Give back to your community by helping those in need
We provide a positive force for change through direct service, collaborations with other community organizations and advocacy.
Volunteers serve on committees that meet on a regular basis at over 20 community partners in New York City — schools, neighborhood centers, senior residences, women’s prisons, hospitals, transitional housing, to name just a few. The committees are organized into four distinct Councils that focus on specific community needs.
Interested in joining us as a volunteer? Learn how to get involved!
Adult Education & Mentoring Council
This Council focuses on emergency services and life skills training. Volunteers work with a diverse population — recently incarcerated women, survivors of domestic violence, the elderly, families living in transitional housing. Some volunteers counsel sexual assault victims in emergency rooms, while others present life-coping workshops, from anger management, goal-setting
and self-esteem to financial planning, house hunting and job search techniques. Still others bring companionship and educational enrichment to seniors. Community partners include New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Domestic & Other Violence Emergencies program, Women’s Prison Association, and Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged.
Children’s Education Council
For families who are homeless, headed by a single parent or experiencing other difficulties, the stress of daily life can be overwhelming. The underlying goal of the Children’s Education Council is to provide educators and mentors to low-income New York City children to supplement their in-school curriculum. Volunteers lead classes on financial literacy, science, and art. You’ll find them tutoring at-risk youngsters in elementary basics and teaching science and art at family shelters. Community partners include Mott Haven Academy, Women In Need and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Culture & the Arts Council
Bringing visual and performing arts to underserved children and teens, volunteers participate in a variety of interactive projects designed to encourage self-expression while building confidence. Not only do young minds learn about the arts in the classroom, they also experience it first-hand through trips to museums, concerts, plays and through the creation of their own stage productions. For more than 20 years, this Council has also designed, planned, funded and completed a playground renovation each spring in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Other community partners include P.S. 64, The Harbor for Boys and Girls and the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.
Child Health & Welfare Council
Mentoring at-risk youth is the primary goal of this Council, where volunteers have a long-term, consistent commitment to providing guidance and support. Their programs harness individual strengths and foster responsibility, self-esteem and the development of life skills. Volunteers provide a range of mentoring, from teaching siblings how to cook healthy meals and young girls how to make positive life choices to advising pregnant teens on pre-natal care, and young at-risk women on becoming responsible adults. Community partners include: Supportive Children’s Advocacy Network, Mentoring USA, and Good Shepherd.
Read more about all of NYJL’s Community Partners.
How can I apply to be a Community Partner?
Step 1: First, determine if your proposed project meets NYJL requirements. Is your project located in Manhattan? Is it designed to utilize trained NYJL volunteers? (Please note, NYJL volunteers cannot participate in fundraising-related activities for other organizations.) Does it fall within one of our four Community Program areas — Adult Education & Mentoring, Children’s Education Council, Culture & the Arts or Child Health & Welfare? Please read the descriptions of each area above to determine whether your organization’s mission and proposed project would fit within the NYJL’s existing community priorities.
Step 2: Formally propose a program which takes into account the following: The NYJL volunteer year runs from September through May – volunteer activities must take place within this period of time, with daytime programs running from 10 am to noon and evening programs which start at 6:30 or later. Volunteer activities do not take place during the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Committees typically meet weekly or bi-weekly for 1.5 to 2 hours. Weekday projects are preferable.
Step 3: If approved, work with NYJL’s Community Programs Research committee to determine the appropriate partnership level. Partnership may take the form of either an ongoing NYJL volunteer committee – a project that is on-going and requires establishment of a formal NYJL volunteer committee and regular and consistent attendance by a dedicated group of NYJL volunteers on specific day(s) of the week; a regular “Done-In a Day” one-off volunteer event that occurs up to several times per year, but does not require a formal volunteer committee.
Timeline: Your expression of interest in partnership will be considered on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year. (Please note that delays in the normal consideration time may occur during the months of June, July and August when the NYJL volunteers are not as active.) Any and all newly established partnerships will begin in September at the beginning of the NYJL volunteer calendar year. The submission process (listed below) must be initiated by the organization by December 31 of the year prior to the proposed partnership start date. The deadline for proposed projects which would commence in September 2015 is December 31, 2014. In some instances expressions of interest will be considered after the deadline.
- Organization submits initial Expression of Interest in Partnership on the NYJL website.
- An auto-generated email will be sent to the organization to confirm receipt.
- The Expression of Interest in Partnership is reviewed and evaluated by the NYJL within thirty (30) days of receipt.
- Email sent to organization contact indicating whether or not the NYJL will proceed further with the review process.
- If approved to proceed, an in-person interview and site-visit with the organization at the proposed project site will be arranged.
- If approved, organization may be asked to help coordinate and schedule a one-off volunteer event, also known as a “Done-In-A-Day (DIAD) On Demand” test event that would closely model the proposed volunteer project. Both the organization and participating NYJL committee complete an event evaluation.
- The NYJL Board of Directors vote whether to approve the new Community Partner – the partnership will either become an ongoing, long-term NYJL volunteer committee or a DIAD project that requires NYJL volunteers less frequently.
- If approved, the organization and the NYJL execute a formal Letter of Agreement establishing a long-term partnership.
Ready to start the application process? Complete the application
Questions? Or do you know of an organization that might be a great Community Partner? Email the Community Program Research committee at email@example.com.
How to submit a Request For Proposal for NYJL’s Community Improvement Project
The goal of the Community Improvement Project (CIP) is to create a one-year partnership with a selected facility and increase its community impact. An assessment is conducted after the one-year period to determine whether there is an ongoing need for further volunteer assistance from the NYJL, but no additional funding beyond the initial $50,000 is provided.
Now in its third year, CIP has previously partnered with Urban Dove, a non-profit specializing in after-school programs for at-risk teens, and most recently with the New York Mission Society’s Minisink Townhouse in East Harlem. At Urban Dove, volunteers installed new amenities, such as couches, computers, a kitchen, and helped students with their high school applications. At the Minisink Townhouse, volunteers refurbished the mini-theater, cafeteria and an after-school lounge, creating a safe and beautiful space for kids to practice the performing arts.
- CIP Selection Process and Application Deadline: A facility will be selected from organizations that complete the RFP in its entirety. Finalists will receive a site visit before a final facility is selected. All applicants must be a non-profit 501(c)(3) or 501(a) (public school).
- Good Faith Statement: All information provided by the NYJL in this RFP is offered in good faith. Individual items are subject to change at any time. The NYJL makes no certification that any item is without error. The NYJL is not responsible or liable for any use of the information contained herein or for any claims asserted therefrom.
- Note: Thank you for your interest! The 2014-15 RFP Process is now closed. Stay tuned for more information about our 2014-15 CIP Partner!
Questions about NYJL’s Community Improvement Project? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.