A delegation of fifty-five students and staff members from Miami’s LEC Boy’s High School and eighth grade traveled to Washington, DC, for the March for Israel rally, where they got many Yidden to lay tefillin.
A delegation of fifty-five students and staff members from Lubavitch Educational Center’s Boy’s High School and eighth grade traveled from Miami, FL to Washington, DC to participate in the March for Israel rally on November 14.
“We felt it was important to go show our support,” says the school’s dean, Rabbi Benzion Korf. “This rally, being one of the largest gatherings of its kind, was an opportunity for us to demonstrate our staunch commitment to the safety and wellbeing of Eretz Yisroel and Am Yisroel.”
The trip was pulled off in just three days thanks to the hard work of many staff members, including Principal Rabbi Yakov Garfinkel, who organized it. “We wanted to inculcate in our students the value of showing up for your community, being courageous, and doing what’s right,” he says. “That’s essentially the goal of our High School: along with a rigorous academic education, we aim to instill Jewish pride and raise upstanding and contributing members of the Jewish community.”
Flights were unavailable so a bus was engaged and three drivers hired. Food was prepared by LEC’s kitchen staff, led by Rabbi Menachem Williams, and packed by Rabbi Mendy Shachar. Bochrim-shluchim planned a schedule of learning and farbrenging on the go. Parents volunteered to chaperone and even cook meals. Members of LEC’s security team joined the trip to ensure safe travels.
Pulling up to the event after an exhausting 17-hour bus ride, the boys immediately got to work offering fellow attendees the opportunity to lay tefillin. Wearing special shirts identifying them as “Believers, Sons of Believers” and emblazoned with names and images of the hostages, the boys proudly cheered on the messages of hope, unity, and resolve. “It was beautiful to see the sea of people standing with such gaon Yaakov and achdus,” says High School’s program director Rabbi Shmuel Lancry. After the event, they headed to Chabad of Richmond, VA for a learning session and Rosh Chodesh Kislev farbrengen, and then loaded up the bus for another 17-hour ride back to school.
“The students could have easily chosen to stay home, comfortably sleeping in their own beds,” says their teacher Rabbi Tzvi Schwartz, one of the chaperones. “But they took action to exhibit their Jewish pride, get more Jews to put on tefillin, and show unity with our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel and around the world. And I must say, in those 45 hours I witnessed American boys become proud Chassidim. It was a journey from self-absorption to selflessness.”
Rabbi Korf thanked those who made the trip possible including sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Yankie and Devorah Leah Andrusier, the Miami Jewish Federation, and Cindy Itzkowitz; organizers Mrs. Rivka Cohen and English principal Mrs. Leah Spalter; as well as chaperones Rabbis Shmuel Lancry, Tzvi Schwartz, and Yaakov Raksin, and Coach Sammy Jackson.
“While our boys were at the rally, the rest of our school remained here to continue doing amazing work, fighting on the spiritual front, in Tzivos Hashem, with Torah, tefillah, and tzedakah,” Rabbi Korf says. “May our children’s heroic efforts on the frontlines of this battle bring the ultimate redemption with Moshiach now.”