July 19, 2024
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July 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

NCSY and TABC Visit New Orleans

Two weeks ago, students from TABC and New Jersey NCSY embarked on our 28th Chessed Leadership Mission. In south New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina left an indelible mark on the city and community, our students enthusiastically installed insulation, prepared walls for further work and, by choice, worked through their lunch to continue building the future home.

Our students’ motivation and passion to help the greater good left such an impression on the staff of Habitat for Humanity; it left them wondering when we were going to send another group of Jewish teens next. Two weeks later, NCSY and Frisch sent 15 students to continue working on that same house in south New Orleans. Roofing, caulking, finishing touches are some of the important tasks our students completed, leaving Habitat for Humanity impressed and inspired once again. The staff at Habitat eagerly awaits our next group to arrive.

While in New Orleans, NCSY students took on various leadership positions within two Jewish communities. TABC students spent time at Anshei Sfard running programming, leading davening and giving divrei Torah. Students from Frisch did the same, including leading Shabbat groups for the community of Beth Israel.

Leading the Leadership Missions from TABC, Rabbi Michael Hoenig taught the students the true meaning of chesed, along with Rabbi Reuven Lebovitz, Teaneck city director, who continues to run amazing programs within the region. Rabbi Josh Schulman, from Frisch, who has been partnering with NJ NCSY for over five years, continues to be a great example of true leadership for our students. He was joined by Avital Moss, NJ NCSY’s director of special projects, who coordinates all chesed missions, and Rebecca Epstein, NJ NCSY advisor. Prior to the mission trips, participants took part in leadership training sessions led by Josh Gottesman (talent management specialist, OU), Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin (director of education, national NCSY) and myself.

By Rabbi Ethan Katz

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