J-Serve Brings All Teens Together to Help Community

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

Sunday, April 17, is J-Serve 2011, the national Jewish teen day of service, and Jewish teens throughout Kentuckiana are coming together at 12:30 that day to make things happen here in Louisville.

Louisville’s three Jewish youth group programs – BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization), based at the Jewish Community Center; NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth), with chapters at The Temple and Temple Shalom; and USY (United Synagogue Youth), a joint chapter affiliated with Adath Jeshurun and Keneseth Israel – are planning an afternoon of community service projects. They welcome the participation of all Jewish teens, whether or not they are members of a youth group.

When the local teens chose to participate in this national project, they decided to focus on the Jewish Community of Louisville and Jewish Family & Career Services facilities.

First on their agenda is to create a community garden. The teens will be expanding the plot started last summer to approximately 600 sq. ft. Since it is located directly behind the pavilion near the JCC’s ball fields, they will also construct a system that will collect the rainwater in irrigation buckets to minimize water needs.


Working with Louisville Grows’ Garden Liaison Program, which is providing all their services at no charge, the teens will plant a variety are planning to plant a wide variety of vegetables. Louisville Grows will help them coordinate the planting, upkeep and harvesting. They’re even providing tools and volunteers to help the teens get started.

While summer camp at the JCC is in session, the campers will maintain the garden. The teens who will begin the work with J-Serve will maintain it weekly during the school year.

Fresh produce from the garden will be given to the Meyer Food Pantry at Jewish Family & Career Services.

Plans for a fruit orchard are also being made.

JCL Teen Director Justin Sadle and Laurence Nibur, the TiLTY (The Temple’s youth group) director expect such good participation in J-Serve 2011 that the teen volunteers will also help with some projects on the grounds of JFCS and other projects on the JCL campus.

Teen members of the J-Serve Committee are Miriam Amchin, Eliza Coleman, Josh Latzko, Tobie Lapin and Rebecca Waller.

For more information, contact JCL Teen Director Justin Sadle.

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