The 7th grade students put on plastic gloves and hairnets and excitedly began bagging loaves of bread and piles of onions. Earlier this week they were volunteering at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH), helping to stock the shelves of the pantry, where low-income residents from all 5 boroughs of New York City come if they need food. When I stopped in, the students were all busy and appeared to be having fun, and a volunteer coordinator at WSCAH came up to me to say how impressed she was with our students and how helpful they were being. I was very gratified to hear positive feedback about our great students, and also so pleased to see them engaging in such important community service.
The Schechter Manhattan mission includes nurturing within our students a commitment to translating ideas into meaningful action and preparing them to do good in the world. Practicing גמילות חסדים, acts of loving kindness to others is an important experience for Schechter Manhattan students that enculturates them to help others as a central Jewish commitment. Students in the upper elementary and middle school grades participate in year-long community service projects each year. This year, the 3rd grade students are cooking dinners to be donated to the Ansche Chesed Men’s Shelter. 4th and 5th grade students are taking the lead on community collection drives over the course of the year, including the NYC Cares Coat Drive and Project Cicero Book Drive. 6th grade students are going on monthly visits to the homes of senior citizens, organized by Dorot. 8th grade students are volunteering each month in one of the kindergarten classes at a local public school, serving as reading buddies and helping with special projects in the class. And, the 7th grade will be helping out at the Westside Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) throughout the year.
I invite all of the Schechter Manhattan community to join our students in making a positive difference in the lives of others. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, let’s all help people right here in NYC who have trouble feeding themselves or their families. Please show your support for the WSCAH Thousand Turkey Challenge, to make sure that all families can have a celebratory Thanksgiving. Here’s how you can help:
- Attend the launch party: Join me on Sunday, November 18, from 12:00 to 1:30 PM at WSCAH, 263 West 86th St., for family-focused programming and tours of WSCAH’s food pantry. For more info click here.
- Volunteer to receive donations on November 19-21. Sign up here.
- Donate ($18 per turkey) online or by texting TURKEY to 56512
Together with the students of Schechter Manhattan, we can live out our Jewish values, help people in our community, and make the world an ever-better place.