Letters to the Editor – Yom Yerushalayim Edition 5782

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On the passing of Rabbi Nota Greenblatt zt”l on April 29th

“Tell me something about Rabbi Nota Greenblatt in his younger days,” I asked a long-time resident of Memphis, TN. “Rav Nota is responsible for Memphis maintaining its observant Jewish community,” he answered. As one of the founders of the school, Rav Nota went door-to-door not only to collect money but to convince the young Jewish families who lived there to entrust their children to him. Since then, he remained connected to the school as an engaging teacher, effective fundraiser, and dedicated board member.

I met Rav Nota for the first time when he was in his 80s and I was interviewing to become the Upper School Principal at Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis. As part of my interview process, I had the honor of meeting with Rav Nota. I was concerned that he would ask me questions about my Torah learning and give me an exam. But as I walked into his house, I was immediately put at ease and relieved. While he did ask me where I learned, the rest of the conversation was about getting to know more about my family and my experiences.

Since that first meeting, I understood why Rav Nota was so successful at building the Memphis Jewish community. He was down-to-earth and disarmed you with his sense of humor. He immediately realized who he was talking to and adjusted his conversation and demeanor to make the other person comfortable, whether young or old.

We learned much Torah from Rav Nota, but even more importantly, we learned how to treat a fellow human being.

Rabbi Uriel Lubetski
Director of Education, English Division, Sulamot and lecturer at Michlalah
Efrat, Israel


A job well done 

I don’t want to sound like a broken record by repeating this, but I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to read HaMizrachi magazine. I feel happy, proud, and inspired by it. You have created a publication that does exactly what we want – happy, optimistic, rich in content, and tzioni in all the best ways. The content pieces are extremely well done. But the personal stories are golden. They are inspiring, real and just wonderful. Kol hakavod on creating such a masterpiece!

Rabbi Reuven Tradburks
Director, Israel office of the Rabbinical Council of America
Jerusalem, Israel


Make Israel your own

We very much enjoyed your special edition on the “Youth Aliyah Phenomenon” (Vol. 5, No. 1) – particularly because at Shapell’s/Darche Noam and Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya we have been part of this phenomenon for well over four decades. We are proud that over 25% of our more than 4,500 alumni – and an equivalent percentage of our current students – have made Aliyah, and are making contributions to a wide range of communities throughout Israel. 

We have found that a combination of strong commitment, good preparation, choosing a community appropriate for you (and of course your spouse and children, if applicable), and a supportive network of mentors and friends are all ingredients to a successful Aliyah. May many, many other young adults and couples (and those young at heart) follow in the footsteps of these happy and successful olim and make Israel their own.

Rabbi Shmuel Jablon
Executive Director, Shapell’s/Darche Noam and Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya
Efrat, Israel

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