Community Engagement

For more than 125 years, NCJW/CLE volunteers have been entrenched in the community. We are in libraries, schools, senior centers and neighborhood centers across the city. Our volunteers serve diverse needs in Cleveland.

While the pandemic has temporarily limited our ability to provide in-person, direct service to the community, we are developing opportunities to meet community needs remotely.

Already a member? Please read our weekly email, Meaningful Ways to Engage This Week, to learn about current volunteer opportunities and how you can participate.

Dig-Knitty: From blankets and pillows to warm clothing and comfort toys, NCJW volunteers knit warmth, love and security into teddy bears, scarves, hats and mittens, which they donate to hospital patients, veterans, assisted living residents and others.  The volunteers knit together weekly as they share friendship and creativity.

Entertainmobile and High Notes: Two performing groups travel the community to bring broadway-style music and magical joy to those in nursing homes, senior housing and independent living facilities.

Hello Israel: Through a newly-updated and highly-engaging presentation, NCJW goes into schools and gives students a glimpse of present day Israel. In addition, a newly packaged online format makes this program accessible to a wider audience.   Read about this here.

Partners in Literacy: NCJW/Cleveland instills love of reading in children around the Cleveland area Programs include a monthly Book Club for fifth graders; Readers’ Theater (three-week program for fourth graders that combines reading and performing); Building Bridges with Books (NCJW reinvigorates local school libraries); and Reading Buddies (volunteers work one-on-one with first graders once a month to help them learn how to read.)

Get a Happiness Fix at JDN (Jewish Day Nursery/Early Childhood Center): This is a volunteer opportunity that is customizable and connects you with preschool children. Volunteers meet with a classroom teacher and agree on a day and time. Since JDN is open year-round, volunteers aren’t restricted to a traditional school year calendar. Teachers appreciate the time that you give and the preschoolers benefit from the additional attention.

Judaic Outreach: Volunteers meet six Fridays a year and bring holiday cheer to clients with special needs at the Jewish Family Service Association. Volunteers plan programs with Jewish themes and “serve” fellowship, friendship and full holiday meals.

Operation Warm-Up: Coats! Hats! Scarves! Boots! Gloves! Socks! Underwear! O peration W arm Up is our annual collection of winter clothing items for those in need.

Share What Your Wear: SWYW collects, then distributes, clothing and supplies to children in need or in crisis through school and agency social workers. At our in-house store, volunteers fulfill orders by personally shopping our inventory of donated new and gently-used clothing to create gender and size specific clothing bags. New toiletries and school supplies, also provided through donations, are included upon request.

Traditions in the Kitchen (part of Acts of Kindness): Volunteers bring Jewish cooking traditions, cultural sharing and education to community centers, nursing homes, and senior resident facilities.