What I Learned From Volunteering At My Temple (Published in Kveller)

shutterstock_242268304 kveller candleWhen my kids were little they attended Jewish preschools where volunteering was mandatory. How can volunteering be mandatory? Simple. We had designated dates to be “mystery reader” and “Shabbat parent,” which involved saying a prayer, lighting candles, and supplying juice and snacks. This carried over into religious school, where we helped make siddur (prayer book) covers, painted yarmulkes, and contributed to the bake sale. Although technically there was a choice, no parent in his or her right mind would say no to helping out. In fact, we often bargained for more time by signing up as substitutes on waitlists.

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