Project Gesher is a project of Merkaz Torah V’Chesed, meant to further the mission of Merkaz of enhancing Torah learning and Torah living. Gesher members are carefully selected young couples to join the East Side of Denver Jewish community and who model Merkaz’s ideal as they give to, live and learn with its members.
Gesher members maintain a daily Torah study regimen beginning with a morning seder/study session incorporating structured, rigorous Talmud study, one afternoon seder/study session in preparation for programming and teaching classes , as well as an evening seder/study session teaching shiurim/classes and learning with community members.
As pioneer participants in the Gesher Program, the Ribakows have set a high bar for future participants. They have created warm and meaningful relationships with dozens of Denver’s East Side Jewish community members. They have developed and led diverse and integrated programs and classes for children, men and women, such as Legal Holiday and Yom Tov programs, Young Professionals Women’s shiur, Achoseinu, Pirchei and the East Side Lev Echad learning initiative, incorporating all East Side shuls’ leadership and membership.
I am afforded the opportunity to learn with many Jews of all walks of life and it amazes me to see that after learning a piece of Torah with a child and learning with an elder gentleman, who hasn’t studied Torah since he was a child, they both share the same glint in their eye – one of satisfaction and joy of feeling closer to Hashem. This is my personal inspiration!
The presence of the Ribakows in our community accomplishes far more than the having a Torah teacher in our midst. Yes, their contributions are many – programming, classes and the like. Yet, what is most touching is the Ribakows’ rare combination of erudition, humility, hospitality, kindness and youthful energy; it has sparked a revolution in appreciating the beauty of living as a Torah Jew.