Pardes Middle Schoolers Making the World a Better Place

November 20- Tikkun Olam, helping make the world a better place through acts of kindness, is an intrinsic part of the Pardes experience. On Tuesday, November 20th, grades 5-8 lived this important Jewish value by spending the morning participating in Tikkun Olam activities throughout the Phoenix area. Fifth graders headed to the Vista del Camino Community Center Food Bank where they learned about Operation Fix-It which assists residents of Scottsdale.  Students packed some four pallets of cartons filled with food items that will be distributed at the food bank.  

Sixth graders volunteered at Arizona Helping Hands, wrapping gifts for foster children and doing other tasks to help the organization.  “It made me feel really happy,” said sixth grader Avi Davidson. “We were giving them things when throughout most of their lives, things get taken away, like parents and siblings.  It’s nice to give.”

Seventh graders visited  the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul where some of the students prepared meals for homeless individuals while others bundled clothes in vacuum-sealed bags to be sent to national disaster locations.  “I felt badly that people don’t have stuff due to things that aren’t their fault,” said 7th grader Noa Ozer. “But I felt good because they will get these things.”

Eighth graders visited  Brookdale Senior Living Community where they lead activities for the Seniors.  Leah Serbin talked about how her group played games like trivia and bingo with the residents while others spent time making the surroundings look nice.  

Special persons, such as grandparents or other family members, were also invited to accompany the students. Tikkun Olam day gave students valuable hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of how easily each of us can make a difference.  

“It was wonderful to watch our students give back to those in need”, reflected Mitch Flatow, Assistant Head of School and Director of Jewish Life. “They took the entire experience very seriously.”