YIZKOR – Remembrance Service
Sunday, May 1, 2011 / 27 Nisan 5771 at 11:00 AM
Featuring the first-ever, live broadcast from Auschwitz of a March of The Living Yom HaShoah Ceremony
NCSY and Frisch partner for New Orleans Chessed Mission
Ten juniors from The Frisch School traveled last week to New Orleans to take part in an NCSY sponsored Chessed mission.
While in New Orleans, students worked with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild a home in the devastated Ninth Ward.
“I was shocked to see that so much of New Orleans was still destroyed,” said Frisch student Yosepha Sebrow (2012, Teaneck). “I would have thought that so many years later everything would have been fixed. It is so important that we made this trip because it is volunteers like us who are helping to rebuild New Orleans.”
“Our students learned a very important lesson while in New Orleans,” said Rabbi Mark Staum, the Frisch advisor on the trip. “As Jews we need to be at the forefront of the volunteer response to disasters. Our students gained so much from their time working as volunteers. They learned that not only do the people for whom you are rebuilding a house benefit, but as volunteers, they personally benefit from the time they spend working on these important projects.”
As part of the trip, the students toured the lower Ninth Ward to see many of the areas that were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina that have yet to be rebuilt. Following the tour of the Ninth Ward, the students took an tour of the destroyed Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Lakeview and visited the cemetery where the Beth Israel Torah Scrolls and Seforim (religious books) that were destroyed when the synagogue flooded during Hurricane Katrina were buried.
“The visit to the Shul and cemetery was particularly emotional for me,” said David Moed, a junior from Englewood, NJ. “Seeing the devastation caused by Katrina was very moving. This experience showed me the importance of helping communities affected by disasters and the need to stand with those who are affected.”
The eleventh graders who participated in the Chessed Mission to New Orleans where they worked for Habitat for Humanity and interactted with the local Jewish community returned to school Yesterday morning. We received this beautiful letterfrom the Shul in New Orleans:
Dear Rabbi Mark Staum, Mr. Aaron Keigher, the administration of The Frisch School, and Rabbi Ethan Katz of NJ NCSY,
On behalf of Congregation Beth Israel, I wanted to thank you for bringing such a wonderful, mature group of students to visit our community. We host many different groups every month, but found our experience with your students to be exceptional. Their eager participation in Tefillah and the Seudot enhanced Shabbat for everyone. We hope in some small way that they too were inspired with their visit to our resurging community.
The students clearly feel a special warmth towards their school, which is so admirable, and speaks volumes about the program at the Frisch School. We were also all taken by their respect and connection with their advisors. On a personal level, it was a pleasure to share Shabbat with them all, and we welcome them and another group at any time.
May you all continue to find nachas from your good work.
Chag Kasher ViSameach,
Rabbi Uri Topolosky
Doesn't quite do justice to Shiriya but still......
This morning more than 100 students participated in the third instalment of our Tikvah Lecture Series. Dr David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva U., Associate Professor of Religion at Columbia, and editor of Torah u-Maddah Journal, led a vibrant and thought-provoking discussion on philosophical and halakhic considerations of ethical dilemmas. Students gained an appreciation of the different types of factors that go into an ethical decision (utility, act, virtue, etc.) which led them to the conclusion that the 'right' act is not always the 'good' act. The presentation was extremely interactive as students weighed in on what they perceived to be the proper mode of conduct in the challenging cases that were presented. They came to understand the complexity of each dilemma and the diversity of opinions among their peers. Many students continued the discussion with Dr Shatz long after his presentation concluded.
The Lecture Series exceeded our expectation, as many more students than we anticipated chose to participate in the program and benefitted from the scholarship and expertise of our presenters. We hope to expand the program in the coming year, affording students more opportunities to interface with scholars and to engage in serious thinking about the interplay between Judaic Studies and Western Thought.