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Talmud Torah and Israel: Making Long-term Connections

Updated: May 22, 2022

Written by Eric Hausman - Marketing/Communications Committee Chair

At Talmud Torah, we often describe in great detail activities that take place for current students, and more generally about the longer-term benefits of having been a student. We promote Multi-Generations Day, invite our community to see the Hey Living Museum, talk about the need to learn Hebrew ahead of a B’nai Mitzvah, and show photos of the 7th and 8th-grade trips to New York and Washington, D.C.

We also like to promote the important role that Talmud Torah plays in creating intentional Jewish connections, a foundation of Jewish knowledge, and lifelong learning. Last summer, I saw those intangibles come to life, thanks to a benefit of a Talmud Torah education that continues well after 8th-grade graduation.

After more than a year of canceled plans, social distancing, and virtual gatherings, my daughter, joined other Talmud Torah alums last summer on a five-week adventure to Israel. And thanks to scholarships of up to $2,000 awarded by Talmud Torah, the experience was not only a bit more affordable but also felt like continuing that Talmud Torah education – even after graduation.

Countless COVID protocols, along with periodic shifts in plans due to the pandemic, were a small price to pay for these Talmud Torah teens to connect with other Jewish teens from around the country.

From their home base in Jerusalem, the trip covered the North, Tel Aviv, the Negev, and Eilat. Not surprisingly, given our vibrant Jewish community here in Minnesota, our state was well-represented.

And while exciting to see all the new friendships made, and as much as I appreciated the financial support from Talmud Torah, perhaps most gratifying was seeing friendships that began years ago at Talmud Torah, being renewed, more than 6,000 miles away. For some of these former students, the Israel trip marked the first time they had spent meaningful time together since TT graduation. Their common ties and earlier experiences brought them back together seamlessly, helping create a trip of a lifetime.

It’s gratifying to see how shared Talmud Torah experiences resulted in better post-Talmud Torah experiences and I look forward to seeing how these shared connections continue to help our young adults become leaders in our Jewish community.

Congratulations to all recipients of Israel Experience scholarships! You can see the most recent list here.

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