Teach Coalition’s End-of-the-Year #Gratitude4Guards Campaign Rallies Children, Parents, and School Officials to Show Their Thanks

From New York and New Jersey to Pennsylvania, Florida, and beyond, more than 500 Jewish day school children, parents, and school staff are ending the school year by offering unique shows of gratitude for their schools’ security guards by bringing them hand-made cards, doughnuts, coffee, and an abundance of “high-fives” as part of Teach Coalition’s first-ever #Gratitude4Guards campaign.

“Regardless of the weather, security threat, or any other circumstance, security guards keep our children safe and secure,” said Dan Mitzner, chief operating officer and director of government affairs for Teach Coalition, a national education advocacy group and project of the Orthodox Union. “They make it possible for students, teachers, and all school staff to function knowing they are safe from violence and threats.”

During the two-week campaign that began on June 6, students, parents and school officials thanked their schools’ guards and broadcast their appreciation by posting messages and pictures of their efforts with the hashtag #Gratitude4Guards on the social media channels of schools, families, and Teach Coalition.

At The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, a group of seniors, accompanied by the Esses family, who help lead Teach NJ, Teach Coalition’s New Jersey division, provided doughnuts and coffee to the school’s two security guards. The guards, in turn, thanked the students profusely and noted that, year-round, the students go out of their way to thank them and show their respect to them.

At Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam in Far Rockaway, New York, a fourth-grade class gave guards hand-written cards and signs. A message from a second-grade teacher stated: “When I told my students we’d be writing thank-you cards to our security team, they immediately began sharing all the ways you help, from taking us on field trips, greeting us outside each morning no matter what the weather, monitoring who enters our building, working long days and more. Know that we see you and appreciate what you do.”

Zalman Myer-Smith, director of the Jewish Community Security Organization and statewide security director for Chabad in Florida, noted that fostering strong relationships between the guards, students, staff, and parents is an important part of a successful security program.

“When school stakeholders invest in the guards and the guards feel appreciated, their commitment is stronger,” Myer-Smith said. “Being respected and part of something bigger than their department makes the difference.”

Teach Coalition has long fought to improve school security nationwide, including successfully championing state-level security funding programs. Since 2013, Teach Coalition’s divisions nationwide – such as Teach NYS, Teach NJ, Teach PA, and Teach Florida – have fought for the successful creation of school security programs for their states.

On a federal level, the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center has successfully worked with the US Congress to create the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and press annually to increase its funding. Through the program, the Department of Homeland Security has allocated a total of $849 million in security grants to synagogues, day schools, other houses of worship and other nonprofits at risk of terror attacks since 2005.

The following schools participated in the #Gratitude4Guards campaign:


New Jersey

Ben Porat Yosef

Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School

Rabbi Pesach Raymond Yeshiva

Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

Tenafly Chabad Academy

The Hebrew Academy

The Idea School

The Moriah School

Torah Academy of Bergen County

Yavneh Academy

Yeshivat Frisch

Yeshivat He’Atid

Yeshivat Noam


New York

Bais Yaakov Ateres Miriam

Darchei Torah

HAFTR Lower School

Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns & Rockaway Lower School

Manhattan Day School

Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy

Shulamith School for Girls

Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway

Westchester Day School

Yeshiva of Central Queens

Yeshiva of South Shore



Brauser Maimonides Academy

Hebrew Academy Miami

Katz Hillel Day School

Ohr HaTorah Yeshiva High School

Shaarei Bina Torah Academy for Girls

Torah Academy of Boca Raton

Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes



Abrams Hebrew Academy

Morris and Rose Caskey Torah Academy Cheder Chabad

Kohelet, Kohelet Yeshiva Lab and Middle School

Kohelet Yeshiva High School

The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia

Politz Hebrew Academy

Scranton Hebrew Day School

The Silver Academy


Contact: Mimi Jankovits at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 213-304-5038.