The students donated more than $500 they had raised to an orphanage in Odessa.
(March 16, 2022; Sarasota, FL) The horrifying pictures emerging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine inspired 300 students from Hershorin Schiff Community Day School to act. Dan Ceaser, Community Day’s head of school, said that the crisis quickly became an urgent topic of discussion throughout the campus. “This conflict profoundly affected our students—even though they live halfway across the world. They told us that their hearts were hurting, and they needed to do something.”
After meeting with Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz with Chabad Lubavitch of Sarasota and Manatee Counties, the students decided to donate all the “tzedakah” or charitable funds they had raised to an orphanage based out of Odessa, Ukraine. During the school year, students collect money every Shabbat (Friday) and, typically, pick a cause at the end of the year and donate the money. This time they realized there was no time to wait. They needed to act immediately. On March 8, the students presented $520 to the Mishpacha Orphanage. The funds will be used for food, shelter, and other necessities for 83 orphans who fled Ukraine to Germany.
The CDS students said they hope the funds and handmade cards will let the refugee children know that people from across the world are watching their plight.
Ceaser said that the initiative fit perfectly into the school’s mission and programming.
“One of our main goals is to create a learning community where students impact our world as compassionate scholars and global citizens. This act of charity gave them the opportunity to see, firsthand, how their actions can make a difference. When they practice compassion for others, they make the world a better place.”
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.