Dear Aish Family,Rabbi-Steven-Burg

I traveled this past week to the West Coast. To be brutally honest, the amount of frequent flyer miles one accrues does not make up for the difficulty in trying to function for a short amount of time with a ten hour time difference. Luckily the trip was so exciting that I was able to rely on pure adrenaline and excitement to carry me through it.

This past Wednesday I started my day by meeting with lay leaders in Carmel Valley, San Diego to discuss their plans to build an Aish branch. The group was incredibly humble and driven. A great combination. We took a drive to see the future home of Aish HaTorah. It was absolutely breathtaking. The best part is that the location of the Aish Synagogue connects to a Jewish day school of 1000 kids. I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I was by their passion for building a community and for the warm feelings everyone had for Aish. Rabbi Rosenberg has been to the community over half a dozen times in the past few months. There is a real understanding that the nonjudgmental approach of Aish, coupled with the educational philosophy that every Jew should be able to learn relevant Torah, is the direction that the community wants to head in.

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At the future sight of Aish Carmel Valley, San Diego headquarters and Synagogue. Reuben Artenstein, Rabbi Meir Rosenberg, Rabbi Steve Burg, Alberto Tawil, Samuel Michan

I wish I could have stayed longer but I had to head to Los Angeles for the Aish LA banquet. Before I left I told them that Rabbi Markman, Executive Director of Aish LA and Az Aharon, COO of Aish LA said they wanted to come down and see how they could help. Right away the Carmel Valley group said “and we will see how we can help them.” That is the comradery that one will find all over the Aish community. Everyone wants to help each other achieve their goals in service of the Almighty.
The Aish LA banquet was a magnificent gathering of 1000 friends and supporters of Aish. Sarah Weintraub and Saul Blinkoff did a terrific job on the program. The most touching moment for me was seeing the hundreds of women and dozens of men get up on the stage for group photos. All had been to Israel with Aish HaTorah on missions and it literally changed their lives. I had many conversations with alumni about our new focus on missions which will concentrate on study and growth. Everyone is excited.Aish LA banquet 2016 women 2
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In short, the West Coast will figure largely in the expansion of Aish HaTorah. Our next conversation and focus must be on how to get all these terrific Jewish leaders from around the world together so we can do great things for the Jewish nation. The Almighty values unity almost above everything else. In that case Wednesday in Southern California must have set heaven abuzz.
Rabbi Burg speech
Good Shabbos!

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