Showing posts from December, 2019

Gathering in Celebration

Tuesday night, the 19 th of Kislev (December 17 th , 2019) at the Hilton Hotel, was an amazing evening of celebration and inspiration. The groundbreaking Mayanot Leadership Gala, ‘Owning the Jewish Future’ hosted over 600 guests, donors, supporters and alumni. All in celebration of over twenty years of Mayanot’s achievements and the leaders it has produced. Each in their own way making a huge impact on the Jewish world.  Guests came away feeling the 'support' of the Mayanot family and the enormity of the mission and vision of Mayanot, with five branches impacting thousands of people. Guests at the event were greeted by  Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner , Dean of Mayanot, and  Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov , Executive Director.   Jeff Cohen , chairman of the board, opened the evening with greetings, while each of the alumni highlighted the effect Mayanot has had in their lives and how it has helped them today. Mr. Hart and Simona Hasten were featured as the Guests of Honor

Building Progress Update: December 2019

Mayanot is excited to share the progress on the main floor of the new World center.  Our team is opening up the floor to create the main steps for the entry way. Construction has been underway for three months and we are making amazing head way.  The video below, shows our building team working on the elevator shaft and ensuring  the safety and longevity of all the elements that will make up the elevator functionality.  We are looking forward to continuing to share the progress as it unfolds.  Thank you for all your support and contribution to this groundbreaking initiative,  and all we do at Mayanot to create future Jewish leaders. 

The Road to Finding Meaning

Written by current student, Jake G., from New Jersey.  Growing up, I was always the only Jew in class.  As a secular Jew going to public school in a Catholic town, I had no connection to any Jewish community and always felt like an outsider. Anti-semitism was a daily reality. The word “ Jew ” was spoken as a venomous slur. Embarrassed of my Jewish identity - a label that I did not ask for -  I retreated. I felt that religion was simply old-fashioned tribalism designed to divide us into groups. I assimilated, called myself an atheist, and explored Eastern-philosophy to satisfy my craving for spirituality. Holiday time was especially difficult, as it seemed that the entire United States was at a party that I was not invited to. I recall the mayor of my town dressing up as Santa Claus, riding a firetruck into the town center, and giving out small gifts to all the children. I knew that I didn’t belong. The few Reform Jewish families nearby were all putting up “Hanukkah bushe

Why Judaism Is Not A Religion

Via  chabadwestwood Sharing a beautiful article by alumna and shlucha class of 2008, Zeldie Cunin.  People often ask me about life as a religious Jew. I tell them, "I don't view myself as religious, or even as orthodox. " I mean, at least not in the well-known definitions of those terms. And oh do I believe that! When I was a student studying in Israel, we had a teacher who would tell us constantly that Judaism is not a religion. I didn't really get it. What about all those nuances like lighting candles on time before Shabbat? Separating the milk and meat, plus all the details that go along with that? What about the holidays, and being sure to pray at the right time of day? I didn't get it. I really didn't. Until I learned about relationships. I studied how the relationship with my Creator is synonymous to a relationship with a parent, a master or boss, a sibling, and possibly most importantly to a spouse. And as I grow into each of thos