Long Island NCSY Region Welcomes Its New Director-Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone

01 Sep 2006


Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, who already has a successful career as a businessman as well as a rabbi, is now prepared for more success guiding Jewish youth. In mid-August Rabbi Lightstone assumed his new position as the Director of Long Island NCSY.

NCSY, the national youth program of the Orthodox Union, provides educational and fun events for both observant and non-observant teenagers. At the forefront in the battle against assimilation, it offers innovative programming which helps Jewish teens see the beauty of their heritage and a Torah observant lifestyle.

He replaced Rabbi Stephen Berger who came to LI a year ago from leading a region in Oakland. After a year of great triumphs, Rabbi Berger returns to the West Coast where he is from, to become the Director of the Northwest Region in Vancouver, Canada and to be closer to home.

The LI NCSY region eagerly awaited its new director. “We are proud to welcome Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone whose vision combined with experience will yield and foster tremendous growth guiding the region to a spectacular future,” declared Rabbi Steven Burg, National Director of NCSY.

Rabbi Lightstone developed a strong set of goals to pursue. “There is so much to be done,” exclaimed Rabbi Lightstone. “We want to place NCSY more on the forefront of chesed and Torah on Long Island,” he said. His responsibilities also include public school students of the Jewish Student Union, the NCSY companion program. “We want to double the size of our public school clubs and launch March of the Living for our NCSY participants,” he declared.

“I know that Rabbi Lightstone’s business acumen will take LI NCSY to even greater heights,” expressed Charles Harary, Chairman of LI NCSY. Rabbi Lightstone will be involved in fundraising efforts and developing the program for March of the Living, hardly a challenge for a businessman.

Rabbi Lightstone received a degree in Finance from Yeshiva University and founded a real estate company. Passionate to make “a lasting impact on Klal Yisrael” he decided to pursue rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

He believes that “common experience from both fields will allow him to use creativity, compassion and professionalism to achieve great things where there is great potential.”

Along with creating and implementing new programs, Rabbi Lightstone will also continue LI NCSY’s highly successful Friday Night Lights and Latte & Learning programs with the same enthusiasm.

LI NCSY’s work was recognized in a New York Times, January 15, article To Rekindle Faith, Getting Teenagers and the Sabbath to Cross Paths.

Friday Night Lights introduces teenagers from non-observant homes on LI to a meaningful Shabbat experience filled with candle lighting, traditional prayer services, festive meals, singing, dancing, story telling, group discussions and recreation. The Latte & Learning program welcomes young adults to come together for coffee and meaningful discussions at Starbucks branches across LI.

“We would like to welcome and encourage graduates of NCSY Summer programs, particularly Jewish Overseas Leadership Training and Michlelet, which train high school students to take on responsibilities in working with other teens, to apply their knowledge and enthusiasm to their own neighborhoods through Friday Night Lights and Latte & Learning,” stated Rabbi Lightstone.