[Photos below.] Hundreds of frum men and women from all parts of Flatbush and surrounding communities attended Project Inspire’s inaugural Sefiras Ha’Omer Conference at the Kingsway Jewish Center this past Sunday (May 6th). The theme of the Conference was “Counting Up & Building Up: Inspire Yourself, Inspire Your Family, Inspire Klal Yisroel.”
The impetus for the Conference was a meeting held a few months ago by 20 men in Flatbush who in conjunction with Project Inspire staff decided to help create a revolutionary program during these vital days between Pesach and Shavuous. A major theme of counting Sefirah is an attempt to hold onto the inspiration of Pesach by integrating the foundations of Judaism into our midos and into our lives. What better time of year to come together to revitalize the Flatbush community with new inspiration on multiple levels? The goal was to show that the inspiration has to go both ways: first we inspire ourselves, then we share the inspiration with others and by doing so, we become even more inspired. Any lasting arousal must be directed inward as well – towards ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Following the initial Keynote Address by Rav Lieff, the Conference was transformed into concurrent hour-long sessions. The first hour offered participants the difficult choice of having to select from the following lectures: “Inspire Yourself: Maamid Har Sinai – Can We Still Hear the Kolos Uvrakim?” by Rabbi Eliyahu Bergstein; “Inspire Your Family: The Quest for an Inspiring and Exciting Family Dynamic” by Rabbi Eytan Feiner; “Inspire Klal Yisroel: The Mirror – Spreading the Joy of Yiddishkeit to the World” by Rabbi Bentzion Klatzko; and “Inspiration for Women: Woman to Woman Pre-Shavuous Inspirations – Accessing Our Unique Inner Gifts and Sharing Them with Others” by Rebbetzin Tehila Jaegar.
The second series of concurrent sessions at the end of the morning offered the following choices: “Inspire Yourself: Taam Hachaim – Meaning of Life” by Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein, Senior Lecturer at Discovery Seminars; “Inspire Your Family: Give the Bracha – Get the Bracha – Seeing Through It All” by Rabbi Zacharia Wallerstein, founder and director of Ohr Naava Women’s Center; “Inspire Klal Yisroel: Kiruv Panel Q&A – Ask Your Most Intriguing Kiruv Questions Now;” and “Inspiration for Women: Counting Our Days and Making Our Days Count” by Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner.
Completing the insightful Project Inspire Sefirah Ha’Omer Conference was an emotional and pointed Keynote Address by Rabbi Yissochar Frand, maggid shiur at Yeshivas Ner Israel in Baltimore, whose topic was “Be Inspired…By Inspiring.”