Scheck Hillel’s mission is to educate and inspire students to become exemplary global citizens with enduring Jewish identity and values. We saw this in action during spring.
While hiking in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the Class of 2018 senior trip, our students came across an injured woman who had fallen from an embankment and desperately needed help.
Rabbi Elie Ganz, Scheck Hillel Judaic Studies teacher, and Elizabeth Morgan, Scheck Hillel's Physical Education Chair, immediately came to her assistance. Using their combined knowledge, the two faculty members assessed her injuries, immobilized her leg, and organized the safe evacuation of the injured woman. Along with the woman's boyfriend and seniors Benjamin Brener and Meir Shifrin, the victim was carried down the mountain to the trailhead and, from there, she was taken to the hospital.
Bringing Scheck Hillel's mission to life and applying our core values in the most meaningful way, they saw someone in need and they went out of their way to help her.
“I was just happy that we were there and were able to help,” Coach Morgan said.
A few weeks after the accident, Erica, the rescued hiker, sent a letter to Scheck Hillel, thanking Rabbi Ganz, Coach Morgan and the students for helping her. She shared that she is expected to have a full recovery.
According to Rabbi Ganz, “When someone needs help, we should always offer to help. There is simply no excuse to walk by. Doing the right thing should always be its own value. We should always help others without expecting anything in return.”
Scheck Hillel is blessed with skilled, dedicated educators who teach our students the meaning of global citizenship by embodying it far beyond traditional classroom walls. This moment reinforces the power of the ultimate compass that guides us all: our core values as a community.
Kol Hakavod to our faculty and student ambassadors, and refuah shlemah to our newest friend.
Letter from Erica:
“Elie + Elizabeth,
On February 10, 2018, we crossed paths in Gatlinburg, TN under less than ideal circumstances. I remember vividly lying on the ground after falling from the small cliff praying to G-d to please send help because I knew it would be very difficult for my boyfriend, Tyler, to get me down alone. Shortly after, you + your group selflessly provided assistance when I needed it the most. I am forever grateful for your act of kindness.
I’m sure you are curious on how my story ends… My injuries were limited to the following: three fractures in my foot, severely torn calf muscle, and a fracture in my knee. Thankfully, surgery was not required! However, I was not allowed to put any weight on my leg for seven weeks. My orthopedic and physical therapist believes I will be back walking normally by the end of April!
I would like for you to extend my thank you to your kind students. Also, please share this with your supervisors or whoever you deem appropriate because I want them to know the positive impact that their faculty + students had on me. Thank you, again!