Thursday, August 28, 2014 Elul 2, 5774

Preschoolers Send Warm Gifts to the Homeless

March 8, 2014 By:
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Preschoolers at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel's nursery school prepare materials to donate to an area homeless shelter.

Mitzvah Heroes: The Tzipporim Class at the Richard E. Rudolph Jr. Preschool of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park recently warmed up some residents of an area homeless shelter with their acts of kindness.

What It’s All About: The youngsters, ages 4 and 5, were especially eager to help the homeless given the harshness of this year’s winter, their teachers said. A child’s parent steered the class to the Student Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia, a homeless shelter staffed and organized by area college students. The preschoolers gathered blankets and other bedding materials from home to give to those at the shelter in Philadelphia — as well as $200, put into their classroom tzedakah box.

Not a One-Time Thing: The children make weekly donations to worthy causes. 

Good for Them: As Beth Rabinowitz, director of early childhood education at the synagogue, noted, the lessons were manifold. The children especially got a sense of compassion for those less fortunate than themselves, Rabinowitz said. 

Joan Oziel, a classroom teacher’s assistant who helped coordinate the collection with Amy Kieserman, echoed those sentiments.

“The children were really thrilled with the whole idea that they had done a good deed,” Oziel said.

She recounted how one little girl even came to her with another idea for how to channel help to the homeless. 

“We need to get them plugs," she told Oziel.

And why was that? Because, the tot explained to Oziel, “so they can plug in their iPads!”

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