Mayanot Spotlight: Post Chanukah Goodies

Mayanot Spotlight, the new blog segment where we catch up with our alumni, find out about their Mayanot experience in retrospect and see how they’re impacting their current communities.

Here we are joining up with Rabbi Yisrael Shurack, and learning all about the new project he is working on, since finishing Mayanot 8 years ago.

This is what he had to say, “I attended Mayanot 3 times, because I loved the program so much. Once in 2001, a second time in 2003 and a third time in 2005. My favorite part of the program was the relationships I formed with the Rabbi’s.  They weren't just teachers; they were family”.

Rabbi Yisrael also mentioned that his most memorable moment at Mayanot was when Rabbi Levinger agreed to sell him the 2nd Aliyah on Yom Kippur, if he would commit to attend every single Chassidus class, in the morning, for 6 months. He not only agreed, he said “I didn’t miss a single class”!

Presently, Rabbi Yisrael is working on a cooking show that combines great recipes and Chassidus. When asked, he said, “I see this project as a unique combination of kosher cooking and Torah insights. I think it is exciting because it has the power to bring deeper meaning to an everyday activity.  I also enjoy revealing G-dliness in everyday life, and this project is a great avenue for accomplishing that.” 

Rabbi Yisrael had been writing an E-Newsletter entitled “A Shtikel Vort” for the past several years and one of the columns he regularly wrote was called, “From the Kitchen” where he would write about a cooking experience with a specific food and relate it to a Jewish concept or life lesson.  When he received positive feedback from the articles he was writing, he decided to run with the idea and turn the article into a cooking show. He wanted to include Torah thought and spread spiritual light through Chassidut, which is exactly what he is doing. 

Collaborating with a professional chef to bring the idea to life, has made an increasing impact on how people view the depth of the food they make and eat.

When asked how his time at Mayanot impacted his decision to run with this idea, he remarked, “Mayanot impacts not only this project, but my daily living.  Mayanot taught me foundational principles on how to lead a life built on Torah, maximize my potential, and the privilege that each person has to spread the teachings of Judaism to the best of their ability”. 

Thanks for talking to us and spreading so much light, Rabbi Yisrael, we hope you go from strength to strength. Want to learn more about Rabbi Yisrael’s videos and articles please visit   

If you are an alumni of Mayanot and would like to tell us your story please email us at: [email protected] for more information.