“…no more pencils, no more books”
“We find in the midrash that the Jewish people left the mountain of G-d [Har Sinai] with joy, like a child running away from school” (Ramban on Bamidbar 10:35)
Ever since there were schools, most children have longed for school to be out.
Then there are the few who can’t wait to get to school, the children who dread going home.
For these children, home is not a place where their mother puts out cookies and milk for them after a long day in the fourth grade. Maybe, because when they come home, both their mother and father are out working… and still not making enough to raise their family above the poverty line. Maybe because this week there wasn’t enough to buy neither milk nor antibiotics for your brother’s strep throat. Maybe because their mother is suffering from a physical or mental illness, and if they want milk and cookies, lunch or supper… they’re going to have to make it themselves.
It is for these children that we at Tzedakah V’Chesed open our door – and our hearts.
Nearly all of our 120 students in grades 1-8 come from homes significantly below the poverty line. Their difficult socio-economic situation, coupled with one or both parents grappling with illness or mental dysfunction, combined with issues the students themselves face, like ADD, behavioral disorders, or emotional problems, puts these students on track for failure.
At Tzedakah V’Chesed, we give many of them a last chance at a successful life. We give them a loving, supportive home… at school.
Our team of 25 staff members includes teachers, psychologists and social workers. Our staff forms deep, warm relationships with the students, with plenty of personal attention. Class sizes are small, with dedicated staff members who work one-on-one with children who need individual help. Many children do need individual help, like the fifth grader who still doesn’t know how to read, because there’s no one at home making sure she’s understanding.
We look after every child, to assess what they need scholastically, emotionally and physically; and then make sure they get it.
The joy of childhood comes to our students with extra-curricular activities: amusement parks, hiking, field trips, parties and more.
Story of Sara
Sara is six and a half years old and in the first grade. She is the youngest of 12 children. Her mother was a convert who came from the United States and settled in Israel. She ran a beautiful Torah household and raised happy children… until she was diagnosed with cancer. Sara’s mother died 3½ years ago when Sara was only three years old. Sara’s father was broken and overwhelmed by the loss of his wife. He became unable to function and could not take care of his children or their home.
At Tzedakah V’Chesed, we have been there for Sara and her family in their darkest hours, extending emotional and financial support. With her father’s consent, we found a foster family for Sara. Both Sara and the foster family maintain a warm relationship with Sara’s father.
Today Sara receives the love, warmth and care that every child deserves. We have arranged for tutoring in order to help her catch up in reading and other skills and she is making wonderful progress.