Stories of people who have been touched by Oorah’s Programs:
FIRST OORAH TAUGHT MY CHILDREN, NOW YOU TEACH ME!
Oorah has positively affected the lives of my children, Ben and Stephanie. I was unhappy with the public school they were attending, so I contacted Rabbi Mintz from Oorah. Thanks to him, both my children were able to attend Yeshiva. I believe that Hashem wanted my children to have this special experience.
Then I received a call from Channie Miller at Oorah while I was at a very bleak point in my life. She asked if I would like a learning partner then found me the best match; my learning partner, Elyse, has taught me many things about Judaism, Hashem and the Torah. She taught me that the Torah is a blueprint for life.
Thanks to the help of Oorah, our lives are on the right path!
My TorahMate May Not Have All Answers…But She Gets Them
Learning with Channie is everything I’d hoped for and more. Between work and life, it is so nice to be able to have that hour dedicated to learning with a great tutor! I admire Channie and her ability to answer questions I present to her. And if she doesn’t know then answers, she’s not long in finding out them out from a rabbi!
Oorah’s Rebbetzins Make Shidduchim Comfortable!
Our experience with the Rebbetzins Program was filled with hashgacha pratis. We were both set up with a Rebbetzin that just “happened” to already be a part of our lives—that made the process much easier to go through.
Within a few months of receiving our Rebbetzins, we were introduced to each other. We spoke on the phone before we traveled to meet in person. It’s not easy dating long distance, but it worked—just like Oorah’s Rebbetzins Program!
The greatest part of your program was that the Rebbetzins really knew us so well, and spent the time to help us through the shidduch process. We want to thank our Rebbetzins and Oorah for being the shluchim that are helping us build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel!
Bassie & Josh Z.
One Month at GirlZone Was All It Took
I came to Oorah’s Girlzone when I was only 14 and at the time I was not religious. My parents were not particularly supportive of my becoming frum, either, and I hadn’t thought about making any changes in my life. But when I arrived at TeenZone, I saw a different way of perceiving religion. The amazing staff, the exciting activities, and the classes by Rabbi Davidowitz, Rabbi Mintz, and Rabbi and Rebbetzin Greenwald made our summer not only fun but inspiring! I remember coming home and feeling motivated to put on a skirt. I thought, if I wore it for a month in camp, then I could definitely do it for longer! That’s how my journey towards being tznius began.
Now I am 18, a graduate of Shalsheles Bais Yaakov in Brooklyn, and I will be attending Me’or Bais Yaakov seminary this year. Had I not gone to GirlZone, I am certain I would not be holding where I am. Thank you Oorah, for opening my heart!
TorahMates Makes Learning Fun
Studying with Rafi has been an incredible and rewarding experience for both myself and my family. In a heart-warming, friendly atmosphere, we’ve come to appreciate and understand more about our traditions, customs and values. The inspirational thoughts and distilled wisdom we have come to learn has made the experience both fun and thought provoking… Thank you for all the incredible experiences you’ve shared with us. We look forward to sharing more with you in the years to come.
Thank You, Oorah, For Welcoming Us The Family
Our sons attended Oorah’s BoyZone camp and we were embraced as part of the Oorah family. The boys enjoyed all that the camp had to offer while we were fortunate to be able to attend the amazing Oorah Shabbaton. It was there that I learned of the TorahMates learning program. I live in an area where women’s learning programs are scarce and I was excited to have a consistent learning partner. My chavrusa is very special to me. I have been able to share more than just learning—we have become friends, as well! I look forward to my learning time and know I will always get a new insight from that session.
Oorah is a Jewish organization like no other I have seen. Never before have I experienced such support, generosity, love and concern coming from any organization. Oorah does not just speak of what should be done to build Jewish homes; they are on the front lines providing Jewish families with the tools and vision to make it all possible! I am so immensely proud to be a part of the Oorah family!
Oorah Reconnected Us To The Jewish People
I was feeling disconnected and alienated on December 25, as friends of my family invited us to their home for their holiday dinner. I had been told since I was a child that this particular holiday was not our holiday because we are Jewish.
While my grandparents were not observant, my grandmother always had snippets of inspiration about our family from the “old country.” This was the extent of my [Jewish] knowledge… until I happened upon Oorah on this particular winter day. I decided to finally be the one to find out what it truly meant to be Jewish.
