Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creating an Army of Kindness

I'm not one for strict copying and pasting, but this came through my email and I'm a big fan of what does, so I thought I'd share. Enjoy!


New York - It was flexing it's muscle that set a kindness train in motion that was just as powerful as the mega blizzard that blew through the New York area this past Sunday night.

Benzion Klatzko, the founder of was at JFK Monday morning, along with 225 students who spent nine hours on the tarmac Sunday night after their El Al flight was unable to take off or return to the terminal. Many of the students who were traveling to Israel on various programs to experience their Jewish heritage in the Holy Land learned a great deal about what it means to be part of the Jewish nation well before they ever left the ground.

Klatzko used to message every host on the website who lived within 20 miles of JFK airport asking them to please lend a hand, by either taking some of the students home for a meal and a hot shower or to bring food to JFK. In no time at all the message was forwarded around and the Five Towns community immediately swung into action buying food, getting into their SUVs and heading to JFK.

While many of the students elected to stay at JFK, others took advantage of the opportunity to find refuge in the Five Towns, with boys heading to Shor Yoshuv and girls enjoying the warmth and hospitality of the Wolfson, Safier and Stahler families. Yanky Brach of Brach’s Supermarket, a mainstay of the Five Town’s community, put together a full breakfast for all the students in their various locations, personally delivering breakfast to the students who were still at the airport, along with Eli Shapiro of the White Shul and Phil Goldfeder, a friend who works for Senator Schumer.

“My phone kept ringing while I was at the airport,” said Brach. “People kept asking if they should bring more food. I kept getting calls from the store, hearing how people were leaving donations to help defray the cost of feeding all those people.”

Other Five Towns residents brought bourekas and twenty pizzas from David’s Pizza in Cedarhurst. Supper was a joint effort, with so much food delivered to the airport from both Brach’s and Carlos and Gabby’s in Cedarhurst that Brach said they literally walked around the airport terminal offering food to any Jewish person they saw.

"When you galvanize the collective good will of the Jewish people, miracles can happen" says Klatzko. "And that's why is such a revolution. It is the facebook of Jewish kindness where our true colors proudly shine."