At Reishit, we emphasize the need to translate Torah ideas into practice. Accordingly, all students participate in our chesed and community service program on a regular basis. Throughout the year, students tutor and mentor local youth, pack and distribute food parcels for needy families, visit hospitals, prepare care packages for soldiers, work with victims of Arab terror and participate in an array of volunteer opportunities.
Some of the organizations and projects that Reishit has a regular involvement with include:
- We are proud to have been the first Yeshiva to establish a partnership with Yad Eliezer, one of Israel’s leading Chesed organizations. Yad Eliezer provides food and financial assistance to over 50,000 people of all backgrounds across Israel. For the past five years, Reishit students and Rabbeim have been delivering food parcels to Bnei Brak, Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, and work regular shifts in Yad Eliezer’s Jerusalem warehouse. According to Yad Eliezer’s Executive Director, Yossie Kaufman, YRY's volunteerism has inspired similar programs in other institutions, and has saved Yad Eliezer over $50,000 in operating costs!
- Since 2001, over 500 Reishit talmidim and local youth have participated in our weekly Big Brother Mentoring Program. Designed to pair Reishit students with local children from underprivileged homes or with kids who would benefit from some extra attention or help with homework, the Big Brother Program has been a major success. Working in conjunction with Gan Harmony & Lema'an Achai, our talmidim receive support and guidance from social workers and Rabbeim to help them develop into effective “Big Brothers” and role models.
- Talmidim work regularly with Lema'an Achai, a charitable and social services organization based in Ramat Beit Shemesh (and now also in Beit Shemesh) that works with helping out needy families in the local community. Over the past few years, Reishit students have built Sukkot for single mothers, collected and distributed thousands of dollars in tzedakah, volunteered in the main office and spearheaded the Lema'an Achai after-school mentoring program.
- One of the highlights on the Yeshiva calendar is our annual Chanukah
Carnival for the children of Camp Koby.
We have had the honor of hosting hundreds of Israeli children - victims
of terrorism - who have enjoyed our home-made games and activities, organized
completely through the efforts of our students. Reishit students work hand
in hand with the professional staff of social workers, psychologists and
counselors to provide emotional support and a meaningful program for the
children. It is an inspiring program that is a wonderful opportunity for
the entire Yeshiva community to show our love and support for the families
and specifically children of terror victims.
*See www.kobymandell.org/album07/index.htm for details.
- Magen David Adom EMT Training Course - Over twenty talmidim graduated an advanced Emergency Medical Service training course presented on the Reishit campus. Following certification, students spent Fridays and afternoon breaks volunteering on ambulance shifts with the local MDA corps and in answering first response emergency calls. Additionally, an MDA Mobile Blood Unit visits Reishit three times a year for a Yeshiva wide blood drive.
- Table to Table – Dozens of groups of students have volunteered with Israel’s leading food rescue and recycling organization. Students have picked fruits, worked in the fields and warehouses and participated in numerous food drives to benefit needy families.
- Each shiur spends a day at Karmei Ha'ir Soup Kitchen where students & Rabbeim work together preparing and serving hot meals for Jerusalem's poor.
- Tomchei Shabbos/ Yad Yosef Hamashbir Every Thursday students work alongside professional volunteers to sort and package hundreds of food parcels for local families in the greater Ramat/ Beit Shemesh community.
- Ahavat Yisrael/ Rappaport Elementary School - Over the past couple of years, students have prepared and donated close to 5,000 sandwiches for local children's “aruchat eser” and sponsored daily hot lunch meals for over 20 local Ethiopian Olim from local elementary schools.
- We are proud to have been the first Yeshiva to host a Shabbaton for Darkaynu, a new Yeshiva program for young adults with Developmental Disabilities. We have also had the opportunity to co-sponsor a Bi-Annual Melaveh Malka in conjunction with Yachad Birthright. The unique Birthright trip for young people with Developmental Disabilities was coordinated by the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for the Disabled and paired students and participants in lively chagigot.
In addition, we have regularly scheduled Bikur Cholim visits to Shaarei Tzedek and Hadassah Hospitals, and outreach Shabbatonim in development cities through Kedma. After the Lebanon War in Summer 2006, talmidim spent two days up North doing volunteer work with the Jewish Agency & JNF in Kiryat Shmoneh.