On Sunday night, June 21st, the Valley Night Kollel held a BBQ and Kumzits to celebrate its first year and express hakaros hatov to Hashem and those people who have made the Kollel possible. The event was hosted by the Mintz family, and featured inspiring music and stories by Michael Storch.
The BBQ was a culinary masterpiece featuring two-inch steaks and gourmet sausages. A deep frying station produced freshly made beer battered onion rings. Gashmiush aside, the highlights of the evening were all ruchniyous.
Rabbi Moshe Tropper began with dvray brochah, and recounted a story about a yeshiva bocher who had an easy time the first day of the zman. “If it wasn’t difficult, then you didn’t really start!” he concluded. The Kollel has started, overcoming all the typical obstacles to create a vibrant place of Torah. Rabbi Dovid Morris highlighted the unique, warm atmosphere in the Kollel. He shared a dvar Torah and imparted, “Torah is not just a subject to be learned. It must be a part of a person, an extension of who he is. He must take a pleasure in his learning in the same way he loves seeing his children play.”
What exactly is the Valley Night Kollel? It started with an idea that Rabbi Yisrael Majeski had: to create a centralized place of learning in North Hollywood that would be infused with warmth and a love of learning Torah. One year later, this dream has become a reality. Every night of the week, Sunday through Thursday, the VNK is packed with learners of all levels and backgrounds. There are 12 VNK avreichim ranging from verteran mechanich Rabbi Avraham Berman to the young rising star Rabbi Yechile Levine.
The avreichim have a seder focusing on in-depth Gemara learning from 8:00 pm to 8:45pm, reminiscent of yeshivah days. After Ma’ariv, the avreichim learn with members of the community. There are chavuras and small groups learning halacha, Gemara, parsha, and hashkafa. Every night offers at least one shuir given by an avreich. Additionally, there are special guest Rabbanim which have included Rabbis Krauss and Tauber.
Community members who have benefited from the Kollel can’t stop raving about the impact it has had on their families. “What I love about the VNK is that Sefardim, Ashkenasim, Chasidim – everybody comes together!” “This is the first time I have had a consistent seder.” Many wives vowed to send their husbands to learn even more after being inspired by the VNK video.
This is just the beginning, bezras Hashem, of the Kollel. Rabbi Majeski plans on expanding the programming and reach of the Kollel. Although the normal Kollel schedule resumes in August, there will be a special summer learning program.
To learn more about the VNK, contact Rabbi Majeski at email@example.com.