No summertime blues

Tori Leiber (left) and Courtney Spector volunteer at the San Francisco Food Bank.

Since June 28, high school students from around the country have been volunteering in the San Francisco Bay Area Mitzvah Corps — a Reform movement program that teaches young Jews about the connections between Judaism and social justice.

The 16 teens have had a schedule that included getting their hands dirty with Urban Adamah in Berkeley, working in the Marin Headlands with the Golden Gate National Conservancy, getting to know residents of the Jewish Home in San Francisco and preparing meals at the Project Open Hand kitchen.

The teens are staying on the U.C. Berkeley campus but their itinerary has included a Shabbat at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa and a weekend in Sacramento to learn about lobbying. The program concludes Sunday, July 22.

Julia Ilian (left) and Eden Posner work at Urban Adamah in Berkeley.

The Bay Area Mitzvah Corps is part of a nationwide program of NFTY, the National American Federation of Temple Youth; there are 104 participants around the country. The national mitzvah corps began in 1969 and the Bay Area corps is in its ninth year. For more information, visit