In conjunction with the Yeshivat Noam Parent School Partnership Chesed Committee and Areyvut, headed by Daniel Rothner, the fifth grade girls from Yeshivat Noam and some of their mothers served food to the more than 75 homeless at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center on Sunday, December 8. As a part of a continued theme of kindness, the girls learned a valuable and eye opening lesson on the plight of the homeless and how grateful one has to be to have a home and a warm bed. Special thanks to Chopstix and Zadie’s Bakery for the delicious lunch and dessert. A big hakarat hatov to the fifth grade moms who coordinated the event and the Yeshivat Noam teachers who were very supportive to help with this meaningful project. Additional thanks to Gineen Brady, assistant director at the shelter, and all the other kind people who assisted there.
In preparation for this experience, the students learned about homelessness and social service agencies. In school, the girls prepared “goody” bags with basic necessities and a personal note with an uplifting message. Sami Diamond, beautifully wrote on her note, “Keep Smiling and Stay Strong. Know that you are always loved.”
They also learned some important lessons about being homeless. A Fifth Grader, Arielle Feder of Teaneck, eloquently put her thoughts on paper writing, “My class and I went to a homeless shelter to serve lunch. I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect and also I don’t really like being with strangers. When I got there I helped wrap the utensils in napkins. Then my friends and I put on the tablecloths. Finally it was time to serve. I was scared until I noticed that they look just like me. I didn’t realize before that we are not that different. Some people were even wearing clothes that I would wear. I was giving out water bottles, so I got to say hi to everybody. Everybody was so nice! It made me feel really happy that I got to help them in the simplest way but it still made a difference in their day!”