On Rosh Chodesh Adar, Ohr Torah Stone’s Jacob Sapirstein High School for Boys in Ramot, Jerusalem, ran a Purim carnival for 150 children with disabilities and limited mobility from the “Kav L’Chaim” organization.
This is the ninth year in a row that the pupils have partnered with Kav L’Chaim. “We view these informal activities through which our students engage the children from Kav L’Chaim as an integral part of the school curriculum,” notes the school’s principal, Rabbi Yoni Hollander. “It is truly uplifting to see the joy on all the children’s faces after being swept up in rousing dancing and excitement. Furthermore, our students receive an indelible educational message about Jewish and universal values.”
As in prior years, the school’s 11th graders initiated and managed the entire project, investing great time and effort in the colorful and exciting carnival. Students personally escorted their Kav L’Chaim visitors from their homes and helped those who needed assistance through the various games and activities. “Our students canvassed their neighborhoods to raise funds for this event, getting sponsors and approaching various vendors, who donated the lottery prizes,” Hollander adds.
During the day, the children from Kav L’Chaim received prizes, enjoyed a festive lunch and a personal Mishloach Manot package.
It’s important to note that all funds raised from the carnival were donated by the pupils to Kav L’Chaim, to help underwrite special three-day trip specifically for those students whose mobility is limited who learn in mainstream schools and yet are prevented from joining classmates on the annual school trip by a route which is inaccessible.
“There is nothing of greater value,” says Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone. “In the book of Esther, Mordechai is instructed to ‘Gather all the Jews.’ We take that very literally; all the Jews must be included. This philosophy guides our approach in everything we do. Our schools and programs strive constantly to make sure that Torah and Judaism are accessible and meaningful to everyone.”