Adult mentors provide guidance and support to at-risk adults. NYJL Adult Mentoring programs are coordinated with established community partners and focus on life skills training; esteem and self-advocacy; support and emergency services; and providing the tools and resources to help these survivors break the cycle of domestic violence before it is too late. NYJL volunteers counsel and advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in New York City hospitals in partnership with New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Domestic & Other Violence Emergencies program; present workshops focused on self-esteem, stress and anger management, journal writing and goal-setting; housing, job/career search, finances, and other social services and support programs and provide math tutoring at the Bayview Correctional Facility, and interact with paraplegic and quadriplegic children and young adults at Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital, to name a few projects of this Council.
Bayview Correctional Facility
Bayview Correctional Facility is a medium-security women’s prison with a population of approximately 200 women. Most of the population is in general confinement while approximately 20% of the population is on work release. Inmates have 10 years or less remaining in their sentences; many are survivors of physical or sexual abuse. The NYJL has been active at Bayview for more than two decades, providing educational workshops to Bayview’s inmates. Volunteers can choose to focus in a specific area or participate in all workshop areas. Workshops focus on self-esteem, stress and anger management, journal writing and goal-setting; housing, job/career search, finances, and other social services and support programs available to ex-offenders; and math tutoring from the Adult Basic (roughly 5th grade) to GED level.
Through this initiative, the NYJL offers volunteers unique exposure to the correctional system in a safe and positive environment, while offering them the opportunity to work directly with survivors of domestic violence.
After extensive training, Crisis Intervention volunteers assist domestic violence and sexual assault victims in New York City hospitals. In partnership with New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Domestic & Other Violence Emergencies (DOVE), volunteers act as advocates and counselors for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault during their stay in the ER. After one year on call, volunteers become certified New York State Crisis Counselors.
Friends of Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital
NYJL volunteers interact with children and young adults undergoing long-term, often permanent, hospitalization at Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital. Many of these patients are para- or quadriplegic and respirator-dependent and have little support from family and friends. They have come to rely on NYJL volunteers and look forward to their weekly visits.
Mt. Sinai Living Well Guides
NYJL/ Mt. Sinai Living Well Guides, at Mt. Sinai Hospital, are responsible for training volunteers, both NYJL and outside volunteers; implementing wellness prevention campaigns; creating and leading monthly craft sessions promoting socialization and manual dexterity skills; maintaining an in-house geriatric patients visiting program, and offering support to patients in the waiting rooms. Guides are paired with homebound patients, maintaining regular social contact by telephone as well as hosting two luncheons at the NYJL Headquarters. Volunteers also present monthly Lunch and Learn group discussions on topics relative to seniors’ well-being.
Rites of Passage at Covenant House
The Covenant House Rites of Passage Program provides housing for young men and women, offering them a chance to make a life for themselves away from the street. NYJL volunteers plan and lead educational workshops to empower young women transitioning to independent living. Many have been victims of domestic violence. Topics include self-esteem, stress and anger management, interpersonal skills, goal-setting, and life skills like financial planning and developing job skills.
NYJL volunteers work at the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged, providing companionship and developing and piloting engaging activities for the seniors. The elderly population is the largest growing demographic segment in the United States, and volunteer services are critically needed in our community to work with this aging population.