[COMMUNICATED] At this point, much of Lakewood is familiar with Minyan Shelanu. For those of you who are not, Minyan Shelanu is a multifaceted organization that has been serving the Lakewood community for over 18 years.
Under the auspices and direction of R’ Chaim Y. Abadi, the Minyan was originally created to serve a long overlooked niche of Lakewood society; young men who do not fit in to the tried and true Lakewood mold. Since its inception, the Minyan has grown exponentially and now boasts a huge mix of Balei Batim, Rabbanim, yungerleit, and the aforementioned teens. Everyone is welcome and those who come do so for a wide variety of reasons.
In keeping with the prevailing reason for its creation, the Minyan has daily minyanim, sedorim, shiurim as well as one-on-one mentoring and chavrusahshafts. On any given night our beis medrash is packed with upwards of 100 people. They come to learn, socialize, eat dinner (freshly cooked every night), utilize the game rooms, listen to shiurim and just to get away from it all. Whatever the reason for coming may be, one can be sure that the Minyan will welcome them with open arms.
In addition to our regular daily programs, the Minyan is proud to offer a wide variety of additional services that many of our non-regular members participate in. Every Thursday night brings a guest speaker for an after Maariv shiur delivered in conjunction with cholent. The speakers consist of well-known askanim and Rabbanim of our community including the Lakewood Rosh Hayeshivos, R’ Kalman Krohn, Dayan Dunner, R’ Shlomo Chaim Kanarek, Mr. Ira Zolotowitz, R’ Zishe Novoseller and many more. These speakers never fail to be amazed at the sense of achdus and camaraderie that is such an established part of the Minyan’s makeup.
Another staple of the Minyan is the annual Shabbaton. Held at a hotel, the shabbaton is attended by the same mix of people that make the Minyan so unique and effective. This past shabbaton brought the biggest crowd over – 500 people including (young) married couples, teenage boys, Rabbanim with their entire families, therapists and marriage counselors. The atmosphere at these shabbatons is truly difficult to describe. The singing, delicious food, inspirational speeches and all-around good time have led many to keep coming back year after year. In fact, close to 25% of the Shabbaton attendees are people who were not closely affiliated with the Minyan prior to this experience.
As any parent knows, the summer can be a difficult time for teens. Boredom can quickly set in leading many to explore new and harmful things to do. In order to mitigate this issue, 3 summers ago, a new learning program was introduced at the Minyan. 20 boys participated in a nightly learning session directed by R’ Moti Kesserman (Rav of Bais Avrohom). The boys (along with 6 mentors) were then rewarded with a sprawling 10-day road trip. Activities included grass skiing, canoeing with alligators and bungee jumping. Suffice it to say, this once in a lifetime trip has shown amazing results. Of the original group, over half are now in yeshiva full-time. In addition, almost every boy is back to do it again this summer and most have brought friends along for both the learning and the trip itself. Estimated enrollment for this year’s program has already doubled and is climbing fast.
As you can imagine, the costs associated with the good works that the Minyan conducts on behalf of the kehilla are staggering. Providing daily meals, mentoring, therapy and utility bills is a constant struggle for the Minyan. The non-daily events bloat the budget even further. The Minyan is extremely proud of the work they do and feel that the results are truly obvious to any who visit. As in the past, the Minyan is happy to announce that they will be holding their annual Lag Be’omer BBQ in The Blue Claws stadium parking lot. This event has swelled from less than 100 people (in 2002) to well over 4,000 last year. There’s something for everyone including rides for the kids, food and live music for the adults, and of course, a massive bonfire at shkia. This event serves the dual purpose of serving the Minyan and its member, and introducing those who have never heard of them to the Minyan world. As the bonfire burns out, the night culminates in a raffle drawing for $10,000.
The Minyan, its members and volunteers look forward to greeting you personally and hope that if you’ve never been to the Minyan, you at least make it to their Lag Be’omer party. May we only share in simchos and be zoche to have nachas from all of “our” children.
Tickets can be purchased online here, by phone at: 732-276-7361, or by visiting us at 145 Ocean Avenue any night of the week.