Keep up-to-date on our latest News & Events
South Fallsburg, NY // With Sinai Academy Alumni
By TC member
The Traveling Chassidim spent a beautiful Shabbat at the Raleigh Hotel in the Catskill Mountains at the yearly Sinai Alumni Retreat, with the Rabbi's, Staff, and Alumni of Sinai Academy. Founded in 1987, Sinai Academy is one of the oldest private institutions of learning for children serving the Russian-American Jewish community.
Throughout the weekend it became very apparent that the Alumni play an important role in the life of Sinai Academy, and Sinai Academy still plays an important role in the lives of many of the alumni as well. It is an ever-growing family with bonds that continue to develop, expand and strengthen. They help each other find jobs, advance in their careers and build happy families. The Rabbis participate in the Jewish lifecycle events of the former students including weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc.
One of the most inspiring things about this Shabbat for us - was, when the participants one-by-one got up and spoke about their family history and background. They talked about the dark days under the Soviet Union, where their parents struggled to preserve any Jewish identity. One song in particular which was sung over and over with much emotion, sums up the inspiration we got over the weekend, with the words from Psalms (119): "Willful sinners taunted me exceedingly, yet I have not turned aside from Thy Torah"
Honesdale, PA // With Ezra Academy @ Camp Moshava
By Moshe Friedler - Ass't Principal Ezra Academy
Dear Traveling Chassidim,
It's hard to limit to words the emotions and hakoras hatov that I and all the staff of Ezra have for what you accomplished this past Shabbos. Without exception, all of the students were "blown away" by their experience. The ruach and varmkeit that you gave to these kids is something that they will always remember. The shattering of stereotypes about Chassidim was worth more than a years worth of classes. To quote a number of students "they're just like us"!I didn't think you could possibly top last year's effort, but somehow you did. We're back in school today and the reaction of the kids is overwhelming.The 12th grade boys, who never wanted to do any type of Jewish singing, all say that they can't get some of the songs out of their heads. Halevai this should be an impetus for them to go further. Interestingly, when I asked them how they feel about Chassidim in general after this experience, a few of them said, that you make up for all the negative things they've heard. All in all, it was a tremendous Kiddush Hashem
Ottawa, Ontario Canada // @ Machzikei Hadas
Machzikei Hadas is a Modern Orthodox shul with a warm atmosphere and diverse membership welcoming all levels of observance. About 400 families make up this beautiful congregation, among them many young couples, young families, singles and grandparents. A great Chazzan, and a well-known spiritual Leader Rabbi Dr. Reuben Bulka.
Written by Rabbi Bulka
What can I say? We were all looking forward to the weekend with eager anticipation, but not having ever been with the Traveling Chassidim, we did not know what to expect.
In the end, the shabbes far exceeded the expectation. You inspired the entire kehila with the davening, the words, the singing, the dancing, and perhaps most important, your genuine warmth and friendship.
Without exaggeration, everyone who was there for the shabbes and the Hadalah was uplifted and deeply grateful to all of you. You know that you are welcome back, and judging from the reaction in the shul, it will be soon!
May 12, 2012
March 30, 2012
May 19, 2012
Monsey, NY // With the Aish Connections Metro-Trip 2012
By TC member
This summer, like every summer, Aish connections (a non-profit organization providing Jewish college students with the opportunity to explore their Jewish heritage in a fun and social environment) does it again! The Metro Trip 2012 New York City has it all! Students from all over the country traveled to New York and experienced amazing highlights of this awesome city! Theatre, music, history, art, cultural diversity, shops, unbelievable nightlife -
The students and staff had a great time by hitting famous hotspots including Times Square, Ground Zero, the Empire State Building, Celeb-spotting and....Shabbat in the Monsey Community...The Traveling Chassidim... Oneg... Rabbi Feldehiem... Havdalah - Then, back to Times Square, but not back to square one. This time with a healthy dosage of spirituality, and some new friends.
Aug 11, 2012
Nov 9, 2012
Chicago, IL // With the Buffalo Grove Jewish Community
By Tzvi Feifel
Buffalo Grove, IL
This week I had one of the greatest shabbatot of my life. Incredibly, it occurred not in the bubble of an isolated yeshiva, or in one of the great European cities surrounded by gilded architecture, but rather in Buffalo Grove, IL, a suburb of Chicago with a small Jewish community, home to my in laws and much of my wife's childhood. What, then made my weekend so special? Simple: The Traveling Chassidim.
For those uninitiated (I was until this past week), the Traveling Chassidim are a group of remarkable Jews who travel to different communities across the country, every week, free of charge. They ask only that their travel expenses be covered, nothing more. The least judgmental people I have ever met, these altruistic individuals seem to have only one objective in mind: to spiritually touch and imbue a positive Jewish experience in each and every community they visit.
I have to say, these guys just get it right. Each a full time employee during the week, they spend their shabbatot giving to others, spreading their positive messages of unity and joy. They embrace everyone with a smile, regardless of religious affiliation, learn everyone's names, and focus on singing and dancing rather than religious discipline. Kiruv, to me, has never been so attractive, especially considering the bad reputation Chassidim often receive for being insular and exclusive. I must say, these men and their families truly put that reputation to shame.
Now, whether or not these amazing individuals are representative of (Belzer) Chassidus as a whole, I do not know. What I can tell you, however, is that I have never encountered a group of people about whom it can more aptly be said, "to live is divine." I truly tip my hat to them and their incredible work. May God bless them and their families for years to come.
Nov 10, 2012
Forshay, NY // With the Boston University Students
By Rabbi A. Loketch
Executive Director Meor Boston
This past Shabbos we brought a group of 30 students from all walks of jewish life. Most of them never experienced Shabbos before. They didn't know what to expect but as it turns out they had a wonderful experience. For many of the students the highlight was how we brought shabbos to a close with the Traveling Chasidim. The warmth and spiritual touch that they brought to the Havallah was something that the students say they will remember forever!
We can't thank you enough for adding this beautiful aspect to our Shabbaton!
One Shabbat // With New York College Students
By event participant
This past Shabbos over 75 college students from Albany, Brooklyn and Queens joined together with over 50 families of the Flatbush community for a powerful Shabbos experience. The event appropriately called “One Shabbos,” was a joint effort of Project Inspire and Aish New York.
“The concept behind One Shabbos is to give the students who are in learning programs on campuses a feeling of connection to Jewish students in other universities, and to connect them to the greater Jewish community on a macro level,” Rabbi Yaakov Giniger, Director of Programming for Project Inspire, said. “A Shabbos of this size involving so many people really causes a ‘buzz’ within the community thereby causing a great sense of excitement to get involved in outreach.”
The renowned Traveling Chassidim attended from Monsey and Boro Park. They ushered in and escorted the Shabbos by leading the crowd in a beautiful Carlebach style davening which erupted into lively dancing and an even more exciting and soul-stirring musical havdalah 25 hours later. "They really lifted the spirits -and they brought me to tears with that Havdalah" said one of the Students.
“The Shabbaton was so amazing,” Julia, a senior at St. Johns University, said. “It was so special that it brought everyone together. I love Shabbos!”
The students weren't the only ones to be inspired; the inspiration went both ways and community members also couldn't help but feel a deeper connection to Shabbos. “I thought I was coming to inspire others – I didn't think that I would be touched as well, but it was infectious,” one Flatbush community member recalled. “The ruach was unparalled and I was so moved seeing the interaction between all of the participants!”