Following the devastating Bronx fire in early January, which killed 17 people and left more than 100 families homeless, teens from the New York region of NCSY, the flagship youth movement of the Orthodox Union, took action immediately. Shabbos Kestenbaum, assistant director of NCSY’s Manhattan chapter, led the efforts and coordinated several groups of teens from around the region to assist in providing relief to the victims. Shabbos led a group from SAR Academy in Riverdale to deliver food donations to the Gambian Youth Organization. From there, they continued to the N.Y. Police Department’s 46th precinct in the Bronx, bringing donuts to the officers and first responders on duty.
Girls from the 5 Towns and Queens also joined Sarah Sklar, director of New York NCSY’s 4G (For Girls, NCSY’s all girls programming division) at the Riverdale Jewish Center to sort through and organize bags of clothing donations for the fire victims. The girls then delivered donuts to the first responders at NYPD’s 46th precinct. Teens from the Bronx High School of Science’s JSU chapter (Jewish Student Union, NCSY’s network of Jewish clubs at public schools), led by New York NCSY’s Manhattan Director Rabbi Manu Hass, wrote signs and posters with messages of support and solidarity with the victims. The teens then brought the signs to the standing vigil near the site of the fire.
“When New Yorkers experience tragedy, our first instinct must be to stand with them and support in whatever way will be helpful to those suffering,” said Rabbi Gideon Black, CEO of New York NCSY. “I’m proud of our teens who stepped up to care for those in need.”