Today, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, junior boys and girls traveled to the Jewish Community of Long Beach to participate in a relief effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The boys, arriving at the Young Israel disembarked carrying boxes of cleaning supplies and foodstuffs provided to HANC by FEGS, which were donated to the Young Israel for their community. There they met Rabbi Wakslak, the shul's Rabbi, who provided them with a list of people who requested our help. The junior boys were divided into 10 groups of 3-4 students and traveled with homeowners to their respective homes. After canvassing the students we found that each group had different experiences. Some groups emptied basements and rooms of their water damaged contents, others repositioned shifted furniture, while others helped elderly homeowners clean and dry their waterlogged documents and photographs. Another group was able to help the Rosh Yeshiva of The Mesivta of Long Beach, Rav Feigelstock, to move those seforim not ravaged by the storm to higher floors.
The Junior girls were tasked with cleaning the Bach Shul and toveling dishes for community members. Students worked tirelessly rearranging furniture, mopping floors, removing damaged items, scrubbing the kitchen and its contents, and reorganized the basement. At the end of the clean-up, Rabbi Goodman, the shul’s Rabbi, was more than excited to inform the students that because of their efforts, the shul would hopefully reopen this coming shabbos.
All in all, the students treated this opportunity with the dignity and reverence that it deserved and were enriched by the experience. Students also felt a special connection to this undertaking, as there are a number of HANC High School students who reside in the Long Beach community.