Our Mission

The Ahavas Yisrael (AY) Project inspires Jewish women to transform themselves, their families, their communities and the Jewish world by focusing on how to navigate interpersonal relationships & pertinent topics from a Jewish perspective.

Our History

A group of women noting the rise in physical, emotional and spiritual suffering, terrorism, anti-Semitism and an overall decline of ethical behavior worldwide sought the advice of Jewish leaders. The responses overwhelmingly stressed the importance of Ahavas Yisrael, loving our fellow Jew despite our differences. As a result, the "AY Project" was born.

What Is the Ahavas Yisrael Project?

What Is Ahavas Yisrael?

Ahavas Yisrael encompasses four specific Halachos (Jewish laws)

  • Speak well of your fellow Jew.
  • Respect your fellow Jew through validation, acknowledgment and appreciation.
  • Care about one's material and physical needs.
  • Resolve to make amends for carelessness, past mistakes or neglect in interpersonal relationships.
(Shulchan Aruch 29:12 and the Rambam in Hilchos Dayos 6:3)

Why Is Ahavas Yisrael Important?

  • Because the Jewish people were united and acted as one at Mt. Sinai, we merited receiving the Torah.
  • Universal challenges such as illness, divorce, financial strain, social/emotional difficulties, global terrorism and natural disasters are wake up calls for the Jewish people. “All suffering in the world is solely to grab the attention of the Jewish people to do teshuva." (Yevamos 63)
  • The Rambam says that there is a commandment to sound the trumpets when the community is facing danger. Hashem is trying to get our attention to act and do teshuva by changing our ways. (Hilchos Taanis 1, 1-3)
  • In the Book of Esther the Jewish people faced annihilation, yet ultimately merited salvation through unity. Esther told Mordechai to “gather all the Jews together to pray united as a people”.
  • According to our Sages, the Redemption from Egypt transpired because of the righteous women and the Final Redemption will also occur by virtue of their merit. (Sotah 11B and Yalkut Shimoni on Ruth, Perek 4)

So, What is the AY Project

The Ahavas Yisrael (AY) Project inspires Jewish women to transform themselves, their families, their communities and ultimately the entire Jewish world by focusing on how to navigate interpersonal relationships and pertinent topics from a Torah perspective.

  • The Ahavas Yisrael (AY) Project consists of a series of 20 minute weekly lessons that address a range of important issues.
  • Each prepared lesson inspires thoughtful discussion in a social setting and ends with a goal for the coming week to help women to "stretch" themselves and make a positive difference in their interactions with others.
  • As more of us commit to working on our "Ahavas Yisrael", love of our fellow Jew, we can create an entirely new level of unity among the Jewish people, thus transforming the entire world in the process.

How Does It Work?

  • A group leader gathers women in her community to review a 20 minute lesson focusing on the laws governing interpersonal relationships and other other topics from a Jewish perspective.
  • The lesson consists of a topic of the week, a relevant story highlighting this topic, three discussion questions and an exercise designed to integrate newfound awareness and practice in one’s daily life.

Benefits of the Ahavas Yisrael Project

  • Enjoy free access to all AY lessons and materials, enabling busy women to actively help the Jewish people.
  • Utilize opportunities for teaching and coaching, using printable lessons that don’t require preparation.
  • Unite your community in a social, inclusive and interactive environment.
  • Create a personal support system for your own spiritual growth.
  • Create a springboard for conversations with family members.
  • Incorporate practical lessons and exercises into your daily life…in your home, work, community and beyond!

Rabbinic Endorsements

Rosh Kollel Linat Hatzedek

Rosh Yeshiva Torah Ohr

Get Inspired

  • Importance of Ahavas Yisrael

    A dynamic 5 minute video presentation that gives insight into the importance of ahavas Yisrael and inspiration to become involved in the Ahavas Yisrael (AY) Project. This presentation is a "must see" to get started for yourself and your group.

  • Ahavas Yisrael Testimonials

    Hear testimonials from AY Project group leaders and members which demonstrates how powerful the program can be on a wide scale. An entire Jewish community participates in the Ahavas Yisrael Groups!

  • 6 Minute Video Presentation

    Understand what is going on in the world around you, and how you can help make a difference, be it in your local community or around the world.

Read Our Testimonials

  • I am going out of my way now to brighten people’s lives. I am making a conscious effort to praise, compliment, and express sincere appreciation for the people I interact with, whether it is my immediate family, the plumber who came to fix a leak or my mother on the phone. It is amazing to see that they really appreciate the acknowledgement. Even though it is a stretch for me, it gives me energy and a great feeling!

  • It was difficult to do but, I picked up the phone and called a woman I haven’t spoken to in 3 years, even though I feared that she was upset with me. She said it was a pleasant surprise to hear from me. I apologized for what I thought upset her and invited her to join our family for Shabbat. She was so happy to get the invitation and will be coming for the meal next week.

  • Two families who lived in the same building stopped speaking to each other. The maklokes began with the husbands, then spread to the wives and the children. Mrs. B. who joined an Ahavas Yisrael group, realized that, even though Mr. C. was at fault, maklokes is the scourge of Klal Yisrael, so she resolved to end it. When she made a Pidyan HaBen in her home for her new grandson, Mrs. B. invited the C. family. They came, and peace was restored between the two families.

  • Mrs. G., a resident of Boro Park, was sitting with her friends at a chassana. Across the hall she recognized Zelda, who used to live in the community, but had moved away. Although Mrs. G. Was comfortable sitting with her friends, she realized that Ahavas Yisrael required greeting Zelda, who was all alone. Mrs. G. Got up, went over to Zelda, and greeted her warmly. The next day she got a phone call from Zelda’s cousin, who said, “You did such a chashuvah mitzvah last night. You were the only person who spoke to Zelda. She’s just moved back into the neighborhood, and was feeling awkward until you came over.”

  • A woman in Jerusalem reported: “I don’t have a good relationship with my brother. Whenever he comes to visit me in Israel, he stays in my parents’ empty apartment, which I have cleaned for him, but I don’t fix it up. This time when he came, because of my Ahavas Yisrael commitment, I fixed up the apartment with flowers and refreshments. I stretched myself to treat him lovingly.”