CHAZAQ’s life changing work is Baruch Hashem being felt throughout the Jewish world with thousands of people of all walks of life being inspired by CHAZAQ events and lectures throughout the calendar year.
In fact, in the 12 months prior to the pandemic, over 13,000 people attended CHAZAQ lectures in 35 different cities! While these accomplishments are great, “it’s only a drop in the bucket,” says CHAZAQ CEO Yaniv Meirov.
As we all know, CHAZAQ’s main goal and mission is to touch the lives of thousands of local Jewish public school students in the New York area and beyond. “There are approximately 10,000 traditional Jewish public school students in our backyard here in the Queens/Brooklyn area,” Yaniv said. “They all come from good families with a respect for the Torah but don’t realize the potential spiritual damage today’s public school system can have on their children.”
Indeed, in order to combat these challenges, CHAZAQ offers dozens of exciting and educational afterschool programs every week and has a special yeshiva placement division that spend hours upon hours a day convincing parents that a Yeshiva education is the right choice.
In a 12 month period, CHAZAQ touched the lives of nearly 1,300 public school students of all ages. Baruch HaShem, 228 of them were transferred to Yeshiva during this short time period. A truly remarkable accomplishment.
“Lives are being changed,” Yaniv said. “What’s being done is truly amazing, but a lot more needs to be done. We can’t stop.”
“The COVID pandemic caused the world to stop,” Yaniv said. “As an organization we suffered tragic losses, including the loss of our Rosh Yeshiva Rav Ahron Walkin zt’l. But we didn’t let it destroy us. We got stronger and are looking to do more like Rav Walkin always taught us.”
What truly is remarkable is that during the pandemic, CHAZAQ organized an astounding 534 different on-line lectures with over 388,250 different devices tuning in!
During this time, CHAZAQ also offered approximately ten hours of zoom classes on a daily basis for public school students. “All of our staff were truly focused on inspiring as many youth as possible,” Yaniv said. “But what touched us most was seeing the heads of our Jwave teens boys division unfortunately suffer tremendous losses to COVID and they didn’t stop teaching. They were inspiring the youth hours every day.”
Jwave mentor, Rav Avraham Walkin, lost his brother Rav Ahron, while the director, Rav Moshe Mehdizadeh lost both his mother and grandmother to COVID. “As great as they were in the past, they showed their students what it means to be determined and keep moving forward. Their devotion and dedication increased tremendously when faced by these great challenges.”
What is even more astounding is that during this short time period, CHAZAQ transferred 106 new children to Yeshiva, bringing the total since their 2017 “No Child Left Behind” Campaign to an astounding 929 public school students transferred to Yeshiva.
“The truth is that many people keep telling us that we’re doing a great job and we shouldn’t overwhelm ourselves. I tell them that if you chas veshalom were missing a child, would you sit back so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed???”
“We have thousands who are losing their Jewish identity and many that are involved with crime and drugs and other terrible things and we can be satisfied? Of course not! We must constantly work together to do more!”
CHAZAQ’s latest project kicked off recently with the grand opening of CHAZAQ’s JWave Teens Lounge for girls. Centrally located in the Queens Jewish Center, only a short walk from both Forest Hills Highschool and Halsey Middle School, this lounge will truly be a home away from home for hundreds of public school girls. “Its a place where everyone will feel loved” Mrs. Zino, director of the girls Jwave teens division said. “This is a dream come true for the entire Forest Hills community. Now we need to this in every other neighborhood too,” she said.
Our vision is to bezrat hashem do even greater things,” Yaniv added. “And we will do greater things by being united. Together we will build a stronger future.”
“Keep your eyes opened for newer and greater things,” he ends off with a smile.
For more information about Chazaq please visit Chazaq.com. To support this life changing cause visit, www.GiveChazaq.com
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