Epstein School Program Supports Israel Shelter for Abused Religious Women
Special for the AJT
In parshat ‘Va’eira’, Hashem reveals his desire to share with Avraham the news of His decision to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, based on one criterion:
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Hashem, to do Tzedaka and Mishpat” (Bereishit 18:19).
The Torah is clearly showing us the importance of imparting the ways of Hashem, of Tzedaka and Mishpat, to our children.
The “Nediv Lev” (“Gift from the Heart”) program of the Epstein School of Atlanta was designed to accomplish exactly that – to hand over the reins of responsibility to our younger generation by empowering them to make charitable decisions through an educational philanthropic process.
This year, the seventh grade Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at the Epstein School selected to support the incredible work of a shelter for abused religious women in Israel called Bat Melech.
The Epstein students identified with the trials and challenges of children from abusive homes. The children were uprooted from their previous environment and schooling in order to, together with their mothers, escape the cycle of violence and start to build a better future.
The students were moved by reports of the counseling, schooling and daycare programs that Bat Melech organizes for the children residing in their shelters. They were equally impressed by the efforts and attention to detail that the Bat Melech provides in order to help each child lead as normal a life as possible, under the circumstances.
Their hearts won over, the Epstein Bar and Bat Mitzvahs decided to reach out and provide their support to Bat Melech.
Over 6,000 miles away in Israel, Mr. Noach Korman, founder and director of Bat Melech shelters for abused women, and Amy Oppenheimer, North American Director, were surprised and delighted to receive such a generous donation from the “Nediv Lev” project.
The connection spans not only continents, but generations. As Bat Melech and the Epstein School look to further their connection, it clear how much the next generation has gained from this project, both the children of Bat Melech who benefited from the gift, as well as the children of the Epstein School, who made a valiant effort to put the mitzvah back into Bar/Bat Mitzvah.