I'm thrilled to report that we're seeing engagement like never before! I must admit, I was a little nervous going into this year. We had no idea what to expect - there was so much uncertainty all around, and much of our core group of students had graduated during the last 18 months of lockdown, without having the chance to bring in the new students and show them the ropes.
Boy was I off the mark! Students are so passionate about getting involved, I've never seen anything like it. Maybe it's the 18 months of being locked down, I personally believe that it's the longing of the soul to connect with other souls, and to connect with our Jewish roots and Hashem.
Just last Friday night was Labor Day Weekend. It's always a quiet time as students like to use the extended time off to go home. We woke up Friday morning expecting maybe a few guests - to our very pleasant surprise, the phone kept buzzing, and by the time Shabbos dinner started the house was full! I even needed to recruit a Tefillin assistant to help with everyone who wanted to put on Tefillin before it got dark!
During dinner, a new student from Israel turned to me and said (in Hebrew): "What you guys are doing makes no sense. There's such a difference between a place where you're invited, and a place where you feel welcome. I don't understand it, but I feel so welcome and wanted here".
I couldn't be happier.
Mushkie and I are working round the clock to keep up with these amazing young people.
We're having more programs than ever to accommodate the great passion we're seeing.
More programs means more young Jews getting to know each other, more Jewish pride, more Torah being learned
All this comes with a bigger bill.
This is a good thing, as Jewish pride and connection is one of the best things money can be spent on.
Mushkie and I can't do it alone. While we're honored to put as much time as necessary into this vital mission, the fact is it takes more than time to make this engine run. We need fuel.
The simple truth is that this amazing Jewish renaissance simply would not be possible without you.
Can you please answer the call and partner with us in this critical mission, the very future of Jews and Jewishness?
We've all read the various polls and predictions concerning our people, and those who don't understand us predict lots of doom and gloom, as they've been doing for 2,000 years.
But we don't have to accept that narrative. We can push back and change our narrative.
Please join us in pushing back, and continuing to forge a bright Jewish future!
You can join as at jewishlifeoncampus.com/donate, or by venmo, cashapp, zelle, paypal or check.
In your merit, you are guaranteeing a sweet new year for our whole Jewish family.
Thank you, And G'mar Chasimah Tovah!
Rabbi Yankel Lipsker
P. S. If you do plan on joining, before Yom Kippur is an especially auspicious time to give. There is a tradition from the Baal Shem Tov that says that the Tzedakah before Yom Kippur destroys the evil decrees.
May the Zchus stand by you, and may we be blessed with the very sweetest year!