Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Israel off the beaten track, feel the conflict first hand, understand the security issues and politic realities, and have an unforgettable trip!
Monday, Tu B’Av (July 22), marked the 23rd yahrzeit of late Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, a world-renowned communal rabbi and chinuch activist who inspired many with his books and talks. Rabbi Hecht had a unique relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and carried out many important missions and projects at his directive. During his lifetime, he established numerous schools and organizations, with the main goal being to educate the younger generation about their Jewish heritage and to imbue them with Jewish pride.
One of the organizations he headed for nearly 50 years was the Jewish Released Time program under NCFJE – National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education – where Rabbi Hecht served as executive vice president. The program – still active today – reaches out to young Jewish children in the Greater New York Area, exposing them to weekly sessions of Jewish learning in a fun and interactive setting. Although the hours are short, the impact can be potentially long-lasting. As former student Moshe Rafailov, now 22 years old, said, “The whole idea of me becoming religious, and the motivation to do so, was imbued in me at the Released Time hour.”
Moshe explained: “I come from a traditional Jewish Bucharian family. We had Shabbat dinners, made Passover seders, and would celebrate many of the other Jewish holidays, but other than that, there wasn’t really much to it. I barely knew what it meant to be a Jew and did not belong to a community, so I did not really connect to it in any way.
“One day, a young woman who happened to be a counselor in my school in Kew Gardens Hills brought up the idea to my parents to enroll me into the Released Time Program…and as the old saying goes: the rest was history.
When asked what inspired him most, he answered: “It was definitely the songs that were incorporated throughout the program, in the prayers, games, and holiday functions. Judaism went from being just a bunch of laws and restrictions to a livable and dynamic experience, and sometimes, even fun.”
Another child deeply affected by his experience at Released Time is Shlomo Goldman. Shlomo is from an all-American family, and grew up in Marine Park, Brooklyn. His parents were non-observant Jews, who were happily content with their religious standards (or lack thereof). One day, as he was leaving public school, Shlomo saw his mother in the school parking lot with a flyer in her hands about Released Time, which commenced the last hour of school every Wednesday. “An hour off of school?” Shlomo thought, “I’m in!”
In turned out, though, that Shlomo was the only one in his area who attended the program and therefore was treated to one-on-one sessions by an energetic young instructor. Shlomo loved the riddles, the contests, and the fun which met him every Wednesday, and loved how “Judaism just became alive.”
One thing led to another, and eventually a Chabad shliach giving Shlomo bar mitzvah lessons in Pennsylvania – where his family later moved – led him to start becoming fully observant.
As a child, Shlomo had entertained dreams of playing professional baseball. Today, he is a teacher and instructor at Released Time and hopes to become a Chabad shliach one day. “I want to be a shliach of the Rebbe, igniting the spiritual spark in every Jew I’ll meet, just as was done for me,” he said.
Over 1,000 Jewish public school children are currently enrolled in Released Time in 75 citywide centers. They are taught by over 200 dedicated instructors. The legacy of Rabbi Hecht is alive and well.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Report: Hamas took advantage of the cease fire to attack IDF soldiers…
The IDF has released names of the soldier killed on Thursday night.
12:30pm Be’er Sheva Region, Ofakim… x2 10:50am Sirens at Eshkol. 10:03am – – Cease fire broken by Hamas – – Hamas fires rocket at Eshkol region. All winners, please collect your bets. No injuries were reported in the rocket strike. 9:30am Hamas hasn’t fired any rockets at Israel yet since the 8:00am cease fire went […]
Curious as to how long Israel has been rocket free? This site will tell you…
Hamas wants the Arabs in Judea and Samaria to join in…
As the 8:00am deadline for the cease fire approaches, Hamas has shot a lot rockets into Israel to get their last licks: 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati 7:31am 08-01-2014 Ashdod, Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati 7:31am 08-01-2014 […]
Said Arikat is not just a journalist, he acts more like a lobbyist for the Palestinian Arab cause in daily press briefings at the State Department.
More ugly anti-Semitism in Europe, with the Gaza war serving as the wick for the firebombs of hatred.
Anyone taking bets on how long this cease fire will last, and how many rockets will be fired up to the last minute?
As Gaza terrorists continue to ‘carpet-rocket’ Israel, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secy of State John Kerry plan another cease fire.
Shuka Dorfman, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has passed away at 64 after a serious illness.
There can only be a finite number of tunnels, but the IDF keeps finding more of them…
Monday, Tu B’Av (July 22), marked the 23rd yahrzeit of late Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, a world-renowned communal rabbi and chinuch activist who inspired many with his books and talks. Rabbi Hecht had a unique relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and carried out many important missions and projects at his directive.
Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?
Total Voters: 2,097
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/obituaries/the-legacy-of-rabbi-jacob-j-hecht/2013/08/05/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: