Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) students had the opportunity to spend the sixth day of Chanukah giving back to the community and doing chesed. While for many, Chanukah can often be a time of taking – receiving presents, eating doughnuts, grabbing all the gelt – YCQ students gave their time and effort to help bring joy to others.

Sixth grade students visited local assisted living facilities. Students sang songs and played Chanukah Bingo with the residents, who were extremely appreciative of their visit. Sixth grade boys had the opportunity to visit the Rego Park Health Care Center and the Maragret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, while the girls brightened the day of the residents at Boulevard ALP Assisted Living.

A highlight of the visit was when a 101-year-old Holocaust survivor thanked the students and blessed them with years of health and happiness for years to come.

Seventh grade boys spread the Chanukah light at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, while the seventh grade girls ventured to Atria Senior Living. Eighth grade girls visited the HASC Center, which is dedicated to providing people with intellectual disabilities the empowerment to live a meaningful life as independently as possible.

Meanwhile, eighth grade boys were busy at Kehilat Pantry, the third largest kosher food pantry in the United States. Students worked to cut vegetables and pack food for those in need.

Throughout Chanukah, students of all ages also had the opportunity to donate toys to children impacted by illness and crisis. Piles and piles of toys were collected to give to Chai Lifeline and help bring a little bit of happiness to those who need it most.

“I am very proud of all our students. After a full week of Chanukah fun and entertainment, our students put their energy into giving back to the community,” remarked Mr. Jacob Grossman, the Director of Junior High School Student Life and Activities, and organizer of the trips. Mr. Grossman also expressed gratitude to all the rebbeim and morot who were instrumental in facilitating the success of the trips.