I was born in Safed, Israel - a poor city with very few opportunities for young boys like me. I struggled to find my place at school, and had many challenges at home with a Father who was the son of secular Holocaust survivors, and a Mother from Tunisia. When I was 11, my family was in desperate circumstances. Fortunately, we heard about a place called Migdal Ohr that could help us. Our parents were hesitant, but my brother and I really wanted to go, hoping it would be a better place for us.
When I arrived, I lacked confidence and willpower. I was still a troublemaker in class and had a hard time paying attention. Before then, I had never had role models or anyone who believed in me or saw my potential. But Rabbi Grossman and the staff believed in me, and they refused to give up on me. They became my family, and Migdal Ohr became my home.
I began to excel in school, and even carried the keys to open the Beit Midrash for the rest of the boys! My 6th grade teacher was a Torah scholar, a Sofer, a Mohel, and a Shochet. He sparked my interest in Safrut (scribing), and I started to dream of one day writing a Sefer Torah. By age 14, I completed the Safrut course, and had written several Megilot.
There was a particularly difficult time when I considered dropping out, but Rabbi Grossman encouraged me to continue my Rabbinic degree and to become a Sofer. The Rav believed in me even when I had given up on myself. He built me up and gave me the confidence and strength to continue. As I pursued my dreams, I felt the Rav’s love and encouragement every step of the way. He even officiated my wedding to a fellow Migdal Ohr alumna several years later!
I went on to serve in the IDF, and got a degree in education. Today, I live in Yishuv Adam with my wife, and our 10 children, thank G-d. I am the Rabbi of a synagogue which I started, and serve as a councilman on the Yishuv. I work as a Sofer and am already commissioned to write Sefrei Torah for the next five years.
Safrut requires a tremendous amount of discipline and willpower- sitting for days over the parchment, and writing each letter with meticulous care. To date, I have had the privilege to write over 30 Sefrei Torah!
It is an honor for me to be able to pay tribute to Rabbi Grossman and my family at Migdal Ohr, who have given me so much, and who continue to influence my life every day as a father, husband, leader, and a Sofer. I want to express my Hakarat Hatov (gratitude) to the Rav who has not only changed my life, but has also shaped the lives of tens of thousands of children for the better.