Showing posts from November, 2016

Experiencing Hevron for Chayei Sara

Sharing this wonderfully descriptive experience of going to Hevron for Parshat Chayei Sara, from our dear friend and current student Baba Boteach.  I'm currently squished on a bus, stuffed between a suitcase, and my sister sleeping next to me. We, along with thirty five thousand backpack baring, aggressively pushing, passionate Jews are on our way to Chevron, the burial place of our three fathers and three mothers. Being that this weeks Parsha is "Chayei Sara" (the life is Sara), the whole Israel empties out and embarks on their voyage to Hevron, to pay our mother Sara a visit, and show her how much we miss her. Standing there, waiting as patiently as I could for the bus to arrive, as elbows jabbed, and feet stomped, I wondered how it was possible that thirty five thousand people, many of them young yeshiva students from abroad, were eagerly on their way to show their love to a person that passed away thousands of years ago. Someone we only read about. Someone w

A Chassidic Formula to Emotional Well-Being

During this week's Parsha of Chaya Sarah, we learn about the first formal  shidduch  to take place in history, of the union between Yitzchak and Rivka. We know how critical the time before marriage is and the importance of taking advantage of the opportunity we are given as independent beings to work on our selves, refining our character traits so we can bring our best and most developed   selves into a union with our partner. In creating a oneness and completeness, so to speak, we first need two halves that are whole, in and of themselves, in order to create a wholeness together.  Two halves make a whole only works if each individual is whole in and of themselves, before they can be united as one. In order to reach this healthy place of unity and marriage, we advocate for the importance of emotional well being for each individual student. It is an apropos time to share this wonderful class by Mayanot Senior Talmudic and Chassidut lecturer,  Rabbi Boruch Kaplan  on the ch

Jewish Life on Campus, Making Big Waves

Chabad didnt stop on campus for us, but introduced us to an entire  network around the world in which to feel comfortable.  (Rachel & Jared with the Rabbi Dovid & Goldie Tiechtel) When I began my sophomore year of college at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, there was nothing more exciting than signing up for the annual Birthright Israel trip. My spirit was dampened, however, when I learned to my dismay that my boyfriend, Jared Neuhausen , and I were placed on the U of I Chabad trip instead of on one of the many other Birthright options that we were hoping for. I didn’t know what Chabad was, or who Rabbi Dovid   & Goldie Tiechtel were, but I knew that this was supposed to be my trip to break free from the Chicago Jewish circle that I was raised in, and to meet new people from across the US. I worried that a trip with Chabad wouldn’t offer me the new experiences I was looking for. (Photo via I definitely could not have

We have a baby in the Mayanot family!

Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov to Yita Mirel & Schneur Broh  on the birth of their firstborn son! Mazal tov to the new Grandparents: Our esteemed Rabbi Shloime & Rebitzen Rivka Marga Gestetner and Rabbi Lior &  Tirzah Broh from Melbourne Australia.

A Needle in a Haystack: Finding a Bone Marrow Donor

We recently published an article on our blog about a brave young man, Taylor Crampton , who was on a Birthright Israel: Mayanot trip in 2009 and joined the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry and was called on to save a life. On February 8, 2016, Taylor donated bone marrow to a 44 year old female with Severe Aplastic Anemia. When asked if he would like to meet his recipient, he said, “if ever she was up to it, it would be my pleasure and honor to meet her”. Unfortunatly, most donors don’t get the chance to meet the recipients of their marrow donation. We, at Mayanot, had no idea that so soon after we published that article, we would have the opportunity to witness a donor from another Mayanot trip and his marrow recipient, meet for the first time here in Jerusalem. At the recent Birthright Israel Seminar, held at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this past October, a recognition seminar took place in memory of JJ Greenberg . Gift of Life gave a presentation with the intention o

Mayanot Alumni Meet via Global Web Gathering

Mayanot International Alumni Hakhel Day, the first program of its kind, gave over 2,500 of Mayanot’s alumni the opportunity to come together, regardless of their location, around the world. On September 25th, in honor of the auspicious year of Hakhel, as encouraged by the Rebbe, thousands of Mayanot alumni had the opportunity to gather through web meetings, as well as locally with fellow alumni.  Teachers and staff dedicated themselves to Skype with alumni in 8 different cities and on 4 different continents. Local speakers were brought in from New York, Sydney, Johannesburg, Miami, Boston, LA, Melbourne, and Jerusalem, connecting, fabrenging and sharing Torah! A recorded shiur was provided to the event organizers, as well as posted on all Mayanot social media outlets for alumni to view. Please find the link to Rabbi Allon Silberg’s Hakhel class here. Throughout the 24 hour period, many gracious hosts worldwide, opened their homes to fellow alumni. Together the