It’s been an invigorating summer of Torah learning, growing, and connecting for the students and staff at Emet Outreach. An energizing experience has been enjoyed across the Campus, Women’s, Men’s, and Couples Divisions.

In the Campus Division, the Emet Summer Leaders Fellowship in Forest Hills was a spectacular success. Over 50 students attended eight Monday night classes hosted by Campus Director Rabbi Reuven Kigel. In fact, the semester was so popular that a three-part lecture series was added on Thursdays, as well. In addition to providing an introduction to Judaism, there were two inspiring Shabbatons in Passaic, where many of the students had their first Shabbos experience. Since the Emet Leaders Fellowship is also about understanding Jewish history, 37 students are currently on a life-altering trip to Poland and Prague.

There has been local and international inspiration for the Women’s Division. Summer started with a motivational four-part learning series on “Positive Thinking” at the request of eager students who wanted to have consistent weekly learning. In July, Ms. Adina Fendel, Women’s Director, traveled to Israel to provide guidance and additional programming for a group of Emet students studying at Neve Yerushalayim. Back in the States, a Far Rockaway Shabbaton with Rebbetzin Tehilla Jaeger was uplifting for Ateret Emet Seminary girls. To elevate the Nine Days, there was a lecture series on “Loving Yourself in Order to Love Others.” A highlight was a challah baking workshop at the home of Rebbetzin Jaeger. Keeping the girls’ momentum going, a new lecture series on relationships is underway.

Over in the Men’s Division, daily davening and learning at the Emet Olami Beit Midrash has been the focal point of a Torah-infused summer. In June, there was also a four-day retreat to a private lodge in upstate New York, where students were joined by their Emet rabbis for an array of activities, learning, and countless opportunities for bonding and fun. Another trip is currently being planned for Labor Day weekend. Most importantly, TorahConnect, the Wednesday night chavrusa learning program that wrapped up in late June, will start again in September.

Many meaningful moments have kept everyone engaged in the Couples Division. A culinary date night at Apron Masters in Woodmere celebrated “teamwork” by teaching 12 couples how to prepare a three-course meal. This was followed by an extraordinary Shabbaton when 66 couples, alumni of the Emet Leaders Fellowship, gathered at the LaKota Oaks resort in Norwalk, Connecticut, for a three-day retreat. They were joined by Emet staff members for a weekend of relevant classes and relationship-building activities. By popular request, the monthly couples series recently continued with a workshop on “Creating Emotional Intimacy” given by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rafael and Adina Ribacoff.

“It’s wonderful to see all four of Emet’s divisions offering continual Torah-oriented programming this summer,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director. “Our divisions really show the progression of our students who often start in college, continue with higher level learning, and join our Couples Division when they marry and have families. Emet has the unique ability and opportunity to be there for our students at every step of their spiritual journey.”


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