NCSY Teens Give Back to Memphis Jewish Federation

by Steven Holman-

Volunteer Federation callers from left to right: Nathan Greenbaum, Ethan Vanderwalde, Natalie Mashinsky, Talya Mendelson, Brooke Sanderson, and Rafi Goldkin.

“It was nerve-racking at first but once I got the hang of it, it was amazing to be able to help and give back to my community,” said Brooke Sanderson, an NCSY teen volunteer and burgeoning Jewish community lay leader, who recently had her first experience in fundraising thanks to Memphis Jewish Federation. “It was a good feeling to be able to raise money for Federation’s Annual Community Campaign, especially knowing that many of the NCSY programs happen because of it.”

On Sunday, October 2, six teens from Memphis’ NCSY chapter visited the Federation office to make calls urging donors to support the 2023 Annual Community Campaign. Thanks to their combined effort, 62 donors pledged gifts that afternoon and more than $9,000 was raised, with more than half of the gifts increasing over last year.

“Calling members of the Jewish community was a learning opportunity for me and I learned a lot of great skills,” said teen Nathan Greenbaum. “I am thankful to Memphis Jewish Federation for everything that they do for our community.”

Memphis NCSY receives grant support from Federation’s Annual Community Campaign, empowering the organization to maintain high-level teen programming through its local Memphis chapter and through its Jewish Student Union, which creates Jewish culture clubs in public and private schools in and around Memphis.

“We want to make sure our whole entire community knows what we do at Memphis Jewish Federation, and it’s a great place to start with teenagers to let them understand how connected our community is,” said Judy Lansky, Memphis Jewish Federation’s Director of Development. “Before we taught the teens how to solicit, we talked about what Memphis Jewish Federation does locally and globally to support Jewish families. We sat down and had all the teenagers raise their hand for the different ways that they had been involved with Federation, whether it was with NCSY, Margolin Hebrew Academy, JCC sports, BBYO, summer camp connections, etc. They were all connected to Federation in many ways that they didn’t previously realize. Also, a lot of the teenagers participate in B’nai Tzedek, the Jewish Foundation of Memphis Teen Philanthropy initiative.”

“I was nervous to call people I didn’t know from my community, but this experience has really made me grow,” said teen caller Natalie Mashinsky. “I feel more comfortable calling people now because of this experience. I am so happy that I had the chance to speak to both people I knew and some that I didn’t know. I feel more connected to my community now and appreciative that I got to help Federation.”

“It was great to bring in the teens and see them give back to the community that gives to their programming,” said Rebecca Brown, a Memphis NCSY staff member. “Their excitement and eagerness to raise money for NCSY and the Memphis Jewish Federation was so inspiring to see. They are looking forward to the next call-a-thon!”

NCSY is a world-recognized organization that has played a pivotal role in the lives of Jewish teens across the globe. With the vision of Harold and Enid Boxer, of blessed memory, the Orthodox Union founded NCSY in 1954 to provide Jewish teens with an opportunity to build a strong connection to their Jewish roots through inspiration and leadership skills.

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