March 14, 2019
“Recently, 10 TABC students, led by Rabbi Jonathan Kessel, went to Puerto Rico for five days to help with the Hurricane Maria cleanup. The group was joined by heads of NCSY and seven Fair Lawn High School students. The group landed late Wednesday night and, after an early Shacharit, headed to the city of Yabucoa to help with three homes that were devastated by the hurricane. The boys helped with demolition, roofing, painting and cleanup on Thursday and Friday.
Some of the locals mentioned that this was their first encounter with a Jewish person and could not believe that the students flew all this way to help them. What an incredible kiddush Hashem! Shabbat was uplifting as the group davened with Chabad and ate their meals there as well. The students engaged in breakout learning sessions and meaningful discussions with the NCSY students. On Sunday, the group headed to a farm area to help with planting trees and getting the land in order for the next season’s crop. Fun was not forgotten, as they went banana boating and enjoyed a hike in the El Yunque rain forest during breaks from their hard work. After bowling and closing sessions, the TABC boys boarded the plane for Newark late Sunday night exhausted but uplifted from an amazingly successful chesed trip.”