The beauty of volunteer work is that it doesn’t matter if a person is 10 years old or 100 years old ~ they can make a difference. Over the years, our volunteers have consistently made an impact on the Jewish community locally, in Israel and around the world.

As time evolves, so do the methods and ways in which one can volunteer. Our YAD (Young Adult Division) group, which consists of the Millennial generation, has grown up in a very different world from Baby Boomers (like myself) and Generation X. It is always inspiring to hear their ideas and see how the Jewish world – and volunteering in it – looks through their eyes.

YAD member Ben Mazer is relatively new to the Dayton community. Originally from Cincinnati, he came to Dayton in March of 2016 for an employment opportunity. Ben, who is a lawyer, felt immediately embraced by the Dayton Jewish community. “Within my first few weeks in Dayton, Cheryl Carne took me out to lunch and welcomed me, telling me about the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton and the Young Adult Division,” says Ben. “I immediately felt not only accepted by the Jewish community within Dayton, but also wanted, as I was encouraged to participate in social events through YAD, and on Federation committees.”

I view my participation in YAD and the various committees I am honored to be on as a chance to show my appreciation for how welcoming the Jewish community was to me when I first arrived in Dayton.

~ Ben Maizer
YAD Member

I view my participation in YAD and the various committees I am honored to be on as a chance to show my appreciation for how welcoming the Jewish community was to me when I first arrived in Dayton.

~ Ben Maizer
YAD Member

I view my participation in YAD and the various committees I am honored to be on as a chance to show my appreciation for how welcoming the Jewish community was to me when I first arrived in Dayton.

~ Ben Maizer
YAD Member

Since that first encounter in 2016, Ben’s involvement has grown and flourished. In addition to his participation in YAD, Ben is a member of the Allocations Committee, Jewish Dayton Dreams Big Visioning Committee, and a Federation Board member.

“I view my participation in YAD and the various committees I am honored to be on as a chance to show my appreciation for how welcoming the Jewish community was to me when I first arrived in Dayton,” shares Ben. “Further, I view my participation on the various committees as a chance to hopefully make a difference in helping the Jewish community of greater Dayton continue to grow, retaining Jewish individuals and families and attracting new ones from all over the country and the world.”

Ben continues, “I also look at my participation and role as bringing the perspective, vision and interests of a young Jewish professional. I see Dayton through the eyes of a young Jewish adult who believes Dayton has a wonderful history, present and future to offer other young Jewish professionals who come to the greater Dayton area. I strongly believe Dayton’s future is very bright and I wish to help attract Jewish young adults to Dayton and welcome them once they arrive.”

As our world has become more technologically advanced, the ways in which one can volunteer and be involved have evolved. “I see the rise of social media as a tool to help its users connect with others in the community and to seek out opportunities to engage with local organizations and other like-minded community members,” Ben explains. “We have a Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Young Adult Division group page on Facebook, where I assist by posting our upcoming YAD events. Each YAD member then receives a notification of what events we have coming up on their Facebook accounts and can then go to the YAD Facebook page to check out the event details and RSVP. Many YAD members have taken the opportunity to use the YAD Facebook page to coordinate Shabbat potluck dinners and get to better know their fellow young Jewish adults in the greater Dayton area.”

What would Ben tell someone who might want to volunteer? “Do it! I find the ability to make a difference in your community, no matter how small or large your role or contribution, very rewarding.”

If you would like more information about YAD, or would like to connect with Jewish people in the community, please contact
Cheryl Carne, Director of External Relations at (937) 610-1778 or ccarne@jfgd.net.

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