Thursday, July 08, 2010

Heart to Heart, Lev B'Lev, Hart to Heart: The Shabbat Experience

I recently heard about a fantastic initiative undertaken by a man named Hart Levine, an attendee of the University of Pennsylvania. Levine founded the 'Hart to Heart' initiative, namely a way to expose interested Jews to Judaism without any pressure. Jews who are interested in a Shabbat experience can attend a beautiful Shabbat meal and spend time with other Jews - without anyone actively trying to change their views. Thus, this is not your typical kiruv group and it isn't run by a big organization: it's not NCSY, Aish or anything similar.

Levine's blog is accessible at He coordinates Shabbatonim at various campuses, so if you are interested in having him create a Shabbaton at your secular college, please email him at levblev at gmail.

If you're curious about the organization, then check out the Heart to Heart Project, which has a wealth of informative information, including the group's mission statement:
    "Heart to Heart"/"לב בּלב" is a network of committed Jewish students interested in sharing Judaism with Jews on college campuses. Based on the values of ahavat Yisrael and caring for others, the goal is to connect Jews to Judaism through peer-to-peer relationships. The means are endless, but often start with a welcoming smile, a friendly greeting, and an invaluable invite. There is much beauty, meaning, and value in our Jewish knowledge, experiences, and communities and one of the greatest manifestations of appreciation thereof is to share it with others.
I haven't attended a Heart2Heart Shabbaton myself (though I'm sure it would be a fantastic experience) but this group seems to embody my vision of Judasim. Jews get to have a Jewish experience with other Jews who happily answer their questions, should they have any, and everyone gets to learn from one another and respect one another. I'm not sure how I can help out with this project, but if there's a way, I'd love to do it. Hurrah!

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