If you want something done … ask an Israeli Scout! That is exactly what Dr. Lauren Gavshon, Director of Clinical Services at Jewish Federation and Family Services (JFFS) did to get the new Mandel House ready for residents. The house, a project of JFFS, is the first home in the Jewish Community of Orange County for adults with special needs and developmental disabilities.
Getting the house ready was a collaborative effort between JFFS and Orange County Israeli Scouts, a.k.a., Tzofim. The scouts cleaned the entire house—from top to bottom—and planted sustainable gardens in the backyard that will provide herbs and vegetables for residents to use. Everything in the house was donated, including the Scouts’ time.
Good Deed Day, an annual project for the Tzofim, was special this year because it was for “ family.“ Last year Tzofim cleaned up the beach, impacting the greater community; this year, it was a little closer to home. Under the watchful eye of Troop Leader Inbar Avgar and Chair Doron Armony, dozens of kids worked in shifts with JFFS employees to ensure the house would be ready for move-in day.
But it was not all work. “ We talked and had fun…“ reported Romi Gilat, an Israeli-born Scout in the seventh grade.
When asked by Dr. Gavshon if the Tzofim would come back, she was met with a resounding, “ Yes!“
Says Shani Amran, a seventh grader, “We would LOVE to come back!“
For more information on JFFS’s Mandel House, contact JFFS at
For more information on Shevet Tapuz (Orange County Israeli Scout Troop), contact Inbar Avgar at (949) 235-6050. ✿
Dr. Lisa Grajewski has been a contributing writer for JLife since 2004. She is a former professional in the Orange County Jewish community, with over 10 years experience as a volunteer and professional. Dr. Grajewski recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology and is currently working toward licensure with a private practice in Tustin.