During Chanukah, which focuses on the miracle of light, the RYNJ seventh grade banot learned that they have the power to bring “light” into the world through acts of chesed.
In this spirit, the students at RYNJ transformed into “Mitzvah Clowns” on December 21 with the goal of bringing light and joy to others. This program is coordinated by the Department of Counseling and Psychological services at RYNJ, which runs a variety of social skills and middot programs at the school. The middah of chesed has been targeted for the seventh graders as a way for students to give back to the community and truly experience the joy of giving in a meaningful and interactive way. This is especially important at their pivotal stage in development as young Jewish adults. They learn how to dress, act and, most importantly, make others smile and laugh. The students were also given the opportunity to role play with members of the psychology department and their morot regarding how to interact with the elderly before their visit to the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. They understood that they have the power and ability to bring joy into someone’s life, and have fun while doing it.
The students then put their new skills into action when they visited the Hebrew Home, a truly remarkable facility. The mitzvah clowns, dressed in vibrant colors, delivered dreidels and Chanukah stickers, schmoozed with and brightened the day of the elderly residents they interacted with, truly bringing light and joy to all, and embracing the true meaning of Chanukah.