Wilf Campus Student Councils Launch Bikkur Cholim Brigade to Deliver Relief bags to Ill Students
Yeshiva University Wilf Campus undergraduate student councils launched the Bikur Cholim Brigade (BCB) this November, which will allow students to request care packages for students who are sick.
Students who are ill, or their friends, can request a bag by scanning QR codes on flyers around campus, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or through BCB’s website. Each care package, packed by students, will contain Gatorade, tissues, a Kind bar, cough drops and health information.
BCB can also deliver cafeteria and restaurant meals to students and gift baskets from Oh Nuts, a confectionary store with locations in Boro Park, Cedarhurst, Flatbush and Monsey. The program is also available to students off campus as well.
Rabbi Hershel Hartz, program administrator of Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS), thought of the idea this summer, and handed the project, which aims to show students that YU cares about them, to Ari Rosenthal (YC ‘23) and Student Organization of Yeshiva (SOY) Vice President of Chesed Yedidya Schechter (YC ‘24).
“The goal,” Hartz told The Commentator, “is to show students we care about them in times of need. This really reflects our Torah values as an institution — we are not just a university with classes where everyone does their own thing with no connection to the other. We are a yeshiva that cares deeply about every talmid who goes here.
“Just like any other yeshiva where a masghiach or rebbetzin takes the lead on taking care of sick bochurim, we have the same responsibility to give a ‘homey’ feel to this institution because our Torah demands it.”
BCB is funded by both Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) and SOY, two undergraduate student councils. The funding goes directly to the cost of each bag, assembled by a student volunteer, for a cost of just under five dollars. Each bag also contains a card containing information on Antidote Health, YU’s telehealth partner, Hatzalah’s contact information and information on what to do about class attendance.
During the pandemic, the Office of Student Life (OSL), had a somewhat similar initiative that delivered meals to quarantined students.
Both Rosenthal and Schechter were excited about the initiative and felt that it shows that students are serious about chesed.
YU students participating in the Bikur Cholim Brigade,” Rosenthal told The Commentator, “highlights the fact that our student body is serious about chesed and looks out for the best interest of fellow talmidim. I am grateful to be part of such a campus community.
“This is a great initiative,” Schechter shared with The Commentator, “as it shows that others, students and faculty, care if there are those who aren’t feeling well, and want to do their best to help them. People should feel cared for.
“Why should being aware that people are sick and helping out stop after Covid?”
The breakdown of the cost of each bag is as follows: $0.20 for the bag, $0.50 for a Gatorade, $0.35 for cough drops, $0.70 for tissues, $0.05 for the health information card and $1.03 for a Kind bar.
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Photo Caption: A gift basket (illustrative)
Photo Credit: Freddie Colling/Unsplash