BURSTING WITH JOY & TEARS – “REJEWVENATION” KIBBUTZ ZIKIM CELEBRATED A TORAH DEDICATION 18-April 2021! & INVITATION TO THE SYNAGOGUE DEDICATION ON 13-MAY 2021!
After 72 years without a Sefer Torah, Kibbutz Zikim (a Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz established in 1949 near Gaza) celebrated its first and only Sefer Torah dedication. We brought the Torah together with the Sofer and many Rabbonim to the Kibbutz where we danced and sang and cried as the Sofer finished writing the last few letters! Various Kibbutz members knew about our activities in neighboring Kibbutzim and Moshavim and several members were already participating in our Chavruta Program. One of the members, a principal of a regional high school, reached out to us explaining that, in the past few months, the Kibbutz has sustained numerous rocket barrages from Gaza and repeated alarms, and was in great need of a spiritual boost/spiritual “rejewvenation.” Here’s the link from the Torah dedication: https://www.bhol.co.il/news/1210049
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE SYNAGOGUE DEDICATION AT ZIKIM on Thursday, 13-May 2021. We warmly invite you to join us for that dedication.
INVITING YOU TO ATTEND THE UPCOMING TORAH & SYNAGOGUE DEDICATION AT KIBBUTZ GIVAT HASHLOSHA ROSH CHODESH SIVAN 5781, 12-MAY 2021 6:00 P.M.
With great excitement we anticipate dedicating a Torah and Synagogue at Givat HaShlosha. Our Torah donor is none other than Rabbi Giat Taish Schlit’a, who, G-d willing will join us for this event. Rabbi Taish, aged 103, who, by the way, lit one of the torches on Yom Hatzmaut, is a sofer and talmid Chacham. For decades he has been spreading the light of Torah with his warm and loving heart and his Sifrei Torah. He writes and then donates these Sifrei Torah to secular Kibbutzim and to other people who are distanced from their Judaism. Originally from Yemen, Rabbi Taish says he’s really only 73 years old not 103, counting his age from the date he made Aliyah to Eretz Yisroel. (See: https://www.bhol.co.il/news/1207851) Together with Rabbi Taish’s Sefer Torah, G-d willing we are dedicating the newsynagogue there in loving memory of Yosef Rafael Markowitz ZT”L. Great thanks are due to the Markowitz family of Los Angeles who partnered with us on this holy project. Looking forward to your joining us for this extraordinarily special event.
STRENGTHENING OUR CONNECTION TO SHLOMI AND SHLOMI’S RESIDENTS’ CONNECTION TO THEIR JEWISH ROOTS
We have sent more families to Shlomi (a community on the Lebanese border) to strengthen the community. At a special gathering of rosh kollelim, other rabbonim and students, the new families were warmly welcomed. Quietly, without noise and fanfare, a quality Torah community of young families is developing there, having chosen to be part of this warm community life and to strengthen the residents’ connection to their Jewish roots. https://www.bhol.co.il/news/1210974
USING A MODEL GARDEN TO TEACH THE LAWS OF SHMITA THE EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE!
The Administration of Sapir High School, an Agricultural High School near Kiriyat Malachi in southern Israel, invited us to teach their students, faculty and administration the laws of Shmita. We have begun planting and growing a “model garden” using it as a “real time” teaching tool bringing the laws of Shmita to life, and making them easily understood. The school’s administration, faculty and the students are beyond excited! One of the students said “I haven’t prepared for a mitzvah like this since I prepared for laying Tefillin at my Bar Mitzvah”!
OUR BSHVIL HA LEV PROGRAMS FOSTERING JEWISH PRIDE AND IDENTITY ARE UP AND RUNNING!
Our programs fostering Jewish pride and identity have restarted their courses and various activities in twenty-three different locations, including among others: Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Netivot, Ashkelon, Ofakim, Kiryat Gat, Yerucham, and Dimona.
PROVIDING JEWISH WOMEN A WAY TO CONNECT TO THEIR JEWISH ROOTS: RENOVATING EZRAT NASHIM IN SYNAGOGUES ON MOSHAVIM SHADMOT DVORA AND SHARONA (IN THE LOWER GALILEE)
Many Jewish women have expressed their wish to participate in their local synagogues, and we wanted to help them make those connections. First, we hired an expert survey company to ask 500 secular Jewish women living in “traditional” communities why they don’t attend synagogue or if they do attend synagogue what makes them want to attend. In response to that survey we started a new program partnering with the women of Shadmot Dvora and Sharona where we are renovating the Ezrat Nashim in the local synagogues. Both Moshavim are located southwest of Tiveria. Shadmot Dvora was originally established by German immigrants in 1939 and Sharona was established in 1938. Special women’s committees have been established in both communities and are hammering out all the details with us and sharing equally with us the renovation costs, giving these women a new and vibrant forum to connect to their Jewish roots.
HACHNOSAS ORCHIM FOR THE GALILEE MEDICAL CENTER
While visiting their relatives hospitalized in the Galilee Medical Center, thirty-seven families stayed in our Hachnosas Orchim (guest/hospitality) house on Shabbosim, and many more during the week. We hope to expand this facility next year. Our Hachnosas Orchim house is located on Moshav Ben Ami, a convenient 4-minute walk to the hospital.
GIVING THANKS AND LEARNING TORAH ON YOM HATZMAUT
On Yom Hatzmaut we offered a wide variety of programs to the Kibbutzim and Moshavim giving thanks for Eretz Yisroel, sharing each other’s burdens “Ohl b’yisroel” through Torah learning including daf yomi programs.
ON YOM HASHOA—REMEMBERING THE PAST AND PROTECTING OUR FUTURE
Many Kibbutzim were established and built by survivors. We reached out to those survivors’ families and conducted Zoom meetings with them on Yom HaShoah. We discussed what we could do together to prevent, G-d forbid, another Shoa, and the ever-powerful and relevant question of how we maintain our emunah in the midst of complete darkness.