Tenafly kids wrap-it up on Chanukah This Chanukah, so many wonderful people reached out to our dear girls at the Children’s Home. Before Chanukah we heard from Rabbi Yossi Katz, youth director from CHABAD-Lubavitch of the Palisades in Tenafly, N.J. He had a great idea for his youth group TLZ (Teen Leadership Zone pictured here), to hand write festive personalized greeting cards and to pack Chanukah goodie bags to send to the 103 girls who live at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya.
Girls received sweets and warm messages Our Executive Director, Gavriel Rosenberg joined Rabbi Yossi and his youth group in Tenafly on the 7th light of Chanukah and observed how the kids skillfully packaged goodie bags of ‘nosh’ for all the ‘sisters’ at the Home. Members of the Chabad-Lubavitch youth group also wrote warm messages to our girls giving them greetings and good wishes for a happy holiday of Chanukah filled with light and love.
Lev LaLev Executive Director Tells it Like it Is Besides the refreshments the group enjoyed, Gavriel Rosenberg spoke to the kids and told them all about the girls at the Home. He also explained how the Children’s Home strives to help each girl and gives them a second chance for a new and better life and a brighter future. The group listened intently to Gavriel Rosenberg and felt very touched by his comments. Then he fielded a very spirited Q & A session. These teens asked very sophisticated questions. One girl wanted to know how the Home disciplines the girls. Gavriel Rosenberg explained that since these kids went through so many traumas, the Home’s staff has to be very sensitive and careful about disciplining and often uses role-play and constructive games to teach the girls proper behavior and ethics. Another girl wanted to know if the Home houses girls with disabilities or special needs. His answer to this questions was: “The Children’s Home does have girls with learning disabilities and they are given special tutors to bring them up to par.”
Executive Director also Speaks about Chanukah and its Meaning Since it was the 7th light of Chanukah, Lev LaLev’s director took the opportunity to speak about the meaning of the holiday. One boy volunteered to give a historical overview, while Gavriel Rosenberg commented about the spiritual aspect and the reason the holiday is celebrated for 8 days. He explained that the extra day of celebration was specifically commemorated because of the “achdus” – the unity, that the Jews showed after the Temple’s destruction and hence its clean up and re-building. The director then juxtaposed this premise by saying that if there are girls in Israel who don’t have a home of their own, and this youth group is present on this night of Chanukah to help them, this is surely achdus and deserving of a celebration.
Youth Group Learns About Mitzvahs and Chesed After learning more about the Children’s Home firsthand, each TLZ youth group member felt a stronger connection to the mitzvah they had just performed. Rabbi Yossi Katz, who was born in Buenos Aires, says part of his mission is to teach Jewish kids the importance of giving tzedaka ~ which is connected to Chanukah. He added that the mitzvah started with younger kids from his group of more than 100 Hebrew School students. They began the process of stuffing the envelope packets with candy filled dreidls and crayons. The older youth club members, who added more items to the packets, completed the task. He also mentioned that the teens felt very special and proud to be part of giving tzedaka. Rabbi Yossi further commented that the teens particularly enjoyed creating the greeting cards -writing personal messages to the girls. He also thanked Gavriel Rosenberg for taking time out to come to Tenafly and spend time with the TLZ group.
Cartons Shipped to Israel At the end of his visit to Chabad-Lubavitch of the Palisades, Gavriel Rosenberg collected the youth group’s cartons of Chanukah goodies and personal cards. Everything was transported to the girls in Netanya through a friend of the Lev LaLev Fund who was traveling to Israel.
We thank Rabbi Yossi Katz and the Teen Leadership Zone youth group members and their younger counterparts for the care and concern they showed our girls. Lev LaLev is continuously amazed at how many friends from all over the world find so many ways to shower our girls with the attention and love they deserve. Kol Ha Kavod and Yasher Kochachem ~ honors to the Rabbi and his group. May they continue to have the ability and strength to do more great deeds!