evolve News

Chief Rabbi partners with JLGB to launch new Kindness Challenge for primary school children

As part of their new evolve app, JLGB is delighted to announce the launch of the Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge, a digital Social Action Award for children of primary school age. The Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge will be the first step for children starting their volunteering journey on JLGB’s evolve digital volunteering platform.

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Chief Rabbi partners with JLGB to launch new Kindness Challenge for primary school children

Primary school children will be able to complete the award through JLGB’s evolve app using a parent or guardian’s mobile phone. Spurred on by a cartoon version of the Chief Rabbi himself, the fun and interactive Challenge encourages participants to perform acts of kindness and then to log a photo or video about each completed good deed. The Kindness Challenge will gather hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos to showcase how young British Jews are giving back to their communities.

To complete the Challenge, participants will need to record 15 good deeds across three social action zones - family, school and community. Good deeds listed on the challenge range from bigger acts in the community, such as taking part in a sponsored walk or entertaining the elderly in a care home to smaller acts, including laying the table at home and even making parents breakfast in bed!

These accessible challenges are fun, safe and educational and most importantly, will inspire primary school children across the community to express their Jewish identity through helping others. By completing the Award, participants will have laid the foundations for a lifetime of acts of being kind and helpful to others.

The Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge strengthens JLGB’s existing work to encourage children aged 8 – 18 to volunteer using the innovative evolve platform. Over 12,000 profiles have already been set up on evolve, with young people working to complete the Junior Citizenship, Yoni Jesner, Duke of Edinburgh’s, OCN, vInspired and National Citizen Service awards as they progress through school.

The new Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge has been designed in consultation with schools, young people and parents to ensure the Award is accessible, achievable, fun and exciting for children of primary school age.

The project was supported from the outset by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in recognition of the important potential of using digital technology to inspire children:

““The Psalms teach us that the world is built upon chessed - kindness. It is the foundation of all life and certainly the foundation of Jewish communal life. My hope is that the Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge will provide a wonderful platform to teach our children, from the youngest possible age, that there is nothing quite as rewarding in life as giving to others.”

For children who complete the Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge, the hope is that the Award will be start of a lifetime of volunteering and social action. JLGB are piloting the Challenge for one year before launching the Award across all Jewish primary schools. The

vision for the Challenge stretches even beyond the Community. Any child can complete the Award and, Neil Martin OBE, Chief Executive of JLGB hopes the Award will serve as an example for partners in other communities and schools:

“Many Jewish schools are already lined up to pilot the new Chief Rabbi’s award and after we officially launch next week, we hope to bring on board many more. Our ultimate aim is to share this approach with leaders from other faith communities. We want to show that volunteering can start at an early age and is an amazing activity for children and parents to do together. If your school would like to take part please get in touch with JLGB”.

The launch of the Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge will be announced by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis himself at JLGB’s celebration of youth volunteering on 18th September.

 

This landmark event is generously supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group and will be headlined by multi-platinum recording artist Craig David. For more details see www.jlgb.org/evolve

Download the app now at www.jlgb.org/kindnesschallenge

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Young volunteers given a thank you to remember!

Over 1,200 people attended London’s Roundhouse on the evening of Wednesday 18th September for JLGB’s Jewish community celebration of youth volunteering, supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group.

The talents of Colin McFarlane, the narrator of popular TV gameshow The Cube, presenter, DJ and model Ashley James and Steve Hewlett, the acclaimed ventriloquist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist kickstarted the evening’s entertainment before global R&B sensation Craig David raised the roof with a live performance in front of a capacity crowd. Instead of a scheduled 30-minute set, Craig chose to perform for well over an hour saying, “I wanted to give these remarkable young volunteers and their families an experience that they will never forget! By their reaction, I think we certainly achieved that!

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Young volunteers given a thank you to remember!

Over 1,200 people attended London’s Roundhouse on the evening of Wednesday 18th September for JLGB’s Jewish community celebration of youth volunteering, supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group.

