This week, Emek Hebrew Academy’s first grade girls and boys were gifted their first book of Tehillim, courtesy of the Mellon Family. The program began fifteen years ago and was the brainchild of Rabbi Meshulam Weiss, OB”M. Larry Mellon, OB”M, was the head of the Tehillim Club at Shaarey Zedek at that time and he decided to collect funds so that he could ensure each first grade student at Emek would receive their own Tehillim. There were 59 recipients this year.
Now, many years later, the Mellon children, Victor, Jody, and Pam, continue the program in honor of their parents, Larry and Sally Mellon. With the help of Shaarey Zedek, they ensure that each Emek first grader receives a leather bound Tehillim with their name on the cover, engraved in gold and in Hebrew.
During the ceremony, the children sang many beautiful Tehillim but without musical accompaniment so that parents and grandparents could hear the purity of their voices. Everyone know that the tefillot of children go straight to Shamayim! The Tehillim are distributed in 1st grade as the students are at the age where their Hebrew has become proficient and they have a working knowledge of the magic and importance of Tehillim.
This year’s ceremony was also especially meaningful as Rabbi Weiss’s granddaughter, Mindy Lunger, an Emek student herself, was able to deliver a heartfelt speech in memory of her grandfather. She told the audience that her grandfather had been living with her family at the end of his life, and that she had loved his company and how much she missed him.