LONG BRANCH, New Jersey – For the last few days of 2018, the Ocean Place Resort and Spa on the Jersey shore became a center of Torah learning for over 400 teens coming together from across the United States, Canada and South America.
NCSY’s annual Yarchei Kallah program, a signature event for almost 30 years, has capitalized on the December public school vacation period to inject an authentic religiously inspired week of Torah learning and unity into the lives of teens. NCSY is a division of the Orthodox Union (OU).
This year’s Yarchei Kallah was designed and led by NCSY’s education director, Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin. The teen participants, including many with limited previous exposure to Jewish texts or traditions, enjoyed one-on-one, group and lecture learning with dynamic speakers from around the world with whom they discussed the central theme: The Life of Moshe.
“Our theme allowed us to focus on some of the characteristics of Moshe’s leadership that can best be emulated by our teens: self-sacrifice necessary to lead; pursuit of justice; and ultimately trust in God,” said NCSY International Director Rabbi Greenland.
The scholars in residence for the program were NCSY’s Mashgiach Ruchani, Rabbi Menachem Nissel; its Mashpia, Rabbi Judah Mischel; and senior educator, Rabbi Israel Lashak. The students also heard from OU leadership including its president, Moishe Bane, and Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. Other speakers included world renowned musician Alex Clare and Israeli thought leader Hillel Fuld, who is also the brother of Ari Fuld Hy”d, recently killed in a terror attack.
“The Orthodox Union takes enormous pride in NCSY, specifically all of the teens and advisors who chose to spend their winter vacations studying Jewish texts together at Yarchei Kallah with great energy and enthusiasm,” said OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “The OU is committed to ensuring Jewish education and experience is made accessible and engaging for every Jew.”
“Yarchei Kallah represents the very essence of NCSY,” said OU President Moishe Bane. “Every moment of Yachei Kallah was meticulously designed to allow teens to discover, on their own terms, the joy of Jewish learning and community. Yarchei Kallah is about a united, non-judgmental, encouraging environment devoted to developing both individual and shared connections to our religious texts and shared investment in our religious future.”