Against the backdrop of the safe and culturally rich environment of Rutgers University, Urban Mitzvah Corps (UMC) offers exciting social justice opportunities in and around New Brunswick, NJ. UMC provides participants with an authentic opportunity to explore their Jewish identities through the lens of social justice and engagement with new communities.

Take advantage of our longstanding relationships with local organizations through volunteer efforts and intense hands-on learning. Each participant will have the opportunity to select which volunteer experience best suites their interests, in areas of focus such as engaging in food and economic justice, making a difference in the lives of families and children who are underprivileged and the elderly. Evenings are devoted to strengthening the community and deepening the program's connection to Jewish values through social and educational learning.

Issue Focus: Community Empowerment

For more than 50 years, Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey has connected Jewish teens with opportunities to serve alongside incredible organizations and community leaders making a real difference in the lives of individuals throughout the greater New Brunswick area.

Today we maintain strong relationships with our three core partners. Throughout the course of the summer, participants will have the chance to select two of the following issues to focus on, and corresponding organizations to work with:

At a Glance

Dates: Summer 2021 Dates TBD
Length: 29 days
Issue Focus: Community Empowerment
Community Service Hours: 160
Cost: Summer 2021 Rates TBD (2020 Rates: $4400 - Early bird before January 2, 2020; $4700 - Full Tuition)
Mitzvah Corps is open to all rising 10th - graduating 12th graders.

Food Justice

Founded with the intention of sharing not only our own food with others, but the tools for people to feed themselves, Elijah’s Promise provides both direct meal service and culinary skills training to those in need of work experience and employment. Urban Mitzvah Corps New Jersey participants have the chance to work alongside these individuals as they harvest, prepare, and serve, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the holistic approach that Elijah’s Promise takes toward food justice.

At-Risk Youth

The City of New Brunswick offers a fully subsidized summer program for children from low-income households who would otherwise lack direction, and sustenance, while school is out for the summer. Mitzvah Corps New Jersey participants have the opportunity to be junior counselors at PLAY SAFE (Summer Activities For Everyone), engaging these children in a variety of activities like swimming, sports, music, reading, and dance, making an indelible impact on their summers and lives.

Care for the Elderly

Our partnership with Regency Jewish Heritage gives Mitzvah Corps participants the ability to connect with the incredible stories and narratives of our older Jewish community members, and maintain the strong legacy of l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation. With a collective goal to enrich the lives entrusted to Regency, participants engage the residents in various activities, infusing joy and energy into their daily routine.