Here is the mission statement for the Manhattan Ahavas Yisroel Chabura run by Tziporah Harris:
I resolve to undertake responsibility for all of Klal Yisrael doing teshuva on Ahavas Yisrael by pursuing these myself as if my life depends on it because it does.
I will address the following 5 areas:
1 Unity within- address internal negativity that gets in the way of loving others. (resentment, jealousy, anger, anxiety, distraction by materialism etc),
2 Unity in personal relationships- Restore, build and deepen close relationships – forgive, ask for forgiveness and care. (with family, relatives, neighbors, co-workers etc.)
3 Unity in my community- address needs and mend conflicts etc.
4 Unity beyond my community- bridge the gaps between communities, help our unaffiliated brothers and sisters connect to the their Jewish identity (this is most urgent),
5 Waking up our people to the urgent need for unity- awaken others to undertake this mission (schools, synagogues, JCC’s, neighborhood)
Here are projects undertaken by other chaburas currently in effect. There is a great deal of variety and each group sets its goals.
Flatbush chabura started a Shidduch mommy project where singles whose parents are unable to help them with shidduchim are matched up with a Flatbush family who take on to help them get married as if they were their own child.
Five Town Chabura started a hospitality gemach for people who need a place to sleep or eat for Shabbat or Yom Tov can call four dedicated numbers and be set up anywhere in the Five Towns. They also took on to email each other during the week of stories of random acts of kindness. They also invited an inspirational speaker to share tools on giving altruistically
The Queens Chabura made a bake sale and raised thousands of dollars to help restore the Sderot Yeshiva that was hit by missile attacks.
The Monsey chabura took on to each send Shalot Manos to at least one family that was not part of their community. They also took on one week to call someone that they have a difficult relationship with or a friend that they lost touch with and initiate warm communication. They were grateful to report that all their calls were well-received.
The Manhattan chabura organized Chanukah parties in a number of buildings in Manhattan to include frum and non-furm Jews in the celebration.
The Boro Park Chabura invited a guest speaker to talk about forgiveness and took on to forgive one person in their life. They are working on letting go of resentment. They also are working on more patience when driving
The Baltimore chabura took on to Complimenti someone and give an over the top description to make someone feel good. They also took on to learn something each day from another Jew, looking for the good.
Another Queens chabura matched newcomers to Queens with members of the community to help them feel welcome in Queens. They also created a unified website that lists all the community events so that people can find out about them more easily from anywhere in Queens.
The London (Golders Green) chabura has set up a service for the sheltered housing project in our street whereby the residents can call and ask for help with shopping, lifts, Shabbos hospitality and home visits. One of our members takes the calls and then finds the right person to help out. We have enlisted the help of the people in our street by putting a flyer through their doors and quite a few have responded.
The Teaneck chabura has resolved to try and work a brocha in to our conversations, such as ‘H-shem should quickly give you parnassah’ or ‘H-shem should help you find proper shidduchim for your children’ etc.
Here are the minutes to a Chabura meeting:
8:00-8:05 Tehilim and special tefila for siata dishmaya
8:05-8:15 We spoke about bitachon and that just like we can't do anything on our own without Hashem like keeping Shabbos and kosher so too we need Hashem's help in everything we do. If we're real with the fact that we can only accomplish anything with His help then we know that if we show Him our ratzon to want to make a big difference in klal yisrael then he will help us do so.
8:15-8:40 We each focused on a relationship we had that was difficult and tried to pinpoint the emotion we felt concerning that person and how we could possibly improve our attitude towards that person. We discussed different ideas of how to view people who are different than ourselves.
8:40-9:00 We brainstormed on different ways to improve ahavas yisrael. The ideas we came up with were:
1)Shmiras Halashon groups on Friday nights on each block.
2)Contacting bikur cholim and other chesed organization in town about helping them getting their services more out there and known to the community.
3)Shalom bayis shiurim
5)Mental health g'mach
Okay, please be in touch with me about any issues that come up and if you have any interest in working on any of the above ideas. Please also let your friends know about the chabura idea so that we can help funnel more women into the other chaburos in town as well as start new ones.
More minutes from another meeting
The Mission statement and Tefillah for judging favorably were read.A... asked that we speak and stress the positive- kind of train ourselves to turn thoughts and expressions into the positive. Need to learn the halachos of Ahavas Yisrael as a foundation.
B..... and Z.... relayed personal stories pertaining to Ahavas Yisrael, its power to encourage Kiddush Hashem, and , without it, CH"V , chillul Hashem.
J... told a personal story about a special woman in our community who exemplifies Ahavas Yisrael . . . one of her chassadim is to arrange for wedding gowns to reach Har Nof by sending them with "volunteers" going to Eretz Yisrael. Her daughter became a shaliach, and got the royal treatment by the airline . .. an example of the giver receiving more than the recipient. There is more to the story, and we await part 2!
(BTW- if you are planning to go to E"Y and could transport a wedding gown, please call...)
If you have clothing to give away that is appropriate for a Chassidishe family, please call S.... She is going to E"Y and hopes to have much to take.
The "Hospitality Network" was in full swing over Pesach- with a number of people benefitting from it.
Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller 's tape (from a tea in February at the home of R...) elucidated the halachos of Ahavas Yisrael.She spoke about the 2 parts of seeing- vision (what the eye sees) and interpretation by the brain. We need to stop and think about what we see. Chesed passes by us so quickly
that we don't see other's beauty. She told stories showing the hand of Hashem (Taxi driver who forgot to put on his tefillin, and the young Chabad boys who put tefilliln on soldiers)
We have to change our thought process and work from outside in.
3 Halachos:speak well about others- pro-actively; with praise