Monday, June 22, 2015

Innovation in Global Jewish Unity


The Ner Echad Movement

Ner Echad is a pioneering Jewish women’s global movement to honor the memory and perpetuate the legacy of the much celebrated Rebbetzin Batsheva Kanievsky.

Rebbetzin Kanievsky, beloved wife of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, was renowned for the inspiration and comfort she gave to all who sought her out. Each week hundreds of Jewish women from across Israel and around the world lined the narrow staircase leading to her tiny apartment to receive her heartfelt blessing sage advice, passionate encouragement and meaningful financial aid. She radiated love, comfort and inspiration to each and every woman, regardless of background, affiliation, or status. It mattered not if the woman was considered to be Ultra-Orthodox, Modern, or had totally lost her way from religion. To Rebbetzin Kanievsky they were all simply ‘women in need’.

Rebbetzin Batsheva Kanievsky,  and her husband, R' Chaim
Rebbetzin Kanievsky was like a mother to all. She raised and distributed millions of dollars, discreetly and without fanfare, to help widows and orphans in need. The Rebbetzin was also wholly consumed with a sacred mission to unite Jewish women from all walks of life in group acts of loving-kindness, mitzvos, and self-improvement, strengthening the bonds that tied them to their faith and to each other. When she passed away suddenly in 2011, she left behind a void that had yet to be filled—until now. Through the Ner Echad movement, Jewish women around the world are uniting to bring the Rebbetzin’s holy light back into the world. Women helping women and doing Mitzvos together: these are the hallmarks of Ner Echad.

The Ner Echad Credo
Ner Echad is grounded in the fundamental philosophy taught by our Sages, “There is no (spiritual) comparison between an individual doing a good deed alone and a group doing a good deed together!”

Ner Echad Inaugural Program
Ner Echad has developed an innovative international online platform enabling Jewish women from around the globe to unite with other women in good deeds and meaningful activities. Ner Echad’s inauguration program is the Shabbos Candle-lighting group. Every Friday and Erev Yom Tov before sunset, thousands of members welcome Shabbos and Yom Tov together as part of one massive group, lighting candles while simultaneously praying for family, friends, and each other, and contributing one dollar in unison to a common Tzedakah cause. 

Members receive a weekly notification of candle-lighting time in their local area, and a different member’s name each week to have in mind when lighting Shabbos candles, and praying for the reason specified.  Ner Echad members span the gamut - from women considered 'traditional' to whom candle-lighting is one of the only Mitzvos they perform - to ultra-Orthodox Yeshivish and Chassidish - and everything in between.

Members automatically donate one dollar each week for erev Shabbos tzedakah. All the dollars are collected at the exact same moment - candle-lighting time in Jerusalem - the spiritual center of the world—making it one tremendous united act of charity. The dollars go 100% exclusively to the Batsheva Kanievsky Widow and Children’s Fund. The spiritual strength of this “tri-part” mitzvah, committed in unison by thousands of women, is an extraordinary source of blessing to the women of Ner Echad, and to all Jewish women around the world.

The Ner Echad launch has been met with tremendous enthusiasm. The New York arm of Ner Echad has been inundated with phone calls and emails, as women from all over the world want to know how they can be involved with this beautiful movement. Members really take pleasure in being a part of something global; it’s inspiring, and it’s powerful. 

At the inauguration of Ner Echad in the home of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, he declared: 
“Never before in the history of the Jewish people have thousands of women joined together week after week in the method developed by Ner Echad, to light Shabbos candles, pray for each other, and give charity in unison, as a distinct group. This massive spiritual force will certainly generate a wellspring of spiritual and material blessing, and create an enormous protective shield for the entire Jewish nation.”

Ner Echad spreads solely through a grassroots approach. Women tell their friends and family, speakers talk about it in their lectures, synagogues put it into their bulletins… everyone tries to foster Jewish Unity any way they can. Be part of this exciting new movement. 

Visit or call 1844NERECHAD (1-844-637-3242).