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-Facing our futureWhat will the next 20 years do to our Jewish community? Rabbi Berel Wein Virginia Holocaust Museum January 29, 2013 Dear Friends, On October 25th, 1992, exactly twenty years ago last Thursday, the world renowned historian, author, scholar and Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Berel Wein, delivered an inspiring address at the Virginia Historical Society. The topic was "Can we ensure Jewish survival?" This special event was arranged by what was known then as the Richmond Jewish High School Committee, a committee formed by the Rudlin Torah Academy to explore the possibility, and plan for the development, of Jewish education on the high school level in Richmond. Much has been accomplished over the past twenty years. Then, there were a total of three students in RTA's middle school and RTA's support in the community was a small fraction of what it is today. RTA, founded with the mission of linking our community with our historic past and divine destiny while providing the best Jewish and general education imaginable, has developed into a premier Jewish Day School with a national reputation. Shaarei Torah of Richmond has, for over 18 years, provided a first-rate Jewish and general studies education to girls from Richmond and cities in thirteen states and five countries. Our graduates have attended the finest Universities and Seminaries, including Oxford, Boston, Stern and Michlala. More than half of our graduates have married and started Jewish families of their own. Our world-class Yeshiva, now in its 11th year, has taken intensive study of Jewish and general studies to a new level. It too, educates Richmond's high school students and attracts students from around the globe. The sounds of Torah study can now be heard in the Bais Medrash - the study hall, as young and old come together, day and night, to learn the heritage of the ages. The presence of our high school chesed volunteers at community events and the help they provide in serving the needs of individual families, the spirit and pride of our Basketball team and fans, the dozens of high school and post-high school students who take Shabbos strolls along Patterson Avenue have become staples of communal life and it would be hard to imagine the community without them. We have been blessed to graduate 117 exceptional high school students. Some of our graduates have stayed in Richmond or moved back, and many others are planning to do so. They understand the importance of a strong Jewish community, the role of Jewish education and their responsibility to help. There have always been and always will be challenges, obstacles and bumps in the road. Together, with the newer and younger families committed to the Jewish people and to the Richmond community, we have never been in a better position to face our challenges and overcome obstacles. Yes, much has been accomplished, but there is yet much to do. Please mark your calendars and join us on January 29th, when Rabbi Berel Wein will return to Richmond, this time to the Virginia Holocaust Museum as we gather to celebrate the last twenty years and to unite in planning for the next twenty. Sincerely, Rabbi Hal Klestzick


Facing Our Future