Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County

Exciting Developments from Israel

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 12:00am -- Rabbi Cosnowsky

Rabbi Edgar Nof, past Rabbi of our sister congregation Or Hadash in Haifa, has started a new congregation called "Bridges for Hope - Gesharim LeTikvah”, which is a nonprofit association/congregation of people, that emphasizes Tikkun Olam projects. Rabbi Nof has a special desire to connect the Jews of Israel and the Jews of America. His plan is to do this in a series of 36 mitzvot – namely ways of improving life for people in Israel and beyond. Rabbi Nof says, “Our founder and president, (physician and medical lecturer at the Technion University) Professor Jesse Lachter's affirmation is our motto: "love builds bridges."

Rabbi Nof shares his passion for helping others by creating interfaith programs such as “Soccer and Basketball Games for Peace" for Israeli Muslim and Jewish teens, "Studying Bible Together" for Arab Christians and Reform Jews, "Singing and Praying for Love and Peace" for all ages and religions, and "Women of Faith.” Gesharim LeTikvah - Bridges for Hope has become a leading force for dialogue and understanding in northern Israel.

He and his congregants seek to create programs like "Helping Holocaust Survivors," "A Smile a Minute," "Sandwiches for Underprivileged in the Schools," "Visiting the Sick," and "Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies for wards of the State, blind and impaired children," which will encourage Israeli secular Jews to learn and practice Jewish liberal values and become closer to our Jewish heritage.

By the way, did I mention that the treasurer and founding member of his congregation is our very own Gershom Lichtenberg?

The Social Action Committee approved a onetime donation of $1000 to his congregation to help get them started. If you are interested in helping his endeavor as well, please let me know.

May this new Israeli congregation go from strength to strength as it helps improve the foundation of Israeli society and the larger world.