Spreading the Joy of Adar
Students from OTS’s Neveh Shmuel Yeshiva High School for Boys found innovative ways of raising funds to purchase tefillin and provide a Bar Mitzva celebration for a needy family.
In honor of the upcoming Purim holiday, dozens of 9th and 10th grader students from OTS’s Neveh Shmuel Yeshiva High School in Memory of Samuel Pinchas Ehrman flooded Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem in matching shirts to bring holiday joy through a flash-mob (watch the video, below). While most of the students danced to the well-rehearsed choreography, others collected donations from passersby to sponsor a bar mitzva celebration for a young boy in need.
“Every round we received more and more money,” reports 10th grader Maayan Foa. “Ten shekels here, 50 there. One woman gave us 500 NIS when she learned that we were doing it for such a good cause. Eventually it all added up and we raised more than 17,000 NIS – more than the school has raised in any previous year.”
The flash-mob fundraiser for needy bar mitzva boys has been in place for several years; for the past two years, the project has been dedicated in memory of alumnus Jonathan Adler, z’l, who was especially devoted to the concept while a student at Neveh Shmuel.
True Role Models
The 10th graders additionally ran a pop-up restaurant serving the Gush Etzion community for one night only, raising over 8000 NIS from diners. All of the ingredients were donated and tens of families enjoyed taking part in the experience, knowing that their proceeds were going to a worthy endeavor. A crowd-funding campaign, still underway, raised a further 5000 shekels.
“The financial contributions cover the entire bar mitzva celebration from start to finish,” shares 10th grader Matanya Schuman, “including the cost of tefillin, a photographer to take pictures of his aliya at the Kotel and the entire bar mitzva party – everything. We are in contact with the boy and his family to be sure that the event is in accordance with his individual wishes,” he says.
“We are so proud of our students for making sure to imbue the important element of chessed into their Purim celebrations,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, OTS’s President and Rosh HaYeshiva. “They are not only spreading the joy of Adar to those less fortunate, they are spreading the values of Judaism, and serving as true models of Jewish tradition to Israeli society.”