop-off Location: Lese Lobby

NYC is the homeless capital of the US, and the need for men's, women's, and children's shoes is very great. If your lightly worn shoes are no longer sparking joy in your life, consider giving them away to those in need in our NYC shelters. Through the month of April, we will have a drop-off box in Lese Lobby in our Community House. We are proud to partner with Shoes for the Homeless, Inc. in this initiative.

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.

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.

Sandwich Making

Wednesdays, Time varies | Atrium

Make sandwiches for the Breakfast Program, where along with serving a hot meal, clients are also offered a freshly prepared bag lunch. Please RSVP to volunteer. All ages welcome to participate; children 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.

Criminal Justice Reform: A Jewish Call to Action

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm | 130 East 59th Street

Join Rabbis Nicole Auerbach and Hilly Haber for a one-day conference on the Jewish response to the racial disparities and bias in the criminal justice system. The day consists of panels, talks, and workshops addressing current strategies to mitigate mass incarceration in New York and how to plan for Jewish community advocacy and engagement. With a strong legacy of fighting for civil rights, the Jewish community can have a significant voice and influence towards fixing this ongoing crisis. We hope you’ll join us.

Register »