Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

23 Tammuz 5763 - July 23, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Nearly Half of Shuvu Yerushalayim Graduates will Go to Yeshiva
by Moshe Schapiro

"Before I came to this school, the Torah was something distant. It wasn't a living thing; it was more of a history book. But today, I know that the Torah is the book that contains all of the wisdom of the world and the keys to understanding. I leave this school a better person than when I came in. And it didn't happen by itself. It is all thanks to the staff."

It was with these words that Shimon Shafir, a senior at the Shuvu Yerushalayim Boys' High School, thanked Shuvu for the opportunity to learn and grow in Torah, at a moving graduation ceremony held on the 10th of Tammuz/July 10.

In attendance were dozens of staff, family members and friends, as well as Shuvu Rabbinical Advisor in Eretz Yisroel Rav Yisroel Ganz and Shuvu Director in Eretz Yisroel Rabbi Chaim Michoel Guttermann.

They were celebrating more than a high school graduation; they were celebrating the fact that the graduates -- and many of their families -- have grown closer to Torah and mitzvos thanks to the Shuvu education they've received.

Five members of the 12-member graduating class are continuing their Torah education at various yeshivos gedolos, this fall. The rest will be attending religious technical schools such as Machon Lev-The Jerusalem College of Technology and programs that combine Torah study with army service.

"We are especially proud of this year's Yerushalayim graduating class -- our second," said Rabbi Guttermann. "Nearly fifty percent will be learning full-time in yeshivos in the fall, and even those who have chosen to attend other schools are leaving Shuvu committed to a Torah way of life."

With Darchei Noam

Helping Russian youth develop a lasting commitment to a Torah way of life was the goal of the Shuvu Yerushalayim Boys' High School when it was founded in 1998. Although at first, many parents agreed to send their sons to the school because it offers a high-level education and an atmosphere conducive to learning -- a far cry from the crime and violence-ridden local public schools -- most found that the school has much more to offer, namely a Torah way of life.

During the ceremony, another graduate, Shlomo Cherebinski, shared with the audience his personal journey to Yiddishkeit that began when he walked through the doors of Shuvu Yerushalayim.

"When I came to this school," he began, "I was totally secular. I was interested in Judaism, but nothing more than that. Today I consider myself a mekayem Torah and mitzvos, and I plan to learn in yeshiva next year.

"I often ask myself," he continued, "how this change came about. I think it had a lot to do with the way the school is run. No one ever forced me to do anything, but they were always ready to teach whoever wanted to learn. It was through this darchei noam that I got where I am today."

From Darkness To Light

If there was one message that came through loud and clear at the graduation, it was the dramatic impact the Shuvu network is having on Russian immigrant families -- and of the great need for such a network.

Shuvu, however, like many other religious educational networks in Eretz Yisroel, is now facing drastic cuts to its budget as a result of across-the-board government budget cuts. Yet its staff remains determined to not only keep all of its schools and programs operational, but also continue to expand in order to meet the growing demand.

"Last year we served 13,500 Russian immigrant children and their families throughout Eretz Yisroel," says Rabbi Guttermann. "This year enrollment is expected to rise by 10 percent, and we remain committed to giving these children a Torah education."

As the graduation ceremony concluded, HaRav Yisroel Ganz gave each graduate a personal brochoh for future success and growth in Torah and yiras shomayim.


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