Ready to cut your long, quarantine hair? Consider donating it!

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Eric Kalimi ’23

From sandwich packing to challah baking and attending Friendship Circle and Yachad events, Ramaz is filled with chesed opportunities. Although these may be the traditional chesed model, there are unconventional ways students have approached the notion of giving back. Hair donation is an act of chesed Ramaz students have turned to. The ability to grow hair is one we often take for granted, but cancer, alopecia, or burns stop many people from growing their own hair. Donating hair is a remarkable chesed opportunity and a great way to realize how lucky we are to have something as simple as hair. 

One Ramaz student who consistently takes part in hair donation is Caleb Rosenfeld ’22. Caleb donates about twelve inches of hair to people in need every two years along with his younger brother, Adrian ’24. When asked why he decided to donate his hair he said, “It is an opportunity to literally give a piece of yourself to someone who really needs it.” For his bar-mitzvah project, Caleb started an organization named “cutting it with Caleb” aiming to encourage others to donate their hair. Caleb has continued his chesed through high school and has encouraged several others to join them in donating hair to people in need. He already collected several thousand inches of hair and plans to keep collecting more.

Liora Kassman ’21 is another example of a student who performed this exceptionally kind act of chesed. Liora donated her hair three times to Children With Hair Loss and is waiting to do it again as soon as her hair is long enough. In total, she donated between thirty three-thirty six inches of hair to children in need. Her reasoning is that her hair grows back whereas others don’t, so the temporary act of cutting her hair can help those who are permanently unable to do it. It is easy to take for granted that people’s hair grows back every time it is cut, but it is important to remember that not everyone has that ability.

Finley Horowitz ’22 also donates her hair but to a person close to her family with alopecia. She is able to see firsthand how much her donation affects others. She has donated about 23 inches of her hair and has plans to cut it again by the end of the year. Finley’s close personal connection to this chesed models how a small act of chesed can benefit someone close to you. 

The ability to grow hair is a privilege that many fail to recognize. From the amazing acts of chesed that Finley, Liora, Caleb, and Adrian have performed people can learn that donating hair is a way to give a piece of yourself, a gift, to those in need. Hair donation does not create a permanent effect on one’s own hair, but permanently affects those in need. Whether you donate 10 inches or 50, donating hair is a powerful chesed that improves the lives of both yourself and those you help. 

Here are a few organizations to check out if you are interested in learning more about hair donation: Cutting it with Caleb, Children With Hair Loss,  Wigs for Kids, Locks of Love, and Chai Lifeline.