Press Release: Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation’s opening Lecture and Supperette of the Summer 2011/5771 series opened on a most high and inspiring note. Evelyn Haies, president and founder of RCRF and majority owner of Beit Bnei Rachel told her amazing story in a brightly lit room, surrounded by Biblical Art paintings of Ellen Lapidus Stern. As the third holiest site in Israel, Rachel’s Tomb was on the Oslo chopping block. Her Manhattan Beach neighbors had a meeting to support those who would suffer from Oslo and decided to sponsor a community. As ideas don’t always come into fruition, Evelyn actualized her good idea to twin with Kever Rachel. She wrote the song, “We are Rachel’s Children”
A Writing Contest connected Jewish children with the Rachels in their families, miracle and midos stories and with historical research of Rachel’s Tomb in Beis Lechem.
Viewing an Hachnossat Sefer Torah in her neighborhood, Evelyn thought, if people bought a letter in the Torah then the Sefer Torah would be theirs. If the Torah was in Kever Rachel, they would be very connected and concerned for Ima Rachel’s tomb. Evelyn asked the sofer the cost to write a Torah for Kever Rachel. She was told a discounted price of $25,000. Within weeks of this idea, Evelyn was approached by the accountant who had drawn up the application for the RCRF Tax Exempt Status. He said he usually doesn’t charge charities, but asked her if she would like to buy a raffle. Evelyn asked how much. He said $500. She asked if he had a cheaper raffle. He said he did not. She said, “then I guess I have to buy it.”Evelyn won the raffle; Split the Pot was $26,000, the cost of raffle, Sefer Torah and some towards expenses of a seudah in New York and another in Beis Lechem. Thousands attended the 1998 rosh Chodesh Tammuz event on the wide unwalled streets in front of Rachel’s Tomb. Because of the great showing, the Rabbi of Holy Sites, HaRav Shmuel Rabinowitz announced Kever Rachel, henceforth, to be opened 24 hours a day.
When no one would buy the land, Evelyn was the Nachshon ben Aminadav who put down all the money to purchase Beit Bnei Rachel. It was on Haftorah Behar, when Yirmiyhu, in the pit, and in the midst of a war, bought land. Evelyn made the payment to buy this land just feet from Rachel’s Tomb for RCRF while they were shooting at Gilo.
Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, President of the Young Israel at Heichal Shlomo,renowned teacher and author, gave an inspiring and informative speech on 19th century Religious Zionists, Rav Yehudah Alkalai (1708-1879) and Rav Zvi Hirsh Kalisher (1795-1874), both advocates and authors who ignited a Jewish nationalism movement sixty years before Theodore Herzl. It was a movement for the return to Torah Judaism together with the reclamation of Eretz Hachodesh.
This educational event was culminated with a extravagant buffet of delights prepared mostly by Rochelle Eissenstat on the third anniversary of the survival of her family from the bulldozer attack hammering and riding over her Mazda. She says it was definitely the hand of G-d which saved them because of their charity and respect for their parents.
RCRF is planning more programs. We need your help, ideas, donations, preparations. Everyone who attended recommends you bring at least one friend because the RCRF events in Beit Bne Rachel in the Rachel tomb Complex are extraordinary, educational and uplifting.
RCRF thanks everyone for coming and for their contributions to make a presence and to enhance the evening. The rest of the schedule of evening programs via 5PM Egged #163 Bus and starting at 6PM is as follows:
RABBI DR. JOSEPH KLAUSNER, Yedidyahu
12 Tammuz, Thursday, July 14,
“History of the fields of beis lechem from Rachel, Ruth and in modern times”
4 Av, Thursday, August 4,
“Eicha; the tragedies of walled and unwalled cities, 1300s until present”
RABBI EFRAIM SPRECHER
18 Tammuz, Wednesday, July 20,
“The Key to Anger Management”
7 av, Sunday, August 7,
“Don’t despair – Hang in there!”
RABBI DR. YITZCHAK BREITOWITZ
ROSH CHODESH AV, MONDAY AUGUST 1
“Two Visions of Community in the Book of Bamidbar”
Also “MORNING” program, RSVP for 9am bus
Sefer Torah reading, brunch and lecture
HARAV BENYAMIN LEVENE
Rosh Chodesh Elul, Tuesday, August 30,
Upcoming debut: ELLEN LAPIDUS STERN: BIBLICAL ART SHOW AND LECTURE
*Weekly classes since 2003: Wednesdays at 11am until 2pm; 10am Egged #163 Bus:
Atara Gur, Rachel Imeinu Scholar and Author
Nechama Sarah G. Nadborny, Author of “The Twelve Tribes of Israel”.
Book your simchas with RCRF in our lovely Reception Center that can accommodate 100
Our most recent event, a festive Bas Mitzvah hosted 80. The participants danced from Kever Rachel blowing a shofar, cymbals and other instruments.
Donors and Volunteers needed to teach, enhance and translate English to Hebrew in RCRF “Museum of Jewish Aliyah” ©
Contact RCRF firstname.lastname@example.org 054-224-2649 www.theracheltear.blogspot.com
“Remember, a visit to Israel without going to Kever Rachel is like going home and not visiting your mother.” Evelyn Haies