It’s an exciting time for couples at Emet Outreach. As part of Emet’s programming expansion, the organization is creating a new Couple’s Division to offer greater educational and social opportunities for its growing roster of dedicated couples. Over the past 18 years, Emet has been fortunate to participate in the weddings of hundreds of students. This new division aims to meet the needs of a wide range of couples – from newly engaged, to recently married, to those who are raising families. Shay Yonaiev, a former team member from Emet’s early days, is now joining as Couples Director. Aside from his long-standing relationship with Emet, Shay has a degree in Industrial Psychology and brings his “people skills” after years of serving the corporate world in human resources. In that capacity, Shay will also serve as HR Director, as Emet recruits more staff members for their various divisions.

“We’re so happy to welcome Shay back to the Emet family. He was the perfect choice, since he’s watched us grow and he understands that relationships are the cornerstone of everything we do,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director. “Emet’s incredible couples have always been a source of pride and a priority for us because they represent our ultimate goal, which is building Jewish families. Each year, we guide over 50 couples to the chupah. We want our couples to know that we are here for them from the beginning and through all stages of their marriage.”

Emet’s new Couples Division will formalize and increase the existing array of Torah-oriented marriage and parenting workshops. There are also plans for more frequent Shabbatons and retreats. Most importantly, the larger division will enable Emet to provide programming and reach couples in the community who have never been students.

“I’m excited to return to Emet, and I plan to make myself as available as possible to Emet’s couples,” said Shay Yonaiev. “Our division will offer weekly workshops that are geared to couples at different stages of marriage and observance. We’re planning more Shabbatons where couples can have a meaningful Shabbat experience. I look forward to sharing details soon.”

Emet’s next major couples’ event will be a Labor Day Shabbaton retreat that will return this year by popular demand.

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