Life today is complicated and very busy, and most of us take on many roles. We are parents, siblings and children, employees and homemakers, drivers and chaperones, shoppers, cooks and family account managers. Our days are filled with a myriad of details, and the hours rush by.
But there is also another role that many of us take on – one that we fill proudly – that of volunteer.
Indeed our Louisville Jewish community is much richer because so many of us volunteer. Across the community, volunteers serve as Board members and committee chairs for all our Jewish institutions.
At the Jewish Community of Louisville, volunteers also plan events and programs, make calls for the JCL Annual Campaign, decide how those funds are allocated, lead model Seders, play instruments in the orchestra, select films and books for festivals, turn out in force to help our neighbors at Christmas time, welcome newcomers to town and much more.
A dedicated corps of volunteers has spent many hours this year working to give the new JCL shape and direction. They continue to do so today.
Volunteers are the backbone of our synagogues as well, running fundraisers and gift shops, reading Torah, singing, baking, stuffing envelopes, organizing libraries, engaging in tikkun olam projects and more.
Jewish Family and Career Services volunteers seem to number a legion as they provide transportation to seniors who no longer drive, maintain the food pantry, answer calls on the anonymous help line, engage in family mitzvah projects, record family histories, dream up new programs and fundraisers and turn them into reality, serve as mentors to immigrants and those starting new businesses and more.
And where would National Council of Jewish Women be without volunteers. From the Nearly New Shop to the Court Watch program to public affairs and gener-al programs, volunteers make Louisville’s NCJW the strong section it is today.
At Jewish Hospital, volunteers visit patients, deliver gifts, direct patients and help in many different ways.
At Four Courts, they lead services, read to patients, bring pets to visit, call Bingo, light Chanukah candles, take patients out for ice cream and much more.
Even the sacred task of accompanying the dead before burial falls to volunteers. In this case, it is the Chevra Kadisha.
We even help our children get into the habit of volunteering through JFCS’ Pledge 13 program, bar/bat mitzvah project, scout projects and Beta Club.
We are a volunteering Jewish community, and we should be proud of it. Every hour we give makes a real difference, and the more time we spend volunteering, the better off and the richer we all are.