web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



The Legacy Of Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht

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.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Legacy Of Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
rocketpopmap12009
IDF Confirms: Rocket Launched from Gaza
Latest News Stories
rocketpopmap12009

The IDF has confirmed that a rocket was launched from Gaza at approximately 6:30pm on Tuesday.

Arsonists set fire to a Brussels synagogue that was firebombed in 20190, but Jewish officials are not ready to declare the incident as anti-Semitic. The wife and two children of the synagogue’s caretaker, who was not present at the time of the arson, suffered slight smoke inhalation after the fire broke out on the fourth […]

Sabra 'hummus" - made in Israel and be bought in the United States

If you don’t live in Israel, at least ‘Buy Israel.”

One dollar now buys 3.64 shekels, nearly 25 agorot more than two months ago.

The higher rate is good news for Israelis with dollar accounts and for U.S. tourists.

A guide at the Gush Etzion Zoo (bet you didn’t there was one of those in Gush Etzion) explains to Junior High School students how to extract the ram horn shell after it dried, and eventually make it into a shofar, on September 15, 2014.

“Jewish teams’ are more proud to win than proud to be Jewish.

A prison inmate on death row in Connecticut is demanding kosher food, though he’s not really Jewish.

There were reports that ISIS shot down a Syrian regime’s war plane over its “capital,” Raqqa.

An eight year old boy was struck and killed in a parking lot by a school bus Tuesday at Kibbutz Kfar Menachem.

A new cancer treatment to fight metastatic melanoma, Keytruda, has been approved by the FDA.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid refuses to raise taxes and won’t let defense budget demands turn into a ‘Turkish bazaar.’

Turkey has offered to host the Egyptian leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood after their eviction from Qatar.

Israel is cracking down on Arab attackers determined to harm Jews in Jerusalem and around the country.

For the first time, US warplanes bombed ISIS terrorists near Baghdad in support of Iraqi troops.

Oskar Groening’s defense is that he only was cog in the Nazi death machine.

The US warns people to buy gas masks if visiting, Israel warns of world-wide anti-Semitism.

More Articles from Shmuel Friedman

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.

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: