Teachers Appreciation on The Streets of Crown Heights

Hundreds of cars rolled down Kingston Avenue last Sunday, as Chabad educators from across the Crown Heights area and its environs were showered with thanks and appreciation accompanied by lively music, for their tireless devotion towards their students. The annual event, run by Lubavitch Chinuch Organization Igud Hamelamdim in partnership with Chasdei Lev, has until now, been held in Flatbush. This year however, Igud hosted the event in Crown Heights,saving Melamdim hours of driving each way. The real clincher: students from across Crown Heights wearing bright attire and bearing broad smiles, were amongst the majority of the volunteers participating in loading up the cars with gifts and majorly discounted staples for Yom Tov. After assisting, the students were treated to a nice pizza lunch.

“Bringing the children to volunteer is in itself a major chinuch experience,” enthused Rabbi
Avrohom Bluming, director of Igud Hamelamdim. “The students got to actively show
appreciation to those who give all of themselves to their precious students.”

One such student who participated in the distribution is Berel Vogel, a fifth grader at Oholei Torah Yeshiva. During the event, he approached Rabbi Bluming and shared how excited he was to be participating in an afternoon of appreciation for his teachers. In his words: “It is such a beautiful thing to be able to honor our Melamdim who work so hard with their classes.”

Igud Hamelamdim strives to put educators in the spotlight and at the forefront of our most respected leaders and visionaries. They aim to boost the spirit and drive of those who’ve dedicated their life’s mission to teaching our precious children. For the past 4 years, they have been devoted to providing educators with empowerment and support with which to empower and nurture their students. Strong educators produce strong students and strong students can and do indeed change the world.

Sunday’s event was months in the making, affording teachers an opportunity to obtain top quality discounted Pesach staples. Weeks of vigorous planning and organizing and hours of preparation–strategizing set-up, arranging street closures, renting machinery for pallet set-up and more–lended itself to a seamless distribution. A number of non-Jewish residents in the area inquisitively approached the distribution volunteers and were awed by the disclosure that the huge operation was solely devoted to teacher appreciation! Adults, teenagers and children who helped out at the event left feeling uplifted and inspired.

Rabbi Yossi Paltiel of Crown Heights notes that involving the students in bestowing their teachers with thanks and admiration, is in and of itself a powerful educational lesson:

“The biggest thing they did was they got our children to load up the cars and vans of their teachers which is an incredibly significant and important Inyan in Chinuch and in teaching Middos Tovos to our children.”

In Kuntres Inyana Shel Toras Ha’Chassidus, the Rebbe explains that Chassidus has four main purposes and that each of these lie at the essence of Chassidus. One of the purposes that is outlined there is Lishanos Midosav Hativi’im, to change our natural Middos.
Middos Tovos are the essence of Chassidus. Bringing this idea home to our students is perhaps the most meaningful addition to this year’s program.”

“The first order of gratitude is extended to the honorable administration of Yeshiva Oholei Torah, for taking initiative and generously sponsoring the entire costs of their yeshiva’s share in this Chasdei Lev project,” Igud Hamelamdim said. “We are very grateful to them.”.

Special thanks to the community members who stepped forward to cover the costs of this important project, among them: Dovid and Malky Smetana, Chaim Zvi Nash, Levi Eckhaus, Sholom Laine, Moshe Drizin.

Thank you to the OK Kosher Organization who partnered in the event,
לעילוי נשמת הרב דן יואל בן הרב דובער ע״ה, תמר מלכה בת ר׳ יצחק ע״ה, רבקה בת הרב דן יואל ע״ה

In addition, Igud Hamelamdim would like to show appreciation to Yossi Hershkop of Kamin Health who so generously sponsored numerous items for the event.

Thank you to R’ Chanina Sperlin and R’ Eli Cohen for their assistance in arranging the street closure.

Special thanks to Rabbi Yossi Bryski for his great involvement in arranging the program, together with his amazing team: Yossi Rapp, Yisroel Friend, Avrohom Gorman and Simcha Minkowitz.

Thank you to all the Yeshivos for partnering with us in the expenses. Additional thanks to R’ Yossi Langzam for sending over a cleaning crew who did a great job.

Special gratitude is extended to all the Bachurim and boys who assisted.

And finally, words do not suffice to express sufficient gratitude to the wonderful Chasdei Lev staff.

As we go to press, it is newsworthy to mention that our affiliated moisad, Igud Hamechanchos, is busy preparing Pesach financial gifts for the honorable Morahs.

For more information about Igud Hamelamdim’s work for chinuch and to support such initiatives, visit IgudHamelamdim.org.