Blog  The Value of Community and Relationship Building

The Value of Community and Relationship Building

By Julie Marsh, NFTY Southern Tropical Director of Youth Engagement

When my daughter started kindergarten, her teacher handed my husband and I a sheet of paper with the following statement; “Share with me what skills your child has coming into Kindergarten.” I remember exactly what we wrote.

While Kiley knows her sight words, she does not know how to read.  Her writing needs major improvement and she does not know how to tie her shoe laces.  However, if you ask Kiley why she goes through her toys and where they go she would tell you that they go to children at the soup kitchen who do not have toys.  If you asked Kiley what she does with the free turkey we receive from time to time she will tell you that we give it to a family who does not have a turkey to eat at family dinner.  Life values are what we have spent our time enforcing. We know Kiley will learn to read and write but if we do not teach her what we call her “core values” we may be stuck as she gets older.

As a parent and as a Regional Director I try my best to remind our children the values behind Tikkun Olam.  I try and remind our children why it is important to be kind, to do good things and to help others. Whether the child is 7 or 17 everyone needs to keep these values as part of what I call their “core values”.

Camp Jenny, named to honor the legacy of Jenny Rosenthal is held at URJ Camp Coleman every Memorial Day. This weekend gives children from Atlanta the opportunity to receive the love of big “brothers and sisters,” three nutritious meals a day, and encouragement for the future. Camp Jenny is NFTY-STR and NFTY-SAR’s Mitzvah Project.

Camp Jenny teaches the value of manners and respect.
Camp Jenny teaches our teens the value of putting others first.
Camp Jenny teaches partnership between teens and adults.
Camp Jenny teaches the value of community and relationship building.
Camp Jenny teaches partnership between two organizations.
Camp Jenny teaches adults to believe in our teens.
Camp Jenny teaches teens to believe in themselves.
Camp Jenny teaches people the value of sharing, communication, building relationships, making people smile, continuing to laugh and to always be kind.

A mitzvah is defined as a good deed and when we open the Camp Coleman gates and welcome our campers every Memorial Day Weekend our NFTY-STR and NFTY-SAR communities continue to do Good Deeds.

Tikkun Olam is defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. When our teens and adults choose to apply to volunteer at Camp Jenny they are committing themselves to repairing our world. Someone could say that Camp Jenny may be a small repair, however I believe that any contribution to repairing our world should not be marginalized.

For further information or to make an online donation please visit, campjenny.org.