An Inspiring and Interactive Learning Program

Emet Outreach has added another dimension to its already multi-faceted learning opportunities. “Torah Connect” is a new chavrusa-based learning initiative for the Queens community. The program is designed to provide a forum where Emet students of varying Jewish backgrounds can be paired with members of the community to connect, share Torah thoughts, and elevate their learning.

Initially introduced for women earlier this month, with a men’s program to follow, Torah Connect takes place on Wednesday evenings at the Yeshiva of Central Queens. Under the leadership and guidance of Ms. Shira Fendel, Emet’s Women’s Director, it is coordinated by Mrs. Esther Tzivia Gelb, a teacher in the Bais Yaakov Academy of Queens, and Ms. Penina Abramov, a speech therapist and student at Ateret Emet Seminary. There are currently 20 sets of participants, and each group includes a mentor and an Emet student.

“It is with such great excitement that we introduce the latest program to our women’s division. Torah Connect is an amazing opportunity for women of different backgrounds to create meaningful relationships through Torah study,” said Ms. Fendel. “We’ve taken special care to cultivate relationships to facilitate the learning, and each partnership is like a well-matched ‘shidduch.’ We are also thankful to YCQ for graciously providing us with a home.”

At the start of the six-week semester, partners selected a topic to learn that suited their areas of interest and abilities. The topics included Jewish Ethics, Jewish History, Torah Stories, Weekly Parshah, T’hilim, and T’filah. Each session starts at 8 p.m. with a sushi dinner. Paired learning takes place from 8:15 to 9:15. At the close of every session, a student or mentor shares five minutes of inspirational thoughts with the group. Participants also receive a d’var Torah on the weekly parshah from Rabbi Avi Cohen.

“Education is at the foundation of our mission at Emet. Torah knowledge empowers people to sustain the Jewish future. The beauty of Torah Connect is that in addition to sharing knowledge, the program is fostering bonds and connecting Jews in the varied Queens community,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Founder and Director. “Torah Connect is part of Emet’s commitment to Jewish education, and we are in the midst of rolling out new and advanced learning programs this year. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements from Emet!”

Details of the men’s Torah Connect program will be available shortly. Anyone interested in joining the women’s Torah Connect can contact Ms. Fendel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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