Week of July 23, 2008

SEAN JUROVIESKY, YOUNG ISRAEL

Sean, son of Kim and Bernard Juroviesky, is a very sensitive person and was deeply worried about his mother while she was in training for the U.S. Air Force.

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Kim was recruited to join the Air Force a year ago as a nurse midwife. During her six months of training she knew that having access to kosher food would be an issue.

While stationed in Alabama, Kim was told that she would be provided with kosher MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat). However, she didn’t know about “tight meals,” where you have only ten minutes to eat and get out. Since the kosher MREs took about 15 minutes to prepare, she didn’t get to eat. By the end of the second week of training, she had lost 10 pounds.

Kim decided to contact a rabbi for assistance. Unbeknownst to her, this rabbi was affiliated with the Aleph Institute organization.

He drove two hours to bring her fresh kosher food for the week and Shabbat. On his second visit, the rabbi didn’t even tell Kim he was coming — he just showed up and restocked her refrigerator.

Needless to say, Sean was very relieved when he heard that his mother was doing okay.

Thanks to Aleph and the rabbi, Kim made it through the rigorous training and passed to become a captain in the U.S. Air force. She is currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, living in St. Louis with her family so that Sean and his siblings can attend a Jewish school and be part of a Jewish community. Sean will be attending the Solomon Schechter Day School in the fall.

Because of the support Aleph gave his mother, Sean decided to raise money for them as his mitzvah project. In order to “get the word out” he made a poster and placed it in front of his synagogue, handed out flyers, and talked about this wonderful organization in his D’var Torah. Sean also donated 10 percent of his own money and, overall, raised about $500.

“Sean has been very excited about the military since I joined it,” said his mother. “He hopes to be accepted to the Air Force Academy when he is old enough. He just joined the Civil Air Patrol, which is the volunteer, nonprofit auxiliary of the US Air Force. It is for people starting as young as age 12 and up. Its main three missions are to develop cadets, educate Americans about aviation and space, and to go on missions providing life-saving functions, such as search and rescue. This program will allow Sean to learn life skills to help him become a better adult. He can also earn scholarships for college,” she said.

“By seeing what I went through, Sean knows there will be religious challenges when he hopefully enters the military as an adult. He is grateful there is an organization like Aleph that will help him overcome those challenges and he wants them to be around when he is in the military as well, which is another reason why he chose to raise money for them as his project.”

Aleph Institute, a national organization, has supported and assisted thousands of Jewish men and women serving in the military around the world since 1995. It has provided them with Jewish books and material, and moral and spiritual support. Jews in the military face unique challenges in maintaining their Jewishness.

Away from home and community, Jews in uniform are often challenged by not having the resources available to be able to study about and observe Torah and mitzvot. A connection with their Jewish observances, traditions and prayers offers them a sense of family and community. They also have retreats for Jews in the military to allow them to connect and meet.

To make a donation in Sean’s honor and find out more about the Aleph Institute, please visit their Web site at: www.aleph-institute.org/. Their mailing address is: Operation: Enduring Traditions c/o Aleph Institute, 9540 Collins Ave., Surfside, Fla., 33154.