On Thursday April 7, Westchester Day School seventh graders participated in their annual pre-Pesach Chesed trip with the Bronx Jewish Community Council. Students traveled to Co-Op City to package over 150 Pesach food gifts for seniors in the local Jewish Bronx communities. In addition to packaging the food, students traveled to the Parkchester section of the Bronx to deliver the Pesach gifts to the elderly. Students appreciated the opportunity to visit with the seniors and see the joy on their faces upon receiving their gifts. Many students were able to spend quality time with the Bronx residents, sitting in their homes, hearing their stories and exchanging Pesach blessings and wishes. According to Rabbi Stephen Knapp, Assistant Principal of WDS Middle School, “This year’s trip had added value because of the incorporation of one of our annual themes: ‘Why Chesed?’ Students are being challenged to make meaning out of the chesed they are doing by participating in surveys both before and after the chesed activity, and understanding what the benefits are to themselves and others rather than just doing it by rote. We look forward to this trip every year as a wonderful way to begin our own Pesach preparations.”
This is one of many joint activities between Westchester Day School and the Bronx Jewish Community Council, under the coordination of Niti Minkove, and this mutually beneficial partnership helps Westchester Day School teach students at all grade levels invaluable lessons about chesed and the importance of being part of a community.