The 10K Event
–“The event was amazing. So uplifting. Gave me chizzuk.”
–“There was such energy in the room; everyone was there to be there for each other, and left not just inspired, but with practical ways to help facilitate shidduchim.”
–”The Ahavas Yisroel at the event was tangible. People came out of their homes, in both body and spirit, to acquire something special for themselves and ultimately to do for others.”
10K Batay Yisroel is a project rooted in a horrific accident and the reaction of two ordinary– but extraordinary– families who transcended that tragedy and transformed it into an incredible organization. The goal of 10K is to unite the klal and empower the individual to join the effort in creating ten thousand shidduchim; starting with ten thousand shidduch suggestions.
10K Batay Yisroel literally translates as ten thousand Jewish Homes. The organization’s name also intertwines the names of the young couple: Yisroel Levin a”h and Elisheva Basya Kaplan a”h. Within the last year, this project has experienced an enormous of siyata dishmaya and has succeeded in uniting the klal as was apparent by the enormous turnout at the 10K Event, on Pesach Sheini, at Ateres Chynka.
The first speaker at the Event, Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, stated that this project is about going beyond one’s nature. The last thing one would expect of the Levin and the Kaplan families would be to be osek with shidduchim for Klal Yisroel. Yet, despite the indescribable loss, they have invested of themselves in increasing simcha in Klal Yisroel by forming 10K. He further explained how vital the work of the organization is– and the importance of the efforts of every individual in Klal Yisroel involved in redting shidduchim when he stated: “10K is not just about numbers, 10K is not just ten thousand shidduchim… it’s ten-thousand [future] gedoillim, tzaddekeses, bubbes and zeides are in our hands.” Rabbi Lieff even went so far as to quote Rabbi Mattisyahu Solomon in that saying when a person redts a shidduch “you’re like a member of hatzolah who is going to save someone’s life… every time you redt a shidduch!”
Rabbi Lieff finished by sharing that he is convinced that when someone redts a shidduch and has in mind that it is l’iluy neshmasam; they can be confident that Yisroel and Elisheva are upstairs pushing for extra siyata dishmaya for that suggestion. Something we have B”H been witnessing within the many 10K Engagement Stories featured on 10KBatayYisroel.org.
The second speaker at The Event was Rabbi Ephraim Eliyahu Shapiro who emphasized the sense of Achrayis that should be incumbent upon each of us. We do not live in a bubble he stated – wherever you live: New York; Miami; Eretz Yisroel; or Guadalajara, we have to step up to the plate and take responsibility. He said that the letters of the word “Achrayus” themselves tell us everything we need to know about our responsibility for helping our fellow Yidden in shidduchim.
Aleph is echad, you have an obligation to yourself, to try and be a better ben/bas aliya then you were yesterday.
Ches, ach, brother, do you take care of your sister? your brother? It’s easy to remember others but sometimes it can be harder to remember those in our close circles.
Reish, acher, the next person; even those that it’s harder to remember, you need to show them that you care.
Yud, acharay, people will see that you really care and it will make an impact.
Vuv, acharuv, act and people will follow; when you show that your actions are sincere, those watching you will follow in your footsteps.
Suf, acharyas– aleph to tuff, from soup to nuts, we have the responsibility to make another phone call! The job is never done. Stay in it, don’t get discouraged, follow through, perseverance!
Rabbi Shapiro elaborated that the gematria of Em, a mother, is 41. When Rus took that extra one step beyond the 40 of arpah, with Naami, she was zoche to become eim hamalchus. It just takes one extra step –one extra push– to reach greatness.
When Yisroel and Elisheva were taken, he continued, Klal Yisroel was reduced by two precious neshamos. It is up to us to fill in the void. The Ribbono shel olam wants to see that we’re trying.
Rabbi Shapiro imparted that being osek in shidduchim is a middah gleaned from our Av, Yaakov Avinu. To care for another yid and be osek in for another is like tefillas Arvis, which Yaakov Avinu was mesaken. Arvis, from the loshon or areivim, signifies being responsible for one’s fellow Jew. A Jew cannot go to sleep until he can account for his efforts of the day and attest that he looked out and tried to help his fellow yid; this is what tefillas Arvis signifies. And that areivus, that sense of caring, is the goal of 10K Batay Yisroel. R’ Shapiro concluded by beseeching upon R’ Levin and R’ Kaplan that the name be rebranded as 20K Batay Yisroel for next year לשנה הבאה בירושלים.
