Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel
Number 1     Spring 2007/Aviv 5767     


Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration for Israeli Deaf Children Scheduled for May 2nd

Rachel Levmore: A Pioneer in Get-Getting

Preparing for Shnat HaShmitta: Free Guide Available

These Days, In Our Times: Dvar Torah- As Heard From Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold

How YOU Can Help: Support CYIR's Programming in Israel

Established in 1990, the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel (CYIR) works to support and endorse activities and programs that confront the modern day challenges that Israeli Community Rabbis face. CYIR focuses on bridging gaps and fostering networks among the factions within the greater Jewish community, heightening Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora, providing Rabbinic counseling for individuals in crisis, playing an instrumental role in helping Russian olim (immigrants to Israel) navigate through the obstacles of the Rabbinic Courts, intervening in divorce cases in which Jewish women are trapped into unwanted marriage, and educating the Jewish deaf community on Jewish values and heritage.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration for Israeli Deaf Children Scheduled for May 2nd

Bar Mitzvah Celebration for the DeafEach year, CYIR's Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program assists deaf and hearing impaired children from all-over Israel prepare for this important life-cycle event. Participants are required to prepare for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. In order to do so, they attend a total of 24 hours of classes. These classes address the importance of community, giving to the community, and understanding the meaning and importance of prayer. The boys learn blessings for being called up to the Torah and the girls are taught the blessings for candle lighting and the commandment of taking challah.
Bnot Mitzvah recite Shema
The entirety of this experience, both the preparation for the Bar/Bat mitzvah ceremony and the event itself, allows the deaf youth and their parents to create and solidify a social network. At the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony, the boys don tefillin and sign the blessings for being called up to the Torah, and the girls say the Shema in Sign language.

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program is a project of CYIR's Judaic Heritage Program for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. Join us in this wonderful simcha!  Click here to sponsor a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Participant. Sponsor a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Child TODAY!!

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Rachel Levmore: A Pioneer in Get-Getting

CYIR assists couples with pre-nuptial agreements and women involved in Get-refusal situationsThe Jewish Press - March 2007: Rachel Levmore is not a doctor. She is, in fact, a lawyer - of halacha. This does not stop her from comparing what she does to doctors who develop vaccines. Except Levmore's vaccines are to prevent get refusal, not smallpox. And she, with the Council of Young Israel Rabbis, a 17-year-old Israeli organization supported in part by the Jewish Agency for Israel, inoculates the population by advocating couples to sign prenuptial agreements before they wed.

Levmore serves as a toenet, a rabbinical court advocate in Israel, where she was one of the first women to be licensed in 1995. Since a toen is a fully licensed profession, Levmore and anyone else who wishes to serve is required to pass a thorough test on court proceedings and halacha. One of Levmore's innovations has been writing, together with two rabbis, the Agreement for Mutual Respect - the Israeli form of the prenuptial agreement used in the United States. Click here for the complete article in The Jewish Press...

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Preparing for Shnat HaShmitta: Free Guide Available

This Coming Year is a Shnat HaShmittaCouncil of "Young Israel Rabbis" in Israel is preparing a practical guide for this coming year's Shmitta cycle to assist those from the Diaspora who will be studying in yeshivot, seminaries, and other educational programs. Originally written by Rabbi Moshe Rose (an Executive Board member of CYIR) and updated for 5768 by Rabbi David Marcus, this booklet is a one of a kind publication, as it is the only practical, user friendly guide printed in English.

Our goal is to make this important guide available free of charge for all those coming to Israel next year, in excess of 7,500 young men and women. "Shmitta 5768: A Practical Guide in English" will be ready for distribution by June 2007 so that this gift is available before the onset of summer.

Click here to order a copy of "Shmitta 5768: A Practical Guide in English"

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These Days, In Our Times: Dvar Torah - As Heard From Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold

Yom Ha'Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim

If I had to cite just one gemara which best depicts the essence of Yom HaAtzmaut together with Yom Yerushalayim as we experience them in our times, I would look to that well known passage we find in Yoma (69b): “Why were they called Anshei Kenesset haG’dolah, the Men of the ‘Great’ Assembly? Because they restored the crown of G-d’s glorious sovereignty to its original splendor"...

Much like what Yirmiyahu HaNavi experienced in his day, we were witness to the unspeakable destruction of the Holocaust. We saw the enslavement in one form or another of our Jewish people to the nations of the world, whether it be behind the Iron curtain or under the oppressive sword of the nations of Islam where many hundreds of thousands of Jews lived for millennia. And we all saw the miraculous restoration of our people to its biblical homeland, Eretz Yisrael.

On these days of Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim when we festively recite the words of Moshe Rabbeinu “heKeil haGadol haGibbor ve-haNora”  let the last six decades of Jewish history flash through your minds and be thankful for these two days, in our times. Baruch…shehechayanu, ve-ki’yemanu ve-higi’anu lazeman hazeh.

Click here for the complete Dvar Torah.


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How YOU Can Help: Support CYIR's Programming in Israel

CYIR Needs Your Support - Click here to donateAs you can tell from the programs described above, the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel (CYIR) is brimming with activity. In fact, these are only some of the programs we provide to the Israeli public. In future e-newsletters, we will continue to show you a glimpse of all CYIR has to offer.

Yet, none of these programs take place on their own. In order to maintain current programming and provide for new intitative, we need the support of people like you. Whether it's sponsoring an Israeli young adult about to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, providing for a counseling session for a Russian immigrant, or training community rabbis, YOUR donation goes a long way in helping CYIR in reaching its mission.

Please take a moment to make a secure donation online or contact us for more information about donor opporunities. We thank you in advance for your support.

Donate now through PayPal!!!

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Donations to Council of Young Israel Rabbis are considered tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law in the United States and Israel. USA (501 (c)3) Tax ID #03-0381957 (Young Israel Programs - CYIR)Jewish Agency for Israel. Israel (Article 46) Tax ID #580162691.

National Council of Young IsraelCYIR -  Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel greatly appreciates the support it receives from individual donors, the National Council of Young Israel, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel
Rabbi Simcha Krauss - President
Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, Rabbi Meyer Fendel - Vice Presidents

Rabbi Michael K. Strick - Director;  Rabbi Aaron S. Tirschwell - Chief Development Officer

   Israel: 42 Agrippas Street, Suite 203, (POB 28391), Jerusalem 91285 ISRAEL 
Tel: 02-625-4983 Fax: 02-623-0275  Email:

   USA: Young Israel Programs - CYIR, 111 John Street, Suite 450, New York, New York 10038
Tel: 212-929-1525  Fax: 212-727-9526