Living Higher: Issue 947| January 31, 2023
The siyum was a moving testimony to Shuvu’s success, and a “hadran” in the fullest sense
Photo: Jeremy Melnick
hen Rav Pam first founded Shuvu, the kiruv organization focused on offering a Jewish education to immigrant children from the former Soviet Union who had arrived in Eretz Yisrael. With time, it expanded to include native Israelis and other immigrants as well, and is now a giant educational network spanning the Holy Land.
On the first day of the recent 2023 Shuvu mission to Eretz Yisrael, Rav Reuven Feinstein, nasi of Shuvu, joined board members and delegates from the United States and England at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem in an inaugural gathering. Along with the speeches, the opening night’s program featured a siyum on Maseches Berachos by Nihoray Tzionov, the husband of Shuvu graduate Sivan Levine Tzionov.
Sivan’s story began years back, when her father Reuven Levine enrolled his daughter in Shuvu’s Lod branch. While Levine was completely irreligious, Shuvu’s reputation for top-notch academics, superior to what was offered at standard Israeli schools was a compelling draw. Upon completing eighth grade, Sivan continued to a Shuvu high school in Be’er Yaakov, where she became fully religious. After graduating high school, Sivan married a ben Torah who spends his days as a kollel avreich, fully immersed in Hashem’s Torah.
The story doesn’t end there. Sivan’s siblings attended Shuvu schools as well, and one by one, they followed her trajectory, becoming increasingly committed to Torah until each one became frum. In a wondrous fulfillment of the pasuk “v’heishev lev avos al banim, v’lev banim al avosam,” Mr. and Mrs. Levine themselves returned to Yiddishkeit too, following their children’s path.
The siyum was a moving testimony to Shuvu’s success, and a “hadran” in the fullest sense — a return of a people to its land, of a family to its true heritage, and of children to their Father.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 947)
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