Friday, April 29, 2011

Letter #1

This week we received a wonderful letter from one of the boys involved in Aish Tamid’s programming:
Many know of Aish Tamid only as just another neighborhood Shul. For a lot of us teenagers, we found a second home at Aish Tamid and have great opportunities through the teen program. The things I love most about Aish are the relaxed Jewish environment where my friends and I can all hang out and the study program that gives us time to study when not in a classroom – for either the GED or normal school tests – with a tutor able to answer questions and guide us through challenging assignments. Aish Tamid has guided me along the road to graduation, and now I will be attending college full time in the fall at SMC, with high test scores in Literature and Math. Aish Tamid has also helped me and many of my friends find jobs in the community as well.

Any night we feel, we are always more than welcome to "drop in" for any number of reasons, whether it be to hang out and kick back while rooting for the Lakers or Dodgers over food with friends, or even in extreme cases in which anybody facing a crisis situation can reach out to and seek help from Rabbi Hershoff. We can deal with the sometimes-challenging issues of our age and get through them with the best-proven family/community/cultural guidance imaginable. I, for one, was in a very tough place with school, having been in independent studies for all of my senior year and lacking guidance and direction in life – as well as a family dealing with issues far beyond my control.

One day a friend of mine brought me to Aish so the Rabbi could tell me about his study group for students such as myself, students in independent studies and needing to study for the GED. I instantly knew that I had found a place to help me succeed and give me the tools to be able to confidently say that I am on a road to a much brighter future than I’d ever previously imagined for not only myself, but my family as well. All the guys at Aish are like one big family. We always help each other out whenever needed, and are available to one another at any moment’s notice. This circle of Jewish friends who all care about one another and truly want to see each other achieve success in life is an amazing thing to have at hand.

I am eighteen years old and currently a senior in High School. I credit Aish Tamid for helping me to be able to experience working (at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) and being on my way to receiving my high school diploma on time. I have a much stronger sense of self, morals, and much more thanks to Aish and the programs they have provided myself and the community. For this, I am indebted to and thankful for this gift I have been blessed with – a second chance that Aish Tamid has given many of us.

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