Posted to Shlichus on

Aleph Institutes Urgent Appeal


No one wants to be away from their families on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, and all of us would prefer to be in 770 or at the Ohel, or even earn some extra income by another Shliach, and The Aleph Institute understands that. Yet, the future of Aleph’s programs is dependent upon us sending out a full force of bochurim to visit Jews in prison this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and we are appealing to you to volunteer.

Unless we meet the Bureau of Prisons challenge to impact the prison system with a widespread visitation program for the High Holidays, thousands of Jewish inmates will have their right to practice Judaism severely impaired. The Rebbe’s directive to visit and care for every Jew in every prison is every bochur’s responsibility to fulfill, and you are needed now more than ever.

The Bureau of Prisons are stating that a well-staffed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur visitation program will ensure their cooperation for other programs that The Aleph Institute has long been pushing for. Conversely, thousands of Jews will be further cut off if we don’t meet their demands. The Bureau of Prisons wants to see a full force of bochurim covering federal prisons with a minyan in the following states for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur:

• California
• Florida
• Georgia
• New Jersey
• North & South Carolina
• Pennsylvania
• Virginia
• West Virginia

Besides it being a life-changing experience for the inmates, every bochur who has ever gone out to visit Jews in prison will tell you that it’s an unbelievable experience to inspire Jews behind bars, especially on such an auspicious day. There is nothing that would make the Rebbe happier than to have you personally volunteer for this incredible mitzvah.

Please call me right away at The Aleph Institute: (305) 864-5553, ext. 21 or on my cell phone (786) 972-9146.

Rosh Hashanah: Monday, September 29th – Wednesday, October 1st

Yom Kippur: Wednesday, October 8th – Thursday, October 9th


  • 1. Humph!!! wrote:

    The whole thing is a very nice appeal except-
    The last comment is so rude! You’re service is needed here more than any shliach in the world-they will figure their way out-
    Huh? So rude!

  • 3. zm wrote:

    I worked for aleph for two summers.
    it’s a very special experience.

    you meet a lot of special Jewish people there. and you can really help them along.

    you learn, that people make mistakes in life, and the pay for it.
    but i learnt that many of these Jews really did teshuva, and they are very special.
    we even visited people on Death Row. let me tell you, it’s not easy looking into someones eyes… someone that knows that his time on this planet is very limited.
    one time, my two friends and i started speaking to this group about the rebbe, and this one big guy came to us, and said, “I Know The Rebbe” he picked up his shirt, and to our shock! he had a tattoo of the rebbe on his chest.

    anyway, just wanted to share.

  • 4. mmd wrote:

    i have bh had the oppertunity to visit many jewish communities and assist in jewish programing etc
    however, nothing has had a bigger impact on myself then my work with the aleph institute summer 06. g-d bleww you guys. if i where able to take my wife and baby iwould run for this oppertunity. thank you mendy katz.

  • 5. Went as a bochure wrote:

    When you go try to come prepared with a few sichos and a few stories. These guys have time and realy listen. Also I found that the bigest hit song that realy works is “Am Yisroel Chai..” (after you explaine what it means)

  • 6. Leah Sherman wrote:

    Here’s a letter we just received from an inmate in Mississippi:

    Tutwiler, MS
    August 27th

    Dear Aleph Institute
    I would like to thank you all, Aleph and the Rabbi, that you made my day today. I was in the beginning of afternoon prayers when two handsome Jews appeared in front of my cell door. I was so happy and surprised that I can’t describe all my feelings. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

    In the first 11 months I am here, again I feel how fortunate I am to be a Jew, Baruch Hashem. With Yeshaya Shagalow and Aryeh Ceitlin, we had 30 wonderful minutes together as we spoke and prayed together and sang songs. But touching the Tefillin was the most – a mitzvah that I have not had for the last 11 months. I really appreciated all this, it was my privilege to meet such bright and good people – the students that you sent that made my day better. When you see them, please remember me to them. They spoke on my behalf to the food director. One thing I know, it was like Moshiach came to Mississippi.

    I will remind the chaplain about our needs for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but you know it’s difficult to get the Torahs and the shofar we need – this is my most important goal now. I do not know how long I will be at this facility, but I know that you and your organization thinks about me and people in my situation, and again I thank you all for this.

    Name withheld for privacy.

  • 7. Leah Sherman wrote:

    One of my responsibilities at Aleph is to type out the letters that we get in the mail from inmates, after the visits. I sit at my desk reading these heartfelt expressions of gratitude to the bochurim, and I read about the transformations that take place in peole’s hearts, and minds, and neshamas, because a Lubavitch bochur went to visit them. Imagine the transformation that can take place to blow the shofar for Jewish prisoners on Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur!

  • 8. RS wrote:



    Imagine, there are neshamos that are waiting to be lit up, they are waiting for a bit of light to come into their deep and thinck darkness. Believe, me, prison is a very very dark place… and I think that this is our chance to go and ”spreac the wellsprings” to the farthest corner of the world… to a place that is seemingly SO DISTANT from yiddishkeit. Yet, from beneath that chaotic and dreadful place – there is a neshamale that is pure. This neshamale has been waiting, searching, longing to find Hashem in this vast and scary world. And now is our chance! This is the time to effect the many hundreds of lost neshamales that are quietly, yet quite loudly, screaming out for our help.

    Let us reach out… together.

  • 9. Leah Sherman wrote:

    Here’s another letter I just opened:

    Arcada, FL
    August 24th

    On behalf of myself and the other Jewish inmates here, I want to thank Rabbi Chaim Mochkin and Rabbi Shmuel Rothstein for taking the time to visit us. It was wonderful to see them. We don’t often get visits here at this small camp (96 inmates with only 3 Jews). Their visit was the only time we have had the opportunity to don Tefillin. I only wish it was possible more often. Please tell them that we all here appreciate it.

