Rav Pam’s Donation Goes a Long Way!

Many people have already heard the remarkable story of how Hagaon Harav Avrohom Pam zt”l and his Rebbetzin a”h sacrificed a trip to Eretz Yisroel in order to fund a new Kiruv project within a Chinuch Atzmai school. But how the story then evolved, only those present at a recent Shuvu Mission dinner in Jerusalem were made aware of.


20 years ago Shuvu’s Director Rav Chaim Michoel Gutterman approached Rav Pam saying that he wanted to start a Kiruv program for Russian girls within the Sha’arei Torah Chinuch Atzmai high school in Haifa, but didn’t have the $700 needed to fund such a project.


The next day Rav Pam called Rav Gutterman back saying that he had found the $700 and requested that they start the program! Rebbetzin Pam a”h had planned a trip to Eretz Yisroel for a family Simcha, but the Rosh Yeshiva and Rebbetzin decided together to cancel her trip and instead use the funds for this program.


“That was the first part of the story”, recalled Rav Gutterman in his speech before the Shuvu Mission participants, “and there are two more chapters.” The second chapter took place last Shavuos, a year and a half ago. Rav Gutterman and his wife had invited guests from Neve Yerushalayim whom they did not know, to partake in their Seudas Yom Tov.


One of the guests who arrived for the meal was a Russian Madricha in Neve named Chana Pnina whose family moved to Germany several years ago.


During the Seuda Rav Gutterman asked Chana Pnina what had led her to becoming frum. Her response gave Rav Gutterman goose bumps.


She answered that her family had originally lived in Russia but then moved to Germany, to a town with no Jews. Her parents did want her to get a little bit of Yiddishkeit and therefore when Chana Pnina turned 13, decided to send her to Israel for a year to live with her grandparents who lived in the city of Haifa. Rav Gutterman recalled, “I asked her which school did she go to in Haifa, and she answered “Well, I’m sure you don’t know it. Sha’arei Torah.” Though the family wasn’t frum, the program in that school for Russians interested her grandparents.


Chana Pnina later returned to Germany but that program in Sha’arei Torah started her road back to Yiddishkeit. She eventually returned to Eretz Yisroel to learn in Neve.


Thus, Shuvu’s founder Harav Pam zt”l gets the Zechus for Chana Pnina’s becoming frum. Thanks to the Rosh Yeshiva’s donation, the Haifa Kiruv program opened up in her school, Sha’arei Torah became an affiliate school of Shuvu, and Chana Pnina came to be where she is today.


“The third chapter is tonight”, continued Rav Gutterman. “This girl Baruch Hashem just got engaged to a Yeshiva Bochur, Ariel, who learns in Marbitzei Torah in Bnei Brak, a famous Yeshiva, and we have here with us tonight the Chosson and the Kallah – Ariel and Chana Pnina!”


The excitement in the room was unparalleled. All the dinner participants rose spontaneously to dance in honor of the Chosson and Kallah, and in honor of the path taken, thanks to Rav Pam’s donation 20 years ago.



The Chosson Dancing at the Shuvu Dinner with Harav Pinchos Breuer Shlita and other Guests

Please click on the following link for a short clip on this remarkable story!


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