From the desk of Jackie and Larry Shafron
The Shafron’s sent the following to the TJP this week:
“As we began planning our son’s bar mitzvah, and started making inquiries about hall rentals, table centerpieces, and tefillin, our thoughts were drawn towards Jews in Israel who must be completely overwhelmed by the enormity of such expenses.
“What about our brothers and sisters in Israel who simply cannot afford to buy tefillin for their sons, let alone pay for a suit or a simple party! Unfortunately, many bar mitzvahs in Israel go un-celebrated due to sheer lack of funds. There are children in Israel who live in such extreme poverty that any meager funds that the family has goes towards buying food and formula. This is a tremendous tragedy. And it happens more often than we think!
“The good news is that we can do something about it!
“Yad Eliezer is the single largest charity organization that exists to assist our fellow Jews in Israel to combat poverty and hunger. They understand, however, that to truly combat poverty one must get to the root cause.
Yad Eliezer is unique since it incorporates vocational training as well as social and psychological services into their program. Independence and self-sufficiency are their ultimate goals. Please look them up at www.yadeliezer.com to find out more about this amazing organization.
“The Yad Eliezer Bar Mitzvah Twinning Program is an opportunity for our boys in the United States to help their brothers in Israel purchase tefillin and celebrate their bar mitzvah. What a beautiful experience … our sons can perform a huge mitzvah by giving another Jewish boy the opportunity to pray with his own tefillin. Every utterance of prayer made with this ‘gifted’ tefillin is a merit to you and your family for a lifetime.
“How does this work? Many bar mitzvah boys embark on a mitzvah project. Your son could adopt a boy whose bar mitzvah will be held at the same time as his. Your son could run a bowl-a-thon, a walk-a-thon, or even a read-a-thon (teachers would love that one), or he can come up with any other creative idea to raise the dollars necessary to purchase a set of tefillin for his ‘adopted’ brother in Israel. Your son’s bar mitzvah day will take on increased significance and meaning knowing that a poor boy in Israel is having a bar mitzvah because of his help!
A set of tefillin is a gift that will truly last a lifetime.”
For more information, please contact Jackie Shafron at firstname.lastname@example.org,
The first Annual Community Yad Eliezer Garage Sale will be held this Sunday, June 21, 9 a.m. to 2 pm.., at 6630 Shell Flower Lane, Dallas.
Beth and Gerry Hoch to be honored at Congregation Beth Torah on June 20
Beth and Gerry Hoch, who have been co-youth directors at Congregation Beth Torah for nine years, will be honored at a Shabbat luncheon on Saturday, June 20. The Youth Fund is also being renamed the “Beth and Gerry Hoch Youth Fund.”
During their tenure, the Hoch’s worked with Kadima (6-8th grade) and Rashi USY (9-12th grade). Under their guidance, Rashi USY has won many awards including: USY International Chapter of the Year and Southwest Regional Chapter of the Year four times.
Beth and Gerry are active Beth Torah members. They attend services regularly and are passionate about Conservative Judaism. Beth Hoch said she had a positive experience with USY when she was growing up and wants other teenagers to feel the same.
“USY is not just a youth group for Jewish kids, but functions within the ideals in the Conservative movement; we are really teaching teens how to live a Conservative Jewish life. We have loved having the opportunity to work with Jewish teens who are future leaders. To connect them Jewishly and give them a positive Jewish experience is wonderful for us,” she said.
Gerry Hoch added, “I truly believe that USY is the future of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). USY helps shape future Jewish leaders of tomorrow. I would have to say that my favorite thing about being the USY director at Beth Torah was meeting new people and making new friendships all over the Southwest.”
Beth and Gerry have worked hard to give USY at Beth Torah a positive image and hope the chapter continues to blossom. Although they are leaving their posts as co-youth directors, the Hoch’s, and young children Noah and Ari, still plan on being active with the Beth Torah community.
Rabbi Adam Raskin said “Inestimable- that’s my one word description of their contributions to the culture of Beth Torah. They have transformed, built, invigorated and inspired it. They are great ‘dug maot’ (role modes), because they live a traditional conservative life style and the way they live is infectious. They have spread that love to nine years worth of kids.”
From the desk of Jackie and Larry Shafron