By EPIC Directors Rabbi Eliyahu Cohen & Rabbi Shlomo Pinkus
For over 17 years, Epic Family has been a pillar of hope and support for Anglo children and their families in Israel. Several years ago, Epic Family (then Yedidim) initiated Chinuch weekends in communities across the USA, and that has evolved into Epic visits of comprehensive Chinuch programming spread over two weeks, in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and the Five Towns/Far Rockaway area. Our impactful programs are designed to connect and strengthen communities across the United States.
February 2023 marked Epic Family’s fifth visit to Los Angeles, and we hit the ground running with over 20 planned engagements, but no one could have foreseen the phenomenal success that our programs generated! Each planned event brought with it requests for more events! Before the LA Epic Chinuch week was over we had completed more than 60 speaking engagements at Shuls, Yeshivas and schools, drawing in thousands of enthusiastic attendees.
Private gatherings in homes quickly became a highlight, consistently attracting over 50 people per event. We listened closely to the community’s needs and requests, and responded with tailormade classes. We offered sessions and Q&A opportunities for older singles and their parents. We delved into the intricacies of parenting children who are themselves parents and much more.
Special events, such as the men’s night BBQ and a Sunday morning Women’s Brunch featuring Dr. Doniel Frank, brought crucial discussions on Shalom Bayis and the dynamics of the modern Jewish home to the forefront.
Since then, we have returned to LA on numerous occasions and have been well received and have followed up with numerous families whom we were able to provide the assistance and guidance they needed.
Chicago – May 2023, proved to be yet another remarkable city on our journey. Although Epic Family had visited before, this time around, we aimed to offer many more programming opportunities.
Recognizing that each community possesses its unique needs, Epic Family made it a priority to tailor our programs and events to meet these specific requirements. We were delighted to have Rabbi Shimon Russel join us, sharing his wisdom with students and families in Skokie, spend an entire Shabbos in Lincolnwood, and provide invaluable teacher training at numerous schools for educators, faculty, and Rabbeim. Harav Zev Leff and Rabbi Dovid Kaplan made impactful visits to Shuls, Yeshivas and Schools, providing Chizuk to the communities and essential support to students in their learning journeys. There was also time for engaging privately with many families to navigate contemporary challenges.
Moreover, we initiated a new women’s committee dedicated to addressing the issues confronting Jewish households. This step ensures that the programming we bring to Chicago is finely tuned to meet the current needs of the community, fostering a more meaningful impact.
Last November marked Epic Family’s second Epic Parenting Seminar in the New York area, but it was our inaugural voyage on this remarkable journey. The Shabbos events were spread across Far Rockaway, Inwood, and extended into Lawrence, where our Epic Rabbonim and speakers delivered talks at various Shuls and homes on Shabbos and Motzei Shabbos. On Sunday morning, we all came together for a Chinuch Seminar and Think Tank.
The warmth and enthusiasm with which our programs were received, coupled with the genuine welcome from Rabbis, educators, and community members, was truly inspiring.
Having been so well received last November, we are returning and the first two weekends of this upcoming November are already reserved for the next EPIC CHINUCH WEEK in the Five Towns/Far Rockaway area. This event will feature leading Rabbanim, thought-provoking discussions, private gatherings, student-focused programming, and much more. The entire community continues to extend a warm embrace to Epic Family and the impactful work it undertakes to fortify the community, ensuring that every family has an opportunity for growth. We eagerly anticipate this November and the opportunity to welcome new participants into our Epic Family journey.
It was a great year and as we look forward to the future, we anticipate another epic year filled with continued growth and community support. Our success has led to numerous requests from other communities eager to benefit from our programming.
We are looking forward to an EPIC NEW YEAR for you and your families filled with continued growth and Siyata D’Shmaya!