April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The past week has been one of the hardest for Am Yisrael in many many years, but sparks of Jewish joy continue to spread light in the darkness. Mere hours into the war, Jewish communities around the world were mobilizing to donate their time, money and supplies to chayalim—and Westchester Torah Academy was no exception. With so many important and beautiful ways to donate, WTA focused on two opportunities that meant the most. One of the bnot sheirut that WTA was fortunate to host last year chose to raise money to print the signs of chizuk and achdut that are usually posted all over the streets to raise the morale of the chayalim. With the surprise attack, there was no opportunity to post those signs, and she took it upon herself to organize, print and hang these critical morale-boosters throughout the area.

Perhaps even closer to home, the nephew of Head of School Deganit Ronen asked for donations to his unit. Rather than a combat unit, they are tasked with the heartbreaking but crucial responsibility of removing bodies from the field. When asked about donations, he said, “other soldiers need body armor more than us; please just send these bare essentials,” and asked for water bottles and thermal clothing. Less than 24 hours later, multiple duffel bags were in the air, on the way to support these chayalim. These shows of support—of the deeply heartfelt concept of kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh, all of Israel is responsible for eachother, give our community hope during this dark time.

On Monday morning, WTA added to the sparks of joy that light up Am Yisrael by celebrating another hachnasat sefer Torah! Through the generosity of the Stein family, WTA now has a second sefer Torah to read from, celebrate and to daven with. The 100 year old scroll, lovingly rescued from the Shoah, was escorted into the WTA minyan under a chuppah, with song and dance abounding. In davening, the students took time to pray for peace and for the safety of our chayalim, but the festivities shouted loud and clear—Am Yisrael Chai! May we share only smachot, and may Hashem bring peace to Eretz Yisrael.

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