Jacob Herz will be honored at this year’s Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, with the Teen Volunteer Award.
The Temple Beth El Teen Volunteer Award is given to a teenager who has exhibited exceptional leadership and engagement at TBE and who serves as a role model for others.
Jacob Herz’s community service project for his Bar Mitzvah involved volunteering his free time for Jump Start, a program for very young children with special needs. In the 8th grade, Jacob began spending his Sundays and Thursdays serving as a teen aide for an autistic Religious School student. For the past five years, he has worked with her in the classroom and helped her participate in class activities. He has tutored her one-on-one in Hebrew and Judaic studies. He is currently helping her prepare for her Bat Mitzvah. As a student aide, Jacob also works with all the students in the class, and they have come to see him as a true leader and role model.
Jacob also gives of his time to help several other organizations in the Stamford community. He volunteers and serves on the Teen Leadership Board of Friendship Circle, an organization that brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. He helps out with Interact, the Stamford Big Brother/Big Sister association, helping elementary school children with homework after school. He also volunteers his time for Friendly Faces, an organization at his high school that works to help students with special needs feel they’re included in the student body, such as sitting with them at lunch in the cafeteria.
Jacob is a dedicated member of the Connecticut Valley BBYO/AZA (Jewish youth organization) chapter where he has served on the Board for the past two years. Through this organization, Jacob participates in community service projects, food drives, and fundraisers for local charities.