ASHAR Chesed Program
In 2002, ASHAR Chesed Program was initiated under the direction of our Chesed Coordinator, Mrs. Debby Jacobson. Our chesed program teaches our students the importance of giving back to our community. Since its inception our programs have touched both our local Rockland County and Jewish communities worldwide.
To emphasize the importance of chesed, our students (grades 5-8) are required to perform 10 hours of community service/chesed per trimester, for a total of 30 hours per year.
Ashar students kicked off the year by doing Chesed! To date, our student have logged thousands of hours helping others. We are very proud of their service and accomplishments.
Among the projects that our students have participated in, both in school and out:
- Our students (grades 5-8) participate in a weekly Yachad (an organization for young adults with special needs) event.
- We collect for a Tomchei Shabbos (of Rockland) "Can Drive." In addition, many of our students volunteer to pack for Tomchei Shabbos on a weekly basis.
- Our students (grades 3-8) visit the Fountainview Nursing Home on a rotating basis. Each week a different class visits with the senior residents offering comfort and companionship.
- Our students participate in the Bikur Cholim "Hearts" program, bringing joy and entertainment to senior Holocaust survivors, often sharing their latest Shabbos or Yom Tov songs with them.
- We decorated (N-8) sifrei Tehillim to be sent, along with Shana Tova cards, to the children of Sderot, letting them know that they have friends across the sea who care about their fate.
- A number of years ago, our eighth grade girls painted and decorated the children's waiting room and medical treatment room at Good Samaritan Hospital. As part of this project we launched a "toy closet" that stores new toys for the children coming for treatment. Upon discharge, each child is allowed to select a toy from the closet as a gift. Throughout the year, our students continue to maintain this closet and keep it full of toys via our "Birthday Ma'aser Program." Students donate gifts they receive to give to these sick children.
- Since 2002, our seventh grade classes have raised over $10,000 per year for a worthy child-related tzeddaka cause in Eretz Yisrael. Our students raise funds by babysitting, running a used book sale, selling pizza at lunch, selling cookbooks, a fantastic Mother-Daughter Melave Malka, running a raffle, among other efforts. The money has been given to a dedication of a room in the Chevron Youth Center, a Resource Room for the Amit school in Ra'anana, a petting zoo for the children of Migdal Ohr, a playground for the children of Ateret Cohanim, physiotherapy equipment for Zichron Menachem, and most recently, a science playground for the children of Sderot.
- We collected, sorted and packed hundreds (literally!) of boxes of clothing to be sent to the displaced residents of Gush Katif.
- We collected thousands of bears to be sent to victims of terror in Israel, in conjunction with Bears from Bergenfield.
- The first grade collected funds (for reading success) and bought books for a local literacy program in Rockland County.
- We collected school supplies and sent them to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
- The first graders designed and sent solidarity T-shirts to the children of Kiryat Shemona whose school was destroyed in the summer of 2006.
These are but a sampling of the many projects that have been implemented under the auspices of our Chesed Program.
If you have an idea for a meaningful chesed project, or would like to donate to one of our causes, please contact our Chesed Coordinator, Mrs. Debby Jacobson at Ext. 230.
Mrs. Bella Kohn leading a class of girls at a visit to The Fountainview Nursing Home.