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BY Bassie

A Director’s Turn to Give Back, The School Where It All Began

It’s 2am and I am relentlessly clicking “refresh” on my web browser. It’s 2am and I should be sleeping but instead I am transfixed on my Alma Mater’s voting page in the Chase Community Giving Challenge on Facebook.

I graduated a long time ago, so why am I suddenly passionate about this? While watching these votes go up, I realized there is a real possibility of my school receiving a generous grant- perhaps a life changing grant. And then I realized why this matters. This school had an immense impact on my life; an impact that I can only truly appreciate in my adulthood.

Bassie Shemtov

Bassie Shemtov in her school days

The Lubavitch Cheder was founded in 1965 in Detroit. And for the past 46 years, this school has been inspiring children from the age of three to go out into the world and dedicate their lives to religious and social outreach. They are encouraged to start institutions that are dedicated to improving the communities in which they are built. This is accomplished through social services, religious services and more.

Inside of this school, surrounded by the warmth of the staff and like-minded students, is where the first spark of inspiration was lit for The Friendship Circle. And now, after our incredible success over the past 16 years, many of their current students go out into the world and either join or start their own Friendship Circle.

Oholei Yosef Yitzchak Lubavitch deserves a shot at winning this grant. Please help me pay tribute to an amazing school that planted the first seed of The Friendship Circle.

Here is how to vote:

Step 1: Go to the Chase Community giving page on Facebook
Step 2: Sign in to Facebook if you aren’t logged in.
Step 3: Press “Like” on the Chase Community Giving main Facebook page
Step 4: Click on “Vote & Share.”


Written on May 3, 2011 by:

Bassie Shemtov founded Friendship Circle together with her husband Levi. Bassie is always looking for ways to enhance the lives of children with special needs while providing relief to their families and empowering teen volunteers.

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