Dozens of community members and students showed up last Sunday to thank the 285 Rebbeim of Crown Heights and show their admiration for what they do with over $1M of gifts.
By Malky Weinstock
Hundreds of cars rolled down Kingston Avenue last Sunday, as Chabad educators from the Crown Heights area were showered with thanks and appreciation for their tireless devotion to their students.
The annual event, now in its 6th year, is arranged and run by Lubavitch chinuch organization Igud Hamelamdim in affiliation with Chasdei Lev, along with Oholei Torah staff and students. The gifts are covered by the above organizations in partnership with local yeshivos.
Over twenty trucks laden with close to 300 pallets of Pesach gifts worth over $1M unloaded their contents on Kingston Ave between Rutland and Winthrop which had been blocked off by the NYPD for this special event. The pallets, marked with each teacher’s name, were organized along both sides of the street ready for pickup. Rebbis and their family members were welcomed with a large “Thank You” Banner and joyous music. Fresh popcorn and cotton candy enhanced the festive atmosphere, and a special thank you gift awaited them on their way out.
But the real gift was this: Over 100 students from Crown Heights yeshivos wearing “Thank You” sweaters and broad smiles waited to load up each car Rebbis pulled up. They came to show their gratitude to the community’s teachers who dedicate their lives to their student’s success.
And it meant a lot to the mechanchim. The warm reception reminded the rebbis of what they mean to their students. “The bochurim profusely thanked the teachers and insisted that they stay in their cars while the talmidim pack it up!” shared one rebbi. Another teacher shared similar sentiments, “As a Crown Heights rebbi, it’s heartwarming to be recognized and appreciated in this grand way. It’s beautiful to see how much our community values its mechanchim.”
“Bringing the boys to volunteer is in itself an important chinuch lesson,” said Igud Hamelamdim director Rabbi Avrohom Bluming. “The students get to show appreciation to those who teach them Torah.”
A volunteer at the event shared what brought him out. “Our mechanchim give their life for our children. It’s my honor to come today and show them our admiration for being mechanech our children and being their chassidishe heroes.”
Both teachers and volunteers left uplifted and inspired. Even the non-Jewish neighbors who stopped to ask what it was about were amazed to hear that the huge operation was all about teacher appreciation.
A Yom Tov appreciation for Morahs is likewise being arranged by sister organization Igud Hamechanchos in gratitude for their dedicated work.
The smooth operation was the product of weeks of planning and preparation with the help of numerous community members:
Thank you to the administration of Oholei Torah, for completely covering the yeshiva’s portion in the expenses and for helping organize the distribution logistics.
The many volunteers – adults and children – who gave their time to set up and load the rebbis cars.
Rabbi Yossi Bryski for coordinating the volunteers.
Rabbi Eli Cohen for arranging the street closure.
Yossi Hershkop of Kamin Health for sponsorship including food for all volunteers.
Igud Hamelamdim strives to recognize our mechanchim in their role as community leaders and supporting them in their mission to teach our dearest children. Inspired mechanchim produce inspired students who go on to change the world.
For more information about Igud Hamelamdim’s work for chinuch and to show your support, visit IgudHamelamdim.org.