Hadar Bet Yaakov Ninth Graders have taken the “lead” in chesed projects this year with their recent chesed trip to pack Project LEAD food bags for the needy. Rabbi Avroham Hecht, director of Project LEAD, generously sponsored Hadar Bet Yaakov’s apple-picking trip, and so when the girls heard there was a giving opportunity from the same organization, they were excited to participate in this vital community mitzvah.

Project LEAD, in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of North America, regularly funds meals for the needy, including dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors. It’s always a challenge for Rabbi Hecht to find people to do the packing for deliveries, but this time he had an eager group of HBY students enthusiastic to contribute and give to others in need, particularly Holocaust survivors. Ninth Graders came to the packing center, arranged groups of assembly lines, and put together over 80 packages for delivery in under an hour. All packing was outdoors to ensure safety, and girls arranged all food bags as close to the street as possible to enable easy pick-up by drivers.

Before students left, Rabbi Hecht surprised them with a thank you gift of individually wrapped chocolate rugelach for everyone. The girls thanked him for the pastries but, most of all, were appreciative of the opportunity to partake in such a meaningful chesed.