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. This year, engaging with global Jewish communities is more important than ever. Through Insider Connections: Global Virtual Service, we invite you to:
Act on behalf of global communities
Connect with teens, young adults and elderly in regions around the world
Learn about the history of the community you are serving and JDC’s current response to the pandemic
Applications are now OPEN for Insider Connections with volunteers beginning the week of October 11, 2021. Sign up by September 26, 2021 to participate!
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Placement opportunities include:
Israel: Calling all Hebrew speakers- volunteer with JDC TEVET’s “Hebrew as a Second Language” (HAASL) program and connect with Arab-Israelis looking to improve their Hebrew language skills. Knowledge of Hebrew opens doors to high paying jobs and increased representation in sectors where the Israeli-Arab & Bedouin communities have been historically absent. Through Insider Connections, volunteers will practice Hebrew with a HASSL participant weekly, opening up a greater world of opportunity. Learn more about HAASL in this blog post and video.
Not a Hebrew speaker? You can still contribute to this meaningful exchange by practicing English-language skills with teachers and staff at Ryan Employment Centers across Israel.
FSU Elderly: Elderly Jews living in the Former Soviet Union 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.
FSU Teens: A generation of teens and young adults in the Former Soviet Union are engaging in Jewish life and preparing to take on leadership roles in their communities. English speaking volunteers have a unique opportunity to build a long-lasting connection with an FSU Jewish teen and practice English conversational skills. Teens from Georgia, Siberia, Moldova and Ukraine are excited to learn with you! Click here to read about a participant experience connecting with a teen in Odesa.
India Jewish Community, JCC Mumbai: The Jewish population in India is about 4,350 with 85% of Indian Jews living in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. This small yet vibrant Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world, tracing their roots as far back as 2,000 years. JDC has been operational in India for over four decades, partnering with various local organizations to provide welfare services for the neediest Jews in the community and develop the vibrant Jewish life in Mumbai through programs at the local Jewish Community Center (JCC).
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mumbai JCC transitioned to all virtual programming. To help fill a need and interest in the community to improve their Hebrew language skills and therefore connection to Israel, the Insider Connections Volunteer will be placed with the Mumbai JCC to teach an intermediate Hebrew class for community members of all ages.
Must have intermediate Hebrew and some experience teaching or taking intensive Hebrew Ulpan classes required. Hebrew classes to take place Sundays or Mondays at 8:00 am ET/1:00 pm GMT.
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. For Insider Connections participants matched with a teen, we encourage two 30-minute calls per week. Scheduling is mutually decided between the volunteer and match.
Insider Connections participants placed with the JCC in Mumbai, India will teach a 1-hour lesson on Sunday or Monday each week from 8:00-9:00 am ET. In addition, volunteers will be responsible for developing lesson plans for their classes in collaboration with JCC staff using a predetermined Hebrew curriculum that the class has been following.
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.
JCC India Insider Connections volunteers will teach classes over Zoom and will receive calendar invitations with log in info for each week.
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.
JCC India Insider Connections volunteers will also receive support from JCC staff, who will review and provide feedback on lesson plans in order to ensure the most impact for their students. They will also receive a thorough orientation to introduce them to Indian culture and communication in order to help them facilitate their classes.
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 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 has led many of them to experience loneliness and isolation. Through the weekly call, our volunteers offer these elderly 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 youth at-risk. 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.
The Jewish population in India is about 4,350 with 85% of Indian Jews living in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. The Evelyn Peters JCC in Mumbai is the central hub for this community, providing a brand range of services and programs for all age groups from children to elderly, including the popular weekly Hebrew classes. Learning Hebrew is an important goal for many community members who place Israel at the center of their Judaism and may one day wish to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, all JCC activities were brought online and continue to be conducted virtually today, including the weekly beginner and intermediate Hebrew classes.
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.