Fighting Illness with Love

Students Organize First Chai Lifeline Shabbaton on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus

Close to 300 students and volunteers spend a fun-filled weekend (February 25-26) on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, celebrating Shabbat with Chai Lifeline—an organization dedicated to bringing joy to children diagnosed with life-threatening or lifelong disabilities.Chai Lifeline Yeshiva University Shabbaton

Twenty children, along with Chai Lifeline representatives and medical staff from, were treated to a Shabbat experience on campus that included festive meals, a kiddush, an Oneg Shabbat program in the Morgenstern Hall Lounge, and an afternoon filled with interactive games and storytelling.

Dovi Fink, an accounting major at Sy Syms School of Business and volunteer at Chai Lifeline was an organizer of the Shabbaton—which was a first on any college campus for Chai Lifeline. “After experiencing the special work of Chai Lifeline in the past, my fellow volunteers and I wanted to share that experience with our peers at YU.”

On Saturday night, hundreds of YU students and dozens of Chai Lifeline children filled the Max Stern Athletic Center to watch the world-famous Harlem Wizards basketball team take on the Macabees and Camp Simcha All Stars in a matchup full of incredible dunks and basketball tricks.

“After spending a weekend of singing and dancing, I hope that the students at Yeshiva realize how much of a difference their volunteer work can make in the life of a sick child,” said Fink.

“Weekends like this give children with serious illnesses a needed booster shot of enjoyment and emotional support,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline. “Shabbatonim like the one at YU are only possible because of the incredibly motivated and compassionate volunteers who organize and staff them. We are so impressed with the compassion, motivation and idealism of the young men and women at YU who volunteer for Chai Lifeline that we consider the school a partner in the care that Chai Lifeline brings to families struggling with pediatric illness.”

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