A week of Torah study and friendship was on the agenda when students in Emet’s Men’s Division headed to Arizona for winter break. Led by the dynamic team of Rabbi Reuven Kigel, Rabbi Michael Fuzaylov, Rabbi Yaakov Musheyev, and Rabbi Ari Hertz, the trip was geared towards those who have completed Emet’s Fellowship program and are ready for more advanced learning.

“The Arizona trip is an annual highlight of our men’s programming,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director. “One of the main goals on this trip is to introduce students to a real appreciation of Gemara study. It’s a hands-on education combined with a true bonding experience.”

Home base for the group was a luxurious estate in Scottsdale, Arizona. Each day started with davening at Ahavas Torah: The Scottsdale Torah Center, followed by “morning seder” and beis midrash-style learning. After a break for lunch, afternoon activities included horseback riding, a visit to a shooting range, hiking and barbecuing. Shabbos was spent together at the house, and davening was at Congregation Beth Tefillah. Gourmet meals were catered by the Samarkand Restaurant of Phoenix, which specializes in Bukharian cuisine.

“I was really inspired by the incredible enthusiasm for learning that the guys had on this trip,” said Rabbi Yaakov Musheyev, Torat Emet Coordinator. “One of the most amazing things was the relaxed and focused time the students and rabbis got to spend together. It was pure bonding and it enabled us to create deeper connections.”

“This was my first time on the Arizona trip, and I was very moved over Shabbos when some of the guys kept it for the first time ever,” said Rabbi Ari Hertz, who recently joined as an Emet Mekarev. “I’m so thankful that I was a part of it.”

On the last day in Arizona, each of the students made a personal commitment to taking on new mitzvos. They returned to New York looking forward to Emet’s spring semester, which begins in February.

For further information about Emet programs, visit EmetOutreach.org. To experience Emet’s comprehensive video library of Torah lectures, visit www.EmetTorah.com.