Sometimes you can write about something you heard about and it’s meaningful, but when you actually see it up close, then there is so much more to say. Chazaq and Chickens for Shabbos partnered up for an incredible mitzvah. Monthly, there is a distribution at Congregation Ner Mordechai in Kew Gardens of all sorts of household items for m’lamdim, and the most recent distributions were also for g’rushos. Past ones were also for almanos. This mitzvah is being executed in a beautiful way, and it’s definitely giving Hashem nachas. He should bless Chazaq and Chickens for Shabbos for their efforts on behalf of our community and klal Yisrael.

Our Queens community is blessed with so many wonderful moros and rebbeim who are really the ones who are keeping the fire of Yiddishkeit alive. Without them, there would be no chinuch for our children. They are holding up the torch of the future and we owe them everything. Sadly, as Robby Neuman of Chickens for Shabbos pointed out, they often do not receive a salary commensurate with the value of their priceless avodah, but Chazaq and Chickens for Shabbos stepped up and they are offering all sorts of household accessories and items at a monthly distribution at Congregation Ner Mordechai to help ease some of their financial burdens.

At the most recent distribution on Tuesday evening, March 9, there were almost 250 participants expected. When you stepped inside, you were greeted warmly by Mrs. Aboff, who handed you a sheet with instructions for all the tables. The clear, organized way this event ran reflects all the care and work put in to make sure every detail would run smoothly. The instructions were so helpful, as they clearly delineated how many items were available to each family and the contents at each table. Robbie Aboff, Events Coordinator of Chazaq, shared that it’s like a menu.

Cheery, welcoming volunteers greeted the participants. Seeing all the well-known moros and m’lamdim of our community created a feeling of camaraderie. Everything was performed with so much respect and care. It’s clear that the planning, the setting up, and everything else about this was done with a tremendous amount of love and heart.

When you entered, Mrs. Meirov, a kind volunteer, smiled warmly and directed you to the tables of your choice. She always makes sure you come in with a smile and leave with one, as we mentioned in an earlier article.

There was such a smorgasbord of items that it was truly mind-boggling. This distribution was geared for m’lamdim and also g’rushos from Sister to Sister. Sister to Sister’s list is long, so it was divided between this distribution and the last one. Everything was done with social distancing and masks, so there was no fear of violating any health regulations.

The wide circle of tables began with various art and school supplies like notebooks, construction paper, markers, etc. Next, there was a table of knapsacks. After that, there was a variety of household items like makeup, wipes, slippers, boots, hats, clothing for children and adults, toys, and even jewelry.

Everyone felt welcome, and like they were shopping in a store.

This distribution is taking place monthly with one focus: to help our fellow Jews in any way possible.

As Robby Neuman shared, “You uplift a neshamah, you give a new neshamah. You get credit on that part of the neshamah, because you financially supported that neshamah.”

He added: “With these distributions, we give a person the ability to not give up. When you donate towards this cause, you buy a positive judgment in the World to Come. A person buys himself an advocate. He added that m’lamdim deserve to make the most money. They are imbuing our children with Yiddishkeit. We owe them everything. If you help another person going through a difficulty, you won’t have to touch that travail. Chickens for Shabbos helps m’lamdim, almanos, and g’rushos. It helps the children.”

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By Susie Garber