Ash-Lasko Mitzvah Day Makes a Difference
by Jeremy Goodman
My name is Jeremy Goodman; I'm studying political science at Temple University. As a Franklin C. Ash Summer Intern, I've had a terrific experience thusfar. My internship has me working with Hillel at Temple University, where I've been performing web and development-related tasks, along with other duties.
Today, July 7th, both the Ash and Lasko interns had a great opportunity. We were able to work for a few hours at the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA), followed by one of the many group homes that are owned and supported by JEVS. I had been to the JRA many times before, with my university and my family, and the agency's daily impact to the community is very important. While there, we packed boxes with food, organized recyclables, and wrote birthday cards for the many recipients of JRA services. It felt great to be able to make a box that would feed a grandmother, an elderly couple or even a family; it meant a lot to me, as my family has always taught me to try and give back as much as we can.
After our work at the JRA, my mentees (I have two, from the Lasko Program this year) and I visited a JEVS group home. I think we were a bit nervous, yet excited to meet a new friend. Richard, as it turns out, is an amazing human being, and he couldn't have been friendlier. We painted flower pots together and discussed restaurants, comic book characters, and places to visit. Richard had a date with his girlfriend the following day, and he told us about her as we completed our planting.
One aspect of this internship experience that I've really enjoyed is the mentor-mentee relationship. Through the physical labor at JRA and then again at Richard's, I was able to talk with both Ari and Aaron, and really enjoyed our casual conversations. I don't feel like this will be the last time that any of us will visit JRA or a JEVS program, and as we move back into our everyday routines, the experiences today will serve as a reminder that people do care and we can all make progress/make a difference with some paint, a pot, and a few friends.