Florida Chabad Center opens online study group for retirees
Yehuda Guberman, a retiree from North Miami Beach, Florida, enjoyed attending weekly study sessions at United Jewish Generations, a Chabad senior center in South Florida. Then COVID hit, and the elderly began to isolate and limit social interactions. Classes have been suspended.
But not for long. UJG took the opportunity to open a virtual Torah Academy, a kollel, for seniors. The kollel offers retirees, men and women, the opportunity to study and discuss Torah daily from their homes while receiving a monthly stipend, thanks to donations collected over the summer. And Guberman says it has improved his daily life.
“This is one of the good things that has happened because of COVID,” he says. “The lessons are so accessible and I am now learning a lot more than ever before. »For people at the cutting edge of technology, the kollel computers provided, training and troubleshooting.
Morning and afternoon classes are mainly taught by the rabbi Menachem smith, director of the UJG, among other teachers. Topics include Jewish mysticism, history, philosophy, law, and Hasidic stories. Guberman says he looks forward to the morning Talmud class. “I was studying Daf yomi, one page of Talmud per day, ”he said. “After a brain aneurysm in 2015, I couldn’t maintain it. Now I can immerse myself in the Talmud again and enjoy the experience every day.
The fifty or so participants, from all over the United States but mostly Florida, do not have all of Guberman’s prior skills or knowledge. “My classmates come from a wide variety of backgrounds: some have never opened a Hebrew text before and others are yeshiva graduates. And we are each able to follow and win from each class. Teachers make it somehow relevant, understandable, and intellectually stimulating for all of us.
Rabbi Smith says it’s because every class has hours of preparation. “There is so much knowledge added to the courses that anyone will find it intriguing, educational and informative, even those who have studied the subject before. Guberman says all participants, regardless of their background, keep instructors on their toes with thought-provoking questions that take classes to a deeper level. “Everyone has something to add.
So far, the group has covered in depth two chapters of the Talmud, ten chapters of Tanya, the Biblical Book of Judges, over twenty Hasidic discourses and many chapters of Jewish law in the Shul’han Aroukh. They plan to take a break for the summer and continue into the next semester.
Guberman is grateful for the opportunity to study every day and for the social interactions that the kollel provides. “I invited a friend of mine and made a lot of new friends. It’s stimulating, enjoyable and rewarding. It made so much sense to me.
Learn more and apply to join here.