What could be accomplished in one hour a week?
Jewish children in public schools around the country are a testament to the incredible power that Released Time yields in just one hour a week.
In 1941, shortly after his arrival to American shores, the Frierdiker Rebbe introduced the Released Time program. By law, public school children are allowed one hour a week to leave school and learn about their heritage. To utilize this hour, bochurim visit public schools all over the city and give Jewish children a chance to make a bracha, wear a yarmulke and eat kosher food. For a brief, but precious, moment in time they connect with their neshamos as they say Shema Yisroel and learn about the Parsha and holidays.
In the eighty-plus years since its inception, Release Time has evolved into so much more than the weekly public school visitations. The program has grown to provide winter camps, summer camps, monthly shabbatons, holiday programs, home visits, and more.
While the accomplishments have been many, and the amount of children who have attended weekly sessions or holiday programs has grown close to one million, one of Released Time’s proudest accomplishments are the tens of thousands of children who have left public school to receive a Jewish day school or yeshiva education. The opportunity to learn in a Jewish environment can be lifesaving for many of these children who can be the only Jewish kids in their entire school.
Released Time remains one of the few ongoing initiatives of the Frierdiker Rebbe and one that the Rebbe took special interest in and whose activities the Rebbe closely followed. On many occasions throughout the nesius the Rebbe spoke about about Released Time, and would encourage people to help support the work of Release Time in honor of Yud Shvat:
“ביום היארצייט דכ”ק אדמו”ר מו”ח אביע תקותי שעושה ויעשה גם בעתיד כל שביכולתו לבסס הריליז טיים” (י’ שבט תשכ”ו)”
“On the day of the Yahrzeit of our Rebbe, my father-in-law, it is my sincere hope that you are doing – and will continue to do in the future – all that you can to support Released Time.” (Yud Shvat 1966)
Much can be accomplished in one hour a week. Release Time does that, and more.
This year, in honor of Yud Shvat, partner with Release Time in the important work that they carry out at www.JewishHour.org
Beautiful video! So inspiring!