I hope you are getting ready for an enjoyable summer. By the volume of requests we are receiving daily for visits to the Dan Family Aish World Center, many of you will be joining us in Israel in the coming weeks. You can now easily make reservations for classes or the Western Wall Experience and rooftop visits here
. We look forward to seeing you.
I debated whether or not to share some exciting news with you this week as it is still early; but I cannot resist. Aish Israel has just moved into new headquarters in Tel Aviv! So many of the participants in our affiliated programs including Mothers with Meaning (MWM) and the Triumph Leadership Initiative (TLi) live in the greater Tel Aviv area, that we need a permanent location. Our staff and volunteers are already busy at work preparing programs for the coming summer.
Although Aish initially focused on outreach to Jews from North America, the need for an Aish presence in Israel has become clear. Aish initially started a branch in Tel Aviv in 2008 run by the indefatigable Rabbi David Ziering. He has done and continues to do a great job working with young Israelis, especially newly married couples, and now has a beautiful shul in Raanana.
Over the years, Aish has increased our focus on bringing Jewish wisdom to Israeli Jews. One might find it strange that we are putting so much of our efforts into Israeli Jews. It might seem that North American Jews would be more at risk for assimilation and would require more of our guidance. I had the honor of speaking to a high-ranking officer in the IDF once who helped give this some perspective. She told me that the IDF is one of the only armies in the world that has an educational division. She said that the soldiers need to know what they are risking their lives for. It’s a brotherhood and a sisterhood that goes back over 3000 years.
This can only come with the study of Jewish wisdom. Without the Bible, Israel doesn’t make much sense. That is why every soldier gets a gun – and a Tanach. We fully expect that over the next ten years, one-third of the Jews involved in AISHVision 2030 will be from Israel. With the addition of the Koresh Hotel as our seminary for women, and now our center in Tel Aviv, we are meeting that need and growing our footprint in Israel.
I invite all of you to visit our new Tel Aviv hub. Speak to the young Israelis who have made it their second home. Come help us spread our message of Jewish literacy all over Israel.