Hadar Bet Yaakov spent Yud-Alef Cheshvan, Rachel Imeinu’s yahrzeit, as a time to underscore the pivotal role chesed plays in our lives. Rachel Imeinu has always been a role model for chesed, and Hadar Bet Yaakov utilized the day to teach girls about real-time chesed opportunities in their lives. After the chesed presentation, the girls enjoyed a kumsitz with keyboard accompaniment where they sang “Mama Rochel” from Journeys, V’Zakeini, and other moving songs.

Mrs. Judy Goldberg, of the Kew Gardens Tablecloth G’mach, visited the girls after t’filah and displayed an array of beautiful tablecloths from her g’mach. Mrs. Goldberg relayed her own story of how she began this chesed that paired her own aesthetic love of fabrics and home decorating with community need. Armed with a passion to create a community service that made designing a simchah with beautiful table linens accessible to all, Mrs. Goldberg, together with Mrs. Shulamis Singer, created a thriving g’mach.

“A g’mach is a collection of things or sometimes a service, so the community can have access to products that they might not be able to afford if they had to buy or rent it themselves.” Mrs. Goldberg explained. “People pay as much as they can or give a donation simply for the upkeep of the products, but it’s a complete tz’dakah that’s not for profit.”

The girls loved the decorative tablecloths and organza toppers and listened eagerly while she told her own story of getting a brachah from a rav before she began and how she built up the g’mach’s collection over time. As a follow-up activity, the girls broke up into groups and discussed their own ideas for g’machs as Mrs. Goldberg went from group to group, conferencing about the feasibility of their ideas and next steps for implementation.

After, the girls enjoyed a moving kumsitz with Perel Schwartz and Chavi Ribowsky leading them in song. Students sang along with the song sheets so they could follow along with the “Mama Rochel” lyrics as Perel played the keyboard. HBY girls enjoyed a moving and meaningful program with a warm kumsitz, paired with a chesed presentation that delineated a concrete how-to approach to creating their own g’machs and making a real difference in the lives of others with chesed.

By Shoshanna Friedman