In 2019, Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh embarked upon a strategic planning initiative to transform itself into the “School of the Future.” Involving parents, staff, and administrators, this initiative identified the elements necessary for students to succeed and achieve their potential in a fast-changing, technology-driven world. Specifically, it looked at requirements for emotional and social resiliency that today’s students need to grow and develop and recommended the formation of a Whole Child Wellness Program.
At the beginning of this school year, Yeshiva formally launched its Student Wellness Division with the hiring of Dr. Madeline Nassida. According to Dr. Nassida, a clinical psychologist affiliated with Carlow University, “Yeshiva’s Student Wellness Division is an innovative initiative aimed at building the Whole Child and we believe that it will make a real difference in the lives of Yeshiva students and their families, now and in the future. We invite supporters of Yeshiva as well as the entire community to get behind this ambitious and groundbreaking effort.”
To that end, Yeshiva announced a 50-50 matching Charidy Campaign to be held on February 28 – March 1, 2021. The campaign’s goal is to raise $200K to jumpstart and sustain Yeshiva’s new Student Wellness Division well into the future. According to Campaign Chairman, Mr. Yosef Hashimi, the Student Wellness Division will promote student well-being, emotional strength, and physical and spiritual resiliency. “The Yeshiva’s Whole Child Wellness Program will involve all grades and classes in Yeshiva Schools. It will address mind, body, and soul development in an increasingly complex world. It will also be integrated with Yeshiva’s focus on service to the community as an essential aspect of Jewish tradition.”
Excitement for the Charidy Campaign to help fund Yeshiva’s Student Wellness Division is palpable. According to Elly Feibus, Yeshiva’s Assistant Director of Development, multiple fundraising teams have already formed organically within various affinity groups with the community, including local synagogues, women’s groups, families, friends and even Yeshiva students themselves.
Each team has taken on a goal of raising $5000, which will be matched by the Campaign’s supporters. Feibus added, “We will provide team members with social media to spread the word among their associates. We will also provide a script that explains the program as well as donor call sheets, or team members can develop their own scripts and presentation materials.” To join a team, form a team or learn more about the program, contact Ms. Feibus at 412-422-7300 x1231 or [email protected]
In addition to providing individual support and intervention from wellness professionals, as necessary, funds from this year’s Charidy Campaign will also be used to provide staff and parent training and develop grade-appropriate curriculum that teaches emotional and social strength and resilience. According to Yosef Hashimi, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to provide our students with coping strategies and to have dedicated professionals on staff to provide direct intervention when necessary is absolutely essential. Now, more than ever, our focus must be on supporting the Whole Child. Yeshiva is leading the way in this regard and we need everyone’s support to make sure we can provide this critical service well into the future.”
To make a donation visit www.charidy.com/yeshivawellness