I researched local Hebrew classes and Jewish learning programs and reached out to some of the local Reform and Conservative organizations in my area, but they did not have the answers I sought.
It’s funny how Hashem has a way of working things out for us when the time is right. I emailed Oorah that I was interested in participating in distance learning, and I received a response from Chani MIller, with whom I keep in touch to this day. Chani had a chavrusa ready for me. We set up a time and had the first of many long telephone conversations. Oorah supplied us with not only books, but also support, inclusion in events for holidays, and a continuing concern over my general well-being and that of my family. My chavrusa made me feel that, although I may have felt disconnected in the past, I have always been part of Klal Yisroel.
My experience with Oorah has been transformative. The decision to learn with Oorah has been one of the greatest of my life, and words cannot express the gratitude my family and I have for you all.
My Parents Learn, and Oorah Rewards Me
A year ago, I was faced with a decision that has helped me grow and blossom in my Jewish observance. After completing high school, I had to decide where I was going. I really wanted to attend seminary and continue my Jewish education, but it was very costly. My parents were very supportive but told me that I would have to take care of tuition myself. I didn’t have a job and was going to college at the same time. I didn’t know what to do.
Then I remembered hearing about Oorah. I filled out a scholarship form and sent it in to Oorah. Soon after, I received a letter informing me that I would get some financial assistance. I was thrilled! This assistance made my financial burden lighter and allowed me to enjoy my seminary year.
After a great year in seminary, where learned and grew, I decided to go back for a second year. Once again, I was faced with how I would pay for the tuition. And once again I filled out Oorah’s scholarship form and sent it out. A few weeks later I was contacted by Mrs. Hoffman who informed me that, once again, Oorah would come to my rescue. Although I couldn’t get as much as I did the first year, I was still very grateful. But just as we were about to hang up, Mrs. Hoffman told me of a new program that Oorah was starting. If my parents agreed to learn with a learning partner over the phone for a half hour each week, I could receive more assistance! I was ecstatic and told my parents. Then I called Mrs. Hoffman and told her that my parents had agreed to start learning… Not only did Oorah find a TorahMate for my mom, they even found a Russian-speaking one to make the learning more enjoyable for her.
Thank you Oorah for helping me continue my Jewish education and for giving my parents the opportunity to do something they weren’t fortunate enough to be able to do when they were children—learn more about our heritage.
Rabbi Mintz Has Been Like My Parent…And Still Is
Oorah played a pivotal role in my life. Rabbi Chaim Mintz enabled me to blossom, leading me from the traditional Israeli home that I came from to the frum home that I created for my family. Like a parent caring for his child, Rabbi Mintz guided me every step of the way. Not only did he place me in a school that valued Torah, but also I was given the opportunity to spend many joyous summers at Camp Bais Yaakov, where my love for Yiddishkeit flourished.
At my High School graduation, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Rabbi Mintz walked in. I never expected it and it made me feel very special to share this milestone with the person who brought me so far. When the time came for marriage, I knew I had to get the Rav and Rebbetzins’ approval. So before my husband popped the question, off to their home we went.
Rabbi Mintz and Oorah have been there for me since my mother passed away when I was a little girl. And they remained at my side, from my school years to the decision to lead a frum life, through marriage, and now at the birth of my daughter. There aren’t enough words that can say how grateful I am.
Oorah’s Generosity Keeps Our Son in Yeshiva
We can’t thank Oorah enough for the help they give our family. Our son Teddy was going to public school from first through eighth grade. We looked forward to Teddy going to high school. But Teddy became very observant after his bar-mitzvah and decided he wanted to go to a yeshiva for high school. We live near Atlantic City and have no yeshiva high schools near our home. But Teddy was very persistent. He had heard of Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School in South River, NJ. This was two hours from our house, but when we visited the school he loved it. My husband and I knew we could never afford such a school or the traveling expense, but a friend from shul mentioned Oorah.
Oorah has been so generous to our family! They help with Teddy’s tuition and also give us a great education—especially during the holidays. I know I can call Oorah any time I have questions.
I am pleased to report that Teddy is going into 11th grade and does very well in yeshiva. He gets up at 4:30 a.m. every day to get the bus.