Dear Aish Family,
Week after week, I have shared with you the help that the Almighty has given Aish in bringing its message around the world. I heard a tale that makes this self-evident One of the founders of Aish Mexico, Dr. Sergio Kershenovich, told me the following story.
When Aish Mexico was just a dream, meetings were set up with Jewish Mexican lay leaders to seek partnerships. One of the prominent lay leaders that was approached was Moisés Rabinovich. During the conversation, Dr. Kershenovich asked Mr. Rabinovich if he was related to Iser Rabinovich. He told him that indeed he was related and Iser, who was tragically murdered as a teenager, was his brother. Hearing this, Sergio reached for a picture of himself and Iser standing arm in arm at the Western Wall in 1972 where they celebrated their Bar Mitzvah together. Sergio said that Iser had been his closest friend and that he always kept his picture nearby.
At this point, both Moises and Sergio started to cry. They decided then and there that they would build Aish Mexico in Iser’s memory. I heard this story from Sergio in Jerusalem. When I walked into Aish Mexico this past week, I was emotionally overwhelmed when I saw the sign hanging in the lobby that dedicated the beautiful Aish Synagogue and learning center in the memory of Iser ben (the son of) Noach.
I mentioned how moved I was by this story to Moises when we met in his office. He immediately showed me a large picture that hangs in his office of his brother Iser. Only the Jewish nation can take a tragedy and use it as inspiration to build Torah.
In a few short years Aish Mexico has become one of the leading adult Jewish education centers in Latin America. It’s Director, Rabbi Arturo Kanner, is well known for being the top Jewish lecturer in Mexico City. His ability to deliver Jewish lectures utilizing brilliant Power Points, is remarkable.
Recently Aish Mexico created a smart system for cataloging all of their classes into three categories. It is referred to as the GPS system. It stands for:
All classes that Aish Mexico gives, concentrate on one of these three relationships and the categories that every Jew must strengthen. One must have a strong relationship with G-d. One must know how to act towards and help other Jews. Finally, one must appreciate and love oneself in order to grow.
I am thrilled that Rabbi Kanner, who learned at, and was trained by, our Yeshiva, has made such a difference in Mexico City. I told the board of Aish Mexico that I was proud that we had ensured that three current Rabbinical students at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah are Latinos. We take our Global responsibility to educate all Jews in every language very seriously.
May the Almighty bless our efforts to educate and inspire all Jews in every language around the world. May all the Torah that is being learned in Mexico City be a blessing for the soul of Iser Rabinovich.
I would like to thank Deputy Director General Rabbi Ephraim Shore and Director of Aish Latin America Rabbi Meir Rosenberg for accompanying me on this important trip to strengthen our connection to Aish Mexico. I would also like to thank the Board of Directors of Aish Mexico for their tireless work to inspire the Jewish community in Mexico City. I look forward to continuing to build a strong partnership with them.