The ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore is a major partner and supporter of JDC programs in Ashkelon, Israel through the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership. One program that has made a profound impact on the youth of Ashkelon is JDC's AMEN Youth Volunteering City program. Since the program's inception in 2005, AMEN has created over 65 different volunteering programs for teens in the city.
Read more about AMEN in Ashkelon at The ASSOCIATED in Israel: AMEN and watch the video below of Erez Menashe, winner of the President's Prize for Volunteering, and chairman of the Youth Council in Ashkelon. In the video Erez talks about how AMEN has had an impact on his life and how the support of the The Associated has allowed the AMEN program to grow in Asheklon.
The AMEN (Youth Volunteering City) program develops volunteerism and leadership capabilities among teenagers and young adults in Israel, including those from Israel’s most vulnerable communities. AMEN also aims to cultivate volunteerism and solidarity among the youth of Israel’s diverse groups, including Jews, Druze, and Bedouins. It uses forums, training initiatives, and the development of attractive new frameworks to attract greater numbers of participants who want to help in meeting local needs.
More than 4 million volunteer hours have been contributed to local communities by some 50,000 youth through the AMEN Youth Volunteer City program. A staggering success, the program has raised youth involvement nationally, going from 10 percent to more than 50 percent in the pilot cities, and has set the stage for future volunteer efforts across Israeli society.