R’ Joel Kaplan, who served as emcee of the event, spoke throughout with devarim hayotzim min halev. He quoted R’ Levins speech that he had made at their children’s levaya almost verbatim. He reminded us of the memorable words when R’ Levin addressed Hashem and said: “You can have their pure and pristine neshamos, but I want an Afikomen present. I want ten thousand shidduchim. Not five-thousand for the boys and five-thousand for the girls; I want ten-thousand for the boys, and ten-thousand for the girls!” The respect and love between R’ Levin and R’ Kaplan was palatable; they will forever consider themselves mechutanim.
A beautiful video was then played showing what 10K Batay Yisroel is about and gave us the opportunity to hear some of the encouraging and inspiring stories directly from the people behind the engagements that were celebrated in the first year of the organization’s existence.
R’ Shaya Levin concluded the evening thanking everyone who worked behind the scenes of the 10K team and then explained his hopes for the future of the organization. He explained, that after this magnificent evening, we will all be inspired to start redting shidduchim. R’ Levin made some practical suggestions in order to facilitate redting shidduchim. Number one, he recommended that one take on a shidduch “chavrusa” or “partner” in order to: keep each other accountable; help each other out; and to provide encouragement. Number two, if a person has any question about the process of redting shidduchim, R’ Levin suggested reaching out to 10K by email in order to be paired up with a seasoned Shadchan who can serve as a mentor. Finally, R’ Levin announced his fervent wish that the 10K website will serve as a bulletin board for shidduch meetings around the world. The 10K Shidduch Groups were a huge success in the Catskills Mountains last summer and R’ Levin asked that we bring that success to cities everywhere. Anyone interested in hosting a shidduch meeting is encouraged to visit 10KBatayYisroel.org and register their 10K Group so that it can be listed there for others to join.
At one point it was exclaimed: “In this past year alone 50 shidduchim have come about since the 10K initiative”– “58”– R’ Levin interjected–“58 is the gematria of chein!” Rabbi Shapiro boomed in return. Inevitably, this event and these efforts l’iluy nishmas the young couple,will find great favor before the Kisei Hakavod.
A member of the Levin family reflected after The Event: “It is always so meaningful to us every time someone gets in touch to share how they are working on a shidduch as a zchus for for Yisroel and Elisheva. Looking at the hundreds and hundreds of people who showed up to join this event and be inspired really gave me a warm feeling that the community cares about Yisroel and Elisheva and about this movement”
For more information about 10K Batay Yisroel, visit their website at https://10kbatayyisroel.org or reach out to them at 10KBatayYisroel@gmail.com
May this event should be a source of Nechama and Aliya for the Levin and Kaplan families
10K Batay Yisroel
Ten thousand shidduchim, ten thousand refuos and ten thousand bursts of siyata dishmaya in emunah for Klal Yisroel! This was R’ Shaya Levin’s plea to Hashem that reverberated through the overflowing crowd at the Levaya of his son and daughter-in-law to be.
A mere few hours earlier, an unfathomable tragedy befell not only two families, but impacted the entire Klal Yisroel and world at large. A young, happy, newly engaged couple, Yisroel Levin and Elisheva Kaplan, a”h, were tragically taken in a car accident on Chol Hamoed Pesach. Yet, at such a devastating and trying time, R’ Levin chose to do and say what was beyond the average person’s level of emunah and selflessness. He begged Hashem to help Klal Yisroel.
The afikomen presents that R’ Shaya pleaded for were all requested as a gift from Heaven. However, hearing the request for ten thousand shidduchim brought to mind a mashal; it is told of a man who davened all his life to win the lottery, but when the man passed away, Hashem told him that had he only bought a lottery ticket, he would have won. While only Hashem can send ten thousand shidduchim, it is incumbent upon us to do our part in trying to facilitate the yeshua and then daven to see the Yad Hashem unfold.
Thus, 10K Batay Yisroel was formed, an initiative to make, and confidentially record, ten thousand shidduch suggestions. The name 10K Batay Yisroel literally translates as “ten thousand Jewish homes,” as the goal is to build thousands of Jewish homes. It can also be written as בתי’ ישראל, in memory of the home we lost, the home of אלישבע בתי׳ and ישראל.
