Birthright NEXT is the organization that follows up with ex-Birthright Israel participants to figure out how to incorporate their experience into their everyday lives — effectively, how to take a week of living Jewish and to help people figure out how to make their own lives more Jewish.
One of the ways they do this is hooking up Birthright NEXTers with volunteer programs — in particular, volunteer programs that deal with hunger. In a holiday where we’re celebrating freedom and plenitude, it’s important to remember that, at the same time we’re voluntarily abstaining from eating bread, many Americans and humans are doing the same thing, even though they don’t have a choice.
Harvest to Harvest, running between Sukkot and American Thanksgiving, does all the hard work for you. All you have to do is go to this website and enter your zip code, or country you live in if outside of the US. Their system generates a list of volunteer opportunities in your area that you can be matched up with. Then, if you create an account, the website will track your hours.
If you’ve got any interest at all in volunteering, visit the site and take a virtual tour. Anyone, not just Birthright alums, can use the site.
Pronounced: sue-KOTE, or SOOH-kuss (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a harvest festival in which Jews eat inside temporary huts, falls in the Jewish month of Tishrei, which usually coincides with September or October.