Herzl Academy students receive gifts from Temple Beth Israel congregation

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An elementary school named after a Jewish hero is once again the focus of a holiday-gift giving effort from far away.

Temple Beth Israel in Skokie for their third annual holiday effort to put a gift into the hands of every student at Theodore Herzl Academy of Excellence in North Lawndale, which used to be at the heart of Jewish Chicago.

"It's like coming home, I think about Herzl all the time, I think about these children all the time," said Lori Sagarin of Temple Beth Israel.

Theodore Herzl Academy is named for the 19th-century leader of the Zionist movement. David Matlow, a Canadian lawyer and friend of the Temple is the world's leading collector of Herzl memorabilia connected the two institutions.

"It feels good to receive, but it feels even better to give, so when they see people doing that definitely translates into how they are treating each other," said Herzl Academy Principal Tamara Davis.

"There is nothing greater than this, my heart is full," Sagarin said. "And being able to bring this to these beautiful children is worth everything."

Matlow is planning a trip to Chicago in May to lead a visit to the Skokie Holocaust Museum for Herzl Academy 7th and 8th graders and Temple Beth Israel's Hebrew School.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.