YU Students Spread Simchat Torah Joy Nationwide

As part of Torah Tours program, nearly 250 students this week connected to Jewish communities throughout US and Canada.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Torah tours in Columbus
Torah tours in Columbus
Yeshiva University

For the Simchat Torah holiday earlier this week over 250 students at Yeshiva University made their way to roughly 50 synagogues throughout the US and Canada to increase the joy of the holiday.

The undergraduates visited to give lectures on the Torah and to help guide youth programming, as part of the annual Aaron and Blanche Shreiber Torah Tours Program that is now in its fourth decade.

The synagogues where the students were dispatched to ranged from as close to New York as neighboring New Jersey, and as far as Montreal, Quebec. Both on Simchat Torah and on Shavuot, the students go to teach classes, lead singing and dancing, and meet with the youth of the communities.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to visit and learn about communities outside of those where they grew up,” said Aliza Abrams Konig, director of YU’s Office of Student Life and Jewish Service Learning.

“They get to take a leadership role, they get to enhance the atmosphere on yom tov and they get to share their Torah and ideas with community members and teens. The students are proudly representing Yeshiva University and have the opportunity to interact with high school students who one day themselves end up at YU and participating on Torah Tours.”

Konig said that, "the communities and our students look forward to Torah Tours all year-round - it’s really a win-win for everyone who participates.”

Among the students taking part in the program were Sarah Nagar, Talia Molotsky and Stephanie Gold of YU's Stern College for Women. The three took part in the celebrations at Congregation Emek Beracha in Palo Alto, California.

"A highlight for us was participating in a large women’s learning program in the sukkah during the second half of hakafot (parading the Torah - ed.),” said Nagar. “Organized entirely by members of the community, we were able to take part in an event that is a highlight of the year to the women there.”

“We arrived in Palo Alto a little early, so we got to spend extra time with the community members before Simchat Torah, which enhanced our experience greatly, too,” added Molotsky.

Not only did the visit add to the synagogue's holiday, said the three, but rather it also added to their own experience of Simchat Torah.

“Torah Tours was an opportunity for us to take part as students in creating a bond with a small Jewish community, strengthening our bonds with each other and spreading the ruach (spirit) of YU to communities around North America,” said Gold.

Torah Tours in Palo Alto Yeshiva University