the Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility
The Edlavitch DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility (MCCSR) organizes high-impact volunteer and social justice programs that address unmet needs and the systemic issues that create inequality in our region. In seeking to make our city a more just, inclusive, and livable place, we provide a way for the Jewish community to connect to our most sacred mandate of repairing the world.
While our programs are meant to be low-barrier and engaging to all, we are fiercely committed to upholding the dignity of those we serve by only providing services that are truly needed.
Our volunteer opportunities are designed to be family-friendly, flexible, and accessible whether you can commit one hour a month or a few hours a week. We offer our volunteers the opportunity to build lasting relationships with agencies and clients over the span of years, or volunteer once and try a different project the next time.
We have succeeded if our participants leave with a holistic understanding of the inequality that exists in our city and the motivation to join us in continuing to repair the world.
Not sure where to start? Fill out this short form and we will provide you with one-on-one support to match you with options that best fit your interests, strengths, and availability.
Resources, projects, and learning to keep social responsibility a part of your routine while staying at home
To respond to the immediate needs of our social service partners, we’ve developed several different opportunities for you and our community to address their direct requests. If you’re looking to help others from home and learn more about systemic social justice issues facing our neighbors, we hope you’ll find these resources useful. Live, virtual events are listed below as well.
At-home mitzvot (good deeds):
Welcome messages for newly arrived refugees
Instant rice and veggie kits for Casa Ruby
Craft kits for Community of Hope
Toiletry kits for those experiencing homelessness
Food packages for Charlie’s Place
Face coverings for Catholic Charities
Start a JConnector Mutual Aid Group with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Correspond with clients at New Endeavors for Women
Trail mix for So Others Might Eat
In-person volunteering (all safety precautions strictly followed):
So What Else Inc.
So Others Might Eat (SOME)
Donate blood at Children’s National Hospital (Bethesda, MD)
Donate blood at Inova Blood Services (NoVa)
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities and Events
During the month of May, EntryPointDC and the Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility is challenging our young adult community to perform as many mitzvahs (good deeds) for our local community and the world as we can during this difficult time. Grab your friends and make a team or we will match you with others in your neighborhood to do virtual volunteering together!
When you sign up, you will receive a list of different volunteer opportunities with a “how-to” for each one, along with different ice breakers and fun activities you can pair each volunteer opportunity. There’s something for everyone – whether you like to write and want to be a guest blogger to crafting, meal packaging, and making calls to Holocaust survivors in Israel!
May 4: Mitzvah May Marathon Kick-Off – you will be sent your team roster and a list of volunteer acitivties and ice breakers you can do together throughout the month
May 18: Virtual Trivia Night – an evening of fun + learning with your teammates
June 1: Virtual Ice Cream Party and Celebration – we will share a slide show of all of our good deeds and virtually mingle in small groups…we also hope to have some sweet surprises for you!
The Edlavitch DCJCC operates a daily program for individuals over 60 living in the District called the Behrend-Adas Senior Fellowship. This program offers a variety of robust programming including social activities, exercise, arts, field trips, and a hot kosher lunch.
With the program being closed, many of our senior adults living alone are interested in companionship and interaction. They’re excited to start a correspondence with you either by email or snail mail!
Sign up to receive a client who you will write to regularly (at least every other week). The senior will respond to you as often as they are able, but expect this to be a back and forth correspondence.
Content for letters or postcards can include: notes of encouragement; about you, your career, your background, and anything else you are comfortable sharing; a poem or a positive story you heard about, etc. Please refrain from any references to drinking, drugs, or other activities related to substance use.
Children all over the city are reaching important milestones in their lives and graduating from kindergarten, 5th grade, and 8th grade. As these accomplishments cannot be celebrated in person, we need your help to honor and celebrate these young graduates from afar! Make graduation cards for children who are transitioning out of homelessness with Community of Hope, one of our close partner organizations.
Please register to receive exact instructions, including a mailing address. When registering, please select the number of cards you are interested in making or purchasing. For example, if you would like to make 3 graduation cards for a kindergarten grad and 2 for a 5th grade grad, please select that number of tickets for each age.
**This opportunity is ongoing through Monday, June 8th**
Thank you in advance for helping us celebrate these wonderful graduates!
Create your own container garden while learning about food justice in DC with activist and urban gardener extraordinaire, Christin Riddick of Afro Beets! Christin will take us through a step by step process of creating a container garden complete with tips and tricks for what to plant, how much to water, and how to get the most out of a small urban gardening space indoors or outdoors. Christin will also discuss the racial and geographic inequities embedded in food access in the District, and how you can get involved in food justice activism!
Participants will walk away with a guide and resources on container gardening along with action steps on getting involved in food justice around DC.
About Afro Beets: Afro Beets is your source for garden to table content inspired by culture and soul. We educate our people with the tools to produce their own food, cook healthy and delicious plant-based meals and take a natural/ holistic approach to wellness. Because everyone should have access to good food regardless of their zip code.
In partnership with Avodah: the Jewish Service Corps
Join fellow knitters and crocheters over Zoom to make handmade goodies for a great cause! Our goal is to contribute as many warm winter items as possible to distribute to individuals experiencing homelessness in the DC area.
All levels of knitters and crocheters are welcome. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? We’ll teach you!
What should I have with me at home?
Please have your own needles/crochet hooks. If you are not already working on a warm winter item and are looking for a great project or just starting out, please have:
- #8 or #10 knitting needles (circular or straight) or a size H crochet hook
- Patterns you’re working on or want to start
What do you supply?
We provide lots of beautiful yarn, several patterns including hat patterns using #17 needles or a size N crochet hook, and experienced knitters and crocheters to teach anyone who would like to learn how to knit or crochet.
If you can’t join us over Zoom, join us in spirit by knitting or crocheting:
- Gloves and Mittens
- Socks or slippers
- Other items to keep people warm during the cold winter months
Please hold onto finished items at this time. If you do not have the space to store finished items, please contact Sonya at email@example.com to make arrangements for a pick-up. Thank you!
Want to know more or join our virtual community? Like us on Facebook!
If you have any questions about this event contact Chana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is Hunger is a powerful, immersive digital video experience that explores who struggles with hunger in America and why. MAZON and the EDCJCC invite you to learn about what hunger looks like for millions of Americans by virtually “meeting” individuals who have experienced food insecurity. After watching This is Hunger together, we will engage in interactive activities and discussions about how MAZON is working to ensure that Americans facing hunger have the assistance they need, throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond – as well as how you can take action from your own home, and mobilize your community to do the same.
About Mazon: Inspired by Jewish values and ideals, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel.
In partnership with MAZON
In honor of World Refugee Day, join us for an evening of story-sharing with four people who came to the United States as refugees. Learn about the diversity in their experiences along with shared struggles and triumphs as they settled into new lives in a foreign place. Hear stories from the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, Central America, and the African continent and have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with each speaker.
Finally, representatives from HIAS and the EDCJCC will share an update on the current status of the United States Refugee Admissions Program, how you can help newly arrived refugees, and how you can help those still hoping to come.
Please register in order to receive the zoom link for this program.
In partnership with HIAS and KAMA DC.