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Sun, Surf and….School???

This may be a bit of a shocker, especially if you’re relaxing by the pool as you read this. So get a good grip on your pina colada as I point out that, here in the US and other parts of the world, we’re just weeks away from another school year.

Ooops! Did that jolt of reality make you spill it anyway? Sorry! Far be it from me to want to interrupt any relaxing moments of summer – especially if they’re mine 😉

But that’s just what I’ve got to do when the needs of our girls loom on our Lev LaLev radar. As they wrap up their final weeks in summer camp (which YOU helped provide), our staff will soon need to equip them with everything necessary to start off the school year.

Ahhhh…the first day of school. Eager first graders and seasoned college students alike appreciate the freshness of this new start, especially when it is accompanied with brand-new briefcases and other supplies that encourage any environment of learning.

These items are crucial for our girls, who arrive at the Home with only the clothes they are wearing and maybe a few personal items. Providing for them is the most tangible way to convey the extent to which we all believe in their success.

I clearly remember myself as a little girl, appreciating the glow of caring that accompanies being provided with new school clothes and supplies. And for over a decade, my husband and I have been blessed to provide the same for our own children.

Each first day of school holds a fair amount of emotion, but nothing compares to when a child enters it for the very first time. I see myself in my car after dropping off my child, unable to budge from my parking spot because of tears evoked from this monumental event. How will he manage without me? What if her name tag falls off? How will we manage if she forgets to keep her favorite blanket in her briefcase and leaves it in her cubby?

It’s a lot to take in.

Although I’ve clearly pictured those moments throughout the years, my grown-up daughter also helps keep them fresh in my mind. Just a few days ago, she shared her emotions as a new mother returning to work, leaving her baby at the sitter for the first time.

“Yep,” I told her. “That’s how it goes.” Then I thought of last summer, when we married her off, and added, “And trust me. It doesn’t get any easier.”

Almost one hundred girls reside at the Home, ten of whom just joined in the last month. Each one deserves a mother who takes her shopping for the briefcase of her choice; who helps search for the right school clothes and other supplies to encourage her learning; who lovingly labels each crayon and notebook; who lies in bed the night before school, tearfully considering her little girl taking her first step into a destiny of education that will now occupy her for hours a day; who sits in the school’s parking lot the next morning and allows those tears to flow as she lets go of her little girl and prays for her success.

Look at the faces of our almost one hundred girls and tell me which one does not deserve this same start.

Now look in the mirror: You’re seeing the kind person with a generous heart who can help give it to them.

And if you’re wondering how you alone can make a difference, consider Remy Wynston of Hillsborough, New Jersey, whose efforts for her own bat mitzvah included collecting school supplies for our girls at the Home. Read more about Remy here in our Beyond Bat Mitzvah Monthly Newsletter.

If Remy can do it, so can we! Join Remy in her support for our girls! Click here to make a difference.

I can’t wait to let you know about the girls’ success during this coming school year, which only happens through the kind actions of generous hearts throughout the world. From the bottom of our hearts, thanks so much for being a valued partner in all we do.

Now, time to refill that pina colada…..and don’t forget the sunscreen!


Rachel Weinstein

Director of Development

P.S. All of us can gear up for a fresh, new start, as we celebrate Rosh Hashana beginning on Sunday evening, September 16th! Make this holiday season more meaningful than ever with Lev LaLev Rosh Hashana Greeting cards, hand crafted by the girls at Lev LaLev.

Order by August 13th for our early bird special to receive 10% off of your order! Mention code: RHCARDS12 at checkout. www.levlalev.com/rhcards


  1. Yaldah Magazine

    There are a lot of Bat Mitzvah projects like this featured in Yaldah Magazine


    1. Thanks for your comment!

      Would you be interested in featuring one of our Bat Mitzvah girls from our Beyond Bat Mitzvah club in your magazine too?

      Email our Bat Mitzvah program coordinator sheena@levlalev.com, we would love to work together with Yaldah!

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