Teen Volunteers

President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award (“PVSA”) Program encourages Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation. Etz Hayim Synagogue is a certifying organization, which means it can (1) certify the volunteer hours you perform working at Elijah’s Table, teen tutoring, and in connection with an approved Bar or Bat Mitzvah project, and (2) administer the PVSA.  Students between the ages of 11 and 15 can earn the PVSA by completing 50 or more hours of volunteer service in one year.  Students 16 and older can earn the PVSA by completing 100 or more hours of volunteer service in one year.   The award categories are as follows:

 Hours by Award  Bronze        Silver         Gold           
 Teens (11-15) 50-74 75-99 100+
 Young Adults (16-25) 100-174 175-249 250+


For more information contact our Social Action Coordinator.

Some of the award criteria are:

Volunteer hours must be served over a 12-month period.

At least some of your volunteer work must be done at the Synagogue, for example, at Elijah's Table, teen tutoring, or in connection with an approved Bar or Bat Mitzvah project.

Volunteer hours performed outside of the Synagogue (for example, at your school or at a hospital) must be approved by the Social Action Coordinator, and will need to be verified by an official from the location at which the volunteer work was performed.

Volunteer hours must be “in service” hours, meaning that if you arrive at the Synagogue to volunteer but there is no work to be done, you will not be awarded hours.

Elijah’s Table service hours must be performed at the Synagogue.

All hours performed at the Synagogue must be logged into the PVSA log book, and signed by the immediate supervisor (for example, for teen tutoring, the teacher whose class is receiving assistance should sign the log book).

Awards are issued for volunteer service only, not for donating money.

Volunteer hours must be unpaid.  A participant may not receive any remuneration for the work performed.

Volunteers must be United States citizens or lawfully-admitted permanent residents.

Court-ordered community service does not qualify for the award.