Social Justice Issue

55% of 4th graders read below grade level. 43% of SF public high school students do NOT graduate. The nation-wide average for high school graduation is 70.6%. 75% of those on welfare and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. 54% of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only 1/5 feel adequately prepared to teach them.


Jewish Response to Literacy

"Do not let him slip until he falls completely, for then it will be difficult to raise him; rather, strengthen him as he begins to fall." (Rashi, Leviticus 25:35 Cf. Torat Kohanim, Sifre Behar, Chapter 5)

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy." (Proverbs 2:10)


Tutor with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy

Volunteer at a school or after-school program throughout San Francisco, the East Bay, and the Peninsula. Before, during, and after school hours are available. For information, contact Randi Dodick Fields, or call (415) 369-9978 x 102.

San Francisco:  415-369-9978 X 105

Thursday, March 27, 1:00-4:00pm @ City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue (Ocean Ave Campus in the Multi-Use Building 240) 

Wednesday, April 2, 5:30-8:30pm @ Congregation Sha'ar Zahav
290 Dolores Street

East Bay:  510-318-6474

Wednesday, March 5, 1:00-4:00pm @ Temple Beth Abraham
327 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland

Wednesday, March 12, 1:00-4:00pm @ Congregation B'nai Tikvah
25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Peninsula:  650-847-1718

Thursday, April 3, 1:00-4:00pm @ Mariano Castro Elementary School
505 Escuela Avenue, Mountain View

Sunday, May 4, 10:00-1:00pm @ Peninsula Temple Sholom
1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame

Tutor with Back on Track

An interfaith collaborative effort between Third Baptist Church and Congregation Emanu-El. Provide long-term tutoring and mentoring to underserved youth in San Francisco at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister Street, Monday – Thursday 3:30 – 5:30 pm or Tuesday – Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Email Regina Herbert, Membership Coordinator, or call (415) 346-9316.

Spark Bay Area – Apprenticeships that change lives!

Spark connects volunteer professionals with middle school youth to “spark” their potential. It is the only program in the U.S. that addresses the dropout crisis by re-engaging students with hands-on apprenticeships in their “dream jobs.”

An apprentice teacher/mentor is someone who is interested in changing the life of a student through a one-on-one workplace-based apprenticeship.
Over the course of an eight-week session, students meet with their mentors once a week for two hours and work on a project to present at the culminating event at the end of the session.
A mentor does not have to have previous experience working with youth. Spark provides training and support before and throughout the apprenticeship to help make it an engag¬ing and rewarding experience for both the student and the mentor.

Sample of some requested fields:
•    Computers/Video Game Design
•    Animal Care
•    Fashion and Cosmetology
•    Culinary Arts
•    Health Care
•    Law
•    Government and Safety
•    Visual Arts
•    Life/Environmental Science

For applications click here.
Contact: Sara Draffin, Bay Area Program Director
415-626-5470 x199 or

Volunteer with America SCORES

Become a Poetry or Soccer Coach with Bay Area America Scores is a non-profit soccer and poetry league for underserved, local youth in first through eighth grades. Students participate in weekly soccer practices, creative writing workshops, and game days throughout the school year. All above activities need use the support of volunteers! We ask that volunteers commit to a season of service as either an assistant soccer or poetry coach and attend practice at least once a week. Additional Need: Friday afternoons and Saturdays for soccer referees and Book-Zone assistants. Fridays and Saturday game days can be a one-time commitment, or as your schedule allows. No previous experience required, just a good understanding of the beautiful game, or a love for books and children!
To get involved, please contact Shannon Burns at (760) 914-3154.

Tutor with Reading Partners

Reading Partners connects passionate volunteers with struggling readers to help students strengthen their literacy skills, build confidence, and discover a passion for reading. You can be a mentor, a leader, and an educator with no prior experience in the classroom.   Over the past decade, volunteers like you have helped more than 12,000 students become excellent readers using a structured, easy-to-use curriculum.   For just 1 hour each week, you can make an enormous impact. By sharing your knowledge and experience, tutors become mentors, friends, and positive role models. Working one-on-one with a student is a fun, effective way to change someone's life--maybe your own!  Reading Partners works within over 35 schools in San Francisco / East Bay, with programming running from Monday – Thursday, between 9AM – 5PM (hours vary by school site). Email Jennifer Mao, Outreach Manager, or call (510) 499-1417.
Minimum Age: 14


Tutorpedia Foundation is looking for volunteer tutors at Mission High School in San Francisco this year. Tutors are needed to work one-to-one with 10th grade students on academic subjects and school success. 

  • Programming occurs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:45 pm – 2:30 pm. Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to work with students 1 or 2 days per week.
  • Tutors must have solid understanding of Algebra as it represents the greatest academic need for our students; however, tutors will also be able to assist students in other areas including reading comprehension, writing, critical thinking, organization, time management, and study skills.
  • Tutorpedia Foundation will provide training and support for volunteers. The Site Coordinator is a 15+ year credentialed veteran teacher.

Interested in becoming a volunteer tutor? Please email Director of Programs David Taus at

Tutorpedia Foundation (TF) was founded by two former high school teachers in 2009 in order to make education more personal for under-resourced students in the Bay Area. TF believes that an individualized approach to education and learning is desperately needed to graduate more students from high school and prepare them for college and beyond.


  • Are you a lifelong learner? If you are not a professional teacher, what can your role be to teach your skills and knowledge to those in our community?
  • How does participating in this type of service reflect the values of Judaism, social justice, and human rights?
  • How are you evaluating or processing your experiences in order to grow, or at least understand them better?
  • Do you recall a specific occurrence from your service that involved some degree of conflict/difficulty? How did you deal with that?
  • Did your service empower the recipient to become more self-sufficient?
  • In today's world there are millions of people slipping and millions more who have already fallen completely. Knowing this, and keeping Rashi's commentary in mind, how can we help those in recovery or prevent more people from struggling? How does this idea connect with Tikkun Olam?
    For inquiries regarding any of the above, please contact Community Engagement Director Sandy Rechtschaffen at (415) 751-2541 x 177

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Phone: (415) 751-2535
Fax: (415) 751-2511