In the Summer of 2014, co-directors of the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner and Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, had a vision. A vision that would change the future skyline of Jerusalem, the Capital of the Jewish World.
This is a not [only] the story of a capital campaign and major building project. It is the ongoing story of Mayanot. Since inception, Mayanot always had a clear vision. The World Center project, especially through Covid, makes that vision even more clear.
“When we founded Mayanot, we hoped we’d be able to cultivate an awareness of Jewish identity and a passion for the Jewish people by creating a Jewishly educated leadership” said founder Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner. “And for over two decades, we’ve constantly been looking for new, innovative ways to do that.”
Since 1997 when the Mayanot Men’s Program was founded in Downtown Jerusalem, under the leadership of Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Noach Wichnin, the organization has met numerous milestones. In 2000, Mayanot was selected as an accredited provider of Birthright Israel’s free educational trips to Israel. Since then, Birthright Israel has provided the gift to tens of thousand through Mayanot.
In 2003, Mayanot secured their first long-term location near Jerusalem’s famous Machane Yehuda “Shuk” Market. Just five years later, the Mayanot Women’s Program was established, “bringing Mayanot’s unique educational approach to dozens of soul-searching young women” as Program Director, Mrs. Rivka Marga Gestetner put it.
In 2015, the Mayanot Post High School Program was launched, expanding Mayanot’s reach to an even wider range of students. The program was launched to “bring authentic Yiddishkeit and Chassidus to students in their year after High School” said the director, Rabbi Shneor Broh. “Today we’re at capacity and looking forward to expansion in the new Mayanot building.”
When the new “Covid 19 reality” settled across Israel, Mayanot did not buckle. With 23 years of commitment to the Jewish people, the call to action was to continue. To continue teaching. To continue inspiring. And to continue building the Mayanot World Center, now scheduled to be completed in mid 2021.
The new center, overlooking fast-developing Jerusalem, will boast 220 beds and offer a plethora of long and short term programming, including post Birthright Israel extension options, internship opportunities and of course, Torah, Judaic and Hebrew classes.
Covid 19 did not slow the building's progress and in fact, as can be seen at mayanotworldcenter.blog, the pace of construction has even picked up. “We took the opportunity to move even quicker on the project” said Project Manager, Rabbi Shlomi Chaimson. “A commitment is a commitment, and we will bez”H open these doors soon!”
But while the drywall is installed and the concrete is poured, due to a challenging economic environment, the bank accounts remain low. Fundraising during a pandemic is no easy feat, but Mayanot is moving forward and inching ever closer toward the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Mayanot World Center.
In order to cross the finish line, Mayanot has launched the #ROCMayanot campaign to raise $1,800,000 on December 30-31. That’s R.O.C. Resilience. Opportunity. Commitment.
It’s a commitment to the Jewish people and the Jewish future.
It’s a commitment that Mayanot invites you to join them in.
Be a Mayanot ROC today and join the campaign.
www.ROCMayanot.com | #ROCMayanot
World Center progress video and special visits:
The campaign video and just a few of our amazing alumni testimonials, below!