Dear Aish Family,

The word partner could mean so many different things. In a law firm, it exudes respect. The term “howdy partner” in the Wild West of old was a term of friendship. In Aish HaTorah, it means so much more. An Aish partner is someone who believes that every Jew in the world has a birthright to learn Torah. An Aish partner believes that the Almighty is the ultimate partner and our job is to help Jews connect with Him. An Aish partner believes that as a Jew we must take responsibility for all crucial matters that others may ignore.

When I first came to Aish 26 months ago I was introduced to someone who has become so much more than a partner. I remember the first time I spoke with Dr. Stuart Hytman. He started the conversation by stating that although there have been some bumps in the Aish road, he is a student of Rav Noach Weinberg OB”M and he will always be there for Aish. What a way to be welcomed into an organization!

As time went on Stuart and I developed a close friendship speaking almost every day about the happenings at Aish. His sage advice and wisdom has been a guide for me almost every day. This past week Stuart and I decided to have a two-day summit. The two of us retreated to Northern Canada to talk about Aish HaTorah and the future of the Jewish people. This is the definition of an Aish partner. Taking off two days of work to speak about the challenges of the Jewish nation. Stuart also found time to try to teach me archery. While I’m sure there was a metaphor for trying to hit a bullseye in service of the Almighty, I missed the target every time. There is always next year….

I often wondered where Stuart’s inner strength came from. I realized the answer as we were talking about his history with Aish. Stuart told me that when he and his wife Andrea were a young couple, upon the urging of his wife, they took off a year to come to Israel to study Torah at Aish. This was no easy task as he was a young dentist but Torah reigned supreme in their household. Stuart fondly remembers his private learning sessions with Rav Noach to this day.

It was at this point that I realized where Stuart’s strength came from. In order to serve and come close to the Almighty, one must study His Torah. The fact that the Hytman’s, while just starting out in life, decided to prioritize Torah gave them the ability to view the world through the prism of Torah. This strength of commitment has stayed with Stuart ever since and that is why he and his wife Andrea have been Aish HaTorah’s strongest partners over the last 25 years. I want to publicly thank them for their generosity of spirit and their dedication to the values of Aish HaTorah. I would also like to invite all of you to join us at the 18th annual Aish HaTorah Partners Conference so you can become a partner of the fastest growing Jewish movement in the world.

Warm regards and good shabbos!

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