“Prior to Sukkos 5774, our understanding of what Oorah encompasses was limited to the annual over-the-top auction, the Shmorg DVD, Fiveish and the other icons and events which serve to add fun and fest to Jewish living. Sure, we knew that Oorah really did do good things for the masses of our nation who have not yet experienced a genuine Torah lifestyle, but that knowledge was kind of in the background of all the hype.
“That was before we went to TheZone for Simchas Torah.
“On the expansive grounds of TheZone, we learned about the heart and soul of this special organization called Oorah. We met scores of individuals who took their first steps toward Yiddishkeit and were supported throughout their journey by the dedicated and caring Oorah staff. We heard firsthand accounts of families who have taken on more and more observances through the assistance and encouragement of Oorah. We interacted with children who have also tasted the joy of Torah because Oorah does not forget that the children are our future and they, too, need to experience the wonder of Judaism. We realized how each meticulous detail, down to the camel mascot, is employed simply as a means to reach thousands of families who count on Oorah for their life-sustaining Yiddishkeit. The ATVs, the zipline, the sparkling lakes and jet skis are only a cover story for the hundreds of families who have returned to Hashem and His Torah by way of Oorah’s extraordinary efforts.
“Thank you, thank you, and thank you for a most uplifting and heartwarming experience. More than we inspired the ‘kiruv families,’ they perhaps inspired us with their display of mesirus nefesh, determination, motivation and unadulterated joy and pride in being a part of Hashem’s people.”
A TorahMate from Flatbush wrote:
“The Yom Tov experience in TheZone was truly amazing. The people were so welcoming and friendly. My TorahMate, Nina, told me that she really enjoyed the company of the other guests. The dancing was so beautiful and exciting. The men took Nina’s two boys and danced with them. I can’t forget the sight of Asher, 5, being thrown up in the air during Moshe Emes and on the boys’ shoulders, totally involved in the dancing. It was really an awesome experience.
“The schedule was great, the mealtime activities interesting, TorahMate time was nice.
“I noticed a difference in my TorahMate. Her dress was more modest, and on the way home, she was talking about becoming more aware of which foods are kosher. The experience in TheZone is doing work.
“Congratulations, Oorah, on doing such a marvelous job bringing people closer to Yiddishkeit.”
And from Mrs. Raizelle Serebrowski, assistant director of Oorah’s Rebbetzins program:
“I am sitting here in the office and I can’t seem to come down from a high. I told my husband that this was the first time, in decades, that I was so connected to the Yom Tov of Simchas Torah on a ruchnius level. My whole mishpacha felt that we had a very meaningful Yom Tov. What we each gained is immeasurable.
“We were amazed by every detail and so appreciative of the effort and labor that went into pulling off this massive event. The kochos that went into it, both physical and emotional, were definitely apparent. Connecting to the kiruv families warmed the heart and we were inspired by their longing and appreciation of frumkeit.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to be part of the Oorah team, making a difference in people’s lives.”