The walls of the Emet Center have expanded from Queens to the Land of Israel. That’s what it felt like for students in the Women’s Division who are spending the summer studying at Neve Yerushalayim. In order to ease their transition to seminary, Ms. Adina Fendel, Emet Women’s Director, and Ms. Sara Blatt, Emet Mekareves, traveled to Israel to help guide and unite them. “Our idea was to not only bring an Emet feel, but also to create memorable programming to make their experience in Israel as impactful as possible,” said Ms. Fendel. The result was an amazing week of learning, laughter, and enjoying the land.
Shabbos in Har Nof gave a spiritual start to the program. The girls stayed on the Neve campus and spent Friday night and S’udah Sh’lishis together. On Shabbos, they heard from Vanessa and Ari Blau, who shared their inspiring story of leaving Hollywood careers and embracing Judaism.
The next few days were a whirlwind of activity built around the Neve class schedule. There were fun-filled trips to Yam HaMelach, Ein Gedi, and Rosh HaNikrah where they took in the beautiful sights.
For the second Shabbos, the group was fortunate to stay together in the Old City, in an apartment that overlooks the Kosel. They enjoyed a musical pre-Shabbos oneg with singer Chaim Dovid on his rooftop. An energizing Kabbalas Shabbos followed at the Kosel. The Friday night meal was spent in the apartment, with an engaging shiur given by Rabbi and Mrs. Joshua Behar. On Shabbos morning, the group celebrated a milestone when one of the girls was given a Hebrew name. The Machlis family welcomed everyone for Shabbos lunch, and in the afternoon Mrs. Batya Burd shared her touching religious journey. S’udah Sh’lishis was held on the apartment balcony with the awe-inspiring Kosel as the backdrop. On Motza’ei Shabbos, the girls went on a Kosel Tunnel tour, which added to their historical understanding.
Shiv’ah Asar B’Tamuz on Sunday was marked by a visit to Yad Vashem. Rabbi Ilan Segal gave a moving tour. He delivered a powerful message by pointing out that visitors to Yad Vashem enter by walking down a ramp but leave by walking up a ramp. He explained that this symbolizes that am Yisrael is always growing closer to Hashem and becoming stronger as a nation. The group then headed to M’aras HaMachpeilah and Hebron. After the fast, it was off to Masada for overnight camping under the stars. At sunrise on Monday, they hiked up Masada and davened in the majestic setting. There was horseback riding by the beach in Netanya for an energetic ending to the trip.
“The trip to Neve Yerushalayim with Emet was a fantastic experience,” Rebecca Inoyatov said. “We learned Torah from world-renowned educators and strengthened our connection to Hashem and Judaism. This was while also experiencing the beauty and rich history of Israel through sunrise hikes in Masada, waterfalls in Ein Gedi, floating in the Dead Sea, exploring the Kosel tunnels, and so much more. It was the trip of a lifetime!”
For Emet girls who are still in Israel the seminary experience continues. “Baruch Hashem, the girls are gaining tremendously from the classes at Neve,” said Ms. Fendel. “It was incredible to share the wonder of Torah and support our students in the unforgettable setting of Eretz Yisrael.”
For further information about Emet programs, visit EmetOutreach.org. To experience Emet’s comprehensive video library of Torah lectures, visit www.EmetTorah.com.