Three years ago, Aish rolled out an ambitious plan to bring Torah wisdom to three million Jews. We were guided to that goal by our spiritual leader, Rav Yitzchak Berkovits. He felt strongly that part of the definition of a Jew must include Judaic knowledge. We are, after all, the people of the book. Yet so many Jews don’t know what is written in Jewish books! As a result, AISHVision2030 was set up to connect Jews to their heritage.
In three short years since we set out on our quest, we have acquired almost four million followers on social media who are constantly exposed to our cutting edge educational vignettes. While this is a proud accomplishment for any organization, we can never rest on our laurels. So this past week the leadership of Aish spent the day talking about our large audience and how to create a deeper, more immersive experience for this population.
First and foremost, we have embarked on building our new verticals of community online. We will be developing these online neighborhoods for our devotees to deepen their experience. If someone is seeking spirituality they will not only be able to attend more in-depth classes at “AishPlus” on the topic but also discuss important issues with each other. An arena where Jews feel safe and comfortable to exchange ideas is key to the growth of AISHVision2030.
What will also be key is to work with other organizations around the world. As I have said often, Aish cannot accomplish our important work alone. So I was overjoyed to get a call from my close friend and Aish Executive Board Member, Louis Mayberg. Louis told me that he had just been on a mission in Israel with Thom Waye, Chief Strategy Officer for Chabad on Campus, and he thought it would be a good idea for us to meet at our headquarters in Jerusalem. I readily agreed and we scheduled the next day.
Thom is an energetic, passionate Jew who has helped the Chabad international campus movement thrive and grow. He told me how they are supporting Jewish millennials on campus, especially during this difficult period. In turn, I shared with Thom about Aish’s work on social media. It seemed obvious that there are synergies to be explored between us and we could find ways to work together. We parted with plans to bring others into our conversation and continue to explore ways to inspire the next generation of Jewish leaders
My dear friends, all Jews have felt a kinship to one another these past three months. It is unfortunate that it takes our enemies to force us to come together. We must think long and hard about ways for us to stay together. To stay united and unified. To continue to embrace each other with hearts filled with love. Now is the time to work on strengthening our bonds. I pledge to you as the CEO of Aish that we will continue to work diligently on uniting the Jewish people. In the immortal words of Hellen Keller “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Together we can make sure the Jewish Nation will continue to stand strong. Am Yisrael Chai!