Shevach High School is well known for its chesed program, which promotes student involvement in chesed on a weekly basis, both in the immediate community and beyond. They dedicate time to Menucha V’Simcha, JILL, JEP, ChillZone, Help-A-Mom, Tomchei Shabbos, and much more. The program, under the direction of Shevach Assistant Principal Rebbetzin Chani Grunblatt, was launched this year in an innovative and inspiring manner, with the goal of instilling in the students the importance of chesed as the “driving force” of the world.
On Thursday, October 20, the students came into their multi-purpose room, to find it transformed by Chesed heads Henna Baila Goldish, Aviva Keller, Faiga Lind, Tova Ribowsky, and Sara Malka Weinberg. In line with their theme of “Kol Orchos Hashem Chesed,” and “Oh, The Places We Will Go,” the walls and pillars portrayed many travel-related ideas, and eye-catching slogans, such as “Chesed Is a Two-Way Street,” and “There Is No Limit to Chesed.”
The program was opened by Shevach Menaheles Mrs. Shulamith Insel who, with her engaging persona, underscored the lessons of chesed that we can learn from Avraham Avinu and how we can apply them to our lives. This was followed by an original song and video, produced by the Chesed heads, that depicted in a fascinating manner how impactful their acts of chesed are to our community.
Shevach students were then treated to an address by noted speaker Rabbi Meir Simcha Sperling. Through inspiring stories and his trademark wit, Rabbi Sperling drove home the idea that chesed is the foundation of the world. Humanity cannot exist without it. Moshe Rabbeinu is referred to in the Torah by the name given to him by an Egyptian woman, Bisya bas Par’oh, which is from the root of “drawing out.” Moshe was drawn out of the water, but also drew the Jewish people out of their suffering, as much as he could at that time. Reaching out to others is part of the DNA of the Jewish People, and that is what this Chesed program stems from.
Often, it requires sacrifice of self – and of time, certainly – but it is a priority in our lives. A value that will protect us in this world, and accompany us to the next, is chesed. And as Rabbi Sperling powerfully said, “Through your acts of chesed, Shevach may be the driving force in bringing Mashiach!!”
Students left with a feeling that, going forward, through their acts of chesed, they can and will make a difference, and will be an integral part of the good that is shared not only within the Queens community, but with all of klal Yisrael, with bias Goeil, bimheirah b’yameinu, Amen.