There are many opportunities for community service and tikkun olam (repairing the world) experiences in each grade level at Golda Och Academy – opportunities for the children to give back to the community, one of our core values.
Our youngest students help spread holiday and Shabbat joy by leading Passover seders, bringing the joy of Shabbat and holidays to senior adult residential and nursing facilities, and visiting Holocaust survivors. They also pack mishloach manot (Purim baskets) for the needy during Purim. At the Lower School, each grade level participates in its own community service projects each year. Lower School tikkun olam projects are often sponsored by the school’s Environmental Club and include cleaning up beaches and volunteering at the Short Hills Arboretum. Both on and off campus, students learn the value of community through food drives, visits to Valley Settlement House, volunteering at food banks, and raising money for organizations such as the American Heart Association and through Community Service Day.
At the Upper School, students are involved in social action programs that take them around the corner to Newark and across the country to New Orleans. In addition, Community Service Days are planned for all Upper School students. Our students, accompanied by faculty members, visit different sites and participate in a wide range of community service activities — from working with the elderly and disabled to packaging food and sorting clothing to help the homeless. They also learn first-hand about the important work the agencies and not-for-profits in the community do.
A select group of High School students and faculty advisors visit New Orleans, LA each year to help in the effort to rebuild what was damaged and destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. They join Habitat for Humanity and help in the effort to rebuild homes for people who lost houses during the hurricane.
A school-wide Walk for Life raises money for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, and is sponsored by L’Mad, the school’s local chapter of the National Honor Society. Each year the school raises several thousand dollars for the organization.