Shining Stars

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The number three in Judaism has a special meaning. It is said that while one symbolizes unity, and two tension and duality, three symbolizes harmony. Three also represents Chazaka, strength.

No truer words can be spoken about the three founders of I-Shine, who will be honored at the Chai Lifeline’s Annual Gala to be held on Sunday, December 4th at the Marriott Marquis.

Deena Intrator, Annette Kaufman and Stacey Zrihen will be the recipients of the I-Shine Founders award. They will be celebrated as part of the annual gala that recognizes devotion to a larger cause which provides crucial emotional, social and financial assistance to the seriously ill child and their family.

I-Shine, an after-school program that provides homework help, supervised recreational activities, specialty learning programs, and play centers, was created to meet the needs of elementary and middle school children living with illness or loss in their family.

The birth child of three dynamic Five Towns women, each with their own unique skill set and attachment to the program, I-Shine is now entering its seventh year.

“The program runs from 3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays. It services all and any Jewish kids from the Five Towns, West Hempstead and Far Rockaway. Volunteers pick up kids in their own cars from 15 different schools in the area, all different denominations, from public school to Darchei Torah. The nicest part is that there are kids from all different backgrounds; the element of Achdus is amazing. It’s not about being like everyone else, it’s about being with everyone else,” explained Stacey Zhiren.

I-Shine kids are brought to the HAFTR kindergarten building, paired up with a volunteer, often HAFTR, DRS, AND SKA high school students, sometimes an adult, and have a snack, homework help, and a special activity ranging from karate, cupcake decorating, making your own pizza, etc. That is followed by a hot dinner, catered by any one of eight local vendors, (Wok Tov, Seasons, Mom’s pastries, Carlos and Gabby’s, Cucumbers, Var-i-eat-ities, Shulas and Delicious dishes), and a raffle to win a prize. Individual volunteer drivers bring the child home following the program.

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