Preparing for the High Holidays and the festivals that follow is a joyful experience for religious Jews everywhere, but it still poses a financial challenge to families with limited means.
In advance of this year’s Tishrei festivals, the One-to-One Foundation anticipated the needs of around a thousand families from all over the country, distributing half a million shekels in the form of scholarships to students from Religious-Zionist yeshivas, enabling them to prepare for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot in dignity, while the father of the family devotes himself to Torah learning.
The One-to-One Foundation stresses that the funds they distribute are not to be seen simply as helping the needy, but also – in fact primarily – as support for the Torah learning of these Religious-Zionist students.
“The scholarships we give are a testament to the value our community places on the Torah study in the Religious-Zionist yeshivas,” says Shlomi Rosenthal, educational director of the Beit El yeshiva. “These are families that deserve the support of the Jewish People, and we see how their Torah learning is enhanced when they are freed of the stresses of a livelihood.”
Rosenthal describes the selection process for the families honored with a scholarship. “We check for eligibility at least twice per family, ensuring that only those truly in need receive assistance, and we send updated lists to the Foundation, which relies on us to give them accurate information. Of course these are families that we know well, and it is a wonderful feeling to let them know that we’re there for them, that they’re not alone.”
In Tel Aviv, students of Yeshivat Ateret Nehemiah (Aviv HaTorah) are among those receiving scholarships from the One-to-One Foundation.
“This is a real partnership between the general public and those who learn Torah,” explains Adi Ginzburg. “Those receiving the grants are often already de facto community rabbis even though they aren’t officially ordained, and the support they receive enables them to continue studying Torah and benefiting the community.”
Ginzburg stresses the level of self-sacrifice inherent in the decision of a young Torah student to prepare for Rabbinic ordination rather than learn in a university. “There are plenty of scholarships available in the academic world, but the people One-to-One supports have foregone all that in order to learn Torah. We have the privilege of enabling them to do so.”
To earn that privilege for yourself, consider supporting One-to-One as the Foundation endeavors to raise a million shekels per year for distribution before Rosh Hashanah and Pesach.