This summer, teens will really make a difference

Calling all 8th-10th-grade Jewish teens: What will you do to make a difference this summer? Sign up for Camp TOV, where you’ll learn how volunteering and service can be part of your life. You’ll participate in hands-on volunteer opportunities and fun activities, and you’ll learn about the needs in your Chicago community. Camp TOV wil run for two one-week sessions in August.

Some folks say summer camp can change a kid’s life. Now there’s a camp where campers can change the world–for the better.

The Jewish United Fund’s Camp TOV debuts this August, offering incoming 8th- through 10th-graders a fast-paced, fun-packed immersion into volunteering and hands-on helping. Each of the two one-week sessions will be filled with opportunities for campers to work on a wide array of volunteer projects throughout the Chicago area, and to learn how volunteering furthers the Jewish commitment to tikkun olam, caring for and repairing the world.

In the process, the teens will get an incredibly personal perspective on some of the many human needs in their community, and discover how their involvement can make a difference in the lives of others.

Camp TOV is the latest initiative of the JUF’s TOV Volunteer Network, a clearinghouse that links local Jews and others of all ages with more than 5,000 volunteering opportunities each year. They work throughout the Jewish community, as well as in programs run by other religious groups and those with no religious connection. The volunteers serve seniors, children, families, the poor, the hungry, those who need a friend, those who need a break from caring for loved ones, and many others.

“Being personally involved and caring for those in need is fundamental to how Jews relate to others and connect with the larger community," said Alison Bloom, who chairs the Camp TOV program. “We created the camp as a new way of helping and, just as significantly, of teaching that lesson to our young people not only through words, but through first-hand experience."

Camp TOV is designed for young Jewish teens regardless of their prior involvement with TOV or any other program. The one-week sessions begin Aug. 6 and Aug. 13. For more information or to get an application, call the TOV Hotline at (312) 357-4762.

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