Dear Friends and Alumni of Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim,
We would like to express our immense gratitude for the loyalty and generosity displayed to the yeshiva at its moment of crisis. As you know by now, in the early morning hours of Nov 25th, a roaring fire broke out in Moshav Beit Meir, threatening to burn down the community and all that lies within, including our Yeshiva. Seeing the flames swept by 50+ MPH winds, our staff and talmidim (students) were rushed to and fro by Emergency Responders, trying to escape while avoiding the spreading blazes. Snatching our Sifrei Torah (Torah Scrolls) and little else, they fled into the night, crying out to Heaven for salvation.
B’chasdei Hashem (with the kindness of G-d), everyone made it out safely and the numerous Yeshiva buildings were saved. Many of those present, especially our students, suffered trauma, and as we move towards recovery, expert professional help is being solicited to address these psychological concerns. Through the help orchestrated online from our dedicated and caring alumni overseas, we have successfully covered our emergency expenditures. These funds will help recoup the losses incurred in the evacuation process, the efforts to ensure the safety & comfort of our displaced students, and immediate follow-up to this disaster. The disaster relief capital has ensured that the related costs from this firestorm will not force the Yeshiva into being a casualty of this disaster. The costly nature of the raging fire on the Moshav threatened the ability of the Yeshiva, which is already in a difficult financial position, to continue servicing its talmidim. The Yeshiva is now proud to respond with a Kol Torah (voice of Torah) resonating loudly from the Harei Yehuda (Judean Mountains).
The Yeshiva is using some of its housing facilities and any means possible to ensure everyone affected by this tragedy recovers, including many of our Moshav neighbors. We look forward to doing as much as possible as we work together towards a brighter tomorrow.
As an expression of gratitude for the safety of our talmidim, we will be making a seudat hoda’ah (traditional meal of thanks) to which we will be inviting students & staff, the board of the Moshav with whom we shared the trauma, and representatives of the police & fire department whose stupendous efforts saved many lives. The Chasdei Hashem (kindness of G-d) was apparent on all fronts and we encourage any alumni, friends or supporters of the Yeshiva to please join us.
Dear Friends & Alumni,
We are the alumni of Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim in Beit Meir, a post-high school Yeshiva for American students that was terrorized by arsonists Thursday night. As we concluded our Thanksgiving meals, our beloved yeshiva was being set ablaze. At 2 AM, fires suddenly lit up the night all over the moshav and frightened students and community members scrambled from their beds to flee for their lives. The entire moshav was evacuated, and as the fire raged the boys rushed to grab our Sifrei Torah and be bussed to safety. Buildings burned on all sides, and the 52 mph winds spread the flames faster than they could fight them. With the fire closing in and the lives of so many hanging in the balance, Baruch Hashem the fires blocking the only exit to the moshav finally cleared and the boys were able to escape to Yerushalayim.
The Yeshiva acted quickly to save everyone’s lives, but it incurred significant costs to keep the boys safe. Between the evacuation expenses, hotels to house the bochurim (students) during the inferno, and anticipated trauma and property damage, the Yeshiva must lay out $15,000 it simply does not have. Unfortunately, the Yeshiva has had a hard time making ends meet and needs our help. Our hardworking rebbeim, meishivim and staff are owed money, the campus is in bad need of repair, and it’s becoming ever more difficult to meet the day-to-day costs to keep OJ running. With government funding cut, scholarship requests skyrocketing, and this latest tragedy, our Yeshiva needs us now more than ever.
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