Rabbi Chanan Spivak was in the Jerusalem Kollel for nearly four years. He left the kollel to join a team of Jewish outreach professionals in Portland, Oregon.
Jerusalem Kollel: You have been such a pillar in the Kollel for so long now, what is it that makes you want to leave your home here in Jerusalem for a city you have only visited once?
CS: Well, I have learned a lot here in the Kollel. I feel that I have grown so much from my studies here. Judaism has really changed my life and I want to share what Iíve discovered.
JK: For instance?
CS: I guess one example would be the guidelines we learn about how to treat each other. It truly changes ones personal relationships. There are so many things that are simple once you hear themÖ but to study them in depth and within an organized system is fantastic.
JK: And why does that send you to Oregon?
CS: (laughing) Good question. The more I learn and gain the more I feel responsible to share. I have matured a lot here in the Kollel and Rabbi Berkovitz speaks often about out responsibility to the entire nation. So many Jews know nothing of their heritage. I want to try and give people a taste of what Judaism is all about. I have become so rich here; I feel itís time to give.
JK: How would you describe your relationship with Rabbi Berkovitz?
CS: He is certainly getting harder to catch, the more people realize who he really is. He is such a warm and wise person everyone want a piece. He speaks in such positive terms of what each of us can do itís hard not to have a chord or two struck. If I could pick two words I would say pleasantly passionate.
JK: Well best of luck to you there.
CS: Thanks; there is a lot to do.