Avreichim Project in Denver a Great Success
This monumental project, a partnership between Congregation Zera Avraham and Yeshiva Toras Chaim of Denver, is a most effective and direct approach to developing our kehillah as a Torah-oriented and fiscally self-sufficient community,” remarked Rabbi Tzvi Steinberg, Rav of Congregation Zera Avraham of Denver, in describing the success of Project Avreichim.
This unique project, which is nearing the completion of its first extremely successful round, facilitates the moving of young families to Denver’s West Side community, by offering the family generous stipend for two years. During this time, the avreich spends part of the day learning in Yeshiva Toras Chaim, and then can spend his remaining time engaged in coursework or training toward a profession which leads to gainful employment after the two years. (A proper plan for education and job goals is part of the application process of each avreich.)
At the completion of the two year stipend period, the avreichim are assisted with job placement, and they are committed to remaining in the Denver community for an additional two years. During the four year period, the avreichim daaven all tefillos at Zera Avraham, which enhances the already special ruach this century old kehillah.
Project Avreichim strives to welcome the avreichim in every way possible, and ease their transition to their new home. Consequently, the project assists with housing placement and job placement for the wives. In terms of professional development, local baalei batim assist the avreichim in building relationships with others in the field of their choice.
The first four families, who have all been in Denver for five to six years, have completed the stipend period, secured positions in the field of their choice, and have become contributing members of the kehillah. These families are Rabbi and Mrs. Yitzy Herskovits, Rabbi and Mrs. Shlomo Kurtz, Rabbi and Mrs. Dovid Sauer, and Rabbi and Mrs. Binyamin Seligman.
Rabbi Sauer explains how the project impacted his family. “We were ready to move back from Eretz Yisrael, but were not sure where to go,” remarked Rabbi Sauer. “It is often difficult to fit into a larger community, especially once you have several children. The small community in Denver made it easy to adapt, and with the part-time learning and stipend offered by Project Avreichim, the transition was much easier. Denver is a welcoming community, and we felt at home right away. In addition, in a small community like this, each person feels important. Each time I come to shul, I feel like I count. If anyone is looking to make a difference in a community, this is a great place to try out. “
Being able to learn in a well-established yeshivah such as Yeshivas Toras Chaim, is a big advantage for the avreichim. As Rabbi Binyamin Seligman, added, “One of the highlights of the program is to be able to learn in the yeshivah and gain a shaychus to Rosh Yeshivah, Harav Yisroel Meir Kagan, shlita, a talmid of Harav Aaron Kotler.”
Rabbi Steinberg explains that the project has been successful on all accounts, for the avreichim, the yeshivah, the shul, and the community at large. “Bringing these yungeleit to the community has been extremely beneficial,” explains Rabbi Steinberg. First, they are strongly Torah oriented baalei batim, and have brought a paradigm shift of Torah values to the shul and the community. Furthermore, they are passionate about what our local mosdos represent, and they have become actively involved in many ways. This is creating a cultural change in the community, as it is bringing youthful energy to the kehillah. As a result, the community has become more attractive to others, and has resulted in an recent influx of young families. “
The Denver community is now seeking to bring in another group of ten avreichim families to join the second phase of Project Avreichim. For more information, please contact Rabbi Steinberg at 720-904-2406.
OUR AVREICHIM FAMILIES
Rabbi Shlomo and Mrs. Tzivi Kurtz and family
Rabbi Binyomin and Mrs. Tova Seligman and family
Rabbi Yitzy and Mrs. Shani Herskovitz and family
Rabbi and Mrs Dovid Sauer and family
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