On a recent Sunday morning, students, families, teachers, and administrators of Yeshiva Har Torah in Queens gathered for the school’s first Yom Chesed. All told, more than 200 people worked on projects to benefit One Family Fund, Bikur Cholim of North Shore University Hospital, The Interfaith Nutrition Network, Kids Need to Read, and Billy’s Baseballs. Collectively, the participants helped victims of terror in Israel, patients in a local hospital, residents of a local homeless shelter, students at underfunded schools, and members of the US Armed Forces.

The day began with Shacharis and breakfast, after which the participants split up into different themed rooms. In each room, participants completed projects for one of the beneficiary organizations.

Rabbi Gary Menchel, Head of School, noted that the day and idea behind it meshed well with the school’s general ideals. “It was a very proud day for Yeshiva Har Torah. It was a way to start our year being selfless and taking time out of our day to help others, while building school community at the same time.”

Participants noted that the day was not only fulfilling but served to help build community within the school. According to Paul Hurwitz, a parent at YHT, “It was a great way to build camaraderie with other families while doing something so meaningful. It truly gave us the opportunity to teach our children the true meaning of chesed through actions.”