web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Shuls And Mushrooms

HaRav HaGaon Rav Steinman studying the plans for the shul.

HaRav HaGaon Rav Steinman studying the plans for the shul.

Like mushrooms, shuls of all shapes and sizes are popping up throughout Israel in places where the residents vowed no sign of traditional Judaism would ever find a place. However, unlike mushrooms, which appear overnight with little effort, these shuls are being built only after incredible input by a special organization and inspired individuals.

It all begins with Ayelet Hashachar, a non-profit organization set up in 1997 to work towards bridging the gap between religious and non-religious Jews in Israel. “So many people are searching to build themselves a new identity, even though this identity is shaking the foundation on which their society was built,” says Rabbi Raanan referring to the anti-religious doctrine that resounds through the echelons of secular Israeli society. “We take their embers and make them glow,” he adds.

Rabbi Raanan

Rabbi Raanan

Ayelet Hashachar works on several fronts: offering Shabbatonim with leading speakers; bar mitzvah programs that don’t just offer a fun tour of a yeshiva, but give the boys the chance to really learn; learning partners via phone for men and women; and traditional Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services on secular kibbutzim and moshavim all over the country. In order for prayer services to take place, the organization arranges for a minyan of volunteers to spend the holiday with the community. Volunteers are culled from the full gamut of Jewish life – hesder students, yeshiva bochurim, married men who learn in kollel, Chassidim and Sephardim – and merge into one congregation. In addition, the organization provides prayer books, a shofar, and a sefer Torah. But it’s up to the hosting location to provide the venue. Rabbi Raanan has become an expert at assessing the accommodations available and converting them into a places where G-d can enter. It often begins with a room specially converted into a shul for Yom Kippur. Within a few years, however, the original petitioners often turn to Rabbi Raanan asking for help in establishing a permanent shul that will be used for much more than once-a-year prayer services.

 

Modest Beginnings

The Givat Oz "Slichos Tent"

The Givat Oz “Slichos Tent”

Some beginnings are more modest than others. In northern Israel, for the first time this year, members of Kibbutz Givat Oz, part of the antireligious Shomer Hatzair Socialist–Zionist movement, held Yom Kippur services in a “Slichos Tent” erected in a private yard. The previous year, attempts at organizing a minyan had failed. This year, although efforts were redoubled, a 75 against 64 for vote vetoed the proposed service. Unwilling to give in, yet reluctant to upset members who insisted on holding onto the anti-religious doctrines of the kibbutz establishment, those who had voted for the service came up with an ingenious solution: a private tent in a private yard. In a letter of appreciation to Ayelet Hashachar, kibbutz member Michael Yedid wrote, “Yom Kippur arrived at last. Slowly people began to trickle in – such sweet young men came. The atmosphere turned into one of precious holiness. Kibbutz members came in for Kol Nidre. The excitement and joy took over as 50 people came to join us! What we experienced can only be described as deep joy.”

One Family’s Fire

Typically, some sort of committee comprising people brave enough to call for change turns to Ayelet Hashachar. However, on Kibbutz Kfar Menachem in central Israel, this wasn’t the case. Last year, thanks to the enormous effort made by one couple, Ahuva and Shimon Amiel, the kibbutz, which belongs to the Shomer Hatzair movement, held its first traditional Yom Kippur minyan. The couple moved to Kfar Menacham after having spent three years in Arizona where Shimon had been working on a project for Israel’s Ministry of Defense. The Amiels were the address for anyone looking for a kosher meal. “We were used to living in the Jewish community in Arizona, and Kfar Menchem was very different,” says Ahuva, describing their new home. The previous year, someone had organized a Reform minyan with a woman chazzan. Two days before Yom Kippur, it was obvious that due to lack of support, that minyan wasn’t going to take place again. “That was when we decided to step in,” says Ahuva.

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 “Shuls And Mushrooms”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arabs burn tires in Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Arab Violence in Jerusalem Forces Police to Return Law and Order
Latest Sections Stories

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

More Articles from Rhona Lewis
Lewis-101014-East-Gate

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

Lewis-092614

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

The traditional services that take place here transport visitors back in time, enabling them to smell and feel the authentic historical experience.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/shuls-and-mushrooms/2013/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: