June 25, 2024
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June 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Ma’ayanot Seniors on a Mission

With graduation only weeks away, Ma’ayanot seniors are working hard to make their last days of high school as meaningful as possible. For six seniors, including Elise Rosenthal, Aviva Kahn, Hanna Culang, Ally Kreitman, Gali Sadek and Molly Brodsky that meant finding time to participate in what has been labeled a “seniors helping seniors” chesed mission.

The two-day mission to Philadelphia was the brainchild of Elise Rosenthal, who said, “I wanted to leave Ma’ayanot with a bang…Also, I was very interested in starting a new program that can be continued after we [this senior grade] leave the school.”

The mission, chaperoned by Coach Eileen Schwartz, started out with visit to SHARE, a food bank and distribution center that serves residents of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Maryland’s eastern shore communities. “At SHARE we cleaned and sorted different types of vegetables, and helped box food for people in need. After that, we helped weed the garden where the produce is grown. We worked hard but came away feeling happy and accomplished,” noted Rosenthal.

The next day the seniors visited the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) of Philadelphia. While the JRA’s mission is to help any Jew in need, the Ma’ayanot seniors chose to concentrate their efforts on elderly individuals who do not have family nearby to help with difficult household chores, including grueling yard work. “The city of Philadelphia gives out tickets if you have a significantly overgrown garden,” explained Rosenthal, “so we helped by raking leaves and removing branches.” While it was not the most glamorous of tasks, “seniors helping seniors” was gratifying to all involved.

When asked why she participated in this mission, Aviva Kahn commented, “I’m graduating; I’m going to Israel; I’m going to college. All of this is self-centered. I wanted to stop and take a minute to figure out how to help people in need. It is important to focus on ourselves, but it is also important to help others.”

Rosenthal summed up the experience by noting that “the trip was a major success and a perfect way to end high school on a high note!”

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