The great chop

October 8, 2016 by Shosh Landau
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The students of Beth Rivkah Ladies Colleges have gathered together to raise money and cut their hair for Zichron Menachem, an Israeli organisation that assists children suffering with cancer.

Students at Beth Rivkah

Students at Beth Rivkah

The girls raised over $24,000 for the event through months of fundraising events and generous donations from community members. Over 150 students got up on stage to cut over 40 metres of hair – some students decided spontaneously to donate after seeing their peers give their own hair. The incredible fundraiser was spearheaded by the School Captains and assisted by the Tzedakah Captains who are currently undergoing their VCE studies and will be sitting exams in a few weeks’ time.

An incredibly important aspect of the support and services offered to these children includes the creation of custom made wigs for patients who have lost their hair during cancer treatments. This branch significantly improves the quality of life and self-confidence of countless children battling cancer. The director of Zichron Menachem, Mr Baruch Levy, came and spoke to the Beth Rivkah secondary girls and gave insight into the work of Zichron Menachem, congratulating the girls on all their efforts with the campaign.

The ‘Great Chop’ campaign was launched at the end of 2015, in the hope that some students would feel compelled to donate their hair to children who are suffering without it. The response they garnered was massive. Over 150 girls signed up to donate their hair including alumni, teachers and women from the wider community. A sponsorship program and a Chuffed website were created in order to bring in more donations from the broader community and to support the girls who have committed to donating their hair. A telethon event also took place on Thursday 15th September with student volunteers calling people from the community to help fundraise for the organization.

Principal Rabbi Smukler said, “There are standout moments in our roles as parents and educators that are etched in our memories; in our very hearts and souls. Watching an entire class of Year 12 students, whilst in the VCE home stretch, lead and inspire a community endeavour of the magnitude and impact of ‘The Great Chop’ was one of those moments. To move over 150 students and friends to part with over 40 metres of hair whilst raising in excess of $24k for Zichron Menachem is a monumental achievement. Via their action, they have given us confidence that we are sending off a class of graduates into the wider world who have imbibed the values we have endeavoured to impart as a school. So to our Year 12 BR class of 2016 we say – “How lucky are your families and your educators to see the outcome of your schooling manifest as such. Kol Hakavod and may you go from strength to strength!”

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