TorahMates Partners Learn From One Another

Two women

There is an old saying: if you want something done, ask a busy person.

That would describe Chumi, a mother of six children ranging in age from one to 13 who also has a fulltime job as a nurse. And, by the way, she’s enrolled in a master’s program.

But even with so much on her plate, Chumi had a deep desire to give more. So she signed up for Oorah’s TorahMates program. She and a woman she had never met, Anneil, began having weekly phone conversations, discussing the concept of emunah (faith) and studying texts on the subject.

Chumi wasn’t even expecting to benefit from the mentoring experience herself. She just wanted to give to someone who needed her. But, to her surprise, she has ended up learning as much from Anneil as Anneil is learning from her.

“I never thought in a million years it would turn out this way,” says Chumi. “The fact that we study emunah really it brought it to life. I thought I was stronger in emunah before, but I have learned so much.”

Chumi says that Anneil has recommended online lecturers that Chum listens to regularly and describes as “life changing.”

Fast forward two years, the two women have developed a deep relationship over and beyond their learning experience. Although they have never met in person, Chumi says they text and email almost every day.

“It was definitely a personality match.  We’ve become very close. It is more than just the learning,” she adds.

We often hear that mentors receive as much as they give. But until we spoke with Chumi, we didn’t know how true that is.

“I didn’t think I would get anything out of it,” admits Chumi. “I was very altruistic. I wanted to be a giver. But I have learned so much from her.”


Learn Until You Drop

Dr. C. is a dentist in Brooklyn, and a very busy one at that. So when he made the decision to become a TorahMate, it wasn’t one he took lightly. The TorahMates coordinators worked hard to find him a good match, and finally paired him up with Anton, who also works in the medical field.

The first day they studied, Thursday, was a typical day for Dr. C, who spent nearly eleven hours on his feet, moving from patient to patient. Dr. C settled himself comfortably in his recliner and was soon absorbed in a fascinating discussion in Jewish philosophy with Anton. Both Dr. C and Anton were enjoying their conversation so much that it continued far beyond the scheduled half-hour time slot.

After an hour went by, Dr. C, tired from the long day, relaxed in his recliner and lulled by the easy conversation, began to nod off. Anton, unaware of Dr. C’s state, continued talking– until he realized that Dr. C wasn’t responding. At first puzzled, then alarmed by strange grunting noises (Dr. C’s snores), Anton concluded that emergency measures were called for. A medical professional, he immediately googled Dr. C’s address and called both Hatzalah and local paramedics to his home.

The EMTs raced to Dr. C’s house, where they were greeted by a very surprised Mrs. C, who soon deduced what must have happened. Dr. C quickly sent Anton a reassuring message. Needless to say, all involved found the situation quite amusing.

After an exciting first session, Dr. C and Anton are scheduled to learn again this Thursday, albeit hoping that this time, it will be less dramatic.

Age Shouldn’t Make a Difference!

TorahMates coordinators always question whether they should set up a volunteer with someone old enough to be their mother- or grandmother?

They decided to try it 5 years ago when they set Ruchi and Barbara up. They are still in touch, learning and very close- as you can see from the email below.

“…bh all is great.. she is like my my kids third Bobby these days.. we talk often.. I am making bar mitzvah soon and she and her husband are flying in iyh. I get to see her on my vacations when I go to its really sweet.”

Just goes to show if it’s a match- age shouldn’t make a difference!

The Gravity of Oorah

A new Torahmate is very removed from Judaism, and yet has been involved with Oorah and learning with a Torahmate (on and off) for the past 8 years.Oorah is his only connection to Judaism.

When he was learning about Sukkos this week his TorahMate asked him why he has remained involved with Oorah for so many years. He said he doesnt really understand it. But then he gave an interesting Mashal. He said – “if Judaism is the Sun I am somewhere beyond Pluto, about to drift off into nothingness, but when I get the Oorah package 4 times a year it just pulls me back.”

Become a TorahMate NOW!

Asaf grew up in Eretz Yisrael. He studied in Yeshivah until end of Shiur Alef – Mesivta.
He got burnt-out as 3 of his siblings passed away, one during a terror attack (suicide bomber) in the city center of Jerusalem.

Last week, he learnt with his TorahMate Volunteer and told him that he knows a lot but has no Ratzon. He has no will to observe, even though he believes and knows that the Torah is Emes.

As they were studying Rabeinu Yona, he told his Volunteer, I don’t want to hear it.

They kept on schmoozing and learning and at the last minutes of their first session he said “you know, what you just told me made an impact on me. Aseres Ymei Teshuva are around the corner and I will make the change in a certain area of my life”.

TorahMates. We make the entire difference.
Would you like to become a TorahMate?

Two Special Bar Mitzvah Celebrations

With gratitude to Hashem Yisborach, Oorah Inc will be honored to share with you some pictures from the beautiful bar mitzvah celebrations recently commemorated in Israel!

Isaac Mlabsadi and Abraham Horowitz were two lucky Zoniac campers that celebrated their bar mitzahs in Israel surrounded by Zoniac staff. What and appropriate way to celebrate a momentous occasion in such a holy place with the people who inspire you most!

Abraham Horowitz:



Isaac Mlabsadi:

photo 2