Emanuel student shaves hair for cancer survivors

March 18, 2014 by Michelle Favero
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Sydney Emanuel School student Imbar Nassi has shaved her long hair in an initiative which raised over $8100 for the Leukaemia Foundation by participating in Shave for a Cure.

Imbar Nassi before the shave

Imbar Nassi before the shave

She was a member of a team of seven students who shaved or coloured their hair for the charity,  long supported by the School.

The Year 12 student committed to shave her long hair and donate it to Zichron Menachem which makes wigs for cancer survivors. “I shaved my head to try and make an impact. I feel like every time someone sees me now, especially at school, they might stop and take a second to think about why a girl would remove all her hair and maybe they’ll be inspired to do something good for the world or even just the people around them. If even just one person thinks about the reason and meaning behind my shave and becomes even slightly inspired, it would have been completely worth it.”

Principal of Emanuel School, Anne Hastings, said: “We are so proud of the students for this exceptional fundraising effort and awareness building of a disease that affects so many families. One of our School’s many strengths is our students’ commitment to Tikkun Olam, with specific emphasis on supporting those less fortunate through volunteering and tzeddakah. Last year the students raised over $20,000 for charity. I think that this year it will be even more.”

While some of our students’ charitable work is done within the School, other projects are the results of individuals or groups of students taking a personal initiative.

From volunteering at Montefiore Home, Friendship Circle, Camp Sababa or Our Big Kitchen Emanuel students’ involvement in the community connects them with a greater good and creates lasting relationships.

Imbar Nassi after the shave

Imbar Nassi after the shave

Whilst many Jewish organisations receive ongoing support from our students, the wider community also forms part of our outreach program. Every week, for example, Emanuel students and teachers volunteer at Eastern Respite, running activities and connecting with children and adults with a disability. Our students also raise money for various charities, including Cure for Life, an organisation that undertakes research into brain tumours; Grandma Jenny’s Training Centre, a charity that was established by Emanuel Alumnus, Genna Radnan, which empowers and provides life skills to disadvantaged women in Kenya; and The Gogos and Mamas Group, a South African charity that funds life skills programs and HIV/AIDs education to grandmothers who care for their AIDs-orphaned grandchildren.

Each year, all Year 9 students undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program, which includes many hours of community service, while older students have the option of continuing their involvement in the Program.

Many students, like Imbar, support projects that inspire them personally. Year 9 student Aidan Zlotnick, is raising funds for the Mitrataa Foundation, a charity in Nepal that provides education and skills to women and girls. He is currently in Kathmandu volunteering in a Big Brother-type program with orphaned and abandoned children. Aidan believes that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he will never forget. “Not only do I get to give of myself to others, but it will help teach me humility and empathy” he said. To date Aidan has raised over $1500 for Mitrataa. As an avid basketball player, he shot 1500 hoops at school to raise additional money for the children.

Several Emanuel students and their parents recently took part in Kids Giving Back’s ‘Cook for Good’ program at Our Big Kitchen as part of Good Deeds Day. They helped make over 600 portions of food for vulnerable communities and individuals. Among these students was Liron Smith who recently won the B’nai B’rith Youth Award for Contribution to Australian Society. Liron was nominated by Kids Giving Back due to his extensive and tireless volunteer work within the community.

Every day at Emanuel School students are developing social action programs and ideas to help those less fortunate. It’s an enormous project to change the whole world, but what we can do is change the lives of individuals and communities, one project at a time.


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