Paramus—“I want to make a difference in the community because I’m a Jew, and it’s a Jew’s reponsbility to help everyone in need,” said Meital Fruksbrumer, a seventh Grader at Yeshivat Noam and participant of Areyvut’s H.O.P.E. Teen Philanthropy Program.
Areyvut, a non-profit based in Bergenfield, NJ, just completed the sixth year of H.O.P.E. (Helping Organizations Provide Essentials) at Yeshivat Noam. The Teen Philanthropy Program engaged the school’s seventh grade students and brought them together to act as a board while teaching them about community needs, philanthropy, valuable leadership skills and local agencies.
On Friday, May 1st, the 2015 H.O.P.E. participants presented a check for $1,000 to Vision For and From Children, a non-profit organization founded by Lillian Pravda, a high school student, that provides eye surgeries and vision services for children who cannot afford them.
Yeshivat Noam principal, Rabbi Chaim Hagler, has been a strong advocate of the program since its inception and addressed the program participants and the entire grade at the check presentation. “Not only can you make a difference…you have to make a difference,” said Rabbi Hagler. “You all have the potential to do so and that’s what this program is about, learning how to make a difference.”
H.O.P.E. participants often remark on how the program introduced them to, and changed their view of, philanthropy and communal involvement. “When I started H.O.P.E., I had no idea what philanthropy was, but I felt that this was something cool to try out,” said Shimshon Goldstein. “H.O.P.E. taught me that you can find tzedakah anywhere.” Goldstein’s view was echoed by DJ Wartelsky who said “When I started H.O.P.E. I thought what an opportunity! The program taught me no matter what, you can make a difference.” Reflecting on her experience, H.O.P.E. participant Batya Becker remarked “As a result of H.O.P.E. I am inspired and motivated to make a difference in the community and the world.”
According to Areyvut Founder and Director, Daniel Rothner, there are more than 100 Jewish Teen Philanthropy Programs throughout the country but the H.O.P.E. Program at Yeshivat Noam is the only such program based in a day school in the area. Rothner explained “We value our ongoing partnership with Yeshivat Noam and appreciate their commitment to constantly infusing their curriculum and the school community with the core Jewish values of chesed, tzedakah and tikkun olam.”
For more information about Areyvut, or to bring the Teen Philanthropy Program to your community, please call (201)-244-6702 or e-mail [email protected]