Insider Connections: Global Virtual Service
Take action on behalf of communities in need through virtual service opportunities.
Now is the time to act, connect and learn through virtual service. Engaging with global Jewish communities is more important than ever! Through Insider Connections: Global Virtual Service, we invite you to connect with teens, young adults and elderly in regions around the world, learning about the history of the community you are serving and JDC’s current response to the pandemic.
Israel: Job 360 uses virtual reality to empower both Israeli Arab and Haredi women with the skills they need to thrive in the workforce. You will have an opportunity to contribute to this meaningful exchange by practicing English-language skills with participants of the Job 360 project. You don’t need to know Hebrew or Arabic – you will find common language using all your communication skills and be able to teach English through practice in the best way you know how!
FSU Elderly: Elderly Jews living in Ukraine are among the most vulnerable Jewish populations in the world and many of them face extreme isolation and loneliness. Volunteers with conversational Russian-language skills have a unique opportunity to join JDC’s assistance efforts in the region. Through weekly conversations, the volunteer and client can form a meaningful connection across global Jewish communities. You can wish your babushka or dedushka a weekly Shabbat Shalom and participate in JDC’s legacy of global mutual responsibility! Click here to read about how volunteering impacted a participant’s Jewish identity.
As the conflict in Ukraine unfolds, JDC remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance and lifesaving support inside Ukraine and to all those seeking safety in bordering countries. You will be able to provide needed support for Ukrainian elderly staying inside Ukraine, that seek communication and someone to talk to in this hard time. Only Russian and/or Ukrainian speakers can be matched with elderly.
Additional requirements are:
- Basic knowledge of the specifics of age changes, like peculiarities of interaction with elderly people (additional information will be provided by JDC)
- Availability of free time in the morning (as the time difference is from 6 to 10 hours)
- Ability to listen
- Diverse support skills, different support techniques (talking about topics, picking up interesting news or useful information, perhaps online games or other interactive forms)
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
For Insider Connections participants matched with an elderly client, we encourage a 1-hour call per week.
WHAT PLATFORM IS USED FOR THE VIRTUAL CONNECTIONS?
Most of the clients have access to phone apps such as WhatsApp, Viber or Telegram. Once a match is made, contact info and the preferred platform will be shared.
WHAT TRAINING AND SUPPORT WILL I RECEIVE DURING THIS 3-MONTH PROGRAM?
All participants attend a virtual orientation to learn about the community in which your match lives, JDC’s work in the country and an introduction to the Insider Connections process. Volunteers receive a training guide with background on the community, conversation starters and more at the end of the orientation. A month into the program, the cohort will gather for a Core Conversation to reflect on the process and discuss the value of global Jewish responsibility. Each volunteer and cohort will have an Entwine staff member overseeing the program who can be reached for support.
WHAT DO I TALK ABOUT ON THE CALLS?
The sky is the limit! Matches are looking to engage with the wider world so you can discuss your family, Jewish life, interest & hobbies, food, etc. In general, your match is looking to catch up with someone, so no pressure! The teens are particularly hoping to practice their English, so there are many ways to be creative. Part of the orientation and further connection with the Entwine point of contact is to brainstorm and prep for what these connections might look like.
WHO ARE THE JDC CLIENTS INVOLVED IN THIS PROGRAM?
The Insider Connections program is aimed at assisting vulnerable populations served by JDC, namely elderly and teens. Most elderly JDC clients have had their lives severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and mandatory social distancing regulations have led many of them to experience loneliness and isolation. Through the weekly call, our volunteers offer these elderly individuals companionship, helping them cope with this difficult time. The teens participating in Insider Connections are all active members in Jewish community, taking part in local JCC activities and youth movements. Some of the members come from low socio-economic backgrounds and are considered by JDC to be at-risk youth. For all of the members, practicing and improving their English with our volunteers is an important step in bettering their lives, increasing their odds of success in school today and in the job market in the future.
WHO IS THE RIGHT FIT FOR THIS PROGRAM?
Insider Connections is open to volunteers looking to engage with the global Jewish world, build lasting relationships and make an impact. Volunteers tend to be personable, open-minded and flexible. Entwine programs are geared towards college students and young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s.