Every Monday this year at Nefesh Yehudi Academy was dubbed “Middot Monday.” The school, along with over 200 schools across North America, followed the “Labriut: to our health and wellness” curriculum created by the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. The motivation behind this curriculum was to focus on five characteristics to help students cope with all the changes this year, but through a Jewish lens. The students learned about sukkat shalom, finding a shelter of peace; gevura, strength; ometz lev, allowing yourself to have emotions and channeling them appropriately; kehillah, how one can give back to the community; and chesed, not just kindness, but kindness plus!
To culminate this program the school held a food drive to give back to the kehillah, enabling others to find a sukkat shalom, and giving themselves and others gevura. Twenty five boxes of non-perishables were collected for the kosher food pantry run by Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County. The students sorted, labeled and packed the boxes themselves. It was a big job! On Monday, June 14, Lisa Mason of JFS of Middlesex County came to speak to the students about what happens at the food pantry, how it works and how their donations will help others. The students asked very interesting questions and were proud of their contributions. Tizku l’mitzvot!