In the 1980s, the leaders of Yeshiva Toras Chaim acknowledged something very important: a yeshiva can and should be more than a high school for its students. They realized that the yeshiva had resources that could be shared with the Denver Jewish community. They established its Division of Community Outreach with YTC instructor Rabbi Yaakov Meyer at its helm.
Fast forward to 2000. Rabbi Meyer had established his own congregation in southeast Denver and it was time for the yeshiva’s outreach division to plan for the future. Along comes Rabbi Ahron Yisroel Wasserman, the 28-year-old son of YTC’s co-founders Rabbi Isaac and Reva Wasserman.
The younger Rabbi Wasserman quickly demonstrated that he didn’t get the job simply because he was the boss’ son, but because he possessed remarkable organizational, networking and communication skills.
The Jewish Experience grew legs and became a “hip” organization offering classes, social programs and even a religious school to Gen Xers, boomers, seniors — and now millennials. Starting in a small office in the JCC, TJE now has its own free-standing center in East Denver.
Rabbi Ahron Wasserman built such a competent staff that he was able to turn over the day-to-day operations of TJE to Rabbi Raphael Leban, when he took on the additional post of Yeshiva Toras Chaim CEO. Rabbi Wasserman still provides guidance and vision to TJE, just as he has for the past 18 years.
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