Photos: ReConnecting to Israel with Project Inspire

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Jinspire, a division of Project Inspire, just spearheaded an incredibly life-changing trip to Israel for over 20 men of all backgrounds. All of the less-affiliated men had gone previously on a beginner-level trip and through continued growth over the last 2.5 years wanted a more learning intensive Israel experience. The program was arranged so that there would be a significant amount of frum men to learn, tour, and connect with.

The men were blown away by the experience. “I agree that words can’t really capture that experience,” explained Stephen from Ridgewood, New Jersey. “Words are finite, limiting, an attempt to impart boundaries and form; but that experience transcended physicality.”

While there was touring, segwaying, and ATVing, much of the trip was focused on learning and spiritual growth. The day typically started with a shiur and chavrusa learning and then the group would tour a significant place in Yerushalyim, including the Kotel, Yeshivas Aish HaTorah, Kever Rochel, and the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Many of the men were mekabel additional mitzvos that they had not done previously. “Like the students we witnessed at Aish, I too am committing to add additional mitzvot to my day to fuel the inner flame that grew brighter last week [on the trip],” said David from Rockville Centre, New York. “One new example is to say the blessing over what I eat or drink. To make it easier, I took a picture of each blessing and created a group of favorites on my phone so that I can get to them easily until I know them all by heart…Daily practice of something new is the only way I can learn…Let’s keep growing and share our personal wisdom with each other and with our Jewish brothers and sisters. We all are able to light a spark or add fuel to our own or someone else’s internal flame.”

The men are now back home in the States but their learning continues with a plethora of follow-up Shabbatons, shiurim, and reunions. It wasn’t just the less-affiliated men who were inspired, the mentors were profoundly affected as well. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for helping me recharge and refill my spiritual energy in such an amazing way,” wrote a frum participant from Passaic.

Project Inspire, a program of Aish HaTorah, is a grassroots organization whose mission is to awaken and empower the Torah observant community to reach out to their fellow Jews. It has successfully created a movement of people dedicated to spreading the beauty of Yiddishkeit. “The effect of this program greatly exceeded our expectations in terms of the impact on our participants. We are seriously considering doing many of these second level trips in the near future,” said Yaakov Giniger, Director of Programming at Project Inspire. If you are interested in being a mentor on the next trip, email or call 646-291-6191.

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