The talents of Colin McFarlane, the narrator of popular TV gameshow The Cube, presenter, DJ and model Ashley James and Steve Hewlett, the acclaimed ventriloquist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist kickstarted the evening’s entertainment before global R&B sensation Craig David raised the roof with a live performance in front of a capacity crowd. Instead of a scheduled 30-minute set, Craig chose to perform for well over an hour saying, “I wanted to give these remarkable young volunteers and their families an experience that they will never forget! By their reaction, I think we certainly achieved that!”

Tickets for the exclusive concert and celebration were offered to the hundreds of young volunteers who have achieved one of the awards available through JLGB’s evolve youth volunteering & skills initiative together with their parents, teachers and youth leaders.

A number of young volunteers also spoke about their own experience as volunteers. Having come off stage, Yoni Jesner Award winners Aviyah Hanstater (age 14), a pupil at Hasmo Girls said, “I had the most amazing time ever and I will never forget it” and Maia Lurie (age 14), a pupil at King David Manchester said “Thank you so much for one of the best experiences of my life. It truly was a night I won’t forget and that's all thanks to you, your amazing JLGB team and everyone else that made the night a once in a lifetime opportunity”.

One of the 600 parents in attendance remarked “what has stuck with me is the joy tonight’s event gave to so many people irrespective of financial means or background. I spoke with a family who had never been to a concert - let alone front row seats to see Craig David! Being fed and looked after for the night with world class entertainment made them feel so tall and proud of themselves and their daughter”.

Exactly 17 years since her son Yoni Jesner’s life was tragically cut short by a suicide bomb attack on a Tel Aviv bus, Marsha Gladstone spoke movingly to the hundreds of volunteers who have achieved the volunteering award named after Yoni - “In doing the Yoni Jesner, Award, you have allowed the spirit of Yoni and the values he embodied to live on through you”, she said, adding “Keep it up, keep his spirit alive and you will continue to grow through kindness”.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis then took to the stage to warmly congratulate all the young volunteers.  “What we are celebrating here this evening comes right to the heart of Torah-true Judaism. As we celebrate so many acts of giving and volunteering, please see this as just the beginning – the beginning of a journey through life filled with selfless giving”, he said.

The Chief Rabbi ended by announcing the launch of the Chief Rabbi’s Kindness Challenge, a digital Social Action Award for children of primary school age supported by the #iwill Fund. Featuring a cartoon version of the Chief Rabbi himself, the Challenge will be the first step for children starting their volunteering journey on JLGB’s evolve digital volunteering platform.

Community leaders including Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl and United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein were also in attendance.

The ceremony was presented by JLGB alumni Sacha Johnstone, now an acclaimed professional magician, and Jordana Price, who aged just 20 is JLGB’s first Youth Trustee.

The event would not have been possible without the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group, Creation Musical Services and JEM Music Group, alongside the incredibly selfless and dedicated JLGB youth leaders who have devoted their time to helping our youth kickstart their volunteering journey.  

The Lord Levy, JLGB President said: “After tonight’s fantastic celebration, I am in no doubt that the future of the community is in safe hands. Thank you to Craig David for an incredible performance and thank you to everyone who has made this evening possible. With the continued support of our donors, evolve will continue to grow, creating 2,000 new opportunities for thousands more young volunteers. This means that none of our charities should ever be short of volunteers again and our community has a unique opportunity to benefit from over 450,000 volunteering hours being offered through evolve.” 

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said: “This unique occasion was our way of saying a resounding thank you to all those young people who have completed volunteering awards through evolve. With the on-going support of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the #iwill Match Fund, we now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build on the remarkable success of youth volunteering in the Jewish community by making sure social action is embedded in every school, charity, synagogue and youth group”.

Ilia Salita, President and CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group said: “Congratulations to JLGB for this incredibly successful and inspirational celebration of youth volunteering. As well as being a proud supporter of this event, GPG is backing JLGB’s evolve initiative to provide thousands more young people with meaningful opportunities for volunteering and social action. By partnering with JLGB, our aim is to enable more young people to fulfil their potential and express their Jewish identity through acts of kindness and service”.

Download our brand new app now at www.jlgb.org/kindnesschallenge

Or watch the whole night back at www.jlgb.org/craigdavidlive  

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