Written and Nominated by Rachel Lelonek, NCSYer
My first NCSY interaction ever was back on New York and Atlantic Seaboard’s joint Winter Regional in 2012. After experiencing an amazing Shabbos, we boarded buses to Manhattan, and that’s where I met her: Sara Wolkenfeld. Now, try to imagine this: a girl probably about five feet tall making a group of sixty or so kids laugh and smile on an hour-long bus ride after a long Shabbos. With a bus like ours, I couldn’t believe how much determination and sweetness Sara had stored in her.
And after an amazing shabbaton, I wasn’t sure if I’d meet Sara again. Thank G-d, I was far from it. After Winter Regional, I joined a chapter that a friend of mine said I would love more than anything, and turns out, Sara was one of the advisors of that chapter. Since I joined that chapter in January of 2013, I’ve had the privilege of seeing Sara weekly. This privilege was shared with those who went on Israel ICE and who will have the privilege of going on TJJ Bus 9 this summer.
In a nutshell, Sara is just unbelievable. Her smile can penetrate any room she enters and her kindness is incomparable. Sara has inspired me and many others around her to want to reach out and become better members of the Jewish community and society as a whole. Her kind words can cheer up anyone from a day down in the dumps and when you need a helping hand, she’s always the first one to volunteer. Sara’s impeccable generosity goes past giving just physical things, but includes giving of her time and energy. If I’ve learned anything from my two years in NCSY with Sara, it’s that big things come in small packages, and though Sara might be small, the amount of love that lays inside her is larger than any value of diamonds, gold and silver combined!