Highlighted Students for the Week

Great Job Elior, Sarah S. and Shelby!

Small Actions Have Big Reactions

Posted by  on September 23, 2013

Last Tuesday, we went on a mitzvah trip to build a sukkah for Mrs. Gutterman. It felt good in my heart but, I did not like it because the day was very hot and I almost felt like I was going to be sick afterwards. Other than that, I liked it. Some mitzvah trips I like and some I don’t like but, I know I am doing something good for someone else. When you are doing a mitzvah, it will not always be fun but, you will love how you made a difference in someone else’s life.
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The next day, some people built a sukkah for Orly. I really wanted to go but, I did not get chosen. The students that built the sukkah knew that Orly might not be in well enough condition to go in it. This is an important mitzvah because it will make Orly very happy and she needs as much happiness as possible right now. Also, she can’t attend services and we need to give her a little connection to sukkot when she can’t come to synagogue.


I think this will help Orly in her emotional recovery. This act of kindness will probably give her happy thoughts about sukkot and she will know that lots of people car about her. Her family and friends will also be touched by this act of kindness but, I think it will help Orly the most. The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School would undertake this project because we all come together when someone in our community is hurt no matter who. Also, we have a community of kindness and this really shows that we are being kind.

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This makes me feel very good that we could do something to help and not just stand by and watch. I will enjoy sukkot a little better knowing that I spiced up someone else’s life and helped them get in the sukkot spirit. Happy sukkot!




So Many Sins!-Journal #3

By: Sarah S

As many Jewish holidays are being observed this time of year, certain holidays require Jews to rid ourselves of sins that we have done the previous year. We have just finished the holidays of Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur. We are currently observing the holiday of Sukkot. After Sukkot is Hashana Rabba. All these holidays give us many chances to get rid of our sins.


On the first or sometimes second day of Rosh Hashana, it is custom to perform Tashlich. Tashlich, meaning to cast, is for getting rid of all of the bad sins. Another custom on Rosh Hashana is to blow the Shofar, or Ram’s Horn. There is not an exact explanation in the Torah for why we blow the shofar. One reason could be that it is a call of repentance. On both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we beat our chests and recite sins we have done. Next is Sukkotwhere we build a sukkah, and shake the lulav and etrog. After that is Hashana Rabba, where we beat the willows for a last chance to get rid of our sins.

I do not think it is understandable that people need so many chances that G-d has given them. I think people only need one holiday to really pay attention and focus on getting rid of the sins, and plan to do better the next year. As the new year is beginning, I want to try to be more proactive by doing assignments early. I would also like to pay attention more, and help create a community of kindness.

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

We Played Our Part, Now You!


Last Tuesday, the eighth grade and I built a Sukka at UNF college for all the Jewish students there who wanted to observe Sukkot. The next day, a few students were selected to build a Sukka at Shands Hospital for all the Jews to use, but specifically Orly Ohayon.  If you have not heard yet, Orly and her mother Esther Ohayon were hit by a car walking to Etz Chiam synagogue for Yom Kippur services. Esther was killed instantly and Orly was severely injured and passed out at the scene.The students built this sukkah knowing that Orly would probably not be able to use it.

This was such an important mitzvah because Orly is an Orthodox Jew who wanted to be able to observe Sukkot. Even though she wasn’t fully able to use the Sukka, the idea of it put the idea in her head that people cared. Her family will know that the entire Jewish community is here to support Orly in her full recovery. M.J.G.D.S  took on the challenge of building this Sukka to play our part in supporting Orly and to help remember her beloved mother. Doing this made me feel like if I were in the same situation, I would receive help from the community.

As a result of this terrible accident, police officers have been standing at the light where Orly and her mother were hit every Shabbat morning. Even though this is a little late, this is a small step in the right direction. If the city continues to make drivers aware of pedestrians especially on Shabbat morning, we may be able to avoid another situation like this. The M.J.G.D.S played its part in helping Orly, now you!

Example of a Sukka

Example of a Sukka

Credits to Picture:http://www.beingjewish.com/images/sukkah.jpg

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One Response to Highlighted Students for the Week

  1. Sheri Weiss says:

    I really like the idea of reflecting on the mitzvah trips. They mean so much to so many, but may go unnoticed by the kids participating in them. Thank you to Edith, Stephanie and Shelby, Elior and Sarah for helping to explain how MJGDS made a difference.

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