It was long-overdue, but it finally happened: the first-ever Aish Alumni Reunion. Over its 40-year history, Aish has produced thousands of alumni – and now 400 students, rabbis, and anybody involved with Aish, joined together on April 19-20 in Passaic, New Jersey for what turned out to be an unforgettable weekend.
The excitement was palpable as long-forgotten friends met their fellow students and mentors from way back, including some who learned with Rav Noach zt"l in the 1970s. More recent students, too, had the opportunity to enjoy the unique warmth and camaraderie that Aish engenders.
Local families graciously opened their homes to host these guests, with all Shabbos meals served at a local shul hall. These arrangements made it possible to keep costs low for those attending.
In addition to great divrei Torah during the meals, attendees were fortunate to hear classes from many great speakers, most notably those who travelled from Jerusalem especially for the occasion: Rosh Yeshiva Rav Hillel Weinberg, CEO Eric Coopersmith, and the iconic Mashgiach Gil Eisenbach.
A gala Melave Malka was held, allowing those unable to participate in the entire Shabbos program, to partake of the inspiration and wisdom.
The resounding message of the Shabbaton was, as Rabbi Shalom Schwartz said, “the importance of family within our Aish community.”
All in attendance agreed this was a fantastic experience – surely the first of many more to come.