B’nai Jeshurun Volunteer Videos

We partnered with B’nai Jeshurun, a Manhattan synagogue, to create three videos for their Hesed (Loving Kindness) Program. This series aimed to recruit congregants to take part in the various volunteer opportunities available to them within the B’nai Jeshurun community.

The Story

B’nai Jeshurun (BJ) is a nearly 200-year-old non-affiliated synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. BJ offers a myriad of ways to pursue peace and justice for their community and the world. Their Hesed program centers around community, care and belonging. Volunteers can engage in gemilut hasadim (acts of loving kindness) through BJ’s Hesed committees. Our team created three videos, which highlighted various acts of Hesed within the BJ community. Subsequently, these videos showcased congregants’ work and encouraged others to volunteer or ask for help if they need it.

The Process

  • Before production, we did a deep dive with the BJ team to learn about the story they wanted to tell.
  • Next, we created narrative outlines¬†for each of the three videos.
  • Then, we helped the BJ team choose 8 interview¬†subjects and had pre-production calls with each of them to learn about their history with the BJ community.
  • The BJ team wanted to highlight key themes of Hesed for their congregation. Specifically service, support, community and belonging.
  • We filmed for three days over the course of several weeks in order to accommodate the interviewees’ schedules.
  • The final assets included three, short documentary-style videos. The BJ team uses these videos to help congregants understand the many ways to give back to their community through their Hesed programming.

The Result

The final three videos focused on different aspects of the community’s official volunteer efforts.

First, the main volunteer video at the top of this page follows the stories of multiple BJ members, how their lives have been touched by BJ’s Hesed program, and how it’s felt to engage with the volunteer opportunities at BJ.

Next, the second video above follows the journey of Ben and Suzanne. Ben is a member of the Hevra Kadisha and is part of the Tahara group at BJ, whose volunteers help prepare bodies of Jewish people for burial, ensuring that community members are honored in both life and death. Suzanne has been personally impacted by the Tahara group and plans to join herself when the opportunity arises.

Finally, the third video above tells the story of Dani and Miriam. One of BJ’s volunteer opportunities is their Shabbat Connections program, which connects BJ members who are in need of community. Dani volunteered for the Shabbat Connections program and found deep friendship with fellow members Miriam and Carl.

Ultimately, these videos have engaged hundreds of people in the BJ community and have encouraged many members to join one of BJ’s various volunteer efforts.

Learn more about BJ's Hesed Program here.