Day of Giving Initiative Procures Funds for Students in Need
In an effort to raise funds for needy students, Student Organization of Yeshiva (SOY) coordinated a tzedakah drive, dubbed “A Day of Giving,” on Dec. 5. Coinciding with the third day of Chanukah, the ongoing initiative has raised more than $1,000 to date, according to organizers.
Mashgichim approached SOY President Moshe Spirn with the idea of taking up a collection for students in need of financial assistance. To best raise funds and awareness of the cause, Spirn suggested establishing a designated “Day of Giving.”
According to SOY Vice President Micah Hyman, Mazer Yeshiva Program (MYP) shiur assistants collected funds via envelopes from their respective shiurim, while Rabbi Eitan Schnall and SOY Stone Beit Midrash Program (SBMP) Representative David Nissanoff collected from SBMP classes and Hyman himself collected at IBC and JSS courses. MYP mashgichim also made announcements in the batei midrash to support the effort.
The initiative will continue throughout the year and beyond, as each minyan on the Wilf Campus will have one tzedakah box earmarked towards the fund.
“Baruch Hashem, a nice amount of money was raised on Giving Day,” Spirn said, noting that students can still donate to the fund in the designated tzedakah boxes. “I hope that this fund will enable students who need financial assistance get the help they need, and I think that the Day of Giving was definitely a great start to a really exciting initiative.”
The funds raised will be used to financially assist undergraduate students on campus “with basic day-to-day needs,” MYP Mashgiach Rabbi Elisha Bacon said. “We hope students feel a sense of kinship and achrayus (responsibility) to helping their fellow students,” he added, noting that rabbinical sources assert the importance of giving charity on the holiday of Chanukah.
“We wanted to marshal the random tzedakah boxes that exist in the different Minyanim behind one coordinated effort,” Hyman explained. “That maximizes the utility of the money that goes into those tzedakah boxes, and hopefully encourages people to give more since they know where the money is headed. This initial Day of Giving was supposed to launch that program with an initial bang.”
“Chanukah is about Jews fighting for the values they hold dear,” said Undergraduate Torah Studies Dean Rabbi Menachem Penner. “I am very happy to see students taking the initiative on Chanukah to help their fellow students. The needs are very great in some cases and I hope that students will give — and continue to give — generously.”
Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder added his support for the initiative. “This cause is incredibly important. It is unconscionable that we should be oblivious to the struggles of those immediately surrounding us,” he said. “From a halakhic perspective, there is a clear imperative to give priority in tzedakah to ‘aniyei irkha’ (your local poor), and there’s no [one] more ‘local’ than your fellow students.”
Photo Caption: The Glueck Beit Midrash on the Wilf Campus
Photo Credit: YU News