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Shabbat Chayal 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021 6 Iyyar 5781

All Day

Dear Members:


Every year, Beth Aaron designates a Shabbat around Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut as Shabbat Chayal, where we choose a tzedakah tied to the IDF to give our support.  As in prior years, Shabbat Chayal is dedicated in memory of Ilan Tokayer z”l of Teaneck, who proudly served in the IDF as a Chayal Boded (Lone soldier).  This year we have designated Shabbos, April 18, as Shabbat Chayal,  We will mark Shabbat Chayal by raising money for two worthy organizations, Lev LaChayal and Special In Uniform.  In addition, we are happy to announce that this year we are welcoming several other Teaneck shuls to join us: The Jewish Center of Teaneck, and Shaarei Tefillah.  

The Lev LaChayal program is part of Yeshivat Hesder Lev Hatorah.  This unique program, led by Rav Dudi WInkler and Rav Benjy Kwalwasser, provides a supportive Yeshiva environment to young men from Chutz LaAretz who choose to serve in the IDF as Lone Soldiers. The pre-Army portion of the program “covers all the bases,” combining high-level Torah study, IDF-designed physical training, an advanced Hebrew Ulpan, and tours of the country. Each individual receives the spiritual, ideological, psychological and physical preparation necessary to allow him to make his maximum contribution to the IDF.  Lev LaChayal offers personal guidance for each individual as he navigates through the potentially bewildering military and government bureaucracies and it prepares him for the difficulties he may encounter during his service. But the work of Lev LaChayal does not stop here.  Once the Chayalim draft, they are provided with apartments near the Yeshiva and meals are provided for the young men when they are home.  Often they are invited to Shabbat meals at neighborhood families or join the Yeshiva for meals.  Many times rides are provided for the soldiers when they are given time off or need to go back to the base. Rav Dudi is like a proud father accompanying them on the day of their draft, attending each Tekes (always taking pictures) and is there for them throughout their army service.  Additional information about the program can be found at

Covid-19 presented many challenges for Lev LaChayal and the Chayalim Bodedim.  When they were finally allowed off the base for a much needed rest, they were not allowed in the Yeshiva with the Lev HaTorah students for davening, learning or meals.  An urgent campaign was set up in Elul last year to quickly build a Shul of their own for the Chayalim on the same campus.  They managed to get the rough building and air conditioning ready in time for Rosh Hashana, but it is still not complete.  Beth Aaron’s goal this year is to raise the necessary funds to donate the Aron Kodesh and Parochet for the chayalim’s shul.

Special in Uniform is a unique program in the IDF that integrates young people with autism and other disabilities into the IDF-- and in turn into Israeli society. This program was established through the Jewish National Fund (JNF).  It focuses on the unique talents and abilities of each individual participant to help find a job within the IDF that is a perfect fit, with the belief that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential. These individuals are getting to fulfill their dream to serve their country alongside their neurotypical peers and proudly reach this milestone just like their siblings and friends.  Special in Uniform focuses on the ability, not the disability, of each individual, encouraging independence and integration into society. Beth Aaron’s goal is to raise the money to sponsor one special chayal. Additional details around Special In Uniform can be found at 

Contributors to Shabbat Chayal, will receive a link for the movie Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew. The film follows the personal journey of Mekonen Abebbe, a young African immigrant to Israel, as he returns to Ethiopia to explore his roots and embrace his future in Israel. Mekonen’s personal story, as he rises through the ranks of the IDF to become a commander, will serve as a source of inspiration and appreciation for our chayalim/chayalot. 

Contributors will also receive a link for a Zoom session for Sunday morning April 11th, with Professor Mordechai Kedar who will speak to us on political and military challenges Israel is facing and how the IDF is working to protect Israel. Professor Kedar is an Israeli scholar of Arabic culture and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He is one of Israel’s leading figures in understanding the Arab world and is a frequent guest in the Israeli, Arab and International media.

All monies collected will go in support of Lev LaChayal and Special In Uniform as program costs were privately funded. We are most excited about joining together with other shuls in our community for this Tzedakah opportunity, the film and speaker.

Please click on to participate in our fundraising effort and program sign-up.

Tizku L’Mitzvot

Mordy Ungar, Steven and Nechama Pudell, Jeff and CB Neugroschl

Co-chairs, Shabbat Chayal



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Only $18, help support the programs and kiddushim we run throughout the year!

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Thu, May 13 2021 2 Sivan 5781