The Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO-SI) dedicated a Day of Chessed in memory of the 45 victims of the Meron Lag BaOmer tragedy and as a merit for the refuah sheleimah of the 150 injured.
The day culminated in a food distribution at the Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan of Staten Island, located in the New Springville section of Staten Island. Approximately 300 produce and grocery packages were packed and distributed.
The Day of Chessed was the brainchild of Rabbi Aharon Zeev, Mara d’Asra of Aur Torah. Rabbi Zeev approached Oshri Reuven, Aur Torah’s president, who in turn reached out to his wife, Iva Reuven, who is active in COJO. Rabbi Zeev emphasized that “as a community of Klal Yisrael, all Jews must take responsibility and take a … moment to reflect on this tragedy, repent and seek the Alm-ghty’s forgiveness.
“We must focus on becoming better people. What better way than to engage in chessed, especially when it comes to feeding people and making people happy? May the chessed done by the caring volunteers headed by Iva Reuven merit a zechus for the departed and be a zechus for those in need of a speedy recovery.”
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, president of COJO, thanked Rabbi Zeev for suggesting the Day of Chessed. “This Day of Chessed united the community in both spirit and in action. Rabbi Zeev is an important influencer, and his thoughtful suggestion made us a community which is more sensitive to the needs of others.
“This care and concern at times are lost in the shuffle of everyday life. This extra pause to think of another person, be it family, friends or neighbors, is critical. When we care and love other people, we become better people. Rabbi Zeev, thank you for the suggestion, which truly was needed after experiencing the Meron Lag BaOmer tragedy. May the Alm-ghty have mercy and may we never again experience such a loss.”
Rabbi Mirocznik thanked Inspector Richard Taylor, NYPD Community Affairs Bureau; Police Officer Nigel Walters; and Police Officer James Barbee of Pct. 121, for assisting in preparing and distributing the food packages and with traffic control. The NYPD truly is a great partner with COJO, and the support received from their fine officers is truly appreciated.
Rabbi Jacob Joseph School recently completed a successful Sefer Torah campaign, and on Lag BaOmer the yeshivah hosted a beautiful hachnasas sefer Torah with only talmidei hayeshivah.
The entire student body lined up outside, singing Se’u She’arim, to welcome the sefer Torah. After the sefer Torah was brought inside, the fifth through eighth graders danced in the gym, until the sefer Torah was put away in the aron kodesh.