Alumni Spotlight: Yosef Garbow

(From Left: Alumni Yossi Hein and Yosef Garbow)

Aumni Spotlight: Featuring Yosef Garbow

I attended Mayanot for the year, starting in the fall of 2016 and I'm currently a sophomore at Baruch College, in New York City. 

I accomplished a lot during my year at Mayanot, and took away very valuable tools, especially from an academic standpoint. However, Mayanot taught me a lot more than just how to read a text, it taught me what it means to be a chassid. It gave me the tools to not only survive in a secular environment, but to thrive.  

My favorite part of the Mayanot program was definitely the chassidus classes. The breadth of knowledge I gained and the way that the rabbi's have really helped me get the most out of my learning. I have already experienced the benefits of taking the inspiration with me. 

Mayanot instills in you a desire to help other Jews connect to Judaism. The first time I did mivtzoim (mitzvah campaigns launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe) was with a group of Mayanot guys in the shuk, since then I have become much more comfortable and excited about going out and wrapping tefillin on guys or helping them do a mitzvah: shaking the lulav and esrog, lighting chanukah candles, you name it!

My most memorable moment was renting a car with a couple other guys on Chanukah and driving around to different army bases near Chevron. Lighting the candles with the soldiers, on post, and handing out donuts was really an incredible and eye opening experience.  Mayanot promotes the value of doing kindness toward others and becoming a leader in your own way, and we were able to really embody that by going out and bringing joy to others. 

I really try to apply what I have learnt at Mayanot and take it with me. Having the opportunity to learn chassidus really impacted the way I see the world. I find it enriches my life, on a daily basis. I still remember a lot of the specific teachings from the rabbis that have left a lasting impact on me. In five years from now, I hope to have finished college and will hopefully continue to be an inspired Jew with all the tools I gained at Mayanot, to help me!

I would definitely go back to Mayanot and I have, twice already! I went back for my winter break, freshman year, and also for part of my summer break, last year. Every time I go, I learn something new and take a new skill away with me, as well as new friendships and lasting connections. I definitely recommend the program, for the long or short term options!