5 Towns Jewish Times
For 100 Jewish youth from the former Soviet Union, many of them students, Shabbos Bereishis was an opportunity to plant deeper roots in their commitment to Judaism. The occasion was a Shabbaton sponsored by the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) of Gateways and Horizons/Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) at the Stamford Hilton. From the inspirational song and dance at Kabbalas Shabbos led by Rabbi Avrumi Jordan to the moving havdalah by Rabbi Yisroel Cherns, it was an important Shabbos in the lives of the youth.
For RAJE, this was a key event in their ongoing programs for youngsters from the former Soviet Union. Every Sunday nearly 400 youth gather in Brooklyn for several hours of lectures and programming. The change in the youngsters, say the devoted mentors who are part of Gateways, "is nothing less than sensational." For Horizons/EJF this was the next chapter in an aggressive new partnership with kiruv organizations that in addition to Gateways includes Ohr Somayach, Arachim, Lev Le'achim, Hidabroot, and Nefesh Yehudi. Similar seminars have been held in cities throughout Israel, in Baden, Austria and Odessa, Ukraine. It is part of a program to assure that youth build strong Jewish ties, most importantly by marrying Jewish. [...]