Students create Hanukkah sensory cards for Israelis with disabilities

Students create Hanukkah sensory cards for Israelis with disabilities


Students create Hanukkah sensory cards for Israelis with disabilities

Students from some South Florida Jewish schools have created sensory Hanukkah cards for Israelis with disabilities.

The students made the cards for residents of ADI, a provider of residential and rehabilitative care for individuals with severe disabilities in Israel.

The Hanukkah cards workshop is part of the ADI Bechinuch disability inclusion programming, a collection of virtual and interactive modules developed by the organization’s special educators.

Elie Klein, ADI’s director of development, said, “These special Hanukkah cards are a symbol of something much bigger, of a real desire to learn, give back and make a difference.”

“From day one, the students at our partner schools in South Florida have been absolutely exceptional,” Klein continued. “I am blown away by their desire to dive into the ‘ADI Bechinuch’ programming, explore opportunities for enhanced inclusion locally and empower our residents with severe disabilities in Israel.”

The organization’s partner schools for the project were Brauser Maimonides Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy for Girls in Hollywood, Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach and David Posnack Jewish Day School, which has campuses in Davie and Hallandale Beach.

Hanukkah sensory cards created by Brauser Maimonides Academy in Fort Lauderdale.At Brauser Maimonides, close to 200 cards were made by the students. Some of the students at the school shared their experience with the project.

“It felt really good to give stuff and make other people happy, especially if they are in a hospital or if they have a disability,” said fifth grade student Abigail Haller.

Another fifth grader, Eitan Preciado said, “We were able to learn that even when we think that little gifts don’t make a big difference, at the end they do and we can make a big difference.”

Yudith Furman, the school’s director of counseling, said, “Our students were extremely excited to have the opportunity to send Hanukkah cards to children in Israel.”

“They understood the importance of using different materials when creating these cards so all children, regardless of their different abilities, could enjoy them and feel special,” Furman continued.

Eli Zians, the school’s director of Jewish & Student Life, said, “I think it is so important for our students to be able to recognize how they make a difference on the other side of the world and especially keeping in mind those who many may look over and not pay as much attention to.”

“The cards were made with love, care, and sincerity,” Zians continued. “For our students to make those cards and help the residents of ADI, I couldn’t be prouder.”

At Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy, more than 100 cards were made by the students.

Tamara Yeshurin, an 11th grade student, said, “I loved knowing that these cards were going to a wonderful cause.”

“It’s one matter to decorate and give a card to your friend; it’s another entirely when you know that your letter will be treated with the utmost attention, to be sent on a special flight to Israel, in order to light up the day of kids with special needs,” she continued.

Ninth grade student Racheli Cammisar said, “I enjoyed knowing that the card would make someone really happy and that the card that I made could really make someone’s day.”

Rochelle Brand, head of school, said, “Our girls learned a great deal of appreciation for what they have.”

“We also found that the more you give to others, the better you feel about yourself, and the better you feel about yourself, the more you accomplish in life,” Brand continued.

A Hanukkah sensory card created by a Scheck Hillel student.

At Scheck Hillel, the presentation was given to its entire middle school of 265 students to create the cards in their homes.

Eight grade student Adina Heinrich, chair of the school’s Student Government Middle School Chessed Chair, said, “I feel it is necessary and important to learn about connecting with people who have disabilities, because it is unrealistic to think everyone has it as easy or as hard as you.”

“Every person on this earth is unique in their own way,” she continued. “Even if the person has no idea who you are and what you are doing, one act of kindness can change their entire life.”

Talia Eisenberger, Scheck Hillel’s Upper School Community Service coordinator, said the school feels it’s very important for its students, all the way from its lower school to its high school, to learn about other people in different parts of the world through the project.

“By working with this organization, we really feel we can expose the children to different challenges that people face all over the world,” Eisenberger continued. “It’s important for the students to learn about inclusion and people with disabilities and the many different challenges we all face in life.”

At Posnack School, approximately 90 sensory cards were created by its Hochberg Middle School sixth graders in honor of the Jewish month of Kislev and sent to Israel.

Andrew Leibowitz, the school’s director of Jewish Life, K-8, said, “These projects motivate the students to be aware of the world outside of themselves.”

“It helps to foster the lesson that we all have to work together to make changes and better the lives of everyone,” she continued. “These types of projects show our students that they can make a difference even though it is another part of the world.”

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