The goal of this campaign is to really get our feet off the ground. We’ve been hosting events, booking speakers, working on a publication, and all these things cost money. We are on track to become a very special resource for young adults in our communities, but we need your help. With the funds raised from this campaign, we intend to set ourselves up for more regular programming and continue to build the network of rebbeim, educators, and mental health professionals we are striving to create.
This project began almost a year and a half ago. I was speaking to Rav Moshe Tzvi Weinberg about a conversation I had had with someone who had recently returned from their year in Israel. They had had a transformative experience in Israel and were now trying to incorporate their growth into the “real world.” The issue was, they had no one to speak to. They had no one to ask their questions to as they came up and as they continued to develop their relationships with Judaism and Hashem. Their teachers were in Israel and they didn’t have access to rebbeim in America. They didn’t even know where to start. They told me some of the questions they had and I was floored. They had questions about the world that a friend or older classmate couldn’t answer. Sometimes you just need to speak to a rebbe or master educator. There are people around that can help us work through whatever it is we’re dealing with, people just don’t know how to get to them. We want to make them accessible. We want to offer the opportunity to hear from them and speak to them. We are setting up shiurim from highly sought after rebbeim and mental health professionals on different college campuses and setting up get-togethers and chaburahs.
Another key point of this project is to make everyone understand that they are not alone in whatever it is they are trying to figure out. I’ve spoken to rebbeim and psychologists about the struggles of integrating religious growth with past experiences and modern day issues and they all say the same thing, “ten times a day someone sits down and says ‘I’m sure no one has ever come to you with this problem…’ and they all have the same problems.” We don’t want anyone in the room to feel that they are the only person dealing with xyz. We want our shiurim and panels to reflect the issues people are facing and bring to light that plenty of other people are dealing with the same things. And that is what this campaign is trying to achieve.
We intend to use this money to build this network that people can reach out to. Offer more events that will allow people to feel that they are a part of a larger group, not just standing on their own. We want these professionals to be available and accessible when people just need to talk, and that is what we’re trying to offer.
-Yonatan & The Yesh Olam Team