July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

‘Israel Inspiration Initiative’ Event Engages New Generation of Olim

Rabbi Markowitz of Shaarei Torah speaking at Israel Inspiration Initiative.

On June 9, the Israel Inspiration Initiative launched a unique event designed to inspire young married Jewish individuals aged 20-35 to consider making aliyah. Sponsored by Congregation Shomrei Torah of Fair Lawn, the event featured discussions on key topics: housing, education and employment. Over 80 people were registered for the event, where they heard from a distinguished lineup of rabbis, educators and professionals who shared their insights and inspiring words on the benefits and practicalities of moving to Israel.

Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, rabbi of Shomrei Torah, commenced the event with an address on the spiritual and cultural significance of aliyah. Rabbi Judah Mischel followed with a motivational talk titled “Why Not Aliyah,” encouraging attendees to consider the move to Israel.

Rabbi Yossi Goldin from Mizrachi discussed initiatives between Mizrachi and the National Council of Young Israel aimed at developing affordable housing in new Anglo communities across Israel. He introduced Rav Felberg from Harish and Rav Grossman from Carnei Gat, who presented on their respective communities.

Michael Eisenberg, renowned author and General Partner at Aleph VC, provided valuable insights into the Israeli job market and tips for future olim. Yaffa Eisenberg shared her experiences of raising a family in Israel, offering a personal perspective on the Israeli lifestyle.

Rabbi Paul Bloom speaking.

Rafi Shulman gave an overview of the Israeli education system, emphasizing the integration of Anglo children. Rabbi Lavey Freedman, founder and director of Darchei Noam in Ramat Beit Shemesh, spoke about accommodating Anglo children in Israeli schools. Rochelle Maron from Modiin shared her experiences as a teacher working with Anglo students and as a parent. Rabbi Yossi Ginsberg from NCSY Israel described NCSY’s after-school programs tailored for Anglo children, especially teens.

Marc Rosenberg, vice president of Nefesh B’Nefesh, concluded the presentations by highlighting the importance of thorough planning and research before making aliyah.

The Israel Inspiration Initiative, led by Rabbi Steven Prusansky, Rabbi Heshie Billet, Rabbi Paul Bloom, Dr. Menachem Marcus, Dr. Ronnie Wachtel and Marty Knecht, Esq., aims to inspire aliyah by bringing together American rabbis and professionals who have already made aliyah and have them share their experiences and insights about Israel and aliyah. This initiative is a collaborative effort with Mizrachi, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the National Council of Young Israel.

The Israel Inspiration Initiative plans to create a new form of shlichut where American rabbis and professionals who have made aliyah will talk about their experiences and motivations for moving to Israel in communities across America. These encounters will be tailored to the specific needs of each community, in collaboration with local rabbis and leaders.

While Fair Lawn’s initial focus was on young married couples, future initiatives will also target retirees, near-retirees and other segments of the Jewish community. The most important aspect of this initiative is the ongoing discussion within the community. For example, in Fair Lawn, Brian Sher will organize regular discussions for community members contemplating aliyah, facilitating personal planning and decision-making.

This model has proven successful in New Jersey communities such as Highland Park, Deal and Springfield. Interest has been expressed by community leaders from Teaneck and Edison, as well as the Upper West Side and the Five Towns for implementing the Israel Inspiration Initiative in their areas.

To run an Israel Inspiration Initiative in your community, please reach out to Rabbi Paul Bloom at [email protected]

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