Home Kiddish Celebrating with Kindness- Hebrew Academy event engages students in helping the community

Celebrating with Kindness- Hebrew Academy event engages students in helping the community

“One of the most important lessons we teach is to make the world better,” explained Rabbi Avremi Popack, Judaic administrator at The Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach and coordinator of an annual event that engages students and parents in hands-on efforts to help the community. “We give the students an opportunity to practice helping, so that it’s comfortable and natural and becomes part of their experience.”
    On April 29 the students participated in MITZVA CELEBRATION 5781, celebrating Jewish unity and pride while performing good deeds that help to make the world more beautiful. Class Mitzva projects include: collecting children’s books for doctor’s offices to encourage literacy; a toy drive for kids in Memorial Hospital; work with senior citizens in the community; connecting with Holocaust survivors and developing an anti-bullying program; helping Mary’s Kitchen by collecting food, clothing and toiletries to support the homeless in the community; helping an organization for children with disabilities; and sending letters and sponsoring an ice cream party for soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces.
    Classes did research on the organizations they supported and prepared presentations about them for classmates and parents during a drive-through event. They also provided take-home packets for parents and students doing remote learning to give everyone an opportunity to participate.
    Rabbi Popack, who has coordinated the event for 10 years explained, “The goal is to make these hands-on community service projects part of who we are and what we can do for others. It takes time and effort and is expected as part of the core values of the Hebrew Academy education. Project-based learning activities nurture the whole child and enable children to internalize their lessons.”
    He added that it sends a strong message to children when parents also participate in the projects. Even when classes were entirely remote during the pandemic last year, students did the research on the organizations they were supporting, had drop-off points for making contributions and compiled a journal about the virtual event.
    Rabbi Popack concluded, “The program is a source of positive energy and inspiration. We want to raise the bar and allow our students to live the values that they are taught every day.”
    For a value rich education for your child, contact The Hebrew Academy at Admissions@hacds.org. 

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