I'm in Israel for 4 of our Birthright trips and many Smachot (Family Bar Mitzvah – Yosef Chaim Stefansky, Friend's Bar Mitzvah – Aliza and Ephraim Schwartz and two different Friend's Daughters wedding – Former NCSY Superstar Meryl Lee and Ariel Abraham 2nd daughter and Avrom and Eshkie Leventhal's 1st). As I walk around Israel and I run into a constant stream of alumni my nephew Naftali is awestruck by how many people I know! I've picked up lots of great ideas for future spotlights on Alumni doing amazing things for Clal Yisroel. One highlight was the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony (performed by Rabbi Menachem Persoff) for the birthright trip led by our very own Scott and Deena Shulman. Three young men and 1 young lady chose Hebrew names and celebrated their decision to grow in Torah and Mitzvos as active members of the Jewish people. I was overwhelmed with pride in our participants and great staff also including Chana Groves and Netanel Gibby Gibson. Eight of the participants have decided to continue their Birthright trip by studying Torah in Yeshivot in Israel! Over the course of the summer we will have 18 of these trips run by our staff and many more similar success stories.
Have an awesome Shabbos,
Rabbi Dave Felsenthal