April 10, 2024
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April 10, 2024
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Volunteer Celebrations Abound at Yad Leah

(Courtesy of Yad Leah) Just 18 minutes from Teaneck in Passaic, New Jersey, the Yad Leah Volunteer Center has quietly emerged as a home for chesed and achdut. Over recent months, Yad Leah has evolved into a special venue for celebrating significant life moments with a meaningful twist. The three distinct events that unfolded this summer provided an inspiring means for combining smachot with acts of kindness.

The Feigenbaum family initiated this series of extraordinary gatherings, coming together to mark longtime community activist Jackie Feigenbaum’s special birthday. In honor of their father and Zaide’s birthday, the Feigenbaums built a full-day family field trip, stopping to volunteer at several organizations. As supporters of Yad Leah, the Feigenbaum family included Yad Leah’s Pack-for-Israel Experience in their day of chesed, where over 30 family members joined together to sort and pack clothing together for families in Israel.

The unique power of chesed is that everyone has the potential to do it—no matter the age. Margalit Perlman, a sixth-grade student at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, chose to host her bat mitzvah celebration at the Yad Leah Volunteer Center. Her boundless enthusiasm overflowed as she dedicated her special day to thinking of, and giving to, her needy brothers and sisters in Israel. After working with Yad Leah staff to customize her bat mitzvah program at Yad Leah, Margalit led her friends and family through the Pack-for-Israel Experience. They packed clothes and then created custom gift packages of jewelry, which she will personally deliver during her upcoming Sukkot visit to Israel. The Perlmans concluded their celebration with a presentation of a beautiful video montage in honor of the bat mitzvah.

When Elana Mandel began thinking of how she wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday, she wanted a format that would reflect her values and passions “… and so I chose to make my party at Yad Leah because I wanted my birthday celebration to be more than just celebrating myself—I wanted to infuse chesed into the celebration. Since Yad Leah is such a fantastic organization, I wanted to bring people in to be able to see for themselves what they do and what goes into it.”

Elana led the volunteer packing program and then completed a siyum on Masechet Brachot. The party continued with energetic dancing and ended with an Elul Kumzitz to inspire the guests before Rosh Hashanah.

Jessica Katz, the director of Yad Leah, lauded these special events, stating, “The active volunteer participation of each of these families left us deeply moved. The celebrations of the Feigenbaum family, Margalit Perlman and Elana Mandel all underscored the immense power of coming together during moments of both joy and need and how chesed can seamlessly integrate into life’s most memorable moments.”

Yad Leah is privileged to host and facilitate these extraordinary celebrations that enrich the lives of those involved while bringing hope and support to those less fortunate.

Anyone interested in celebrating a milestone or engaging in meaningful activities with friends and family can contact the Yad Leah office at 973-955-0861 or [email protected].

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