Service Learning

j-serve teen volunteers photo

Reaching Out to Help Others

Make an impact while fulfilling the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam,” or repairing the world!

JTI Programs:

J-Serve:

One spring day each year, JTI engages as many teens from our communities as possible to participate in J-Serve, a national day of service for Jewish youth around the world.

Coordinated in part by high school Senior Interns, our team of amazing volunteers renovates a school or shelter within our own region. Past projects have included gardening and beautifying grounds, creating mosaics, building benches and play structures, spring cleanup and painting giant playground scrabble boards.

Learn more about our annual day of service


L’Shaper:

Meaning “to improve” in Hebrew, L’Shaper runs weekly, late fall through early winter. Teen volunteers facilitate games and academic enrichment activities for 1st-5th graders at a local school or homeless shelter. Prior to doing their community service each week, we come together for dinner and discussion on our tradition’s text about repairing the world, led by JTI leadership.

Learn more about our L’Shaper sessions


Soup-er Sunday:

Just before Thanksgiving each year, JTI partners with Mitzvah Day International in the search for teen “soup-er hero” volunteers to make food for local emergency shelters. Our team makes gallons of soup, mountains of lasagna and trays of apple pies, plus they help with set up, clean up and delivering food.

Learn more about becoming a “Soup-er Hero”


Derek M. Sheckman Teen Leadership Award:

In 1996, 16-year old Derek Sheckman was one of two recipients of the North Shore Jewish community’s first Teen Leadership Award. In 1998, after Derek’s untimely death, the Jewish Federation of the North Shore decided to honor his memory by changing the name of the award to the Derek M. Sheckman Teen Leadership Award.

Today, NSTI is proud to continue overseeing the Award. From its inception, the award has sought to recognize teen leaders in the Jewish community, challenging them to understand the power, impact and importance they have in the life and future of the North Shore’s Jewish community. Award winners are nominated by community members and receive seed money, guidance and help publicizing and recruiting for their projects.

Learn more about our recent Sheckman Award projects


Partner Programs:

Adaptive Gym and Swim at JCCNS:

Teens volunteer to assist with individuals with special needs at Gym & Swim and Art at the JCC of the North Shore.


Aviv Centers for Living:

Teens meet and connect with residents of Aviv Centers for Living. Aviv is an Independent and Assisted living facility in Peabody, MA.


The Food Project:

Teens volunteer at one of the Food Project’s local sites to learn about food sustainability and then plant and garden. The Food Project is an organization which produces healthy food for community members, provides youth leadership opportunities, and inspires and supports others to create change in their own communities.


Haven from Hunger:

Teens help sort donated food items and serve hot meals. Haven from Hunger is an organization that helps struggling families put food on their tables with their food pantry and community meals programs.


Camp Simchah CIT:

CIT is a camp program offered by the JCCNS for 9-10th graders. Simchah CITs intern with Summer at the J staff through their chosen area of interest, enjoy social trips, and participate in community service projects with JTI of Greater Boston. This program offers teens the opportunity to gain valuable leadership training and communication skills, as well as get immersed in the community. CIT runs in two-week sessions. Formerly known as Simchah Jewish Teen Internship. (jccns.org)

Learn more about Simchah CIT sessions


MA Coalition for the Homeless:

Teens help with various projects, including sorting books and other supplies for school aged children. MA Coalition is a state wide coalition committed to eradicating homelessness in Massachusetts.


Northeast Arc Bingo:

Teens organize and play bingo with members of the Northeast Arc in Danvers. The Northeast Arc is an organization that helps people with disabilities become full participants in the communities north of Boston.


The Open Door:

Teens spend an afternoon cooking and preparing meals at the Open Door in Gloucester and then serve their meal to those in need. Open Door is an organization which strives to alleviate the impact of hunger in the community through practical strategies that connect people to good food, advocate on behalf of those in need and engage others in the work of building food security.