The lead up to Chanukah offers us a chance to think about how we spread light in the world and what our impact is. The Diller Teen Fellows, which is a part of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), created a spirit of volunteering and goodwill in our community, finding purpose through the art of giving.
The Diller Teen Fellows is a premier leadership development program for Jewish teens which partners a cohort in Israel with a cohort in a Jewish community from the diaspora. The program currently consists of 16 partnerships including Melbourne’s partnership with Diller Teens in the Golan Heights, which is now in its fifth year. Over the course of 12 months, Fellows undergo training with a commitment to hands-on tikkun olam, building a connection to the Jewish people and Israel, and deepening Jewish identity. The depth of the program, global engagement, and a focus on experiential learning, creates an enduring impact on participants and their families, building leaders with the power to change the world.
One of the core goals of the program is to inspire and empower the teens to make a positive difference in their respective communities. This helps them explore their understanding of who they are, and who they want to be through a Jewish lens, and how they want to make a mark on the world. This time, the group chose to volunteer their time last Sunday at C-Care.
C-Care provides help to those in need in the community, be it individuals or families, in the form of social visits and food parcels. This gives the individuals some relief in their grocery spend, but more importantly, it makes them feel that they are part of a community, that they are cared for, valued and included. The Diller Teen Fellows had a fantastic day at C-Care, preparing, packaging and delivering nutritious meals to those in our community who need it. Throughout the day, the Fellows were reminded of the core values of the program, which aims to break down social barriers, combat isolation, and give people access to companionship and care. This is very much in line with Diller Teen Fellows commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Eden Gelfand, a Diller Teen Fellow who volunteered said of the experience, “I had a great time cooking and found it really meaningful delivering to people in need.” The team at C-Care were just as complimentary about the Diller Teens’ involvement with Program Manager Lori Chait saying, “thank you to the Diller Teens who helped at C Care. Our programs are aimed at helping Jewish people who are experiencing hardship and loneliness. With your help, we are able to continue to extend the network of care in our community.”