#RepairTheWorldWednesday with Springboard Peer Ambassadors by Brittany Abramowicz
Last February at the Dunkin Donuts in Northbrook, I meet with the teens who were starting their journey as Springboard Peer Ambassadors. I told them that over the course of the next eight months they were going to take the lead on making sure their friends knew about Jewish teen programs, and would even have the opportunity to create activities to help more people connect to each other and the Jewish community. At that time none of us could have predicted what the next eight months would have in store for us.
One of the many challenges we’ve all had to navigate over the past few months is how to stay connected. So of course, the Peer Ambassadors Program that aims to connect teens to community was dramatically impacted. Jewish teen programs were moved mostly online, and there are now specific stipulations that need to be put in place to do something simple like having a few friends over for Havdallah and a Bonfire. Despite these challenges, this first cohort of Springboard Peer Ambassadors did find ways to help their friends connect online and make Jewish teen programs more accessible.
In a time when people may be feeling isolated or out of sorts, this group of teens have been working to connect with people through acts of Tikkun Olam. Through their acts of kindness, they’ve made sure their friends know they are there for them, and made sure people are finding ways to relax and have fun, especially during a challenging time.
After our last meeting, the Peer Ambassadors shared some reflections on their experiences, and this is what they had to say:
“By getting my Jewish friends together for my events, I realized that being Jewish is also about the connection between Jewish people.” - Jamie
“I've realized that Judaism revolves a lot around connection. By connecting with other Jews, I've developed a strong sense of belonging in the Jewish community.” – Ania
We are now accepting applications for the next group of ambassadors if you want to make a difference by helping people find meaningful connections to each other and the Jewish community you can learn more and apply here.
Brittany Abramowicz works with Springboard to help teens find their fit in the Jewish community.