Yehua Britvan rode solo 230 miles from Lakewood to TheZone, Oorah’s summer camp, in upstate New York!
The ride took a little under 15 hours, and included the steepest hill in the Catskills, Platte Clove Road. Wow!
Oorah’s auction is always one of the most anticipated Oorah events of the year, with thousands of people taking part from all over the world. The Oorahthon, which takes place the night of the auction, is the highlight of the entire auction, as not only are the winners announced, but there is fun, entertaining and exciting programming, all lasting until the early hours of the morning. This programming gives a special peek into Oorah, as viewers are able to meet the dedicated staff, volunteers, and hear inspiring stories of those a part of the Oorah family. What viewers would not hear, are the fascinating stories of the some of the auction winners, which we only learn about after the auction is over. Here, we have detailed a few of the stories, so you can become just as inspired as we were!
Please be aware that shaimos was mistakenly included in the Oorah Auction Purim book. You may have received the book already or will be receiving it shortly.
The sefer torah picture on page 6 included pesukim and the shem Hashem. PLEASE DO NOT THROW IT OUT!
You can tear out the page or just the picture in the corner and put it in your sheimos box. You can also drop mail it to:
1805 Swarthmore Ave
Lakewood NJ, 08701
We’d appreciate your publicizing this information to others it may be relevant to. We apologize for the mistake and for any inconvenience.
Rabbi Chaim Reichman
Director of TorahMates
If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know about Yeshiva Mevakshei Hashem’s write-a-thon. The seventh grade class campaigned to raise money for Oorah through writing and fundraising to their friends and relatives.
We’ve recently received an email following up on the campaign. This group of seventh graders raised an outstanding amount of…. $2,290.10! The students will be dedicating an item for one of Oorah’s programs.
They’ve also created an exhibit to feature the various Oorah programs. We love TheZone 🙂
Quite an impressive feat!
In honor of asara b’teves, here’s a letter from Yeshiva Darchei Chaim. While we can’t say we restored more than the model version, anyone who is working on growing closer to Hashem will have a part in rebuilding the Bais Hamikdash, may it come speedily in our days.
Our Bais HaMikdash was destroyed. Through the chesed of Oorah, the premiere organization of kiruv, our Bais HaMikdash was restored.
In 5K, this is literal. Our Bais hamikdash model was an important part of our study of mishnayos Yuma and the avodas hamikdash. The boys are getting a hands-on familiarity of bayis sheini, mostly from the model we were working with, as we follow the cohein gadol and his performance of avodas yom kippur.
Unfortunately, our model became damaged and unusable. After contacting my dear friend, R’ Eliyohu Mintz, Oorah’s indefatigable CEO, it didn’t take too long till Oorah came through with a beautiful, new bais hamikdash. The new bayis was greeted by the kinderlach with much excitement and fanfare. We look forward to resuming our work and continuing to develop a meaningful kesher with our bayis, bez”h.
In a very real sense, Oorah is truly rebuilding the bais hamikdash, by returning and guiding entire families, here and abroad, to torah and mitzvos. Thousands of children attend jewish schools and regularly participate in exciting programs, led by dedicated volunteers – all thanks to Oorah’s tireless efforts.
Thank you Rabbi Mintz and thank you Oorah, for restoring our Bais HaMikdash.
By Tamar Farajian
Almost two hundred boys from across the U.S. gathered at Oorah’s camp, TheZone, for a heartwarming and inspirational Shabbos Chanukah. Despite the near freezing weather and blankets of snow covering the grounds, the boys, who were returning campers as well as those who have never attended TheZone, were greeted by the warmth of friendly staff and inviting accommodations. “Shabbazone is the once a year opportunity during the winter months to give returning and potential campers a taste of TheZone and the experience of an entire Shabbos,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Weinstein, director of kiruv development. “Dozens of bochrim [who are mentors to the boys] gave up their off Shabbos, which could have been spent with their families, in order to give inspiration to the boys.”
The ruach of excitement, love, and achdus, as personified by the bochrim, was felt throughout the entire Shabbos. Starting off with a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony with hundreds of menorahs lighting up the vast dining room, each mentor helped the boys recite the bracha and light their own menorah, this being the first time performing the inspiring mitzvah for many. This same ruach was exemplified by Rabbi Chaim Mintz, founder of Oorah, as he greeted each child, wishing them a good Shabbos. Special guest, Lakewood mayor Menashe Miller gave divrei chizuk to the boys throughout Shabbos, helping them gain confidence in their continued spiritual growth.
One of the highlights of the entire weekend, besides for the dreidel tournament, snowboarding, laser tag, and hover-boarding, was the Friday night TorahMates learning session. With the walls of the fully packed bais medrash reverberating with the sweet sounds of Torah study, every boy was excited to be able to learn with their TorahMates and mentors, continuing their growth from the summer months. Rabbi Chaim Reichman, camp learning director, understood the importance of the shabbaton to the campers: “TheZone is not just a camp; it is all about keeping up throughout the year with TorahMates and ChillZone. This Shabbos was an opportunity for our staff and campers to reunite in a geshmake, torahdik, fun, and ruach filled way, which keeps those connections strong and fresh.”
The boys had another opportunity to reconnect with their ChillZone groups after Shabbos, with each city’s ChillZone learning together in the shul. Program director, Dovid Miller, explained the beauty of hundreds of boys learning together. “One of the most beautiful sites you’ll ever see is a national ChillZone which can rival and beat any avos ubanim. A packed bais medrash with hundreds of campers learning, yeshiva bochrim with kids who can’t read aleph bais, kids who have wild hairdos with yeshiva guys with flying payos…it is a true Kiddush Hashem.”
Indeed, the Kiddush Hashem was felt by every one of the staff, as they were enthused by each kiruv boy’s sincerity and love of learning. Dovid Miller shared one such moment of inspiration. “Some may think that to connect and reach a teen could be very hard because they are older and more involved in the world. Let me tell you, behind all the fluff and “macho”-ness even the toughest kid with the craziest haircut is craving a real relationship…someone who really cares…a little warmth…a true interest…a good TorahMate.
I saw a kid who came in with a really negative attitude and wouldn’t even talk to me. After Shabbos when everyone was dancing together in the ballroom, I asked him if he had a good time. He just gave me a smile and a nod. That to me was worth more than 1000 words. I knew we had reached him.”
The effects ChillZone, TorahMates, TheZone, and this special ShabbaZone has on each child is not always easy to see, but is certainly felt by each staff member. As the mentors know, a single word of kindness or show of friendship goes a long way toward helping the boys continue their spiritual growth, as demonstrated by Oorah’s Chanukah ShabbaZone.