Mar 11, 2008

What do YOU love about GEM?

Nina Litvak, Los Angeles, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
Absolutely fantastic and Meaningful trip! Extremely well planned and organized. The speakers were outstanding.
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: Kabbalat Shabbat at Kotel - so much joy!
What Gained: I got inspiration, knowledge, and deeper faith in Hashem.

Minette Johnson, Atlanta, GA, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: Raize's stories and book.
What Gained: Desire to learn and live Torah.

Mariana Grinblat, Toronto, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
What did you enjoy most about the Gem Israel Trip: Teachings
What Gained: New ideas and love of Israel

Tatiana Verkholaz, Chicago, IL, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: The learning part / speakers.
What Gained: Helped me to identify my goals and my directions in learning. Also, made me feel more comfortable about myself and where I am at in my journey.

Josey Frieberg, Thornhill, Ontario, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: Just being here! I do a lot of learning at home, but in Israel, it's very special.
What Gained: Knowing I'm not alone in my "journey".

Laura Vallejos, St. Paul, MN, Gem 8, Fall 2009:
What enjoyed most about Gem Israel Trip: The touring and teaching combined making the best use of my time in Israel.
What Gained: The exposure of Torah Knowledgable and gentle women. Thank you.

Diane Goldstein, NY, Gem 6, Fall 2008:
Memories of my dream trip to Jerusalem are always with me. I'm still downloading Raizy's Teletorah onto my ipod, and enjoying the learning when I Commute to work.

Alexia Deschamps, NY, attended Gem 8, Fall 2009:
Thank you so much to the group leaders and all the teachers on the program for giving so much and giving us the strength and inspiration to do something to become closer to Hashem and improve myself.
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: Sharing the experience with all the women on the program.
What Gained: Proof that I am on the right path.

Laya Rosenthal, Denver, attended Gem 8, Fall 2009:
I have been taking the tele-torah classes with Raize. I listen [to the class recording] in the Afternoons. Love the class. I have been doing some one on one studying and also take a class since I am back. The trip was really really good for me and I thank all of you so much. We are coming back for a wedding ... so I am going to work on making sure we also have study time.
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: The inspirational learning from woman to woman.
What Gained from the trip: The Reimergance into Torah study.

Moreen Pushkin, Los Angeles, attended Gem 8, Fall 2009:

I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed the Gem mission. A mere thank you is not enough. The women I met, you as a teacher, the sights, teaching Torah, Halacha, can not say in words how much I Gained ... Hashem has filled my heart with love and the wish to return to Israel. Aish has given me the tools I wanted to start learning. And I have you [ng], Mendel, and the whole group to thank Aish. I will keep in touch.
What enjoyed most about the Gem Israel Trip: I loved every class, all the stretching I did with my own growth and excitement at where I might grow.
What Gained: A Heightened awareness of my own desire to keep learning as a Jewish woman.

Judi Kirk, Woodbury, NY, attended Gem 2, Fall 2005:
We were women with Varying experiences, background and expectations. We ranged in age from 30's to 60's. We ranged from a Sabbath Observant woman to a Bewildered mother of children who had become Sabbath Observers, quite a different path from the one that mother had picked. We each came for different reasons, we thought. But we actually came with one purpose - to Grow.As an adult I began to explore my roots. Along the way I found my Source and have been exploring who I am and why I am living. On Gem, I was able to go to classes with teachers who had the names of authors I'd been reading on for several years. What an incredible opportunity to meet and be taught by Rabbis Zelig Pliskin, Motti Berger and Ken Spiro, RebbetzinTzipporah Heller, Lisa Aiken, Sarah Rigler and others. We had many teachers so brilliant and inspiring that I was filled with joy at being in Israel and Jewish. Our group leader had us in her Old City home for many of the classes. Additionally, other families had us to their homes. Israel is a land of Jewish mothers! We also had the privilege of meeting Aish leaders, Rabbi and Rebbitzen Weinberg, and being inspired right there, in front of the Western Wall! I have recommended the Gem program to many women who have interest in Jewish issues as well as to the wives of men who have found a desire to explore their Judaism. For anyone who loves learning, the opportunity to grow and to study at the center of the world, Jerusalem, is an experience that will be Cherished Eternally. For reluctant parents or children of people returning to Jewish roots, you may get to understand your loved one's journey more.

Nika Klinghoffer, Seattle, Gem TeleTorah phone class:

My mother has been on two trips Gem and I'm very happy she told me about this phone class. I really enjoy Raize's classes - and while it's great to have them written up on this blog (THANK YOU - it's a great tool to refer back to), there's really no substitute for calling in and listening for yourself. Raize not only shares a wealth of Torah wisdom every week, but she also shares her own stories, her unique sense of humor - and, really, her own heart. Her love for Gd, her Emunah, her love for her fellow man, her Sincerity in Striving to live a Jewish life, all come through in every word she says, and she gives me inspiration and a living model of how to think like a true Jew. Thank you, Raize - I hope to meet you one day!

Jo Brabson, Warrenton, VA, attended Gem 1, Spring 2005:

After Discovering on the ability to study with women my own age, the need to go to Israel was strong. I felt the power of the land calling to me and when I arrived I understood the pull of my heart. I was home ... The classes taught to us were on target and everyone eagerly answered questions that generated more questions. The locations, the tours, the Graciousness of the people we visited with made me realize that only in Israel can you learn what being Jewish really is. The women that I met and Studied with are a part of my family now and I Anxiously wait to hear from them. Long distance learning with new friends and old make the time away from Israel easier to bear knowing that Someday .... I'll be going back! It's an opportunity you do not want to miss and you'll be forever grateful that you Participated in this program!

Necha Golda Dubinsky [Gem Program Director], The Old City, Jerusalem
One of the things I like most about Gem TeleTorah learning is staying connected with women who have come on Gem Israel Trips and meeting new women who are excited about growing spiritually.

Paulette Franco, Los Angeles, CA, attended Gem 4, Spring 2007:

You find yourself Fascinated with every small step you take. With every step, something new is revealed about world history, civilization, and is relevant to the world today - both globally and personally.
I was recently in Jerusalem for 11 days [on Gem 4]. I saw learned, and experienced a lot of interesting things, and met many wonderful people. My pics from the trip are now on the internet. To view my album, click on the following link (or copy and paste it into your web browser): Http: / / / Cschnitz / iWeb / Site / Shalom% 20and% 20Welcome.html

Sheila Kochman, Howell, NJ, attended Gem 3, Fall 2006:

The pictures came out great! It brought back so many memories. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go on GEM. I think about the learning experiences and the people I met and how I can use it in my everyday life. I feel that I have been Spiritually Uplifted by the GEM program.

Theda Zuckerman, Manhattan, NY, attended Gem 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and is Gem TeleTorah Facilitator:
The GEM program is an exceptional combination of learning and love; Torah learning, understanding of the challenges we face as Jews, love for Jewish values, love for Jerusalem and love for the Land of Israel. With the guidance of wonderful teachers and shared experiences, we listened, we questioned and we helped one another articulate our beliefs and our doubts. We supported and encouraged each other on our different paths to greater knowledge and connection. The AISH community in Jerusalem is amazing. It is the Embodiment of what living an authentic Torah life truly means. The impression it created on me has given me the inspiration and the courage to try and create the sense of community and humanity that was extended to all of us for the twelve days we Studied, visited and "dwelt" among these truly wonderful people. In short, it was a Spiritual shot in the arm. I look forward to returning.

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