April 15, 2024
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Yavneh Academy’s First Chesed Team Event Is Fun and Inspiring

The members of Yavneh Academy’s middle school Chesed Team are helping to change the world, one chesed event at time. On March 7, Yavneh Academy Chesed Team held their first event. With over 80 middle schoolers in attendance, it was a huge success. The chesed team at Yavneh is the first one in Bergen County, modeled after the league that was started in Baltimore. It is coordinated by parent volunteers with partnership and support from the Yavneh middle school staff and administration, and with the assistance of Rabbi Michoel Goldin from Chabad who has connections with various organizations and agencies that could benefit from chesed contributions. Additionally, The Jewish Link has contributed financial sponsorship for the team. A variety of chesed activities are planned for a once-a-month events that will engage the students in hands-on chesed. By exposing them to being actively involved in helping their community at a young age, a lifetime of participation in chesed will be fostered.

At this first event, the students prepared mishloach manot for Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Meals on Wheels program. The event began with an introduction by Rabbi Goldin with a brief description of what Meals on Wheels does and who it services. As one of the goals of the chesed team is to teach the students where in their own community they can help those in need, it was important for them to understand who will be receiving these packages. Students then had a discussion about the fact that it is chesed that is a characteristic of the Jewish people and ingrained in our genetic makeup. They then separated into groups and either made chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn or decorated groggers to put into the mishloach manot. The packages were then packed and tied with a Happy Purim bow. It was an amazing event with high energy, as the students packed while they danced to music. After the event, spirits were so positive that other students who have not yet had a chance to sign up asked if there is still room on the team. The message got out: Chesed is fun and fulfilling. Everyone is looking forward to the next event.

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