*Shmuel is not the student’s real name.
Please allow me to express my hakarat ha’tov to you and your organization for taking upon yourselves the incredibly vital work of raising funds to send talmidim to Yeshiva for Shana Aleph and especially for your help with students returning for Shana Bet. These students are typically highly motivated, and yet find themselves at a loss financially as to how to return to Yeshiva and continue their growth. Parents are reluctant to finance a second year because it has not been budgeted and is viewed as an unnecessary luxury, rather than a critical component of a talmid’s growth. MASA does not provide funds for returning students.
I am specifically writing to thank you and your donors for support of Shmuel Gordon. Shmuel had to fight and scrap to come to Israel. I know for a fact, after sitting in his house and talking with his parents, that without your support, he would be in university now, rather than at Lev HaTorah, where he is flourishing.
Shmuel is a star. The president of his community High School in Toronto, Shmuel continues to be a leader in our Yeshiva community. His presence is felt both “on the court” and “off the court.” “On the court”, i.e. in the Bet Midrash, Shmuel rose through the various Gemara shiurim quickly, and is now in the top shiur, despite his relatively weak Gemara background. His strong Hebrew skills, quick mind, and dogged determination, have allowed him to gain admission to this top shiur, and to experience success in learning Gemara.
Shmuel can be seen learning throughout the afternoon break, and far into the nights. He has several chevrutot with Rebbeim, and has requested that I learn with him as well. How can I say “No-I am too busy” to a young man who shows such a strong desire to learn Torah?!
Shmuel’s presence is felt “off the court” as well. In our recent overnight tiyul to Eilat, one of our Rebbeim was leading a campfire tisch. Shmuel took out his guitar and began leading the Yeshiva in singing songs, interspersed with stories and divrei Torah. The Rebbe was so impressed, that he let Shmuel take over the tisch.
And with his many talents, Shmuel remains a very down-to-earth “good guy”. I saw his good middot on display once again last Friday night, when he had dinner at our home. Polite, respectful and easy to converse with.
I am confident that Shmuel is making maximum use of his time in Yeshiva, and equally confident that upon finishing his year (or two?) in Yeshiva, he will be a person who is going to make a definite impact on Klal Yisrael.
Rav Michael Cytrin
Menahel, Yeshivat Lev HaTorah