Jewish Life

West Hartford sixth-grader pens a heartfelt thanks to a “hero”

Moshe Bernstein, a sixth-grader at New England Jewish Academy in West Hartford, was so moved by the impassioned words of gratitude the school’s Lower Division principal, Rabbi Zev Silver, had for medical personnel, health care workers, first responders and other frontline workers who fight for COVID-19 victims and work hard to keep us all safe, that he sat down and wrote one such “hero” a letter of thanks. 

Moshe, who lives in West Hartford, is the son of Ilana and Steven Bernstein. We are pleased to share his letter to Dr. Alan K. Ditchek, an infectious disease specialist practicing in Brooklyn, New York. 

Dear Dr. Ditchek,

Rabbi Silver, our principal at New England Jewish Academy reminded us of the people who risk their lives to save others during these unfortunate times. He told us that you try your hardest to save and cure all the people who have been affected by the coronavirus, and that you even sit with them if they are dying. 

This is very meaningful to me. You are choosing to risk your own life for the greater good. I cannot imagine how hard it is to have to watch thousands of people suffer. Fortunately, I have not personally been affected by the virus, though sadly countless others in my area have been. 

I am thankful that you try and uplift the spirits of your patients and to make them feel like it will be okay. I can’t imagine that I could ever be that courageous. I am hopeful that everyone will keep fighting for the health of others. That is important to me because if there was no one to fight then everyone would give up hope. It’s easier to hope when others are hoping with you.

I wish for you to stay healthy and that maybe one day I could meet you in person. You could tell me more about your experiences. 

In the midst of this crisis, the biggest thing anyone could give is hope and that is what you give. It inspires me to go and help my community as much as I can.

I hope that you will continue to fight and that you will never have to again. Stay healthy and happy.


Moshe Bernstein 
West Hartford

A Glowing Havdalah
Kolot: The Village of S’fat

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