Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chabad House takes yeshiva on the road

Volunteers bring lessons to students

School may be out for the summer, but not at Toledo’s Chabad House-Lubavitch.The Jewish outreach center is offering free classes on Jewish studies taught by six students from yeshivas, or Jewish educational institutions, around the country.And if it is inconvenient to come to Chabad House for classes, then Chabad House will come to you with its “Summer Yeshiva on Wheels” program.Andy Golding signed up for classes at his Sylvania home because he wanted his children to see that studying the Torah, Talmud, and other Jewish texts is important.“I want them to have a sense of Jewish identity, and I think identity is created in the home,” said Mr. Golding, a member of the Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim in Sylvania. “Having a rabinnical student come to the house is another layer of that identity.”He and his wife, Cami, have four children — Joey, 6; Benny, 5; and twins Sammy and Sophie, 2.“My kids are young. I think the important thing for the kids is that they see their father studying Jewish things,” Mr. Golding said. “And studying Jewish things is a mitzvah, a good deed. This is an easy one.”Mrs. Golding said she has the highest regard for the programs offered by Chabad House, which is part of the worldwide Jewish organization that carries on the teachings of the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson.“They have such passion. They are the most extreme in being observant [of Jewish traditions], and yet they are the most liberal in how they love and accept people.”Henoch Rosenfeld, a Pittsburgh native studying at a Detroit yeshiva, came to the Goldings’ home this week to teach a class on Jewish ethics.Wearing a black suit, white shirt, and wide-brim black hat, Mr. Rosenfeld brought three books written in both Hebrew and English.As Joey sat on Mr. Golding’s lap, both of them wearing kippahs, or head coverings, Mr. Rosenfeld spoke of how Moses received the Torah from God on Mount Sinai and passed it down from generation to generation.“Listen up,” Mr. Golding told his son. “This is very important!”Benny joined them briefly, then wandered off. Same with Sophie.Mr. Rosenfeld jokingly told Joey to pay attention because he had to teach the lesson to his younger brother. “You repeat this to Benny. I’ll give you a test,” Mr. Rosenfeld said with a grin.Joey just smiled shyly.Mr. Golding read two sentences and Mr. Rosenfeld launched into an enthusiastic lecture, for more than half an hour, about the need to be patient in judgment, and to raise up disciples. “Wow. That’s a lot,” Mr. Golding said with a laugh. “And it’s only been two sentences!”Rabbi Yossi Shemtov of Chabad House, said the Summer Yeshiva program started July 25 and continues through Aug. 15, with classes available almost any time of day or night, at Chabad or in an individual’s home.The program is made possible because the yeshiva students are willing to give up vacation time to teach others, the rabbi said.“Instead of jet-skiing, they graciously offer to come and teach and we are truly grateful,” Rabbi Shemtov said.More information on Summer Yeshiva and Summer Yeshiva on Wheels is available by calling Chabad House-Lubavitch at 419-843-9393. Toledo’s Chabad House is at 4020 Nantucket Dr., off Sylvania Avenue in West Toledo.

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