created at: 2010-11-28

By Arnie Bearak

The Schechter soccer program has been going on for more years than I know.  It is a Sunday soccer program meant to allow the kids at Schechter to be able to play soccer without playing on Shabbat.  The program is for kids in grades K-6, and on average, we have anywhere from 100-150 kids playing in the fall session and again in the spring session. It’s a volunteer-run program, as the parents are the coaches, and there are a few of us that help run the program from an administrative perspective. We keep our expenses as low as possible to encourage as many kids to play as possible.

A few years ago, at the suggestion of one of the parents who was tired of having a drawer full of old soccer shirts that his kids outgrew, we started a shirt-recycling program.   It was a hit with the families, resulting in about an 80% recycling rate. This helped us keep our costs down.

For a variety of reasons, we wound up with a huge surplus of 200 t-shirts for our Fall 2010 session.  In an effort to keep them from taking up space in people’s garages, I looked into how we could donate them.  I had heard there were some Ethiopian Israeli children in Haifa who would love a special gift from a Boston partner school, so I called the only place I could think of that might help me and that was CJP. A few emails later, and I was able do deliver the shirts to CJP, and the rest was handled by CJP and the Boston-Haifa Connection, and as you can see below, the shirts are now proudly worn by students at the Gavrieli school in Haifa.

created at: 2010-11-28

Although I was able to facilitate the donation, it would not have happened without our kids.  They were more than willing to return their shirts at the end of the season.  I guess knowing that they would get another shirt at the start of the next season gave them a good reason to not feel like they had to keep all their shirts.  

But seeing the shirts being worn in Israel has just added to the special-ness of it. This is my last year of involvement in Schechter Soccer, as my son is no longer playing, so I could not think of a better way to leave the program.

created at: 2010-11-28

This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here.