I am writing you this erev Shabbos to address a specific but most important need for the school. One of the middos that is deeply engrained into the fabric of Klal Yisrael is that of hakoras hatov. Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky comments that when one does a favor for us, we become indebted to him to the point where we can longer serve as a judge involving that person because our debt of hakoras hatov is so great. To illustrate this point, my father, ad meah v’esrim, related to me that, as a bochur in Telshe Yeshiva of Cleveland, he was studying with a small group of bochurim for their test to receive Semicha from the Rosh Yeshiva. One of the boys had given the Rosh Yeshiva a Chanukah gift. He was told that because he had given him a gift, he would need to take the test from one of the other Roshei Yeshiva. His rebbe explained that the gift would not have prejudiced him to treat the boy more favorably. However, the strong feeling of hakoras hatov would have made it difficult to remain totally objective. Therefore, the other Rosh Yeshiva would need to give the test.
A number of years ago the PTF of the school began allocating their funds from their savings as well as their fundraisers toward the purchase of a new playground to replace the aged playground that had exceeded its lifespan. This merits a great school wide celebration because the PTF could have never made this purchase without the families of the school supporting their annual fundraising efforts. As the PTF priced these playground systems, it became readily apparent that the only way that they could afford to install a new playground was through the efforts of community volunteers. Over the course of the past few months, under the direction of Mrs. Chani Benjaminson and Mrs. Felicia Haas, a number of parent and student volunteers have removed much of the old playground and then, more recently, all of the old wood chips to prepare the playground for the new installation. We, as parents, must have a tremendous debt of gratitude to the PTF for arranging the purchase of our new playground and for the fact that our children will have an updated and safer play experience once the equipment is installed.
On Sunday November 8th, the new playground which has been delivered is set to be installed. The PTF has procured the services of a playground installation supervisor who, with the full time assistance of at least ten parent volunteers, will install the playground. The PTF has reached out to parents through phone calls and emails, but the response has been minimal. While I realize that Sundays are both family days as well as catch-up days for our overly extended parent body, I am reaching out as the Dean of the school to ask that all families participate in this installation project. We, as parents, are the beneficiaries of a fully gated, secure and safe playground where our children can play, especially on Shabbos and Yom Tov. In light of the fact that the date of the installation cannot be changed and with winter rapidly approaching, it is essential to complete this project.
The PTF and I have discussed this issue and have the following suggestion. We continue to ask the parent body to please sign up and volunteer to help with the install on November 8th promptly at 9:00 AM. Of course, we are offering all families give and get credit for their help.
We understand that on any given week, there are families that are out of town or unable to help for various reasons. We have, therefore, hired a few non-Jewish helpers to assist us with the install. In order to cover these unbudgeted costs, we ask families who are unable to help physically to donate a minimum of $60, the equivalent of four hours of work, to offset these expenses. We still need to purchase new wood chips and sand for the playground for which these donations will be most helpful. Please complete the enclosed form and return it to the office by Tuesday, November 3.
The best way to show our hakoras hatov is to have 100% of the parent body participate in this important project. I thank you in advance for your assistance.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman
Dear Mrs. Benjaminson & Mrs. Haas,
Please count on ______________________________________ to work on the installation of the program between 9:00 – ________PM on Sunday November 8th. Ideally we need 10 men working full time from 9:00 -5:00 to complete the install.
The ________________________________ family is unable to participate in the physical installation of the playground but is contributing $_________________________ so that the school can hire the appropriate help to install the playground. The suggested minimum donation is $60.
We thank you in advance for your help and assistance.