Dear Aish Family,
Today marks my one year anniversary at Aish HaTorah. I want to start by thanking all of you for your love and support over the past year. I did not know much about Aish when I was first recruited. I have found Aish to be the most dynamic, forward thinking, up and coming organization in the Jewish world. What is it that I fell in love with this past year?
• Aish believes that every Jew must take responsibility for the world around them and work hard to improve it.
• Aish believes that the Almighty loves and supports us in every effort we take on His behalf. With his help there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
• Aish believes that the Almighty gave us a gift of Toras Chaim – the Living Torah. The Torah is our guide to living a productive life and an aide in changing the world.
• Aish believes that it is the birthright of every Jew to learn Jewish wisdom. We provide a nonjudgmental atmosphere for any and every Jew to study relevant Torah.
• Aish believes that every Jew has the potential to do great things. They only need to look deep inside their heart and rely on the Almighty’s help.
The men and women of Aish HaTorah are the most driven and committed Jews I have ever encountered. When they set their minds to anything nothing can stop them. I am blessed to work alongside them. What have they accomplished?
This past year:
• We have welcomed tens of thousands into our Dan Family Aish World Center to study inspirational Judaism. Many were Israeli Jews seeking to learn more about their heritage.
• We have welcomed political leaders from all over the globe to our headquarters in Jerusalem and played a crucial role in working with the leaders of the State of Israel.
• Our branches around the world have taught Jewish wisdom to hundreds of thousands of Jews around the globe. Aish.com has inspired and educated millions in every corner of the globe.
• We have helped tens of thousands of Jewish University students to ignite their passion for Judaism. Aish’s Hasbara Fellowships has taught a generation of student leaders how to defend Israel against the BDS – Boycott, divestment & Sanctions -movement and antisemitism.
• We have inspired Jews, through Aish’s Project Inspire, to reach out to their brothers and sisters to guide them to becoming outstanding passionate Jews.
• We have a Yeshiva -Talmudical Academy- which is packed to capacity with hundreds of young men acquiring knowledge that they will in turn use to teach Jews around the world.
• We have a program called Jewel for young women who walk in with little Judaic background and walk out ready to educate fellow Jews.
I want to relate a story that happened recently at an Aish event. I ran into an old acquaintance that I had met over my 25 years working in the Jewish communal world. He asked me how things were going at Aish. After twenty minutes of my gushing over Aish he said, “You know, I thought you would go on to bigger things. You were politically well connected and I just thought you would have stayed on that path.” I thought for a moment and this was my reply “It is true that I was blessed to spend time in places of power over my career. I can not count the number of times I spent at the White House and other parliamentary buildings around the world. But the truth is I am more excited to walk into the Dan family Aish World Center and the Aish HaTorah Beis Medrash than I ever was to enter any governmental buildings. I truly believe that the heart of the Jewish people rests in Israel and today Aish HaTorah is the most significant Jewish organization in the world”
I want you all to know that while we have accomplished much this past year, it is nothing compared to what we will do this coming year. We are working on new missions, new curriculum, a new revamped rabbinical training program and much, much more. I urge all of you to get on board the Aish express and fasten your seat belts. We have work to do for the Almighty, the Jewish Nation and the world.