Litvak gedolim portraits from Ben Zion fine arts

When we emigrated we left a thriving community that I was an intrinsic part of.⠀

We knew we had to move and we were grateful for the opportunity to move to an established torah community with a job already confirmed. But we were still scared and concerned.⠀

We had ticked off all our most basic checks.⠀

✔️ Income – check⠀
✔️ Kids schools – check⠀
✔️ Kashrus – check⠀
✔️ shuls – check⠀

Community??? Our last but very foundational concern. ⠀

Without being actively part of a community we knew we ran the risk of being steered off our torah path and being swept away into the mundanities of life. ⠀

Kashrus, shuls and rabbonim were sorted, but we knew that unless we actively surrounded ourselves and embedded ourselves in the community, we and our children were at risk.⠀

And so, once we arrived and the essential boxes were unpacked and kids at school, the next task was to establish connections with the community.⠀

I made a meeting to introduce myself to the Rav of the community.⠀

My wife got connected to the local “neshei” email group and signed up for helping with chessed among the woman.⠀

I offered to run the kitchen for the upcoming shul siyum hashas.⠀

I went along with the local eruv checker on erev shabbos to ensure the eruv was up and later took on this job myself.⠀

Very soon the community knew our names, and us theirs, and we felt less anxious and alone.⠀

Both my kids and I still actively look for opportunities to be involved in the community, not only to help others but to help ourselves and keep us connection and on the torah path. ⠀

Bh our effort and dedication on the cause have paid off.⠀

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