As the war in Israel continues, our hearts and prayers remain with the brave members of the IDF. As this unprecedented situation continues with over 200 of our Jewish brothers and sisters in captivity, we are quickly learning who our friends are around the world. For many of us, over the past few years we have watched the transformation of college campuses around the US into hotbeds of antisemitic attacks. I urge all of you to make your voices heard in response to the attacks against Jewish students on campus.
One of the highlights amongst all the sorrow has been the incredible amount of kindness that has come as a result of so many Jews being displaced from their homes. Last week our students at EFG@AISH went shopping to buy groceries for some of these families with our star faculty member Andrea Schulman. One of the recipients was a beautiful family of 16 that had to leave their home in Netivot.
While in the apartment that this family was temporarily occupying, the students befriended Shira who was turning 12. She told the students that her Bat Mitzvah had been canceled because of the war. Upon hearing this, Mrs. Schulman and the young women said that Aish would now be hosting the Bat Mitzvah and not to worry about a thing. In just five days our students and faculty put together the most beautiful Bat Mitzvah celebration. The tears and laughter were endless.
Here was a Sefardi family who had never left Israel celebrating with young women from all over North America.This celebration embodied the spirit of the Jewish people and Aish. One of the values that we hold dear at Aish is leadership. Leadership means seeing a problem, diagnosing what needs to get done and then rolling up one’s sleeves to solve it. One of our students insisted on paying for the costs because that is just what Jews do for one another.
My friends, our enemies can spew hate at us all day long. In the end, love always wins against hate. The world never truly understands that as Jews our love for one another is endless. There is nothing that we won’t do for each other. That is the secret to the longevity and unity of the Jewish Nation. Abraham built our religion on a love for the Almighty and a love for each other. The love between our EFG@AISH students and Shira from Netivot is boundless and endless.