Palmetto High School senior Greg Wolf is a member of the Mitzvah Miami committee for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. His role is to help plan the committee’s International Day of Service for Jewish teens.
This year, the day of service centered on doing something special for the children at the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless. More than 100 teen volunteers turned out to give the kids a day of fun.
“The event turned out really well,” he says. “We had more than enough volunteers.”
The teens also participated in Super Sunday, the day that volunteers call members of the Jewish community to ask for financial contributions to the federation. The money funds a variety of programs.
“I made calls and I’m going on the high school in Israel this summer,” he says. “At the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Most students are going into their junior and senior year.”
Throughout his childhood, Wolf attended Camp Shalom in Center Florida. “I had a very close knit group of friends,” he says. “We all wanted to be counselors in training (CITs) together.”
Last year, many in that group went to school in Israel, but he chose to go to Camp Shalom to be a CIT. However, he won’t feel alone on his trip to Israel because at least one of his friends will also be going.
At Palmetto, Wolf has been active in the National Honor Society and the Jewish Student Union. Last year he was vice president of the Jewish Student Union and has every expectation he will have another top office during the coming school year. His hope is to bring in more guest speakers for the group.
“We have a lot of Jewish members, but there are members who aren’t Jewish,” he says.
For those students, they brought in kosher foods for Passover. That helped the non- Jews learn more about Jewish traditions. The student union also helps educate people on the meaning of Judaism.
Wolf says being Jewish is more than going to temple. He adds that prior to this year he did not know very much about other religions. But he learned a lot about Christianity and Catholicism by taking an art history class.
Outside of school, Wolf has been in BBYO since he was a freshman. He has been the communications officer and the officer in charge of Judaism and community service. ]
He also plays in the JCC basketball league.
“I do that with friends,” he says. “I’m pretty involved in the Jewish community. Last year in January 2013, I went to a leadership conference in Washington, D.C.”
There he learned about the different values and the Congressional bills that Jewish people lobby for. He even had the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill and lobby for a specific bill.
“We went to Sen. Bill Nelson’s office and to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office,” he says. “I went with my confirmation class.”
The bill he worked on dealt with nuclear disarmament. He and his group did get to meet Rep. Joe Garcia, who had just taken office.
“We got to sit within their meeting rooms,” he says. “It was a really cool experience to get to lobby as 15-year-old kids. I did it with my oldest friends from preschool and elementary school. It was a nice experience to share with everyone.”
The only disappointment was that the conference ended just before the inauguration. “We got to see the set-up,” he says.