Join PeerCorps

PeerCorps is a service-program that enables Jewish teens and b’nai mitzvah of all backgrounds to build relationships with one another and engage in community-based volunteering in Detroit and Pittsburgh.

The PeerCorps Mission

PeerCorps was established to create the Jewish leadership of our future committed to repairing our world. We accomplish this by engaging teens in meaningful volunteer experiences within their communities.

The PeerCorps Vision

Through leadership development, social justice learning, and community building, PeerCorps strengthens young Jewish teens’ Jewish identity and commitment to Tikkun Olam

The PeerCorps Values

Tzedek (Justice) – Our humanity is bound up in the humanity of others

Elu V’elu – Learning alongside others and grappling with complexity

Tikkun Olam (Repair the World) – Taking action to create a better world

Questions about PeerCorps?

In 2017/2018, PeerCorps Detroit mentors and mentees are placed at six different service sites:

  • NewLeaf
  • Kibbutz Detropia
  • Bethel Community Transformation Center
  • Georgia Street Community Collective
  • Project Healthy Community
  • Giving Gardens at Yad Ezra

Additionally, Kesher (Detroit only) works at four different service sites:

  • Eden Gardens Block Club
  • Clark Park
  • MISSION: City
  • Clark Park

You can read a bit more about our PeerCorps Detroit sites HERE.

Upon completion of the program, mentors will receive a stipend of $500.

Participate in a full year of programming including:

  • Seven day Gesher mentor training in August
  • 2 – 3 monthly days of service at a designated site with B’nai Mitzvah Mentee (2 hours + transportation)
  • Attend 4 of 6 mentor-specific learning days called אלו ואלו / elu v’elu / or multiple voices
  • Aid in mentee recruitment for your service site
  • Be an active and engaged role model alongside your mentees, concluding each cycle with the creation of a Bereishit Project (creative project)
  • Attend the MLK Overnight or Spring Program
  • Participate in the closing program
  • Plan and lead one Gesher Day for Mentees and their parents

An exciting week for PeerCorps Detroit Mentors, mentors begin their program year with a Gesher Week at the end of August. This immersive week of living, working and exploring together in Detroit provides an opportunity for mentors to develop mentorship skills, self-awareness, critical thinking, and to deepen their understanding of Tzedek through connecting Jewish values to learning about self and society.

Gesher Week attendance is required to participate in PeerCorps.

Mentees participating in PeerCorps are expected to bring excitement and enthusiasm for learning, meeting new people, and actively engaging in their service project. Our service projects are in community organizations that thrive on volunteers who bring their whole selves, including their creativity and follow through to the work. We’d like for mentees to think about and begin to understand service in the context of Jewish tradition and becoming bar or bat mitzvah.

We also expect them to:

  • Attend all six of their service site visits (2 hours + transportation)
  • Create a final Bereishit project. Bereishit means beginning in Hebrew and while this will be a final project, we also look at it as a beginning of a relationship with service, Judaism, and their region.

As a parent of a PeerCorps Mentee, we expect that you will attend and transport your child to the carpool location. PeerCorps will provide transportation for all the service days (from a carpool location). We expect that you will encourage and enable your child to participate to their full extent in their cycle of service. We also expect that you bring any questions or concerns directly to us at PeerCorps.

No, we are grateful to have the cost of PeerCorps participation underwritten.

The first line of supervision of Mentees are their high school-aged Mentors, along with a Repair the World staff person, Fellow, or other designated adult at each site.

PeerCorps is truly a unique Jewish experience, specific to the congregations involved as well as the region we live in. Our training for mentors and mentees is called “Gesher” – the Hebrew word for bridge. We believe that we are helping to build and strengthen an important bridge between our congregations and our community partners in Detroit. PeerCorps engages middle schoolers and high schoolers from the city in extremely meaningful service work in Detroit.

Here are a few testimonials from our past mentors:

“I think of the city in a whole new way. It is it’s own world with so much life inside of it.”

“We can be a part of a movement that helps make a difference.”

