Central students have a lot on their plates, which makes them even more exceptional for participating in a range of meaningful chesed programs and activities. In keeping with this year’s G.O. theme of “time travel,” the Chesed Committee has implemented a “time” theme as well, reminding us that chesed is comprised of acts that can be done on a daily basis, not only on specially designated or formal occasions. As the chesed bulletin board advises in a quotation attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr., “The time is always right to do the right thing.” This week, our students had the opportunity to hear from representatives of Shalva and the Friendship Circle to broaden their awareness of the chesed programs available to them. Shalva is an Israel-based organization that works to enhance the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Risa Friedman (‘17) is one of six Central students who each raised $2800 to represent Shalva in the Jerusalem Marathon last year. “Our presence in the marathon showed not only our support for the State of Israel but also for the families of Shalva,” Risa says. “We ran during a time where most parents were too afraid to send their children to Israel, let alone run in a big event such as the marathon, so our going really showed our support for Am Yisrael. Nothing will stop us from running again in 2017! This year we hope to have an even bigger team, raising even more money for this amazing organization.” Team Shalva Marathon Director Fran Cohen recently reached out to Risa to applaud her efforts for the organization: “Your contribution has directly impacted the lives of these children in an immeasurably positive way, and on their behalf, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication.” This week, we also hosted the Friendship Circle’s Dina Hecht for an information session about the worthy cause. The inclusion organization matches high schoolers with children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities to engage in social activities. Yael Laks (‘18), Leeba Sullivan (‘18), and Dodie Lee Weinberg (‘18) spend one hour a week with their friend, singing songs and playing games. Says Dodie, “One hour a week used to sound like a lot of time to set aside from doing school work, hanging with family, and doing recreation, but my Friendship Circle experience gave me some perspective on my time and my ability to give to others.” We encourage all of our students to jump on board these chesed initiatives or to participate in other chesed activities that interest you. There’s no time like the present!