Southern NCSY Teens Learn About Acts of Kindness While Having Fun
This September, Southern NCSY launched an exclusive leadership program for high school teens known as Teen LLC -- Leadership, Learning and Chesed (acts of kindness). The program accepted 20 teens and teaches them the Torah’s approach to chesed. Teens spend two hours every other week learning the sources on charity and meeting with representatives from various social service organizations at Yum Berry yogurt store.
NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.
The program was created under the vision of Bari Girnun, City Director of Broward NCSY. “I was looking for a way to engage motivated students and find them an outlet for their creativity and passion to change the world,” she said.
Todd Cohn, Director of Southern NCSY, praised the program. “Mrs. Girnun's Teen LLC program is a shining example of the work that NCSY does -- educating teens about relevant issues in our community while training and inspiring them to become the future leaders of our schools, synagogues, JCCs, Federations and other community institutions,” he said.
In the program’s first few weeks, the teens heard from a variety of social service organizations and non-profits, including Deborah Chames of the Chesed Avrohom Zev foundation, which helps support Torah education; Sarah Miriam Dahan of the Wedding Gmach, which provides wedding dresses and wedding supplies free of charge to poor couples; and representatives of Chai Lifeline, an organization that provides critical emotional support to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Future social service organizations that will be presented include Yachad (an agency of the OU dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of individuals with disabilities, ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life), The Jewish National Fund, The Free Loan Society and The Jewish Adoption and Foster Care.
“I was so inspired by this innovative NCSY program, which introduces young teens to the concept of chesed while enjoying a frozen yogurt and relaxing with their friends,” said Deborah Chames of the Chesed Avrohom Zev foundation. “The teens were excited and inspired and began discussing all different ways to start doing chesed.”
Gabrielle Sobol, a senior at Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton, and a participant of the Teen LLC program, said, “Teen LLC showed me that just because I'm in high school, doesn't mean I can't make a difference in the world.”
The presentations also feature a learning component developed by Mrs. Girnun from the work of Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, NCSY’s Associate Director of Education, and material from GIVE, one of NCSY’s flagship chesed-focused summer programs.
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