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Monthly Archives: September 2012
Thousands of Oorah families were gratified to find a lulav and esrog delivered to their homes this week, just in time for Sukkos. One woman from Indiana, whose son attended Discover U this past summer, called to express her gratitude. She said that her family is not at all religious so using a lulav and esrog is a first for them. They’re all really excited about having the opportunity this year!
If you couldn’t join Oorah for Rosh Hashanah at TheZone, read what some of our guests had to say and experience the inspiration second-hand:
“We are so happy and proud to be part of the Oorah family. We are greeted so warmly, whenever we’re with Oorah we feel so special, never judged, and that’s a great feeling. The camp location is majestic, the food fit for royalty, the other guests so interesting to meet, the programming so inspiring and enjoyable. The services so easy to follow, while being in the gorgeous synagogue surrounded by breathtaking views…
One speaker over Rosh Hashanah mentioned he would like a TorahMate either “on top of him on the ladder or below him.” At Oorah, everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow no matter what level you are on!
One young lady we got acquainted with said correctly that she “felt as if she were watching a talent show.” People were getting up from all different sides of the dining room and giving it their all, whether it be speaking, singing or entertaining. They were all winners!
But we, who found Oorah, are the real winners!”
“When I decided to attend, it was merely to get out of having to go to my in-laws- again! Little did I know what would be awaiting my family and me.
The first thing that struck us was the beautiful grounds, and then we got to meet- and get to know- the even more beautiful members of the Oorah family.
What made Rosh Hashanah so special was the combination of: stirring davenings, powerful speeches, TorahMate learning and complete achdus. Individuals of all different backgrounds, ages and levels of Torah observance united in prayer and gatherings as one.
When our family left the beautiful grounds and drove back home, we didn’t leave Rosh Hashanah behind, but rather took it with us. For these important High Holy days, Oorah got us all in TheZone.
Next time I go- I may even bring my in-laws to experience it with me!”
One guest found the prayers most inspirational:
“I saw boys with black yarmulkes and green and white ones sitting beautifully for hours and they were really davening. The singing of the piyutim was more inspiring that I’ve experienced in over 30 days of davening in yeshivas. The short words of inspiration given at different points in the davening were beautifully done and at least one of my children was converted into a “shul-goer” over Rosh Hashanah.
The feeling was that we were one family. People at random stopped to shmooze with me, ask me who I was and why I came there… I was amazed by the forethought and planning that went into the event…”
and so did this one:
“At first, I thought it would be uncomfortable for me since I did not have my family with me. Oorah made me feel part of your family.
I had been to other Rosh Hashanah programs. They offered discussions in other rooms during services for those who didn’t feel comfortable in the service. I went to them. When the day was over, I felt that I didn’t pray. I liked that TheZone didn’t have that option. I was able to be pushed out of my comfort zone with the help of others.
The shiurs were at a level that I could relate to. Normally I hear what rabbis say but can’t remember anything to share with others. I left TheZone just waiting to share what I heard with others…”
just one last comment from the many more we received:
“From the beautiful scenery, inspiring lectures, amazing people and delicious food, I would recommend an event by Oorah to anyone. What I absolutely love about Oorah is that they accept people of all types and backgrounds: religious, non-religious and people who are trying to be religious… I got myself an amazing TorahMate and couldn’t be happier. I feel like I can always count on my TorahMate/Oorah to make me feel whole, keep me inspired and give me the strength, guidance and support I need to continue learning so that I can become a better Jew…”
In a message to his TorahMates coordinator, one happy student writes:
Learning is going great! I was attracted to TorahMates solely for language study, but in fact my language learning has been a bit slow because Raffi and I have so much to talk about. My Jewish learning has really become a big part of my life and I appreciate how my TorahMate partner, who is much more learned than me, is willing to pace our lessons and address my questions. While I sometimes feel that I’m a burden to him, Raffi assures me that he, for some crazy reason, enjoys our learning, too.
With the cooler weather signifying the coming of autumn, summer camp is far from most people’s minds. With the days getting shorter and students getting back into the school mode, the summer that passed is just a warm memory and next summer seems so distant.
But here at Oorah, we’re already thinking ahead for the 2013 season at TheZone. With that in mind, TheZone is happy to announce the 2013 Zone Camp Early Bird Special! For a limited time, applicants can lock in last year’s low rates:
Girls Division: $1,699 per session/ $3,199 for the full summer
Boys Division: $1,699
New rates will be announced on October 31st so apply now to take advantage of this early bird special. Dates to be announced soon.
Dear Rabbi Goldberger and Rabbi Brody,
I would like to thank you and everyone at Oorah for the very generous donation that you have given me to attend Chai Israel. If you had not helped me, I highly doubt that I would be going to Israel for this coming year, an experience that I am really looking forward to. This experience of going to yeshiva will allow me the opportunity to learn, to meet new friends and most importantly, to experience Israel.
Your contribution has been really helpful towards making my trip a reality. Thank you so very much.
The postscript to this letter, written by a Discover U boy whose mom is a TorahMate, is that Rabbi Goldberger got a call from the Rosh Yeshiva of Chai Israel asking him what Discover U had done in two weeks to bring this guy so far. (This will be this young man’s first year in a religious school.) The Rosh Yeshiva wanted to send the student to a more advanced program!
Laurie is a TorahMate whose sons are Zoniacs (and junior TorahMates of course.) She told us that her boys look forward to learning with their TorahMates every week and are in touch with their counselors as well. As she says, “Camp did amazing things for all the boys and that’s also amazing for my boys to enjoy something more than iPads and TV.”
One morning, her 13-year-old, who switched from public school to yeshiva last year and learned to read Hebrew recently, was being awfully quiet. She went to check up on him and found him davening, tefillin on and all! That was certainly not what she expected to find, but it sure made her proud!
David and Clara were married for ten years without children. Clara has been a TorahMate for about a year now, and David recently signed up for his own learning partner.
And they also recently found out that Clara is expecting!! May we hear good news from them soon!