Senior Community Service Projects
Giving back to the community is a time-honored Jewish tradition that our seniors carry on throughout their Barrack careers. Barrack seniors are helping to make the world a better place by performing community service in the following agencies, organizations, schools, hospitals, campaigns, science labs and more:
Neighborhood Interfaith Movement
Abrams Hebrew Academy
Academy of Natural History
Action Aids Friends for Life
Alfred I DuPont Hospital
Beth Sholom Preschool
Bucks County Housing Group, Shir Ami
Friends of Dave Kralle for State Representative
Friends of the Wissahickon
Habitat for Humanity
Hashomer Hatzair, Samuel Gompers Elemenary School
Health Federation of Philadelphia, Multiplying Connections
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HAIS)
HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
HUP, Overbrook Elementary
Jerusalem Online University
Jewish Community Relations Council of SNJ
Jewish Relief Agency
Kellman Brown Academy
Key of Success Academy, Ghana
Obama For President Campaign
Pat Meehan for Congress
Perelman Jewish Day School
Russell Elementary School
Saligman Middle School
Samuel Gompers Elementary School
Support Center for Child Advocates
Symphony Square Senior Living
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El
The Ladybug Project
University of Pennsylvania Research
Wharton Global Counseling Practicum
Nicole Becker, who is volunteering in the orthopedic department and the physical therapy gym at the Newmours/Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, comments: "My volunteer experiences have broadened my knowledge of sports medicine, a field I wish to pursue professionally. I'm beyond grateful to be able to shadow a doctor who specializes in sports medicine and who takes the time to explain the logistics of an injury to me...Having the experience to observe and help physical therapists who creatively work with young athletes to retrain their muscles after an injury is inspiring...This project has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the science behind medicine." Nicole will be a freshman at Skidmore College in the fall.
Danielle Levin, who is volunteering at HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in Philadelphia, shares: "What a privilege it is to give back to an organization that helped our people, Jewish refugees at the turn of the century and from war-torn Europe, resettle and succeed when they first came to America and to Philadelphia, and now helps current refugees find safety, freedom and a new home here. The resilience of these refugee families amazes me. They are grateful for so little and do so much to reinvent themselves. I am proud to play a role in their resettlement and wish more people would know about, and support the efforts of HIAS." Danielle adds, "This is a perfect community service project for me. I am interested in combining some aspect of social work and social action that also has a global component, and this placement has helped me further define my goals." Dani is off to Muhlenberg College in the fall.
Yaakov Malomet is combining his passion for politics and community service by volunteering in President Obama's re-election campaign. "I was excited by the 2008 campaign," reports Yaakov, "but was only an 8th grader and thought I was too young to participate. This year, however, I walked into Obama headquarters in Center City and said I wanted to volunteer. They were delighted and placed me in the University City office. We are all young volunteers there and the excitement and energy are palpable. I help canvass, set up phone banks, enter data, and reach out to prospective volunteers. I hope to continue my volunteer work this summer, for I strongly support the President's goals and policies." Yaakov is taking a gap year in Israel next year and then will attend Brandeis University.
Molly Kassel is spending her community service with the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia. The SCCA is comprised of social workers and lawyers who strive to fight for the safety and well being of abused and neglected children in Philadelphia. Molly reports, "As a volunteer intern, my jobs so far has been to check the SCCA volunteers in the national sex offender registry, as well as creating files online for children and volunteers in the database, and I have even accompanied some of the social workers to court a few times. My experiences so far have been good ones; the stories of the children are obviously very heart breaking, but I am proud to be volunteering at a place whose goal is help and protect these children." Molly is off to Towson University in Maryland this fall.
Benjamin Berson's Project:
For my community service, I decided to help the scientific community, which would explain why I woke up at some unreasonable hour to take the 5-AM train to Baltimore for a two-day visit to a scientific conference on Defense, Security and Sensing. For my community service, I've been doing research at the University of Pennsylvania on the structure of polymers impregnated with carbon nanotubes, exceedingly strong and useful little things that we're hoping will be the key to creating moving touch screens for the blind. So there I was, at what had been promoted as a "student day," and only just realized that I was the only student in the room who wasn't a grad student.
How did this happen? It all started with a summer program recommended by Mrs. August called PSSI, a five-week introduction to materials engineering at U. of P. While there, I had asked around to see if anyone had a research position during the year, and Dr. Eva Campo, the then-director of the program, took me under her wing. We're using electron microscopes to study new methods of making polymer fibers with nanotubes inside and reconstructing them in 3D.
Back at the conference, a 6,000-person international conference on Defense, Security, and Sensing, I met with top scientists in their fields, attended presentations by representatives of leading U.S. laboratories, and presented what I've been doing in front of 20 experts in various fields. There was an expo of job- and customer-seeking companies that encompassed two full city blocks, peddling the newest laser technology or electron microscopes with complimentary flyers, t-shirts, pens, and something that I later found to be a de-linter. The whole conference was a menagerie of the cutting-edge technology that encompasses our lives unappreciated, behind smooth screens or hospital walls. I'm looking forward to continuing in this field at the University of Rochester next year, and I hope that other Barrack students follow my lead and investigate opportunities that exist in the community.