Working at Jewish Senior Life can be challenging at times but also quite rewarding.
Being a part of a community is an incredible joy which many people have the privilege of experiencing. There are countless opportunities for individuals to showcase their unique talents and express their creativity, whether in the classroom or outside of it. For me, it is being a Jew.
At first glance, some could say “Judaism is a religion, how can that be so dear to your heart, and how can that create community?” I have frequently asked myself those questions.
For me, I go to a Jewish school (Frankel Jewish Academy), I participate in United Synagogue Youth (USY), Camp Ramah and I even work at Jewish Senior Life. I view these engagements as a privilege. At this point in my Jewish journey, my focus is toward being Central Region USY’s Israel Affairs vice president.
This title sounds rigorous and commands a lot of responsibility, however, I have found that the creativity and fun actually trumps all of the stressful deadlines that are necessary to be a productive board member.
My USY journey began way back when I was a freshman, and two sophomores encouraged me to join the organization. At first, the answer was always “maybe” although I thought at the time that I would never consider joining. I thought it was too outside of my comfort zone to participate. Looking back throughout my life, I have found that it is actually in these moments of engaging something new which allows me to grow the most.
After much pressure and coaxing from these friends, I went to a convention and never looked back. USY is the space that allows me to fully be myself: silly, serious and creative, all at the same time!
From that point on, USY involvement has been an essential part of my life. I started on the local board and this past spring, was elected to the regional board. For the past four years, being a part of the USY community has not only been an amazing thing to experience, but it has helped me grow as a leader and person. This role keeps me honest and humble, too. I am thrilled to be able to lead in my role in USY and participate in a community that has given so much to me.
Working at Jewish Senior Life can be challenging at times but also quite rewarding. I enjoy engaging with the residents while serving them dinner. In one instance, I was serving a man wearing a University of Michigan hat, which started a brief conversation about the Michigan State vs. Michigan football game. I felt like I was in my element. I could see the joy on his face while talking about sports, which for me is a passion. This is often a common denominator for bridging age gaps.
I am grateful for the Detroit Jewish community and all of its opportunities, which have helped me find my place and now seek out “outside-my- comfort-zone” experiences.
Caleb Robbins is a senior at Frankel Jewish Academy