Dear Friends of Schechter,
On each of the four sides of the dreidl we find letters that represent four Hebrew words: Nes Gadol Haya Sham (“A Great Miracle Happened There”). During Hanukkah we celebrate the miracle of the small amount of oil meant for one day keeping the Temple menorah in Jerusalem lit for eight days as the people celebrated “hanukkat ha’bayit,” the rededication of the Temple and their newly-won freedom.
A year after we at Schechter celebrated our “hannuka HaBayit” – the opening of our new beautiful buildings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we see the results in the Schechter Institute’s extraordinary growth – we now have700 M.A. and rabbinical students studying at Schechter, 45,000 pupils in TALI schools from the Negev to the Galilee and thousands more attending outreach programs at Schechter Centers throughout Israel and in the Former Soviet Union. From four students when it opened in 1984, today Schechter is engaging over 50,000 children and adults in a vital dialogue with Jewish sources; and reconnecting them to their Jewish heritage. Our growing numbers point to the resounding success of our mission, and to the ever growing need for Jewish renewal in Israel.
While enrollment at Israeli universities in Jewish studies and the Humanities is in decline, this fall Schechter saw an increase of 15% in enrollment of new M.A. students. The number of new students enrolling in the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary’s Mishlei program doubled, and the new Marpeh Program – the combined M.A. and chaplaincy certification - has 28 students and a waiting list for admission. TALI is currently in an unprecedented expansion – demand is stronger than ever. In 2013 we added 13 schools and 40 pre-schools to the TALI Network. Some 4,000 Tel Aviv residents attended programs and events in the first year of our Neve Schechter Cultural Center and our Kehilla in Kiev has doubled in size which led to a move to a much larger facility.
We are grateful to you for the generous support that has enabled all of this extraordinary activity. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Schechter Institute logo is a menorah with glowing flames. As you light the candles of Hanukkah on your menorah, please take a moment to help keep the flame growing brightly at the Schechter Institute. If you have already donated this year, we thank you. If you have not yet made a gift, please send your check, with the enclosed card, to the Schechter Institute today, expressing your commitment to Jewish education and to religious pluralism in Israel. You can also donate online.
With gratitude for your continuing support,
Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies