MEOR on Screen
While charity is charity and investing is investing and the smart money says to keep them separate, savvy nonprofit professionals will study the investment banking playbook long and hard to ensure the success of their organizations. From personal experience, I can honestly say that a nonprofit can make no better investment in its own future than learning how to understand, impress and forge real relationships with its donors.
As their school year drew to a close, nearly 200 undergraduate student leaders from America’s top colleges and universities—including 36 from Rutgers and NYU—closed the book on their academic studies and readied themselves for a spiritual adventure. With their sights set on exploration and introspection, the group of elite students boarded flights for Israel to jumpstart the summer with an identity-building experience unlike any other.
“There is no classroom in the world like Poland,” she added. “For anyone looking to think deeper about their life and about the beauty and meaning of Judaism, nothing will allow anyone to focus and find answers to these in the deepest way possible like sitting and experiencing such places of darkness.”
While most college students went home for the holidays over winter break, one group of students instead took a trip through Jewish history in Poland.
After spending an intense winter break in Poland, 133 college students, including 33 from New Jersey, are now intent on protecting and preserving Jewish tradition for future generations. While they never thought that their paths to Jewish connection would begin in Eastern Europe, the trip—their first Jewish heritage experience of any kind—has left them inspired, motivated and excited to live a meaningful Jewish life.
As we begin the New Year, let’s redouble our efforts to advocate for a strong Israel and a strong American Jewish community. But we cannot limit our advocacy to the political arena.We must turn our focus inward and commit ourselves to educating and inspiring our Jewish youth.
After several meetings with a bright and affable Harvard sophomore who made it abundantly clear that he was a “devout atheist,” I was utterly confused. As a rabbi and the director of MEOR programming at Harvard, I spend the majority of my time working to inspire, educate, and empower the budding Jewish leaders on campus.
After 27 rewarding years in the worlds of accounting, finance and investment banking, I switched gears to become Executive Vice President of MEOR, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring, educating and empowering Jewish students at top universities across the United States.
Eve Litvak of Fair Lawn went to Israel on a 10-day Birthright trip in the winter of 2013. After graduating from Brandeis University this May, she headed back to the Jewish homeland for an 18-day identity-building experience sponsored by Meor ((Illumination), a privately funded nonprofit Orthodox organization that hones future Jewish leaders at 21 universities and at an alumni center in Manhattan.
On Sunday, May 8, an energetic squad will take the field at MetLife Stadium focused on a single mission: to inspire, educate and empower future Jewish leaders at top universities across the country. Hosted by MEOR, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish college students in the discovery of their own heritage and identity.
Instead of planning a road trip or heading to the beach during winter break, 104 elite college students joined a Jewish heritage trip to Poland, an experience that was nothing short of transformational for these previously uninitiated students.
Instead of heading to the beach during winter break, nine college students from Bergen County joined 95 peers on a Jewish heritage trip to Poland.
With the aim of furthering their leadership skills and connection to Jewish history and life, six area students traveled to Poland to explore the once vibrant Jewish life that ended with the rise of Nazism.
During my winter break this year, instead of heading to the beach or planning a road trip, I made a change and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I joined 100 other college students on a Jewish heritage trip to Poland run by MEOR.
In the fall of 2013, the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank,” released the findings from the first-ever independent study of U.S. Jews. Titled “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” the 200-page report explained that while American Jews are proud to be Jewish and enjoy “belonging” to the Jewish people, they are also increasingly likely to say that they have no religion.
we light the Hanukkah candles, I think about how my life was transformed when I reconnected with my Jewish identity. I also consider how much darkness must still be dispelled in order for so many other young Jews to uncover their “pintele yid,” the Divine spark that exists in every Jewish soul.
I had never felt this way in my life. I felt as if I had such a significant purpose, such an indescribable unity with the world, and I could not speak afterward. My voice was not mine but part of a whole, and all of the Jewish people were blessed by G-d. I was just a small part of that, but I was a part of that.
Growing up in a suburb of Cincinnati, Rick Fox had a very limited Jewish background. While not understanding more than a few words of Hebrew, and admitting that “I thought Judaism was gefilte fish and hamentashen,” Fox was certainly thriving in his secular educational endeavors.