    I also want to thank Aleph and all those who work behind the scenes that I will never know who made it possible for me to receive a new copy of the Bergmann Family Edition of the Chumash, which I just received today. My old copy was falling apart. This new copy is a big help.

    We three here are lucky enough to be able to have some sort of Shabbat services each Friday in the Mess Hall, but do not have any of the necessary items that I and the others would like to have on hand (such as candles, candle holders, matzah and maybe a Shabbat Services Companion book). I’m sure Aleph is asked for a lot of such things, but if you can find a way to send us these items, it would be very nice. I really miss Shabbat songs and music. We have access to a a CD player here, so if you have a CD of Shabbat music you can spare, that would be wonderful also.

    The intent of this letter was to express our gratitude for everything you do for us, not to ask for anything, but Aleph is the only place I know of that can help us, so I had to ask. What this letter is truly about is thanking Aleph for being out there for us. Thank you all…

  • 10. done that wrote:

    Go Bochurim Go! It is truly a life-changing experience. I went as a bochur and if I was still a bochur, would go again. Our group had an awesome experience and you will too! I went over a year ago, and it left a lasting impression on me – I still think back to it. They really need your help, please go if you can!

  • 11. Attn CM and all girls reading this.. wrote:

    YES girls can and should volunteer for aleph’s essential work too!! There are hundreds of families who need our constant chizuk, if you have good writing skills you may be able to be mechazek the inmates too! Please contact me for further info, . This is such a great shlichus to reach out to these lost yidden.. and they beg for it too!!

  • 12. Bouchur in touch wrote:

    The times have changed. If you want bochurim, you need to pay. Shlichus and Alef are businesses. Yes, they provide very important services, but they are still bussinesses. Bochurim have stopped allowing themselves from being exploited for their cheap/free labor.

  • 13. js wrote:

    To “Bocher in Touch” Your comment tell us how “out of touch” you are with the way the Rebbes looked at life. No Shliach forces any bocher to go, rather they kindly ask the bocher if he wants to volunteer to come help him out. Look at the non Jewish world (the Elections) and you will see, that when people believe in a cause, they volunteer as much as they can, some times with their time and some times with their money. Someone like you that only gets motivated by money is not worthy of volunteering for such a great cause and probably even if you did get paid you wouldn’t be given over because its all money….

  • 14. Another Bochur wrote:

    JS wrote: “Look at the non Jewish world (the Elections) and you will see…”

    Please don’t tell bochurim to look and see what’s on TV or what is happening in the secular world, even to make a point -words are powerful.

    Which brings the next point of secularizing shlichus and making it into cheerleading a politician. Are you suggesting in any way that chassidim follow a Rebbe like the supporters of a political leader?!

    Finally, dealing with the issue at hand – the Rebbe taught us to charge for menorah, licht, matzos etc. The reason: if it’s not paid for – it becomes worthless.

    Paying for someone to work for Alef or a Chabad House gives value to the bochur and to the activities he is doing. If the work is worthy, pay for it! If it’s free – it becomes wothless.

  • 15. Chabad on the West Coast wrote:

    As a Shaliach, I must agree with the point made in the bochurim’s comments.

    I always insist on paying anyone who works for my Chabad House. Volunteers are worth as much as they get paid.

    When I pay, I can demand. There is a employer/employee relationship. And the worker is more responsible and reliable.

    (Unless it’s one of my son’s… :)

    Work for my Chabad House, and you will feel you were treated right.

  • 16. me wrote:

    i think both sides are right. on one hand a bocher should be “ibergegben” to the Rebbes Mivtzoim free of charge, as one bocher put it to me, when ever i get a call about “Mivtsoim” i never say no rather i think about it and if i can do it i go. a bocher that demands money is not so Ibergegeben. but on the other hand a shliach should not take advantage of bochrim and yes if he wants a job done properly he should offer money. i had a story with a shliach that invited bochrim to do a play for is Chabad House on Chanuka and when before Shabas he dodn’t greet them nicely rather sent them to go sleep on the Chabad house floor in one of the class rooms didn’t make sure that they even came to his house to eat the Shabas meal and was very rude to them after they just drove 6 hours to get to him. so yes some times shluchim go to far by taking advantage of bochrim but that does not diminish of the cause what so ever. I dont think JS compared the Elections to the Rebbe but rather the point was to show that when peopole believe in a cause they volunteer for it and give their life to the cause. how much more so when it comes to the rebbes Mivtzoim we should be given over in a much higher level.

  • 17. Kop Doktar wrote:

    There are many ways a bochur can fill his time doing exactly what the Rebbe would have wanted him to do. Even in the arena of Mivtzoyim, there are numerous organizations and grass root activities that can overtake every spare second of a bochur’s life. They are all worthy and one cannot claim that this particular activity is more important than another activity.

    Some organizations will pay for the bochurs work, others simply can’t pay, while some choose not to pay.

    Among the bochurim, there are many that really need money to maintain their lifestyle. Cell phones, MP-3’s, laptops and credit card interests fees don’t come cheap. These bochurim can get a seasonal job during “bein ha-zmanim” (e.g. working hashgocha or in a store), or, they can do something worthwhile – like helping a shaliach. If they choose the latter, they still need and should get the money earned for their honest work.

    The fact that a bochur seeks to earn wages for his work, does not diminish his devotion to the Rebbe’s causes.

    The comparison to Elections was to illustrate that their are several “parties” – Republicans. Democrats etc in the political process, just as there are several Chabad Houses, Tzivos Hashem, Freindship Circles, Aleph Institute etc. in the Mivtzoyim “process”, to spread yiddishkeit. There are many ways to be part of the process – each will claim that they are the “best”. Choose the way that suits YOU best.


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