The goal of this project is to encourage and empower everyone, every single Jew, to make shidduch suggestions for the singles in their life, whom they know better than any shadchan can. Often, people are hesitant to suggest a shidduch as they are not a “professional” shadchan and therefore think that they shouldn’t get involved. Ironically, many singles feel that the best shidduch ideas, more often than not, are presented to them by friends and relatives rather than “professional” shadchanim. If we overcome the barriers holding the average Jew from redting shidduchim and go beyond our “comfort zone,” if each person takes just a few minutes to think of the next, together we can change lives, improve the shidduch system at large and ultimately make the world a better place!
R’ Shaya Levin recently wrote: “When you think about it, the 10K project is changing history in Klal Yisroel. Until now, everybody relied primarily on professional shadchanim to come up with all of the suggestions to take care of all the shidduchim in Klal Yisroel. With this project, we are changing the mindset of everyone – it is up to US to think of shidduchim for our fellow Yidden. There are simply not enough professional and nonprofessional shadchanim to alleviate the backlog that has accumulated of older singles and even to deal with the current crop of new younger singles entering the parsha. We know from the Medrash in Breishis that Hashem is sitting and making shidduchim upstairs. But now thanks to this project, we have so to speak incentivized Kavyachol to make even more shidduchim because He sees all of Klal Yisroel voluntarily getting involved (sometimes out of their comfort zone) just to help out a fellow Yid. In essence you are tapping in to Hashem’s rachmonus on us because He desires so much to see us acting K’ish Echad B’lev Echad. Kol Hakavod!”
Within the first 24 hours after launching the project, 250 suggestions were made. However, beyond the numbers, the feedback was incredibly inspiring; some comments included: “Beautiful! After seeing this, we sat as a family and brainstormed. We just redt a shidduch and it’s looking good!“; “I had this idea a while ago but this made me pick up the phone and call today.“; “Even though it’s uncomfortable to suggest someone… I’m doing it for Yisroel and Eli – and for Klal Yisroel.” These comments are but a few of the encouraging and beautiful responses of everyday Jews going out of their way for the next person.
There clearly is a major motivator and burning desire in Klal Yisroel to do something leiluy nishmas Yisroel and Elisheva, and this project very much resonated with the hearts of the klal. Perhaps it’s the painful loss we feel of not seeing the chosson and kallah walk down the aisle that motivated so many to try and help others down to the chuppah and literally build homes in their z’chus. Or perhaps most people already had suggestions in mind that they were uncomfortable actually making a push for, yet this initiative encouraged them to leave their comfort zone for the next person.
The initiative began on a simple Google form. Individuals would check a box indicating that they made a suggestion, left a comment if they desired and submitted the form. When the initiative reached 700 suggestions in under two weeks it became clear that there was potential to take this project to the next level. While lacking outside funding, a lot of motivation by an incredible team facilitated a beautiful website to be formed: 10KBatayYisroel.org.
The website is now not only counting how many suggestions are made, but also how many first dates are facilitated and engagements that come about. There is now also a form asking for some basic (confidential) information about the suggestions, which most people are happy to fill out. The information on this form is displayed on the website on the “Impact” page. One can see there how the project has impacted singles of various ages and backgrounds. In particular, a great many suggestions have been made on behalf of singles in their mid-twenties and above, which is what R’ Shaya continuously highlights to be his greatest wish.
The project is currently holding at over 3,200 shidduch suggestions, 370 first dates and 10 engagements logged on the website! Together, we can keep the momentum going and not only make this project a success, but create an entire movement.
A feature added recently to the project is the 10K~BY Group. This is focusing primarily on those who plan to spend their summer at a bungalow colony. As so many agree, there is no better time or place to collaborate on shidduch suggestions than during the summer upstate. We are looking for individuals to host a 10K~BY group at their bungalow colony and of course all are invited to attend! Please sign up to host on the website or email 10KBatayYisroel@gmail.com. To receive a listing of the locations and times, please sign up for updates on the 10K project via the website homepage or visit the 10K~BY Group tab on the site.
Through this project, it is our fervent hope that Yisroel and Elisheva will, b’ezras Hashem, be in the foundation of thousands of homes in Klal Yisroel.
You can make a difference by going beyond your comfort zone to partake in the 10K initiative and redt a shidduch today
Remember, Just one suggestion can help build a beautiful home and homes for generations to come
לעילוי נשמת ישראל בן ישעי-הו הלוי ואלישבע בתי׳ בת יחיא-ל אפרים