JCRC seeks teens for volunteer program

BY MIKE SHERWIN, ASSISTANT EDITOR

The Jewish Community Relations Council is looking for teens in the community to participate in a summer volunteer program.

St. Louis Interfaith Community Exploration (SLICE) is a community service program sponsored by Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls. The JCRC is looking to form a contingent of 12- to 16-year-olds to participate in SLICE from July 21-25.

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“It’s a great opportunity for teens to work with a diverse group of their peers from around the city and really do a lot of good for the community,” said Gail Wechsler, director of domestic issues/social justice for JCRC.

The Jewish students participating with the JCRC group will join with up to 50 other teens from different faiths and backgrounds throughout the St. Louis area. The program begins with a one-day poverty simulation where participants will learn about the challenges poverty poses, including housing, childcare, food and transportation issues, Wechsler said. Later in the week, the students will help out at various organizations that work with those in need, including Lydia’s House, a transitional housing program for abused women and their children.

Each day of the program will begin at 9 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m. Wechsler said the program will give teens the opportunity to “see a different side” of St. Louis.

“It can be a very enlightening experience to help those who are less fortunate,” said Wechsler. “We’ve had some parents who have told us that their summer service experience has really transformed them and been very significant in their lives.”

This is the third year of the SLICE program, and the third year the JCRC’s Bohm Social Justice Initiative has brought together a group to participate.

Last year, 10 students, ages 12 through 15, spent their days learning about the community of Kinloch and helping to run a camp for children. The Jewish youth who partnered with 50 teens from four other religious communities during early June were also able to help run a camp for neighborhood children.

The cost to participate in SLICE is $50 per person and includes lunch, water and a free T-shirt.

To learn more about SLICE and to register, contact Gail Wechsler at the JCRC at 314-442-3894 or [email protected] More information also is available at the website of the JCRC at www.jcrcstl.org/volunteer.

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