Thursday, May 28, 2020

CareOne and Yeshivat Noam joined forces to create a memorable chessed project initiated by myself and my friend Temira Koenig. NoamCares started out as an idea but then became a reality with the help of my friends, teachers and family.

Unfortunately, about two and a half years ago my father, Avi Ohayon, passed away from lung cancer. During his final few days, he went to CareOne. CareOne gave him comfort and support, without any medication. After he passed away, I wanted to do something special and meaningful in his memory. Although it took me two and a half years to figure something out, I know that this is something he would truly be touched by. Giving back to the community and helping others is something he would do without even thinking twice.

With the idea just a seed in our minds, we immediately got to work. We felt compelled to find the perfect materials to learn with the residents at CareOne, as well as the students at Yeshivat Noam. V’ahavta l’reiAcha kamocha (Love your friend like yourself) is a mitzvah that my father definitely undertook. Therefore, Temira and I thought it was the perfect mitzvah to learn with the residents.

The eighth grade girls at Yeshivat Noam were divided into eight different groups, each group learning something different but all under the same topic of V’ahavta l’reiAcha kamocha. First, each group began by exploring the background of the mitzvah. Then, there was a different lesson, song or story that they learned. After, depending on which group they were in, the girls created a poster, skit or song with the residents and then presented it to everyone else.

After months of preparation and research, meetings with our assistant principals and meaningful discussions with some of our teachers, we finally put it all together.

In addition, thanks to Morah Shira Greenspan, Temira and I found out that the day of the project, June 3, was also Unity Day. That is the day on which we commemorate the three boys who unfortunately were senselessly murdered this past summer in Israel. We felt that this was yet another extremely meaningful reason to do this project.

The vision of NoamCares could not have been fulfilled without the help of many special individuals who definitely enhanced our experience. CareOne and our school, Yeshivat Noam, have been extremely supportive throughout the entire process. At CareOne, both Temira and I would especially like to thank Katarina Belko, with whom we had countless phone calls and meetings throughout the course of this project. In addition, from our school, we would like to extend a tremendous thank you to Rabbi Hagler, Rabbi Motechin, Mrs. Troodler, Mrs. Weinberg, Morah Shira and Ms. Solomon who only enriched this experience and took our initiative and helped make it a reality.

By Batsheva Ohayon,

Eighth Grade Student at Yeshivat Noam