Partial List of Current Social Action & Community Service Projects
Jewish World Watch/Solar Cookers for Darfur Refugees: Refugees from the genocide in Darfur have to leave the safety of their refuge camps to gather fire wood to cook their rations. When they leave the camps they are often attacked and killed. We have been raising money to provide refugees with solar cookers, so that they can cook their food without leaving the safety of the refugee camps. So far we have sent approximately 100 solar cookers to families in the refugee camps in partnership with Jewish World Watch.
Birthday Angels: This project sponsors birthday parties for children in Israel whose families are so poor that they have never had a birthday party! So far we have sponsored birthday parties for 15 children.
rockCANroll: Our students collect canned goods which rockCANroll uses to stock local food pantries that provide free food to needy Long Islanders. In addition, rockCANroll hires developmentally disabled workers to process the cans of food that are donated. We have collected over 3,000 pounds of food.
Remember Us: Each Bar/Bat Mitzvah student “adopts” a Jewish child killed in the Holocaust & makes a life-long commitment to remember this child. (Note: Remember Us was created by a Workmen’s Circle School alumnus.)
Mitzvah Slip Project: The innovation of our Director, Staci Davis, this project encourages students to do good deeds continually in their daily lives. Students submit Mitzvah Slips cataloging their good deeds. The class with the most Mitzvah Slips each month is rewarded with an in-class ice cream party. Mitzvahs run from helping a sibling with homework, to caring for a sick neighbor, to participating in an autism walk, to students donating their hair to an organization that provides free wigs to needy children with cancer, etc. The list of our students’ good deeds appears to be endless. We are averaging more than 3,000 Mitzvah Slips each year.
The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network): This organization addresses hunger & homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter & long-term housing; our students conduct drives to provide food & personal items to families in The INN’s shelters.
Heifer International: This is a community development/sustainability program that helps poor communities throughout the developing world become self reliant. This is done by providing families with the gift of livestock. Each recipient agrees to “pass on the gift” by giving away the offspring of their livestock to another needy family.
Helping Local Family with Young Child with Cancer: We have been working in a number of ways to help the family of a young child with cancer. He and his young brother are being raised by a single mom. We collected food for their Thanksgiving Dinner. We collected toys for their Hanukkah presents. We have raised more than $1,000 to help this family meet all of their expenses.
Sunrise Day Camp: We are raising money to help send a child with cancer to the only day camp in the nation dedicated to children with cancer. Located on Long Island and operated by the Friedberg JCC, the camp is free to any child with cancer. We have collected approximately $800 for this worthy cause.
Walk to Remember: We join with the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County each year in their 1.5 mile education walk to remember the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust.
Supporting Jewish Village (Puti) in Uganda: Each student has a pen pal in this village & our students raise money to provide financial support to the village.
Latet: We support this organization in Israel that provides food & medicine to indigent Holocaust survivors.
Blue Card: We support this organization in New York that provides support to indigent Holocaust survivors.
The Backpack Project: We work with Jewish World Watch on The Backpack Project, which provides backpacks filled with shoes, books, school supplies, soap and toothpaste to children who have fled the killing in Darfur and are living in a refugee camp in neighboring Chad. Each backpack also contains something intangible, but essential to their well-being: hope.
Cans For Kids: We are collecting empty soda and juice cans for recycling. The proceeds are used to help children with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Long Island Environmental Activism: Including raising funds to fund bee hives on the eastern end of Long Island, and planting and fundraising to replenish the monarch butterfly population on Long Island.
Community Service Club Monthly Bake Sale: Proceeds go to a different charity each month.
Visits to Seniors: Our Community Service Club visits and supports residents of a local assisted living facility and a local rehabilitation facility.
Anti-Bullying: Bar/Bat Mitzvah students spearhead anti-bullying education and pledges in their local schools.
Clothing Drive: We collect used clothing for Long Island’s needy families.
Jewish National Fund: Our students plant tress in Israel annually through the Jewish National Fund.
Treats for Troops: Between 200 & 300 pounds of our students’ Halloween candy was collected to be sent to U.S. troops serving overseas for their consumption and to be shared with local children.
Forgotten Friends of Long Island: Our students raise funds to support the work of Forgotten Friends of Long Island, an organization that rescues forgotten dogs and cats. This organization gives these animals a chance at life by finding homes for our “forgotten friends”.
Paper Recycling: We partner with Nassau BOCES in a paper recycling project that employs disabled young adults.
We continue to explore additional social action and community service opportunities and partnerships to enable our students to put into practice the Jewish values that they learn about in our classrooms.