(JNS.org) Young Judaea's Alternative Winter Break (AWB) program sent more than 100 North American Jewish high school students to partake in community development projects over winter break. One group of students went to New Orleans, where they helped renovate homes and rebuild the parts of the city still affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Another group traveled to Los Angeles to volunteer in shelters and food banks.
“I’m on AWB to make a change in a person’s life, make a difference in the community, and inspire others to do the same," said Emily Hecht, a 9th grader from Westfield, NJ.
“By living and working in communities where the effects of their efforts can be felt, these teens learned firsthand about the issues affecting those who live in recovering and struggling areas. Alternative Winter Break ensures that participants develop a sense of building community, get the chance to further explore their Jewish identity and ultimately go home more committed and better equipped to offer service where it is most needed," said Andrew Fretwell, Young Judaea’s Alternative Winter Break program manager.