500th Couple Trained to Serve as Emissaries by Ohr Torah Stone
A special event was held to celebrate this achievement, and honor others who received degrees in their Rabbinic and Emissary programs
By Ilanit Chernick | July 24, 2019
In a milestone for Ohr Torah Stone, the 500th couple graduated in its emissary training program to serve as religious Shlichut abroad in a special ceremony on Tuesday.
OTS is a modern Orthodox network of 27 educational institutions operating in Israel.
According to the network, the couple, Rabbi Netanel and Rabbanit Sarah Ansani, both moved to Israel separately as young adults and served as Lone Soldiers in the IDF, which is where they met.
They later married before beginning their studies at the Straus-Amiel and Claudia Cohen Institute emissary training programs.
As part of the ceremony 62 degrees were also bestowed upon graduates of OTS’s rabbinical and emissary programs.
In a statement, the network said that “this year’s graduates of the rabbinical and emissary programs will serve communities around the world, including New Jersey; Nebraska; Washington, DC; Mexico; Argentina; Uruguay; Brazil; Peru; the United Kingdom; Germany; Italy; Ukraine; Portugal; Australia; Singapore; Ethiopia; South Africa; and Israel.”
Addressing the Ansanis, as well as their fellow graduates, during the Jerusalem ceremony, OTS founder Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said on Tuesday that in today’s day and age, “there are many Jews throughout Israel and the Diaspora who have lost touch with their heritage, traditions and the Torah” adding that it “belongs to us all.
“One of the most important challenges you will find in your new roles of spiritual and educational leadership is restoring these lost items to them,” he stressed.
Chief Rabbi David Lau joined in the celebrations and congratulated the graduates.
“You have a responsibility to relate to each and every member of your new communities, while also continuing to nourish their own spiritual needs,” he highlighted.
Commenting on this achievement, OTS president Rabbi Kenneth Brander said that “each of the individuals and couples we celebrated today embody intellectual and emotional growth as well as new leadership skills they’ve developed throughout their years learning at Ohr Torah Stone. “They serve as an inspiration to all their teachers and most of them will very soon serve as religious guides to our brothers and sisters in Israel and throughout the international Jewish world,” he continued. “Our emissaries are serving critical roles throughout the world today, positi
vely influencing the lives of Jews with a variety of backgrounds who are searching to connect to their faith and tradition.”
He added that emissaries give “Diaspora communities so much, simultaneously growing and learning from their experiences.
“When they return to Israel after several years abroad, they bring that experience back and use their new skills and knowledge to enrich communities they engage with in Israel,” Brander concluded.