At Mitzvah Corps, we provide opportunities for our participants to use Reform Jewish values as the foundation for their engagement in social justice. Our programs are designed to be as immersive into the local communities as possible, and to engage participants in the powerful process of identifying the ways that Judaism influences the way they view their role in the world. Each participant, with the support of their peers and staff, will become equipped with the tools to integrate their values into their daily routines, conversations, and activities, and live a relevant, meaningful Jewish life upon returning home.
Diverse Jewish Experiences
We ensure a welcoming environment for children from a variety of Jewish backgrounds; although many of our participants have experience within the Reform Jewish movement, we also welcome teens whose families affiliate with other denominations, including Conservative, Reconstructionist, Modern Orthodox, as well as families that are unaffiliated, interfaith, or new to Judaism.
Among each group, participants have had a range of previous Jewish experiences; some being well versed in immersive Jewish experiences, and some never having participated in Jewish programming before. Our staff are prepared and enthused about building communities of teens with diverse experiences, and we find the variety in perspectives to be a significant strength of the Mitzvah Corps program.
As one of our primary goals is to create environments that allow participants to apply Jewish values to any and all of their surroundings, each Mitzvah Corps program celebrates Shabbat in a way that is unique to the community they are immersed in.
Each Friday evening will include extra time in the afternoon to rest and prepare for Shabbat, as well as a special meal and a Shabbat evening worship or spiritual experience. Saturday mornings typically allow for a late wake up, and an alternative, meaningful way to engage in the week’s Torah portion. When possible and appropriate, groups may observe Shabbat as part of a congregation affiliated with any Jewish movement, an alternative unaffiliated Jewish community, or amongst themselves.