By Yakir Havin This year’s CKids Retreat at the Bushkill…
Ckids and Yad Menachem have established an international Mezuzah bank, sending Mezuzos to Jewish children the world over for their very own bedrooms, free of charge. The first recipients were participants in the JewQ competition.
What began as a phone call from Rabbi Velvel Adler to Ckid’s Rabbi Zalmy Lowenthal has led to an ever-expanding Ckids International Mezuzah Bank.
Rabbi Adler heads Yad Menachem, a non-profit organization that focuses on innovative solutions to spread the Rebbe’s teachings to the international community. His involvement with Ckids began when the success of Ckid’s International Jewish Knowledge competition called JewQ caught his attention; he then partnered with Ckids to bring it to the unaffiliated students of New York City’s public school system. Since then, he has played an integral role in the JewQ program.
A couple of weeks before this past Yud Alef Nissan, Rabbi Adler suggested a unique Ckids Mezuzah bank be established to honor the Rebbe’s birthday. “A significant part of our work at Yad Menachem is to support pre-existing organizations, aiding them with educational programs to increase their reach. Naturally, I’m constantly on the lookout for new initiatives” says Adler. “As the JewQ year was coming to a close, I was looking for a mitzvah we can encourage the young participants of JewQ to perform, to find a tangible way for them to implement their Torah learning. Tefillin wouldn’t work as many participants are under bar mitzvah, and in addition, it would only pertain to boys. So Mezuzah just made sense. It’s an incredible mitzvah that every child, whether boy or girl, pre or post Bar/Bat Mitzvah could take part in”.
Excited by the tremendous prospect, the team at Ckids hurried to make it a reality. After finalizing the program’s specifics and obtaining the necessary funding, an email was sent out to all participating JewQ students, offering them the opportunity to request a Mezuzah for their very own bedroom, free of charge. “We have already received tens upon tens of requests for Mezuzos to be mailed, with more requests coming in by the day,” shared Rabbi Zalmy Lowenthal, who has headed Ckids International since 2013.
Three siblings from Worcester, Massachusetts, twin sisters Abi and Tali Grunwald, who just finished 5th grade, and their younger sister Tali requested Mezuzos, not for themselves, but for three siblings of another family they knew who did not have Mezuzos of their own. “We were managing surprisingly well with remote learning back when Covid-19 caused our school to be closed. We thought, oh, we just got Mezuzos; maybe that’s why! We knew another family that was having a real tough time with remote learning. We thought, maybe if they would have more Mezuzos in their home, they would also be doing better,” shared Abi.
“This is Ckids,” reflected Lowenthal, “we seek to educate our Jewish youth not only to observe Torah and mitzvot themselves but to care for their peers and share their excitement for Yiddishkeit with them.”
Always looking to undertake new projects, Ckids, a division of Merkos Suite 302, has been servicing Jewish youth since 2010. “Our mission is to reach every Jewish child, increase their Torah knowledge and ensure that they are proud of their Yiddishkeit,” Explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302. “We created the Mezuzah bank for Jewish Children because having a Mezuzah on your bedroom door takes Yiddishkeit out of the classroom and into the child’s home and a part of his or her life.”
To find out more information regarding the Ckids International Mezuzah Bank, visit www.ckids.net/mezuzah
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