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My Favorite Gift Ever!

This week I received a painting that it is impossible not be excited about. A 10-year-old artist from Kibbutz Yehiam (Hashomer Hatzair) painted her fondest dream – a vision of a synagogue built in this very secular kibbutz. Unfortunately, it is still a dream but it seems to me that the footsteps of the Messiah are being heard, from the neshamot of pure children ...

Causing a Turnabout in the Gaza Envelope

This year, in the midst of sadness and confusion we will be placing an emphasis on reading the Megillat Esther in the settlements near the Gaza border. Our operatives will be reading the Megillah, conducting Purim feasts and organizing Mishloach Manot deliveries at kibbutzim along the border, as we will bring about a turnabout (VeNafoch Hu) to joy and goodwill!

For the heart (Bishvil HaLev)

The Jewish Identity project continues in 23 communities in the south. While we have already seen great success, the project is still limited (greatly due to the challenges of a non-functioning government) but the progress is still breathtaking. Activities are taking place in community centers in the Gaza envelope, the Negev and the Arava. Recently, we sensed a deep desire for involvement in mediation, connection and finding the common denominator between religious and secular populations. On Tu B’Shvat, dozens of special dinners (Tishes) took place with singing and enjoyment of the fruit of the Holy Land we are blessed to live in.

Kibbutz synagogues project

In the last month, after many years of working gently with the Kibbutz Hanaton community in a vital part of the Galilee, we have been informed that permission to start construction has been granted for the establishment of a synagogue . We at Ayelet HaShachar are excited and ready to help.

Last week I toured communities along the Egyptian border with my friend Barry Septimus. We met with residents of the Moshav Kmehin - an agricultural moshav that was established over 30 years ago, and has everything a Jew could want – even a special academy to train promising young soldiers – except a synagogue. We hope we can announce good news in the coming year!

Moshav Ben Ami and the Nahariya Hospital

The Ayelet Hashachar (Golombek) family in Moshav Ben Ami has initiated the opening of a hospitality suite for families of hospitalized patients. The little hotel will host families on Shabbatot and Chagim who need to be with their sick relatives, and do not have accommodation and other arrangements. The initiative began after they saw many family members wandering around the secular moshav, hoping to find a place to stay on Shabbat and discovering that there is a Rav there, who has been doing much wonderful work for many years now.  The response of the Moshav members to helping those in need is very heartwarming, and brings much nachas to Rav Golombeck from all the efforts he and his wife have invested over the years.

 

Modi’in - Women's Chavruta

Every week, religious and secular women meet to study together in the new hall of the Beit Midrash. This is an experimental program aimed at providing a response for women who are far from a religious background, but who want to know more. Dozens of chavrutot have been attending in recent weeks.

Shlomi – A town on the Lebanese border

The Ayelet Hashachar Kollel in Shlomi has expanded and accepted additional families for the Beit Midrash and the community. We hope that by the end of the year there will be a strong nucleus of thirteen families in this special town, a mere mile from Hezbollah strongholds. This past week we celebrated some very special news. Six Avreichim from the Ayelet HaShachar Kollel received an outstanding grade on a very difficult area of Halacha – Hilchot Eruvin.  They are now ready to help construct a proper Eruv in more and more communities around the country.

Women's Chavruta Conference

About 350 women participated in the Volunteer Enrichment Program for Chavruta. Dozens of hair-raising experiences and stories were heard throughout the evening. How fortunate we are to have been able to spearhead this project! Ayelet HaShachar appreciates and appreciates the great contribution that these special women have made to this special effort of bringing hearts together in the Land. The need is even more evident these days when unity of the Jewish Nation is in great danger.

Dreams grow on Tu B’Shvat in Lavon

Lavon is a beautiful but difficult community to reach our brothers and sisters, as the business people and academics who live there find little time or interest for Torah and tradition in their lives.  Since the Oppenheimer family moved in two years ago, there are minyanim almost every Shabbat, and recently a weekly learning program has begun as well.  On Tu B’Shvat, Ayelet HaSHachar hosted Ehud Ariel, the observant son of pop icon Meir Ariel, for a lovely evening of songs and stories and lessons about the Holiday of Trees, as fruits and Torah were enjoyed by all.

Mazel Tov

To the devoted and beloved director of Ayelet Hashachar, Rabbi Aryeh Siroka on the occasion of the Bar Mitzva of his son Menachem. May Rabbi & Mrs. Siroka receive much nackas from him and their entire beautiful family, and may Hashem repay them for their great efforts for the good.

Condolences

Our hearts are extended to the Shabtai family on the loss of our dear friend, their father Yaakov z”l from Kibbutz Ein Charod. Yaakov was a loyal friend and partner of our work in the Jezreel Valley, and he helped spearhead the Matzah factory project that received much attention as many marveled that a Mehadrin religious bakery could be opened in the best known of the (once) anti-religious HaShomer HaTzair kibbutzim.  Yaakov dreamed of establishing a very beautiful synagogue on the Kibbutz, and we shall continue to help to make that a reality.  May his memory be a blessing.

Thank You

Our thanks go out to our friends in San Paulo, Los Angeles, and New York who greatly helped us during this past month visited
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