RAJEing since 2009
Simcha Asnes did not connect to Judaism and
Jewish life before RAJE. Everyone called him
Slava or Steve. Friends told him about the free
trip and he joined. But it wasn't the trip that
got him hooked on RAJE, it was the classes. "After learning with the
Rabbis, I got excited about my Jewish Identity, I wanted to know more,
and I realized this was about my kids being Jewish." Simcha began to
look at his life differently after attending the first semester of RAJE. "I
began to think seriously about people around me, I wanted to change
how society views its Jewishness."
A big change occurred in Simcha's life, when he was inspired by
Avigail Chazin and Luba Kaufman, long-time RAJE employees and
mentors. "They taught me how to care about people, how to be less
selfish, especially within my own family, I began to influence my parents
and become an example for my friends." Because of his experience
at RAJE, Simcha understands and values his heritage. "I want to go
deeper and further, I want to advance in my learning of the Jewish
After three years at RAJE, Simcha wanted to give back even more to
RAJE and now he teaches and mentors new incoming RAJE students.
He loves sharing his experience and newly acquired knowledge with
new RAJErs. "I know what the new students are thinking, I've been
there and now it's my turn to give back. My new way of life has brought
me closer to my peers, my parents and my community."