Birkas Rifka - Sometimes Dreams DO Come True

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Educational Program

Overview of the Educational Program in Schools

Create a greater awareness for the needs of poverty stricken families in Eretz Yisrael by launching this "Adopt a Chesed" program in your school. Involve students and motivate them to think creatively as a team to raise money for the unique Birkas Rifka organization which has an apprenticeship program to teach young men the skills of carpentry. The furniture that is made in the Birkas Rifka carpentry workshop is then distributed to poor families in and around Yerushalayim. Bais Yaakov D'Rav Hirsch, Spring Valley, NY, successfully launched this Chesed program in their school.

Educational Program Guide

Birkas Rifka, located in Motza, Israel, is proud to announce a chesed project designed for elementary and high schools in the USA called "Adopt a Chesed". By involving students the following goals can be achieved:

I. "Adopt a Chesed" - Educational materials Birkas Rifka provides
a. Slide Show Presentation - "Birkas Rifka - A unique organization in Eretz Yisroel focused on a Double Chesed" b. Video - "Rabbi Paysach Krohn Speaks at a Siyum at Birkas Rifka" focused on "Noseh B'ol Im Chavero" c. Torah Avodah Chesed - Birkas Rifka info sheet d. Website - source for additional information - overview , videos, articles, endorsements, testimonials e. Bulletin board material - i. Photo of model bulletin board ii. Photos of Birkas Rifka in action

II. Birkas Rifka Program in Schools and Community
a. Project Launch - plan an assembly program to introduce Birkas Rifka to the students i. Show Birkas Rifka Overview (on CD) ii. Show video - "Noseh B'ol im Chavero" - presentation by Rabbi Paysach Krohn -
learning to be sensitive to the plight of others
iii. Teach a sense of responsibility for others iv. Give ma'aser - from Bar or Bas Mitzvah gifts or earnings - youth helping youth v. Set and reach a goal - ex. $1,000 per participating grade and post thermometer to show the ongoing progress b. Students join the Birkas Rfika "Builders Club" i. Birkas Rifka pushke ii. Class receives a certificate for reaching the goal - providing a poor family in Israel with a closet, bed or bookcase iii. School receives a certificate for reaching the goal c. Publicity in community 1. Article in school publication 2. Interview by local reporter 3. Article in regional publication 4. Article in national publication 5. Article in international publication d. Students share their enthusiasm and bring the Birkas Rifka message home to their families i. Families become involved in the organization ii. Families visit Birkas Rifka during a future trip to Eretz Yisroel

Model Program - Bais Yaakov D'Rav Hirsch

The following is from Bais Yaakov D'Rav Hirsch, Spring Valley, New York
Principals: Mrs. Frankel, Mrs. Zentman, Head of Special Programs: Mrs. Ashen
Date: October 7, 2008

At Bais Yaakov D'Rav Hirsch (BYDRH), Tzedaka Breakout featured Birkas Rifka.

First Mrs. Zupnik gave a moving explanation of what Birkas Rifka is, whom it serves and how it works. Rochi Jaffe then described our סוכות; the impromptu, temporary beds, the piles of linen, and the decorations on the wall. She created a parallel to Birkas Rifka homes, where there often are no beds, piles of linen are ubiquitous, and an overwhelming mess replaces the decorations. Rivky Hollander then described how in helping Birkas Rifka, we are helping create a מקדש מעט for families that are in such dire distress. The tremendous zechus of our helping create their מקדש מעט, she explained, would IY"H help build our בית המקדש soon.

The choir then sang "I am an ancient wall of stone", which is a lament sung by the כותל, describing how שנאת חנם caused the destruction of the בית המקדש. The song highlighted howאהבת חנם , caring for other Jews, even when they are unknown to us and far away, is a critical מדה needed to help restore the בית המקדש. The final message was that as we experienced building our סוכות , our temporary homes, we should connect with those for whom such a situation is permanent, and reach out to help them complete their מקדש מעט, which will ultimately rebuild our בית המקדש.

The students are being inspired to collect tzedaka in the pushkas that have been provided. The inspiring video which explains the mission of Birkas Rifka has made a deep impression on the girls and additionally, the wall display dedicated to the Tzedaka drive is a constant reminder that will focus attention on the plight of the families in need in Eretz Yisroel.

BYDRH is very happy to have been chosen as one of the model schools for this project and looks forward to making as many families in Eretz Yisroel as happy as possible.