The Transformative Power of Volunteering: Benefits of Helping a Fellow Jew in Prison


Volunteering to assist fellow Jews who are incarcerated holds significant benefits not only for the individuals receiving support but also for the volunteers themselves. By extending a helping hand to those in prison, volunteers contribute to positive change, promote rehabilitation, and foster a sense of community and compassion. Recognizing the transformative power of volunteering, supporting Jewish inmates provides an opportunity for personal growth, building connections, and making a meaningful impact on the lives of others. Of course first and foremost it fulfills the mitzvah of 'love your fellow as yourself (Leviticus 19:18)

1. Restoring Hope and Building Relationships:
Volunteering in prisons offers an opportunity to restore hope and provide support to Jewish inmates who may feel isolated and disconnected from their faith community. By establishing relationships based on empathy and understanding, volunteers can foster a sense of belonging and create a supportive environment for inmates. The act of showing care and concern can have a profound impact on their emotional well-being, restoring hope and motivating them to make positive changes.

2. Spiritual Guidance and Connection:
Volunteers who assist Jewish inmates in prison have the privilege of offering spiritual guidance and facilitating a connection to their faith. Through prayer services, religious discussions, and study sessions, volunteers provide an avenue for inmates to deepen their religious understanding, reconnect with their beliefs, and find solace in their faith. This spiritual guidance can inspire personal growth, inner reflection, and a sense of purpose, contributing to the rehabilitation process.

3. Promoting Education and Personal Development:
Volunteers can play a crucial role in promoting education and personal development among Jewish inmates. By organizing or participating in educational programs, mentoring initiatives, and skill-building workshops, volunteers empower individuals to acquire new knowledge, develop practical skills, and enhance their prospects for successful reintegration into society. These opportunities not only improve their chances of finding employment but also equip them with tools for personal growth and self-improvement.

4. Strengthening Family and Community Connections:
Volunteering in prison facilitates the strengthening of family bonds and community connections. Volunteers can help bridge the gap between inmates and their loved ones by facilitating communication, supporting visitations, and providing resources for family support. Additionally, volunteers can engage with local Jewish communities to raise awareness about the needs of incarcerated individuals and promote understanding and acceptance. Strengthening these connections contributes to a sense of belonging, reduces isolation, and supports the successful reintegration of inmates into their communities.

5. Personal Growth and Empathy:
Volunteering to help Jewish inmates offers volunteers an opportunity for personal growth and the cultivation of empathy. By stepping outside their comfort zones and engaging with individuals who have had different life experiences, volunteers develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals. This increased empathy not only benefits their interactions with inmates but also extends to other aspects of their lives, fostering a more compassionate and inclusive worldview.


Volunteering to assist fellow Jews in prison is a powerful endeavor that brings numerous benefits to both inmates and volunteers. By restoring hope, providing spiritual guidance, promoting education and personal development, strengthening family and community connections, and fostering personal growth and empathy, volunteers make a meaningful impact on the lives of those incarcerated. Through their dedicated efforts, volunteers contribute to positive change, support rehabilitation, and promote a sense of community and compassion within the Jewish community and beyond.