In an effort to provide their students with mivtzoim opportunities over Chanukah, as well as to teach the importance of hakaras hatov (expressing gratitude), Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia arranged a special trip to the Radnor Police Station on the third day of Chanukah.
The group of 5th and 6th grade girls were joined by their teacher Morah Odelia Bronstein and principal of the Cheder, Rabbi Mendy Levin.
“The purpose of this visit was two-fold. Firstly, students had a chance to participate in Mivtza Chanukah, spreading its universal and eternal messages. Secondly, we wanted to show our appreciation to the local police for their heightened presence and security in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh shooting,” said Mrs. Bronstein. Four girls read Chanukah essays entitled “What Chanukah Means to Me” and three girls read personal thank-you letters to the visibly moved crowd.
Rabbi Levin gave an invocation which was followed by menorah lighting. “The story of Chanukah takes us to a time where the Greek government would not allow our people to practice Judaism and the local police would be used to hunt us down… Just a month ago we suffered another blow here in Pennsylvania where 11 of our brothers and sisters were massacred in Pittsburgh. At that time, I reached out to our friend Chief Flanagan asking for increased security at our school. We are so grateful for the friendship, kindness, and willingness to help,” shared Rabbi Levin. “This for us is a continuation of the Chanukah miracle. Throughout history, police forces were a threat to our values and traditions, here we have a police force that protects us and allows us to have our religious freedom and values,” concluded Rabbi Levin.
“These thank-you cards mean a lot to us and our officers will take the time to read them,” commented Police Chief Flanagan.
After words of praise from Chief Flanagan, the girls were given a guided tour of the entire complex. The event proved memorable for all participants.