Chesed Day Unites 600 Students from 5 Local Day Schools in Caring

About the Event
More than 600 students from South Palm Beach County’s Jewish day schools came together on January 13 to learn about and engage in hands-on projects for children in need as part of an annual Chesed Day. They learned about the Jewish value of chesed, the obligation to extend oneself in doing deeds of kindness, and the responsibility to care for those around us and help people in need. Students in grades 1 through 5 from Donna Klein Jewish Academy (DKJA), Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton and Torah Academy of Boca Raton, accompanied by 50+ educators, were guided by 14 DKJA Middle School students and 24 high school students from DKJA and Yeshiva High School. Students from Yeshiva Tiferes Torah of Boca Raton were also involved in the program, which was planned by the high school students in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Department of School Educational Services.

The excitement was palpable as all the students gathered in Federation’s Zinman Hall to watch “A Man of Yesterday, A Role Model for Today,” a video produced by Donna Klein Jewish Academy students about emulating our forefather Abraham in doing mitzvot and being kind to others. They were welcomed by Federation President & CEO, Matthew C. Levin. They learned more about chesed from Marilyn Nachman, Director of the Federation’s Department of Jewish Education’s School Educational Services; from Helena Levine, DKJA Head of School; and Yafa Levit, DKJA Lower School Judaics Principal.

Then the students were divided into different rooms by grade level, teaming up with students from other schools to work together and forming cross-community connections. They did hands-on projects to give to children served by the two recipient organizations, Chai Lifeline and Friendship Circle. Students in grades 1 through 4 got creative and decorated colorful tote bags to donate to children with special needs and those suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Fifth graders engaged in “Stack the Caps – Paint the Caps,” a project to decorate hats for children with cancer being treated at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and other area facilities.