It is about repairing the world. But it is also about repairing ourselves- making us better people.
When our daughter joined MJDS, one aspect I was really excited about was the ‘required’ service learning hours. I knew why we give back and I knew that our child would have no problem with these hours. She already had been volunteering at Friendship Circle for a long time so in my mind she could just fill in her log and be done.
Then our daughter met Adon Kaufman and was introduced to St. Ben’s. If you ever take the time to speak with Adon Kaufman about this experience, you know that for him this is a real passion that he walks alongside his students. He organizes opportunities for kids to serve others at this amazing meal program.
The life lessons that are being learned go beyond serving a meal. The students learn empathy, kindness and hopefully some gratefulness along the way.
It is Jewish tradition to provide food and lodging to those in need but it is also very Jewish to do it graciously. And this is exactly what Adon Kaufman is living for the students to watch and learn. He leads by the way he lives. Students are encouraged to sign up to help. Adon Kaufman explains each time that students are allowed to sit and eat if able but “What is highly encouraged by St. Ben’s and myself [Adon Kaufman] is for students to take the opportunity to interact with the guests and to make sure they feel welcome. “ These sentiments capture the essence of the experience, of the Jewish way of serving graciously.
Each time my daughter comes home, she shares the evening’s events, and sometimes asks lots of questions. It is these experiences that open up deeper conversations about world around us. It is through these experiences and conversations that make her (and those around her) a better person.
Thank you Adon Kaufman for leading by living and making a huge difference in so many lives.