Students and alumni of Yeshiva University, its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), and YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) have enriched the holiday celebrations of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in 75 Jewish communities around the world.
As part of the annual Schreiber Torah Tours, groups of four to eight men and women visited Orthodox congregations to infuse ruach (Jewish spirit and passion) into the holiday celebrations.
“The second Torah Tours visit to our Kinloss community was a sensational success!” said Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the Finchley Synagogue in Kinloss Gardens, London. “The group met all of our expectations and made a deep impact on our community. Many of our members were moved and impressed by their knowledge, confidence and passion for authentic Jewish values.”
This year, more than 350 students and alumni have chosen to spend the holidays away from their families to sing, dance, and share Torah ideas with members of other Jewish communities from Palo Alto, CA, to Milwaukee, WI, to Paramus NJ. They also hosted activities for youth and delivered lectures on Jewish-themed topics.
“We all really loved it and iy”H definitely plan on going back! We got to know certain members of the shul and in the short time that we were there we all really felt that we had made a deep connection with the community” said Dov Winston, a junior at Yeshiva College.
The Center for the Jewish Future works with YU’s colleges, schools, and affiliates to shape programs that will train Jewish lay and professional leadership, develop initiatives and strengthen existing ones, as well as deliver services to its students and the broader Jewish communities.
“This program engages our student body in what they do best: bringing energy and enthusiasm into communities around the world,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, CJF dean.
Torah Tours sponsors more than 125 programs around the world and during the year, including other holidays, winter and summer breaks.
“Torah Tours is a life-changing experience for everyone involved in the program,” said Aliza Abrams, Director of the Aaron and Blanche Schreiber Torah Tours. “Being able to send 350 students out to communities all over North America is an honor.”
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