We’re excited to announce that The GSC is officially merging with Shavei Tzion – The Givat Shmuel Community Shul!
Since its founding, the GSC has worked tirelessly to strengthen the English-speaking community in Givat Shmuel and foster local initiatives, and the Shul is a natural partner that shares many of our goals and objectives. Not just a place to pray, the Shul adopts the disaporatic model, and is working to become a central hub for community life. In addition to the minyan, the Shul has organized several successful events and initiatives: shiurim, workshops, chesed projects, and more. Many of these initiatives overlap with those of the nonprofit, and it makes sense to combine efforts in order to increase the reach and impact of both of our activities.
In this spirit, last week’s General Assembly saw many new faces from the Shul’s leadership elected to the Executive Board: Yuda Widawsky as our new Executive Chair, and Zahava Wesfield, David Berger, Mordechai Koppel, and Yael Tokayer as committee chairs. These individuals join Dovid Levine and Eli Lehman, long-time volunteers and the current Board Secretary and Treasurer + Young Professionals Liaison, respectively.
Our next steps are merging the two organizations as well as drafting both short- and long-term plans for the shul, the nonprofit and the greater community. As with any transition, we expect there to be an adjustment process, and will be performing a full evaluation of our efforts in the coming months. To achieve this goal, we welcome your input and encourage your participation to make sure your voices are heard and your needs are met.
To be clear, the mission and the objectives of the nonprofit are not changing, and we will continue to ensure our activities are open and welcoming to everyone – regardless of personal religious practice. The shul itself will become a project of the nonprofit, and as all of our activities since the nonprofit’s founding, will follow Orthodox Jewish practice. As this is the model used by most successful organizations aiding English-speaking immigrants in Israel, we see no contradiction between our adherence to Orthodox Halacha and our ability to help all olim acclimate successfully into Givat Shmuel and Israeli society.
We’re thrilled with the passion the Shul initiative has instilled in local residents and volunteers, and are excited to write this new chapter of community life together.