ImageAs a sixth grader at Solomon Schechter Day School, I had to choose an extracurricular activity.  When I narrowed down my choices—I chose to take band instead of volunteering for Keshet, a Jewish school for children with disabilities. While I enjoyed playing the saxophone, I do not play anymore.

As I acclimated into high school, I was thrilled to learn that Ida Crown Jewish Academy also houses Keshet, and I knew immediately that I wanted to help. As I became more involved with Keshet, I was pleasantly surprised to be influenced in a significant way by one specific individual. As a volunteer, I signed up to have lunch with a Keshet student. I was paired with a freshman, Trevor. On a weekly basis, we eat lunch together, play games and do word searches. I look forward to our weekly lunches and when I pass by the Keshet room each day, Trevor and the other Keshet students always greet me with wide smiles. When we meet up in the hall, I’m thrilled when they give me a “high-five” or even say my name. It brings me happiness to be able to say that I am involved with Keshet and that I am part of the incredible Keshet community.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy has changed my life by giving me the opportunity to interact with the students at Keshet, allowing me to thrive and flourish during my extra-curricular activities. Trevor, and many of his peers, have had such an impact on my life, and I feel honored to consider myself friends with many of them. Ida Crown has positively influenced my life, and I cannot wait to see what else it has to offer me.

By Brandon Emalfarb