Behind a 21st Century Sephardic Revolution

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By: Pnina Souid

Three years ago, having experienced the joy of hesed while he and his friends made The Alphabet Kids Talent Show to benefit the world-renowned St. Judes Children Hospital, Isaac J. Kassin was determined to take this hesed further.

Utilizing the Hesed Hour requirement in his school curriculum at the Magen David Yeshiva, Isaac, along with his friends Jonathan Cohen and Yoni Chaya, thought of ways to maximize this time set aside for hesed. It was then that “The Charity Crew” was born. He pitched his ideas to the other boys in Magen David, and the idea began to grow into a full-fledged, resoundingly successful movement.

The “crew” runs a wide variety of meaningful hesed projects. They go to the Ahi Ezer Senior Center and participate in monthly Bingo games, sponsor a canned food drive for the SBH food pantry, and manage a basketball tournament to benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses. In addition, honor students worked together to create review sheets for tests which they sold, earmarking the profits for SBH.

The Charity Crew has visited Ohel and Imagine, and work as volunteers for SBH. They sponsored a benefit for Pencils of Promise, an organization which builds schools in poor countries. The list of charities and hesed organizations that have benefited from this grassroots movement is long and still growing.

A girls’ division of the Charity Crew at Magen David is now in the formation process, and Isaac is in communication with other schools that want to set up their own Charity Crews.

Isaac is available to discuss any details of the Charity Crew and to help set up similar programs in other schools. He can be contacted at 1917-361-4335.