By COLlive reporter
100 Jewish teens from around Europe returned home this week from a coming of age trip to Israel in honor of their Bar Mitzvah.
It was organized by the Morasha organization, an affiliate of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association headed by Rabbi Menachem Margolin, in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.
For over a week, the children traveled with Morasha’s director Rabbi Mendy Pewzner and a few Chabad Shluchim to holy sites, historic buildings and educational outings.
The tour concluded with an emotional Bar Mitzvah ceremony at the Kotel where each boy received a set of Talis and Tefillin, followed by a lavish meal with Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau and Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.
For many of the children, the trip was a dream come true. “Many of them come from families with financial difficulties,” said Pewzner. “This was a unique ceremony for them and that is why we invested the most possible in the experience.”
Participants were carefully chosen by the Shluchim. “These are children who don’t learn in Jewish institutions and are prone to the severe dangers of assimilation,” says Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Pinson of Nice, France.
“They are in touch with Chabad either through the Sunday School or our Talmud Torah on Wednesdays, and some of them have even less of a connection. This trip will be engraved in their souls, and it will only strengthen from here.”
The trip was produced by Israel Maven Tours.