First, we want to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who helped us complete our Best Summer Ever Fundraiser goal, from all of us at the Kaiserman JCC and Camp KEF! Your support allows us to help ensure that every child in our community has the opportunity to have the best summer ever. After the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten Back to School Open House today, I was sent down the zoom floom as promised – check out the footage and photos here! Thanks to all of our preschool teachers and staff who joined us today for the action, and cheered me on. It was a very fun way to close out the summer!
Second, I wanted to share a lovely message I recieved this week, written by two of the past Diller Teen Fellows. Hannah and Kira’s story speaks to not only the value of Shabbat, but is a reflection of our back to school season.
Friday nights hold a special place in the Jewish community as it is a time for people to pray, bond, and celebrate their religion. For two college freshmen at the University of Pittsburgh, worried about meeting new people, Shabbat became not only a time of worship but of connection as well. Kira Gulko and Hannah Jarvis, Diller Teen Fellow alumni of The Greater Philadelphia Area, unexpectedly met at the first Shabbat dinner at the on-campus Hillel. Being from two different Diller cohorts, Hannah and Kira had not officially met until a brief alumni gathering last year (2021), yet still felt connected through the mutual experiences that they had shared through Diller. The Diller Teen Fellowship provides a safe space for Jewish teens to be together and engage in community activities. It has moved both Kira and Hannah to keep searching for the joyous and comforting feelings that come from being surrounded by their Jewish community. They hope to find this feeling by staying involved in Hillel, getting together with other Jewish friends, and carrying on the knowledge of leadership and friendship that Diller provided.