While much of the northern hemisphere is suffering through an unseasonably cold winter, it’s summer down under. While some take the opportunity to visit family or make a quick getaway from the city, hundreds of people turned up in force to further their Torah knowledge. Seeking inspiration and insight, the participants in this year’s Summer Learning Program were not disappointed.
“Inspiring and brain stretching.” – “A fulfilling and uplifting week.” – “Wonderful and entertaining week of learning.” – “A truly unique opportunity to learn about a broad range of topics in an approachable and entertaining way.” – “The best ever.” These were just some of the ways in which this year’s program has been described.
This week long learning program, is an initiative of Kollel Menachem Lubavitch, the adult education division of the Yeshivah Centre. Running annually during the summer break for over 30 years, it attracts hundreds of participants from across the spectrum of the Melbourne community; men and women, young and old, beginners and the more advanced. Many even came in from interstate to join.
Each day features 3 hours of learning. The morning sessions offer the participants a choice of fascinating topical lectures or textual study. The final session brings everyone together for a feature presentation. With over 50 Shiurim delivered on a plethora of classic and contemporary Torah topics, many consider it to be a smorgasbord of Jewish thought sure to please the diverse array of participants.
Each year we host an international scholar to enlighten the crowd with a fresh and unique perspective. This year our guest speaker was the talented Rabbi Ari Shishler from Sandton, South Africa. Rabbi Shishler is a brilliant orator with a sharp mind, a great sense of humor and broad knowledge.
He was joined by a team of dynamic presenters compromising our local, talented community Rabbis and Rebbetzins as well as the Rabbis of Kollel Menachem.
Rabbi Shishler mesmerized the crowds each day with his entertaining and thought-provoking presentations. He addressed fresh and contemporary issues with lecture topics including: Unorthodox women, You don’t know what you don’t know, Are Jews afraid of fame? and The Shemittah project. He also spoke about our role in the conflict in Israel in the lecture titled What can we do about a situation we can’t seem to do anything about.
Needless to say these lectures left many with lasting inspiration and new techniques to put to practice in their daily lives.
The more advanced learners were treated to a week of challenging, in-depth textual learning. Rosh Hakollel, Rabbi Yonason Johnson led the group through the Gemora and Rishonim, analysing and exploring different aspects of the Shemittah year.
Many commented on the smooth and professional presentation of this year’s program. As one woman put it most succinctly, “I have been to this program almost every year since its inception, this was far and away the best year from every perspective.”
To complement the food for thought, a delicious buffet of creative refreshments was served each day. This was just another great feature to enhance the overall experience for our participants.
The Rebbe once conveyed his blessings for this program that it should be “b’hatzlacha muflaga bakol” – outstanding success in all areas, and further commented “vegadol zechus talmud torah derabim” – great is the merit of communal Torah study!
May this great merit stand us in good stead and may Hashem grant that we merit that Moshiach himself comes and addresses next year’s event in Yerusholayim, Amen!
This year’s program was generously sponsored by Melbourne Office Supplies and Laserfast.
To find out more about this amazing program and to see the full line-up of speakers and topics visit www.jewishlearning.com.au
To discover more about Kollel Menachem Lubavitch of Melbourne visit www.kollelmenachem.com.au