The 2012 Tzedakah Project will culminate with the students’ presentations. Months of hard work and thoughtfulness go into their project. Here is a video where each of the Wornick Seventh Graders says a little about their work.
The 7th grade is a pivotal year for our B’nai Mitzvah students. The Wornick Tzedakah Project gives students an opportunity that is unmatched by any other Bay Area School or community program. While B"nai Mitzvah students are often required to perform some Tzedakah, at Wornick, the students are taught how to make Tzedakah a way of life.
This year long project is a study of philanthropy that begins with the students identifying causes they believe are important. The students investigate various societal problems or diseases and the various organizations that support these concerns. Based on their research, students choose both a cause and an organization. The student then interviews key people at their organization to gain a deeper understanding of how the organization works including hard facts and numbers like how many people are served and the budget of the organization. Presentations from executives of major foundations inform students of how major philanathropists select causes.
Armed with this information, the students create and drive their own fund-raising campaign. Typically, each 7th grader year drives an effort that raises $1000 to $1500. This money is pooled into a class-wide Tzedakah fund. In the spring, each student presents their organization and advocates for it with their classmates. Based on the information shared, the class becomes a non-profit board which allocates the total funds to each project. The project culminates with a moving ceremony in which representatives from each organization come to school and are presented with a check. The room is filled with grateful organization officials, proud empowered students, proud teachers, and, of course, tearful parents with cameras.
The Wornick Tzedakah project is truly an incredible journey for each student that has the privilege to experience it.
This extraordinary program uses the best of our Middle School faculty team teaching effort: Joel Abramowitz, Judaic Studies, Mrs. Shona Schwartz, Social Studies, Ms. Melissa Koh, English and Dr. Barbara Gereboff, Head of Middle School and General Studies.
Students learn skills from across the academic spectrum through researching causes and beneficiaries and interviewing representatives from those philanthropies: expository writing and speaking to both solicit and distribute funds; fund-raising and solicitation; advocacy, team work and dispersal of funds. This is a project the students will never forget that teaches significant life skills that Wornick graduates put to work in high school, college and throughout their lives.