New Yorkers Fly Out to Oregon to Gift Tefillin in Person

Jared Stern and Jack Margolius, two representatives from ‘The Tefillin Project’, made a special trip from New York to Oregon to gift a pair of Tefillin to Jerry Heller, a member of the community of Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Dyce, who serves as shliach in the city.

Two representatives from The Tefillin Project made a special trip from New York to Oregon to gift a pair of Tefillin to a Jew. The Tefillin Project gives free pairs of Tefillin to Jews who never received a pair of their own. 

In an effort to create an incredibly special moment that the recipient will remember for the rest of his life and inspire the recipient to put them on daily, the organization does not only give out the free pair of Tefillin but personally will come to deliver them to the recipient.

Often this is done amidst a special event for the giveaway, which is usually a total surprise to the recipient, in which local community members, friends and family participate raising awareness for this great Mitzvah and serving as a catalyst for other Jews to take it on.

The project was started a few years ago when while working on NCSY Kollel, the organization founder, Jacob Bach, noticed that some of the public school participants did not own a pair of Tefillin, and desperately wanted their own. Jacob managed to obtain 15 pairs of Tefillin owned previously by students who unfortunately left them at their high school when they graduated. After getting them checked by a Sofer, a number of the pairs were found to be Kosher and Jacob set this as a project to promote the mitzvah of Tefillin and try to create a positive culture around this special mitzvah.

Recently the Tefillin Project made a special trip to Gresham, Oregon to gift a pair of Tefillin to Jerry (Yosef) Heller, a member of the community of Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Dyce, who serves as shliach in the city.

Two representatives of the organization, Jared (Chaim) Stern and Jack (Chaim Tzadok) Margolius flew in just for the day from New York to deliver the pair of Tefillin.

Mr. Heller first reached out to Chabad in Gresham after reading an article in the local paper about a public Menorah lighting that Rabbi Dyce had held earlier this year. Since then he has become a regular at shiurim and events and even started learning the Chumash daily from the shiurei Chitas. Whenever he visited the Chabad House he was excited to put on Tefillin and Rabbi Dyce thought that he would be someone who would put on Tefillin regularly if he only had a pair.

Rabbi Dyce reached out to The Tefillin Project and they were excited to sponsor the pair and flight out to deliver them and a special evening of Tefillin inspiration was organized at Gresham Chabad in an effort to spread the inspiration further and fulfill the Rebbe’s horoah to gather Yidden together in this special year of Hakhel to learn Torah and grow in Yiras Shamayim.

After learning about the mitzvah and Shema Yisroel everyone watched a moving video of Rabbi Nissen Mangel telling the story how Yidden risked their lives in Auschwitz to put on Tefillin with mesirus nefesh.

Afterward, the representatives of the Tefillin Project surprised Mr. Heller with his own pair of Tefillin and even a special #Wrapnation t-shirt created by the organization and shared a story of the Vilna Gaon whom Mr. Heller is a descendant. Mr. Heller was visibly moved and was then surprised with the pair of Tefillin and with tears in his eyes thanked them and committed to putting them on daily. Lchaim’s were made and everyone broke into a joyous dance of Siman tov umazel tov.

At the end of the evening, Mr. Jack (Moshe) Kiperman, a community member of Gresham Chabad shared his amazing story how as a child he grew up as a member of the Tzivos Hashem Baseball Team spending many Shabbatons at F.R.E.E in Crown Heights which the highlight of which was the zechus to participate in the Rebbe’s farbrengens and receive a dollar from his hand on Sunday.

But following this for some thirty years Jack, now living in Gresham, Oregon, was not involved in Yiddishkeit until an amazing turn of events where in line to Eifel Tower he happened to be standing behind Rabbi Mendel Wolwovsky of Chabad Sonoma County, CA, and that struck up a friendly conversation which led to him putting on Tefillin.

A few months later while on vacation at S. Lucas, Mexico, Jack looked out his hotel window and discovered there was a Chabad House right next door. Within no time he was meeting with the Shluchim there and put on Tefillin with them. After having these experiences in different places in the world Jack was motivated to reach out to his local Chabad in Gresham where he is a regular participant and even bought his own Tefillin which he puts on daily.

The representative from the Tefillin Project shared with the shliach afterwards how inspired he was how Jerry, a Yid in his seventies with little prior exposure to Yiddishkeit, is at this stage in life taking on new commitments to grow in his Yiddishkeit and how it’s truly a lesson to all us that we also are able to change our habits and nature and grow as Yidden to fulfill the rotzon of Hashem.

To learn more about the Tefillin Project check out:

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  1. Thank you to the donors from the Tefillin Project! Brachos to all the Jews of Gresham, and of Oregon, and of Klal Yisrael!

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