When we asked the mentors what sets this program apart from others they’ve experienced they answered that it was meaningful, and thought-provoking. They enjoyed the unknown aspects of it, the people they met, the atmosphere of respect, being given responsibility. Mostly, they said that they felt a part of something bigger than what they had expected.

 

Kesher means ‘connection’ and is about connecting PeerCorps mentee alums and friends in grades 8th-10th to Detroit, one another, and service opportunities. Kesher participants are invited to sign up for once a month programs mostly on Sundays. Kesher gives mentees (who will hopefully one day be mentors!) an opportunity to stay involved with PeerCorps during the end of middle school and the start of high school.

Absolutely not! While each service opportunity and mentor learning will include reflection on relevant Jewish values, we welcome anyone to participate.

All questions, concerns, comments, etc. can be directed to [email protected] or call (248) 835-8662.

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  • Generation to Generation (Building intergenerational relationships with seniors in our community)
  • Sheridan Orchard (Gardening)
  • Operation Better Block (Neighborhood clean up, gardening, volunteering at Pittsburgh marathon)
  • Open Hand Ministries (House construction project)
  • Stay tuned…many more partners coming by August 2018!

Upon completion of the program, mentors will receive a stipend of $500.

Participate in a full year of programming including:

  • Seven day Gesher mentor training in August
  • Twice monthly days of service at a designated site with B’nai Mitzvah Mentee (2 hours)
  • Attend 4 of 6 mentor-specific learning days called אלו ואלו / elu v’elu / or multiple voices
  • Aid in recruitment for your service site
  • Be an active and engaged role model alongside your mentees, concluding each cycle with the creation of a Bereishit Project (creative project)
  • Participate in the closing program

Mentors will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the program.

An exciting week for PeerCorps Pittsburgh Mentors, mentors begin their program year with a Gesher Week at the end of August. This immersive week of living, working and exploring together in Pittsburgh provides an opportunity for mentors to develop mentorship skills, self-awareness, critical thinking, and to deepen their understanding of Tzedek through connecting Jewish values to learning about self and society.

Mentees participating in PeerCorps are expected to bring excitement and enthusiasm for learning, meeting new people, and actively engaging in their service project. Our service projects are in community organizations that thrive on volunteers who bring their whole selves, including their creativity and follow through to the work. We’d like for mentees to think about and begin to understand service in the context of Jewish tradition and becoming bar or bat mitzvah.

We also expect them to:

  • Attend all six of their service site visits (2 hours)
  • Create a final Bereishit project. Bereishit means beginning in Hebrew and while this will be a final project, we also look at it as a beginning of a relationship with service, Judaism, and their region.

As a parent of a PeerCorps Mentee, we expect that you will transport your child to the service site locations. We expect that you will encourage and enable your child to participate to their full extent. We also expect that you bring any questions or concerns directly to PeerCorps staff.

The program fee to participate in PeerCorps as a mentee is $125 per cycle. To submit your program fee, please visit the Repair the World Donations page here, and write in PeerCorps Pittsburgh in the designation box.

Kesher means ‘connection’ and is about connecting PeerCorps mentee alums and friends in grades 8th-10th to Pittsburgh, one another, and service opportunities. Kesher participants are invited to sign up for once a month programs mostly on Sundays. Kesher gives mentees (who will hopefully one day be mentors!) an opportunity to stay involved with PeerCorps during the end of middle school and the start of high school.

The first line of supervision of Mentees are their high school-aged Mentors along with a Repair the World staff person or other designated adult at each site.

PeerCorps is truly a unique Jewish experience, specific to the congregations involved as well as the region we live in. Our training for mentors and mentees is called “Gesher” – the Hebrew word for bridge. We believe that we are helping to build and strengthen an important bridge between our congregations and our community partners in Pittsburgh. PeerCorps engages middle schoolers and high schoolers from the city in extremely meaningful service work in Pittsburgh.

Absolutely not! While each service opportunity and mentor learning will include reflection on relevant Jewish values, we welcome anyone to participate.

All questions, concerns, comments, etc. can be directed to Rachel Libros at [email protected].

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PeerCorps is a project of Repair the World

Make a donation to support PeerCorps