YES Connections, an arm of Yeshiva Elementary School, has a mission to build relationships between members of the entire Milwaukee Jewish Community. There is arguably no more effective way to build a relationship than to spend uninterrupted time together. Add to that the emotional and spiritually-charged atmosphere of Israel, and you are almost guaranteed a very special bond.
In that spirit, director Rabbi Hillel Brody and 6 “dads” from Milwaukee’s greater Jewish community joined the Momentum Men’s Trip to Israel from November 11-17. Momentum Men’s theme is #chooseawesome. Being awesome Momentum-style means to be the best person you can be, and the trip revolved around being a better dad, a better spouse and a better Jew.
The impact of the trip may be best expressed through a brief snapshot. On every trip there are some guys who have never celebrated their bar mitzvah, many of whom may feel like they have never taken their formal place in the Jewish community. Towards the end of the trip, Momentum holds a bar mitzvah celebration on top of Masada. It is held on Thursday, and consists of Torah reading; allowing men who have never had been called to the Torah to take their rightful place as active participants in the Jewish communal life of the synagogue.
As it happens, one member of the Milwaukee contingent had never had a bar mitzvah. That moment, surrounded by a group of guys who had become a family, felt to him like the right time to celebrate his membership in the Jewish community. As he was formally called to carry the Torah, his new brothers surrounded him with song, dance and love. Making the ceremony even more special, another of the brothers-from-another-father is a kohen (priest). He, along with the other kohanim, invoked the priestly blessing, tying a meaningful bow on a powerful event.
The intrepid travellers came back with a mission: take this trip and make it a part of your life. With regular meetings planned for the next year, you can be sure these guys will #ChooseAwesome.