The Challenge

Tzama Nafshi seeks to address the growing trend of young men who have returned from Yeshiva gap year programs in Eretz Yisrael and struggle to maintain their commitment to Torah and Mitzvot, often to the point of abandoning basic involvement in Jewish daily practice.

A Solution

Tzama Nafshi aims to enable the formation of a spiritual support-system. By bringing together a chevra of committed, soul- searching individuals, who will receive guidance and inspiration from some of the leading mashpi’im of our generation, we will provide the necessary tools, camaraderie and chizuq to enable post-Yeshiva students to be strengthened and cope with their spiritual challenges. We will be focusing on this demographic and working to form this group while they are still in Yeshiva, so that we can continue to provide them with opportunities for inspiring programming once they return to the United States. These programs, events and activities not only aim to inspire -but even more importantly - to create venues that will enable the young men to form into a strong chevreh with a sense of responsibility towards each other. Working in full cooperation with the Yeshivot in Israel and with other organizations that share these goals and objectives, our goal is simple, and unique: to fill a desperate need to reach out (in!) to the young men in our community who so desperately are searching for guidance, support and encouragement. Providing supplementary education and support to Yeshiva educators, staff members and madrichim in Israel by organizing meaningful, informative programming for them, will provide a unified forum for Mechanchim to discuss and engage these issues, together.

Plan of Action

In order to reach our goals, Tzama Nafshi plans on implementing the following programs in our inaugural year. It is our hope and intention to extend programming – in reach, as well as frequency -in the subsequent years. Expansion will include parallel events and opportunities for women. For the Coming Year:
  • Publish a high quality English language periodical with Divrei Torah focused on Pnimiyus HaTorah written by various Rabbanim and Mashpiim directed toward Yeshiva and Seminary students in Israel and abroad. While spreading the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov, the periodical will serve as the vehicle in which we will publicize our events to our target audience.
  • Host Shabbatonim, Melaveh Malkas, visits to Mashpiim and Kivrei Tzaddikim
  • Hire a Coordinator in the US beginning in February to help plan Shabbatonim, Melave Malkas, visits to Mashpiim and Kivrei Tzaddikim for those returning Tzama Nafshi participants from Israel.
  • Hosting Melave Malkas and Yemei Iyun for Rabbeim and Madrikhim.

Rav Michael Olshin

The visionary and force behind Tzama Nafshi's programming for Yeshiva studnts is Rav Michael Olshin, Menahel of Yeshivat Torat Shraga in Jerusalem. With more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience and has previously taught and directed programs at Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim, Shaalvim and Bet Midrash L’Torah, and served on the Educational staff of NCSY, NCSY Kollel and Camp Mesorah. An educator & guide with JRoots, he has guided groups in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine. Rav Michael, Shoshannah live in Beit Shemesh with their seven children.