Why I Give Back: Ruth

For the Giving Back issue of the Jewish Living Delaware Magazine, several of our volunteers reflected on why they give back and the impact that volunteering has had on them and the lives of those they serve. Ruth Newman shares her thoughts below.

As I reflect back on this past year of 5783, it stands out to me that one of my most important and personally rewarding endeavors has been the work I have done in tutoring English with a Ukrainian refugee!

It was Basherte that just as I was thinking that I needed to do more to assist Ukrainian refugees, the opportunity to tutor through JFS Delaware presented itself during a meeting of the Jewish Community Group where I live!

As someone who has retired from a long career as a teacher, it was a perfect fit for me to be able to continue teaching, and to branch out into a new area of teaching. I have learned, though, that you need not have experience in the education field to do this work. Jewish Family Services partners with Literacy Delaware, who provides a wonderful training program along with learner assessments and tutoring materials! The hours can be very flexible, and there are options for virtual tutoring.

I look forward each week to working with my learner, who as it turns out, is from an area in Ukraine not all that far from where my father was born. This experience gives me more understanding of the refugee/immigrant hardships and challenges that many of our ancestors and others faced. The learner with whom I work is truly inspiring in her motivation to learn English and help her family adjust to life in the United States, while holding close to thoughts and connections with family members still in Ukraine. I am amazed by her fortitude and pleasantness in the face of all that she and other Ukrainian refugees have been enduring. I am so glad to be able to help her learn English and better understand some aspects of American life.

The support from JFS Delaware has been great, as has been the support from Literacy Delaware. I always feel that there is someone to answer questions and address any issues that arise!

As I look forward to 5784, I wholeheartedly plan to continue with this tutoring work! I would highly recommend that anyone who thinks they might have an interest in tutoring, contact Jewish Family Services of Delaware. I understand that the need for tutors is great!

If you would like to volunteer with JFS Delaware and make a difference in the lives of those we serve, click here. You can also donate to JFS Delaware here. To view the Give Back article in Jewish Living Delaware, click here.