Jewish teens from throughout Orange County spent a week recently dedicated to community service in the memory of their friend Adi Wolff of Monroe, who was a member of the CTeen Club.
“The greatest gift we can give our teens is giving,” says Chana Burston, who co-directs Chabad of Orange County with her husband, Rabbi Pesach.
Rabbi Pesach said that empowering teenagers "can make a difference is an essential part of their growth and future success."
The CTeen Cares program, a division of Chabad’s Teen group “CTeen,” began its week visiting residents at Sapphire Nursing and Rehab in Goshen. Samuel Koyfman of Chester and Duvy Burston of Monroe played piano, while the rest of the group sang and even danced with residents. A creative game of “human hang man” had both residents and teens laughing.
CTeen Cares participants spearheaded two fundraisers. The “Charity Car Wash,” held at the Chabad Center in Chester, raised funds for pediatric cancer patients. Teens used the proceeds to shop for gifts and created beautiful care packages for the cancer patients.
CTeen’s “Charity Basketball Game,” hosted by Dr. Seth Pulver in Highland Mills, successfully brought in donations for Chabad of Orange County’s Chabad Cares program that provides comfort and assistance to community members in times of need. The basketball game was coached by volunteers Russell Cohen and Philip Reich of Highland Mills.
Creating art for patientsYouth leader Leia Young led the CTeen group in a paint workshop in which they created beautiful art for patients at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown. The art was distributed by Chabad’s Gabbai, Ira Kanis of Monroe, who visits patients weekly on behalf of Chabad Cares.
A highlight was making a huge pot of chicken soup and matzah balls, which the teens divided and labeled with personal messages.
“You are making Jewish penicillin!” youth leaders Leia Young and Chaya Flamer told the teens.
The soup will be brought to community members recovering from an injury or illness.
"My soup and homemade Challah from CTeen Cares was delicious and made me feel great!” wrote Sherri Eccelston of Johnson on Facebook.
Local businessman Joseph Lakein of Monroe, a veteran of the Israel Defense Force, gave the teens a mini-military boot camp.
“This week has been such an amazing experience,” says CTeen leader Shaina Steir of Monroe. “It felt so good and right to do mitzvot (good deeds) in Adi’s honor — we know that is what he would have wanted.”
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Photo Provided by : Cteen Club
In Photo : CTeen Cares participants, pictured with Rabbi Pesach, proudly braided challah to be distributed to community members in need