(Mayanot Women's Program online global Fabrengen)
We are truly living in unprecedented times. The Israeli Ministry of Health has placed the entire country on a near total lockdown. Schools, restaurants, malls, and places of entertainment, have all been closed. And as of this writing, the ministry is encouraging all Israelis to stay at home 24/7, besides for trips to the supermarket, pharmacy, or any other purposes which constitute an emergency. This is all the result of a tiny microbe, the COVID – 19 or Coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc on the world community.
While we might be experiencing a sense of despair, of isolation or loneliness, at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, we have the cure! No, let’s not misunderstand - despite the fact that scientists are hard at work trying to find a vaccine for the virus, while we might not have the Corona cure just yet, we do have the cure for the situation at hand - the continued learning of Torah and a deep faith in G-d.
Thanks to modern technology our post-high school program director Rabbi Shneur Broh will continue to deliver classes to his students using Zoom remote video conferencing program, so that they will able to login anywhere in the world, for several hours a day and take part in classes on Halacha – Jewish law, Chasidut, and Gemara.
As Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, our executive director explained, “We might not be here together in Jerusalem physically attached, but the Torah has been the connecting force for Jews over the centuries. It will continue to bind us from around the globe, through online Torah classes.”
Rabbi Shneur Broh has already tested the Zoom system with a number of classes and he is excited to continue delivering his shiurim to his students in all time zones in the days ahead.
Other Mayanot Rabbis including Rabbi Meir Levinger, Rabbi Yitzchok Kaufmann, Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, and Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner will be offering classes online as well. At the Mayanot Women’s Program, Torah classes will be led by Adi Silverman and Rivka Marga Gestetner. We are working on developing and providing this service across a broad spectrum of Mayanot programs.
Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner, Dean of Mayanot added, “Unfortunately, corona-virus has taught us how truly interconnected the world is. One clear lesson is that we must utilize the tools we have at our disposal with online platforms to unify the world and bring more light, Torah and G-dliness to all.”
This is the response Mayanot is taking to our current reality. While events have been postponed including the Mayanot reunion which was scheduled for April 26 th in New York, we will not let this tiny microbe steer us away from our mission of empowering the next generation of young Jews through Jewish education.
To all of our students, faculty, friends, partners, and supporters around the world, we are wishing all of you only the best of health, and please G-d we will all join back together in Jerusalem, very very soon.