May 30, 2024
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Aish Erber Family Gesher: Empowering the Future of Jewish Leadership

(Courtesy of Aish) Marking a significant milestone in their commitment to fostering a deeper connection to Torah, Judaism and the land of Israel, Aish has announced a partnership with Daniel and Bari Erber of New York City and the renaming of its post-high school, gap-year program as Aish Erber Family Gesher (efg@aish).

For the past 49 years, Aish has been a force in the global Jewish community, providing innovative, enriching and transformative experiences for Jews from all backgrounds. Twelve years ago, Aish’s Gesher program was founded with a focus on “inreach”—providing a revolutionary educational structure for graduates of Orthodox schools and public-school students alike. The success of this program has attracted top students across the full spectrum of Jewish and public-school education, and this past year inaugurated a parallel program for women.

Aish CEO Rabbi Steven Burg said: “We are taught that a Jew needs three types of relationships: with oneself, with friends, and with God. At Aish, we have a fourth relationship which requires special nurturing. That of leadership and responsibility towards the entire Jewish community. This fourth pillar is something that the Erber Family has constantly been advocating.”

The educational journey offered by “Aish Gesher” has been a hallmark of excellence, providing students with an unparalleled opportunity to cultivate a passion for Torah learning, develop strong Jewish values, and nurture leadership qualities within the community for the last 12 years. With its new identity as “efg@aish,” the program will continue to build upon its legacy of reinvigorating the Orthodox community with impassioned young leaders dedicated to the continued strength of the Jewish community as a whole. The program received a record number of nearly 1,000 applicants for the 2023-2024 school year for the 195 spots for men and women. A significant number of the program’s alumni have gone on to leadership positions at Jewish outreach organizations and have returned to teach new students at Aish.

Aish Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits reflected: “On the basis of my conversations with the Erber Family, it is clear that they are pillars of the values we instill in our students: dedication to learning Jewish wisdom, to building a relationship with the Almighty, and to actively contribute to improving ourselves and the world.”

The Erber Family’s association with the program adds a new dimension to its mission. The renaming of “Aish Erber Family Gesher” reflects the Erber Family’s dedication to nurturing a generation with a profound understanding and appreciation of Judaism, along with a profound connection to Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael.

“Our collaboration with the Erber Family is a testament to our shared values and commitment to the future of Jewish education,” said Aish Yeshiva Director and Dean of efg@aish Rabbi Dovid Rosman. “This renaming marks an exciting chapter in our program’s history, as we empower students with the inspiration, knowledge and tools to contribute positively to the Jewish community.”

“The program’s unique curriculum is designed to help students develop their own leadership potential and understand their distinct role within the Jewish future,” said Daniel Erber. “Our commitment is that efg@aish upholds its mission to kindling students’ passion for Judaism and further developing their leadership skills to become the much-needed Jewish leaders of our future generations.”

In 2020, Aish launched the AishVision2030 initiative, a 10-year strategy to engage three million Jews, effectively 20% of the projected global Jewish population, with timeless Jewish wisdom by the year 2030. Aish’s Associate Director Rachel Spinner commented, “We look forward to seeing the impact the Erber Family has on Aish and how this relationship will be a catalyst for the continued strengthening of Jewish identity worldwide for years to come.”

For more information about efg@aish, visit aish.com/efg. To learn more about Aish, visit about.aish.com.

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