The week before Yom Kippur, leaders of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe set out on a unique mission to remote cities in Spain. They provided reinforcement and support to the Jewish communities in preparation for the High Holidays, equipping them with tools and guidance for the entire year ahead.
The RCE executives who took part in this chizuk journey to remote cities of Spain were Rabbi Arie Goldberg, RCE CEO, Rabbi Avraham Abba Torezki, Secretary of the Rabbinical Council of Europe and Rabbi Yosef Bainhaker, RCE Vice President, all of whom devoted themselves to the success of the trip. The delegation traveled with Rabbi Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Holon, Israel, and a son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, zt”l.
The delegation visited Madrid, Villa Nueva, Malia, Sauta, Gibraltar, Marbella, Torremolinos, and Malaga, among other places. During their visits to these locations, the delegation paid visits to the Jewish schools and communities, delivering words of encouragement in preparation for the High Holidays.
There was a lot of excitement in the Jewish communities in these cities as, for the first time in many years, they had the privilege of receiving such a special visit. The rabbis and leaders of the communities expressed their gratitude to RCE leaders who made the effort at this busy time of year to travel around the country, strengthening and encouraging the community, in keeping with the organization’s longstanding tradition of caring for European Jews throughout the year.
A particularly touching moment happened in Madrid when, during the visit to the Jewish school, several young boys stood up with tears in their eyes to express their gratitude to RCE leaders for the Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel that they organize each year. The Bar Mitzvah experience has kept them faithful to G-d and His Torah. In their words, “Thanks to the journey you arranged for us in the Israel, we have become connected to our faith, and it has ignited our passion for Judaism, which had almost faded.” The emotional parents also requested permission to speak and thanked the rabbis and leaders of the RCE for their unwavering commitment to Jews throughout Europe, ensuring that none are left behind.
Throughout the entire journey, RCE heads met with leaders and rabbis of communities, and discussed their Jewish needs with them. RCE leaders will continue to support the communities throughout the year, providing assistance and guidance in every aspect of their lives.
During the visits to the communities, Rabbi Avraham Yosef delivered words of encouragement in preparation for the High Holidays. He infused the audiences with vitality and hope as they approached Yom Kippur. The Rabbi also personally blessed all the members of the communities and wished them a good and blessed year,
The leaders of the communities expressed heartfelt gratitude to the RCE, who make the effort to reach out to small communities in order to strengthen and uplift them as they approach Yom Kippur and attend to their local needs. The community leaders also commended the dedication of the RCE staff, noting that the current visit required significant efforts, given that reaching Sauta necessitated either a helicopter flight or a ferry due to its remote and isolated location. Nevertheless, the RCE staff made every effort to reach the location and bring words of encouragement to the Jewish residents there.
Rabbi Arie Goldberg, RCE CEO summarized the journey with immense satisfaction, stating, “As is customary each year before the High Holidays, we organize a strengthening mission to locations in Europe to fortify the communities and attend to their needs. I was delighted and deeply moved to conduct the journey this year in the distant cities of Spain alongside my colleagues from the RCE and the Rabbi of Holon, Rabbi Avraham Yosef, a journey that greatly bolstered the members of the communities. It is a tremendous privilege and our duty. With the help of Heaven, in the coming year, we will continue the path of growth for the RCE and provide assistance to every Jew across Europe.”
RCE chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, praised the journey and noted the excellent cooperation between Rabbis and Jewish community leaders, which contributed to the success of the mission.