Newsletter Sivan 5775

Ein Yahav Torah Dedication-from Shmitta to Sefer Torah

In our last Newsletter, we invited everyone to attend this Sefer Torah dedication, and explained that Ein Yahav was participating in our Shmitta Program. From that participation the community decided that it wanted a Sefer Torah. We dedicated that Sefer Torah on the day after Shavuos, (the second day of Shavuos in the Diaspora). Hundreds attended the event. It was tremendously moving: one of the members of the Kibbutz spoke saying “HK”B we apologize to You and are deeply sorry for being ‘brogas’ with You!” A person approached Rav Raanan asking to see the Torah Scrolls. That person thought that the Torah was painted and decorated. That person had NEVER EVER seen a Sefer Torah! The person was deeply moved by seeing it, immediately requested a learning chavruta.

Secular And Charedi Actors Getting to Know Each Other


Ein Harod Emek Yisrael--Nine Years of Bar Mitzvahs!


Citibank Employees Meet Chareidim

Also, in our last Newsletter we shared our experience from our Schul in Modi’in where we had a Chasidishe Tish. From there we moved on to a Sephardi Sefer Torah Dedication! A traditional Sephardi man came to learn occasionally in our Kollel in Modi’in and davened in our Schul there. He was having a Sefer Torah written in His parents’ memory and he asked if we would accept a Sephardi Sefer Torah even though we were an Ashkenazi community. He could not think of a better home for the Torah in memory of his parents. And so it went: a Sephardi Sefer Torah was dedicated in our Ashkenazi Schul in Modi’in, realizing one of our great dreams of promoting achdus (unity) between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities. The event strengthened each individual who attended! Now Sephardim can feel at home in our Schul in Modi’in.


For the past nine years we have been working with the children of families on Kibbutz Ein Harod located in Emek Yisrael to have their sons Bar Mitzvah. Now, almost all the families are participating in this wonderful program. Included in the program are visits to the Kotel, Yeshivat HaKotel, Yeshivat Chevron, and the Belz Beis Midrash.












Thirty employees of Citibank enjoyed a three-part program introducing them to the “Chareidi” community of Bnei Brak. First, they went to the home of Mrs. Kester, a talented working artist, wife and mother of eight children. She opened not just her home but her heart telling them about how she “manages” everything! Second, they visited a Chareidi owned and operated Computer Programming Company. After listening and talking for sometime, the women from Citibank discovered that this company actually works with and for Citibank! Third, they visited a Mikva -- quite an experience for everyone. The Citibank employees had a wonderful, surprising, eye-opening experience and expressed a wish to maintain contact.




Limud Le’il Shavuos

In over 100 locations all over Israel, hundreds of people gathered to learn Torah on Le’il Shavuos!



Chavrutas Meeting for the First Time in the Old City


Shabbos in A Schul In Raanana

Eleven chavrutas met for the first time at the Kotel. It was a very moving experience to see these ladies who had learned together for several years meeting for the first time! Two of the chavrutas convinced us to let them come again because they had had such a wonderful time when they met before. One of our chavrutas’ husbands, a famous Dayan in his own right, was the driver for his wife’s chavruta who had no other way to attend! Miriam Corlansky (who is not only a certified tour guide, but also participates in our Women’s Chavruta program) led us on several tours: “In the steps of Chasam Sofer,” who came to Yerushalayim over four hundred years ago; Exploring ancient Schuls in the Old City; and Trekking through the four other quarters of the old city: Arab, Christian, Armenian and Turkish. One of the students of the famous “Rav Zilberman's Yeshiva” came to talk to us. He told stories of how the Yeshiva grew from nothing with no resources into a hugely successful educational institution. Afterwards, we were invited to the home of a resident of the Rova for dinner and “schmoozing.” We ate a beautifully catered dinner. Everyone was “starving” by that time, and happily gobbled up the delicious food. Each chavruta talked briefly about each other, speaking with such love. There were thirteen “chavruta” couples making it much more intimate than when we are twenty-five or more! Riki spoke about her mother OBM: her influence on the whole family and her incredible emunah pshuta. Finally, off we went to the beautiful light show in “Ir David” and then made our way back home.




During a Shabbos spent in a Schul in Raanana, Rav Raanan with his family and another one of our families shared Ayelet HaShachar’s (“AH’s) experiences on Kibbutzim and Moshavim all over Israel. In addition to the lectures they gave, they were fortunate to be able to speak with and visit members of the Schul. The feedback they received was very encouraging. The members of the Schul agreed to join with AH’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah program for Boys and Girls from families living in the areas surrounding Gaza, by hosting those families in the members’ homes on Shabbos. During the Shabbos, Rav Raanan was reminded of how small the Jewish world is: • We were talking about our Chavruta project with a particular host family and its impact on Israeli society only to discover that one of our previously organized programs was to take place in the Bank where our host is the Manager! • We were talking with Rav and Rabbanit Neuwirth (the Rav of the Schul and his wife), and discovered that the Rabbanit Neuwirth’s grandfather, Rav Schlesinger, got Rav Raanan’s family onto the Kastner’s transport, saving them from the Shoa; and that apparently their families had been very close friends in Hungary!


Ein Habesor--Solving the Dilemmas of “mixed” couples


Ben Gurion University’s Program Visited Ponevezh

We sponsored a learning program for couples where one spouse is Baal Teshuva and the other is not there yet. One of our religious families who live on Moshav Ein Habesor led the program that took place in a community’s Schul located near Gaza. The speakers gave the attendees many ideas on how to communicate with each other, bridging the gap, and preventing negative interactions. Many lively discussions ensued. Everyone felt enriched and left with a much better idea on how to maintain real shalom bayis based upon mutual respect and understanding.




Our continuing program between non-religious and religious Jews, participated in learning chavrutas. The men went to the Ponevezh Yeshiva, and the women to a Girls Religious College. This program gave the participants the chance to learn and understand, for the first time, more about the Chareidi Community’s—to see its human side.