Volunteer to Help
The JFS Volunteer Services mission is to engage volunteers in meaningful and fulfilling experiences, to build community through partnerships, and to demonstrate the JFS values of kindness, justice, and repairing the world.
We offer a variety of opportunities for involvement, including ongoing and one-time options. There is truly something for everyone who wants to help. Contact Anne Myers at email@example.com or (651) 359-7775 if you have specific questions. Otherwise, fill out a volunteer application here.
In this short video, a family describes the gift they received from their volunteer work at JFS.
Volunteer to Support JFS Clients
B’Yachad Holiday Gift Bag Delivery
Deliver gifts to JFS clients in need at their homes to celebrate the winter holidays. Gifts include health and safety items as well as a gift card for home essentials and groceries. Help us to ensure that the isolated, lonely and vulnerable know we are thinking of them.
Challah cHugs Delivery
Deliver challah (Jewish braided bread) to JFS clients who are elderly, ill, or in need of a big cHug! Challah will be stored in your freezer and delivered to clients in their homes.
Assist JFS clients who are unable to complete simple, household chores such as changing light bulbs, doing laundry, shoveling snow and raking leaves.
Pick up items such as groceries and other home essentials for JFS clients in need. Drop off items at client’s home. Clients will reimburse volunteers for any purchased items.
Friendly Remote Visitor
Provide support and companionship through ongoing phone calls to isolated JFS clients or those who just enjoy having conversation.
High Holy Days Gift Bag Delivery
Deliver gift bags to JFS Jewish spiritual care clients to help celebrate the Jewish New Year in the fall. Gift bags include apples, honey and other ritual items. Bags are delivered 1-2 weeks before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
High Holy Days Helper *
Join a chaplain at a community celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These events are held for two weeks before Rosh Hashanah and take place at various senior living buildings. Helpers will sit with dementia residents during the program, assist with welcoming guests, and/or blow the shofar.
Holiday Ambassador *
Provide Passover and/or Hanukah holiday experiences to those who would not be able to celebrate otherwise. Celebrations will take place in facilities with multiple Jewish spiritual care clients. Ritual items and training will be provided.
Life Enrichment Volunteer
Provide ongoing in-person companionship and support to JFS clients who are lonely, isolated and/or just enjoy extra company. Clients are in private homes and facilities in the city and suburbs of St. Paul. Visits may include playing games, talking, going for walks, etc.
Para Chaplain *
Join a cohort of others for a mini chaplain training series. Para chaplains will be assigned visits with JFS clients who are not connected to a congregation. Visits will focus on spiritual support which may or may not include religion, although most clients in this program are Jewish.
Passover for All Bag Delivery
Deliver kits to JFS clients in need so they will be able to celebrate Passover. Bags include food and ritual items for a Passover seder. Passover is a spring holiday, and bags will be delivered one week before the holiday.
Shalom Baby Delivery *
Deliver gift items to new parents of Jewish babies. These gifts include items to connect families with Jewish community resources as well as baby items such as a growth chart, books, and hand sanitizer. Deliveries from those who have experience parenting newborns are appreciated! This program is co-sponsored by JFS, the St. Paul Jewish Federation and PJ Library.
Drive JFS clients to appointments, shopping, and more in the St. Paul area using your own car and auto insurance. Clients must be ambulatory and able to get in and out of the car independently.
Volunteer to Support JFS Programs
Book Group Leader
Participate in the Bruce Goodman Read in Color Little Free Library program at JFS by co-leading book discussions. The Read in Color program promotes diverse books to help people see themselves in stories and to educate people about marginalized communities. This program will target both young and adult readers.
B’Yachad Gift Bag Assembly
Join a group of volunteers at the JFS building to assemble gift bags for delivery to JFS clients in need for the winter holidays.
Create greeting cards for various occasions including B’Yachad, High Holy Days, Passover and general caring messages for isolated clients. Cards drawn and/or colored by children are especially popular with our clients!
Assist with data entry and other clerical projects in the JFS office.
Help keep our office grounds looking great! We want to be good neighbors in the community by planting and maintaining pretty gardens around the JFS office.
High Holy Days Gift Bag Assembly
WE HAVE ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS FOR THIS PROGRAM FOR 2022. PLEASE SIGN UP TO HELP WITH ONE OF OUR OTHER HIGH HOLY DAY ACTIVITIES. Join a group of volunteers at the JFS office to assemble gift bags for the Jewish High Holy Days. Bags will be assembled in the fall approximately 2-3 weeks before Rosh Hashanah.
Little Free Library Box Maintenance
Support the Bruce Goodman Read in Color Little Free Library at JFS by keeping an inventory of books, restocking items, and suggesting books to be ordered. This library will promote diversity and community education for both children and adults.
Men’s Group Facilitator
Co-facilitate a men’s group for those in mid-life. Quarterly meetings will include education and group discussions focused on topics affecting men as they navigate mid-life changes and imagine new possibilities. This is a men’s counterpart to our popular Next Chapter series for women.
Passover for All Bag Assembly
Join a group of volunteers at the JFS building to assemble Passover bags for delivery to JFS clients in need. Bags will include ritual and food items to help people who would not otherwise have a seder. Assembly will take place 1-2 weeks before Passover in the spring.
Do you have an interest or skill that you can use to assist JFS and our clients? This could include special competencies in community education, technology, language translation, career mentoring or legal matters. Please let us know so we can make note of your special talents when the need arises. We have many opportunities available to do one-time volunteering with clients, on a community conference planning committee, or in the office! We may be able to customize a project just for you! We ALWAYS need Russian-speaking volunteers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be Jewish to volunteer?
No. JFS serves people of all religions and walks of life. We want our volunteer pool to be as diverse as our clients. There are a few specialized volunteer opportunities for Jewish people designated with an asterisk (*).
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
JFS has opportunities for all ages. Volunteers less than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
What is your COVID policy for volunteers?
That depends on where you are volunteering. At the JFS office, wearing masks is optional. If you are not vaccinated, you will be required to provide proof of a negative test the week you volunteer. Individual clients, and their buildings, may require masks and/or vaccinations. This policy is subject to change.
Can I volunteer with my family?
Yes! We have many great opportunities to volunteer as a family.
Can I complete service hours for school through your volunteer program?
Yes, we will work with you to meet your school requirements and provide any documentation you need.
How many hours am I required to give?
There are many opportunities to volunteer for a single event of about two hours. Volunteers who are building ongoing relationships with clients are asked to give a minimum of 50 hours (approximately 1-2 hours per week).
Where will I be volunteering?
That depends upon the opportunity you choose. Many volunteer events take place at the JFS office at 1633 W 7th St in St. Paul. If you are going to client homes, they are typically in the city or suburbs of St. Paul.
How do I get started?
Fill out the volunteer application here, and we will contact you to set up a time to meet.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Contact Anne Myers, Community Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 359-7775 Monday-Thursday between 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Fill out a volunteer application here.
- JFS will contact you.
- Interview with JFS to discuss your interests/our needs.
- Complete training and a background check, if necessary.
Talmud Torah students create greeting cards for inclusion in each B’Yachad gift bag.