Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Oorah Nachas Files-Bringing Chizuk to Israel

Kiruv is not for the faint of heart. Very often, you put in a lot of kochos only to have your efforts thwarted by the powerful enticements of the secular world. Or you'll be involved with someone who looks like they're progressing steadily, only to have them slip back to their former lifestyle. The seasoned professional knows that this is all just par for the course. Those who are in this for the long run, whose motivations are pure, persevere and persist despite the disappointments.
And of course, often, their efforts are rewarded. Last week, Rav Chaim Mintz led a group of Oorah representatives to Eretz Yisroel to be mechazeik Oorah’s young men and women learning there. And this was a time for nachas. These are the children who “made it,” whose lives, and often the lives of their families, were changed by Oorah’s programs and volunteers.

Over a week’s time, the group visited several yeshivos and seminaries where Oorah sends young men and women to learn. They got to see firsthand how far they have come and how strong they have become. They got to hear from their rabbeim and teachers, who are invariably impressed by their sincerity and dedication. As one longtime camp volunteer put it, “I feel like I was at my first PTA on the receiving end.”

At one seminary, she recounts, “we spoke to the principals and teachers about our girls. We got fantastic nachas reports that made us start crying, which made the principal cry as well. They love the Oorah girls and are so impressed by their high regard and hakoras hatov for Rabbi Mintz, the Oorah staff and the organization in general.

“One of the girls ran to talk in front of the seminary about how amazing Oorah is and how it got her to where she is now. Amazing to see this former public school girl ‘shteiging away, as she called it.”




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