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DOROT Westchester


Ricki Saady — University Without Walls

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

Since 2008.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

I saw an ad for DOROT’s University Without Walls (UWW) program in a magazine or newspaper. I became a participant of the program in 2000 and began facilitating course in 2008.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I teach Judaic Studies for UWW. Most recently, I’ve been teaching a series of classes on a Torah portion, entitled Tea and the Torah. I have also been facilitating at least one month of Welcoming Shabbat per semester.

In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?

DOROT has had a tremendous impact on my life. My experiences as both a student and later on as a facilitator have been extremely positive. I have been the recipient of a very inspiring Jewish education from all my DOROT instructors. This included two Bat Mitzvahs, where I mentored other students. This part of my Jewish journey is something I hold very dear.

In exchange for all the great learning opportunities I’ve had, I made a choice to become a facilitator and to give back to others. When I was asked to facilitate Welcoming Shabbat, it was quite a challenge, but I was up to it.

I also began facilitating my own classes. I learn from my students as well and I foster personal growth in Judaism and an understanding of Torah for all who learn with me.

I’ve truly become a better person through my experiences as well. I’ve grown from every class I’ve taken and given I’ve tried to bring a lot of light and learning and I encourage good positive experiences in all my classes.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

Volunteering is a true Mitzvah. I am elated that G-d and DOROT give me the chance to make a real difference in this world. If I can bring some light to the world around me and touch the lives of others by facilitating classes we all reap the benefits.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

My most memorable moment was when students ask me if I’m a rabbi, in the Welcoming Shabbat class. I feel so honored to be worthy of such a compliment about the quality of the work I present. However I always try to remain humble.

What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?

Volunteering at DOROT has been a totally wonderful experience. I try to always remember to do a mitzvah with joy. I think everyone should strive to make other people’s lives a little better and a little more interesting. By always remembering to give back you receive way more than you give. It’s a total win-win situation.

Anything else you would like to share?

Many thanks to all my very special instructors at DOROT for sharing a wealth of information with me (and my fellow students). You have all illuminated my life in so many ways. Much of my knowledge of Judaism was acquired through your well-prepared classes. Now I get to pass on all I learned to my own classes and students.

A big thank you to Marina Laddin, former UWW Program Coordinator, for always believing in me and for caring enough to make me believe in myself.

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