By Tamar Farajian: Last week, Oorah held their annual TorahMates retreat at the beautiful Zone campus in upstate New York. Hundreds of TorahMate pairs from all over the country learn together on the phone once a week, and this retreat was their chance to meet in person, many for the first time. While geographical distances are usually a problem for the pairs, the retreat was the perfect opportunity for them to be able to learn in person. The packed schedule of learning, workshops, and interactive activities all lent a hand in making the entire weekend a success.
From the moment the TorahMates arrived Friday until they left Monday morning, they immediately felt welcomed. The TorahMates consist of a diverse crew from all walks of life and of various degrees of their understanding of Yiddishkeit. Despite their differences, everyone felt accepted and loved for who they are: a beloved member of Klal Yisrael.
Delicious food and fun activities such as zip line, bumper boats, sports, hiking, and horseback riding, coupled with the inspirational singing, dancing, davening and learning gave the attendees the best of both worlds. The TorahMates coordinators showed each and every TorahMate the beauty and excitement of Yiddishkeit, which contributes to their continued spiritual growth for the rest of the year.
One TorahMate volunteer summed up the beauty of the weekend as well as the dedication of the TorahMates team. “The kol Torah in the Bais Medrash during the learning sessions just like first seder in Yeshiva! The singing during the seudos on Shabbos with all of the different minhagim was especially moving as everyone joined in. It was an exceptional moment of achdus. I watched with admiration during the weekend as the coordinators gave all their kochos to make the event the success it was. It was a reminder of the love they have and the responsibility they feel for Klal Yisrael.”