Student Life - What's my story?

Sydney Novetsky

Chesed at the Academy

At Ida Crown, each student is required to complete a minimum of 40 chessed hours by sophomore year and an additional 40 hours by graduation.

An outsider may view this as an unnecessary and demanding requirement of teenagers who attend school from 8:05 until 5:39, with a dual curriculum and extra curricular activities. However, each student at the Academy is compassionate and willing to lend a helping hand to others. The motivation and love for chessed that each individual demonstrates is due to the values instilled in us from the moment we enter the doors freshman year. This encouragement helps each and every one of us fulfill our potential to contribute to society in our unique ways.

Only at the Academy will a general studies English course give an assignment to keep track of a detailed list of all the good deeds we do or see in the school hallways. We then were told to write an essay or poem on morality and express the positive effects chessed has on others.

With this assignment in mind, last year I spent two hours, twice a week after school with a chai lifeline family. I visit nursing homes on Sundays and volunteer at the ark and soup kitchen during my free time. In school, we are fortunate enough to be in the same building as the students in the Keshet program. I am able to hang out with them during my free periods and I partake in the Keshet peer buddy program where I sit with a specific student once a week during lunch. This is an incredible opportunity that many Academy students take advantage of to do chessed while making new friendships.

Although I am able to advertise these different chessed opportunities with announcements over the loud speaker, telling Rabbi Fliegelman to send an email, or hanging up signs around the school, I am encouraged to go above and beyond the walls of Ida Crown and our tightly knit community.

I went to Netanya, Israel this past summer to volunteer in a home for children who come from abused backgrounds and I gave back to a Jewish community across the world.

The students at Ida Crown are not only taught to be the best students they can be academically, but are shaped to have character and to do the MOST mitzvot possible. My love and passion for chessed would not exist without the inspiration and motivation that Ida Crown has provided for me.