Dear Past Chevre and Friends,
This is now the 33rd Pesach that we are going to be providing a Livnot Seder in Tzfat. Just as during the seder the main thing is to ask questions, so too, at Livnot, we pride ourselves on giving chevre the tools to ask their own questions and seek out their own answers. In the spirit of asking questions, it’s a good time to ask, “Where are we going as a People and as an organization?”
On the one hand, we palpably feel that Am Yisrael, is beginning its Redemption. On the other, we feel a great responsibility on our shoulders to provide the type of Jewish/Israel experience that we are always perfecting, exposing people to the magic of Tzfat. Our community service projects are helping and brightening the lives of so many underprivileged families, in ways that no one else does in Israel.
Our greatest reward is to hear what you guys are doing. We share in your engagements, weddings, births, career updates and musings on the challenges of everyday life. Just last week, I spoke to two sets of past chevre couples who just started their own Jewish non-profits in the states. And as much as we like to hear about your successes, know that we are always here for you when things aren’t going so great. No doubt about it, we are really part of bringing upon a change in the Jewish world.
Last week, I had a visit from the CEO of a major foundation, whose goals are exactly the same as our mission. Next week, I have a meeting, B’Ezrat Hashem, with a founder of Birthright Israel, who was a supporter of Livnot before launching Birthright. The same questions are always asked of me: “If Livnot was so impacting, why don’t your alumni support you more?” My response is two-fold.
Thank G-d, many of our alumni are growing Jewishly, marrying Jewish, having families and sending them to be educated in Jewish schools. This undoubtedly affects their discretionary funds. Additionally, we DO receive a meaningful amount of support from our alumni that allows us to continue to operate, and for that we are eternally grateful to you.
Here, just a few days before Pesach, I am going to make ‘an ask’ of you. We have an opportunity now to increase our programs and welcome nearly 1,000 new chevre into the Livnot family this year, including 34 people on a one-week Pesach program starting next week. The cost to Livnot for one person, for one week, is approximately $500. The participant tuitions are now $150 per week, and the shortfall of $350 we raise to make up the difference. You guys know how much one week or a month or three months at Livnot affects your soul.
We would rather receive $100 from a thousand alumni who are saying ‘thank you,’ and expressing their gratitude – than receiving a one-time contribution of $100,000 from someone who has not personally benefited from the experience. Of course, I am sure that if we did get thousands of you to donate, it would be a powerful message that I can convey to the major donors.
Come and visit us in Tzfat, bring your families, and if your kids are here, have them stop in to visit too.
Finally, I’d love to hear from you about your Seder experiences.
Chag Kasher V’Sameach,