MTA partnered with New Jersey NCSY to run a Leadership Training Mission to Houston, Texas for Sophomores and Juniors on October 18th – 22nd.  For the past eleven years, New Jersey NCSY has taken almost thirty groups of the finest teens on their Leadership Training Missions to cities in need across the country. Their established Leadership Training Missions educate teens about the importance of Chessed and inspiring Jews outside the tri-state area.  By engaging in meaningful volunteer service, participants learn about the Jewish value of responsibility and helping their fellow human beings in a time of need.

A group of 10 MTA students participated in the mission, along with Executive Director Shuey Jacoby.  Each morning of the trip began with davening, learning, and breakfast at Congregation Beth Rambam, followed by a full day of working with local organizations on various Chessed opportunities, including demolishing a home that was devastated during Hurricane Harvey with NECHAMA: Jewish Response To Disaster and packaging food for needy children at the Houston Food Bank.  “The group of MTA students was the best and most energetic group I have worked with,” said NECHAMA Project Manager John Swartley.  The students were inspired by the resilience of the Houston community and worked hard to support them.  “I’m so very grateful to both MTA and NCSY for allowing me the privilege of having this amazing experience to help people in need,” shared MTA Junior Ari Zarour of Monsey, NY.  “The best part was seeing the smiles on the faces of the people we worked with at the end of the day!”

The students spent Shabbos in San Antonio with local NCSY teens and engaged them in the joys of Jewish life.  They also had the opportunity to share meals and a Friday night oneg with members of the San Antonio community, where they enjoyed enhancing the Shabbos atmosphere with ruach and singing.  In addition, the group participated in an NCSY Shabbos afternoon program, led by MTA alumnus and NCSY Advisor Yehoshua Szafranski.  “Thank you to MTA and NCSY for giving us the opportunity to give back to a community in need after a disaster and for enabling us to bring an uplifting Jewish experience to those affected,” said MTA Junior Aharon Cohen of Queens, NY.  Partnering with NCSY on this mission is part of MTA’s Chessed Program, which includes regular Chessed opportunities for students in all grades, spearheaded by Maggid Shiur and Chessed Coordinator Rabbi Eytan London.


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