JRA's work is fueled by volunteers of many ages and backgrounds - from students to seniors, Jews and non-Jews - all united by a common commitment to help those in need to strengthen our community. Through community service, JRA nourishes body and soul.
Every month volunteers pack and deliver boxes of nutritious kosher food to low-income individuals and families in Greater Philadelphia. Volunteers can register in advance to pack and/or deliver. For deliveries, individuals pick up the packed boxes, along with select additional items, from our warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia and follow a "route packet" of directions to recipient homes. Our current Food Distribution schedule can be found on our Calendar page.
JRA Juniors is designed for families with young children to come and volunteer to pack boxes of food at our Northeast Philadelphia warehouse at a pace that is comfortable for them. Children and their families will take a cart with an empty box, drive it down the assembly line, and take items and place them in the box as they go. JRA Juniors beings at 9 AM on Distribution Sundays. See the Calendar page for our full schedule of volunteer opportunities.
JRA loves groups! Our packing shifts are really great for groups to participate together while doing something great for our community. The packing shifts include taping boxes, packing Family Friendly bags, toiletry items, and packing boxes of food to be delivered to families in need.
Weekday packing shifts take place from 10 AM - 12 PM on Thursday and Friday (one week a month) and on Sunday mornings during our main Food Distribution at 10 AM. Another great option is to deliver food to our community members. JRA delivers to a number of apartment complexes, so your group members can arrive individually but still deliver together. Delivery takes place during our Sunday Food Distribution from 9 AM - 2 PM and on the Monday and Tuesday that follows from 9 AM - 2 PM. Please refer to our Calendar page for the volunteer schedule.
Sign up your school, camp, youth group, or corporate group by emailing our Volunteer Program Manager, Jenny Rubin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passionate about social justice? Want to help those in need? Want a hands-on but socially distant community service experience? Then a JRA B'nai Mitzvah project is right for you!
Through 10 hours of service, students can participate in the following volunteer opportunities:
After completing your project, JRA will honor you with a certificate of completion and a t-shirt!
Ready to get signed-up? Email Jenny at email@example.com.
During this unprecedented time of extreme social isolation, bring the sunshine into our recipient's homes through art! It can be simple, it can be complex, it can be crayons, markers, paint, stickers, whatever you have at home. Mail your completed masterpiece to JRA and we will be sure to get it in the hands of our recipients. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewish Relief Agency
225 E City Ave, Suite 210
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
JRA was founded in 2000 by then 20-something Marc Erlbaum, a group of his friends, and mentor Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, who were eager to make a direct impact locally by providing food for those who needed it most. JRA began as an organization energized by young professionals.
JRA’s Leadership Academy empowers young adults with heart and talent to take action against hunger in Philadelphia, through understanding our mission and values, enhancing leadership skills, and prioritizing a philanthropic mindset.
Yellow Cappers are JRA ambassadors both within the warehouse and in the community. These long-time volunteers hold crucial jobs in the warehouse during monthly Food Distributions and have committed to attending at least 8 Food Distributions a year. You can identify them by their yellow shirts and caps!
JRA’s Junior Yellow Capper program gives students in grades 8-12 the opportunity to join JRA’s Yellow Cappers. This junior leadership team assists at JRA monthly Food Distributions.
During the pandemic, to help isolated seniors connect with the community, JRA started a Friendly Phone Calls program. The program is designed to pair a warm volunteer with a senior who is experiencing the effects of social isolation for a weekly phone call, anywhere from around 15 - 45 minutes. Each volunteer will be paired with one senior to build a lasting relationship and speak weekly. We are not currently accepting new volunteers for this program.
Please use this form to submit your weekly reports.
Host a collection/drive with your synagogue, church, or organization. JRA can accept the following full-sized, unopened, and not expired items: kosher canned tuna, toilet paper, paper towels, square tissue boxes, laundry detergent, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, and adult incontinence supplies.