Dear Aish family,
During the winter we have had thousands of guests come through the Aish HaTorah Dan Family World Center Building. Each group has walked away Judaically inspired and refreshed. To give you a flavor, I’d like to tell you about four groups I spoke to one day this past week.
I started the morning by speaking to the Jewish Leaders Foundation (JLF). This is an organization which is sponsored by our partners at Olami to help nurture future young Jewish leaders. Rabbi Shlomo Farhi, one of Aish’s most dynamic speakers and educators, serves as its director.
At JLF I encountered some of the most intelligent young Jewish leaders from all over South America. They came all the way to Israel to spend their time learning how to be the leaders that the Jewish people so desperately need. The room was on fire with passion for Judaism. I walked away with more inspiration than perhaps I was able to give them.
After a brief meeting in my office, I addressed a group from
Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the Jewish fraternity, brought to Israel on a trip led by the indefatigable Rabbi Chananel Weiner, director of Aish Boston. What an amazing group of young Jewish men. They came from all over the United States to spend time in Israel studying their Jewish heritage. These young men are stepping up as leaders on campuses where antisemitism is becoming more commonplace. I left the room feeling even more optimistic about the Jewish future.
I stopped in at a dinner of Jewish young professionals on a BMX trip sponsored by the Jewish Outreach Initiative (JOI) in Denver and led by the charismatic Rabbi Menachem Lehrfield. While their colleagues were skiing the slopes back in Colorado, here was a group of young Jews who had taken off time from work to come to Jerusalem to be inspired.
Perhaps the highlight of my day took place not at Aish but in an apartment in Ramat Eshkol. As part of our newly formatted Rabbinical training program, we made a conscious decision to work with all of the Aish HaTorah future Rebbetzins. I walked into the room and saw the future of Jewish women’s leadership sitting in front of me. What moved me, even more, was that the wives of two of the heads of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah, Rebbetzin Rosman and Rebbetzin Schoonmaker, were there to provide serious role models for the young women. Walking out of that room I felt serious optimism for Aish HaTorah and the Jewish nation.
This is what Aish HaTorah is all about. The reason the Jews have lasted as long as we have, and stayed as strong, is because we are always looking ahead to who can lead us into tomorrow. I want you all to know that after spending a day with JLF, AEPi, JOI and our future Aish Rebbetzins our future is strong, passionate and focused. While millennials around the world spent their winter vacation partying and focused on themselves, here were Jewish millennials focused on learning to lead their Jewish brothers and sisters. May the Almighty give Aish HaTorah the strength to continue to educate and inspire the next generation of Jewish leaders.
PS I’m having dinner tonight with five more groups of future Jewish leaders. I love my job!
Warm regards and good shabbos!