Big Family Show: Enhancing the life of young people through Jewish learning
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Big Family Show: Enhancing the life of young people through Jewish learning

TAL – The Big Family Show & Expo education zone sponsor – enhances the lives of youth and young professionals through Jewish learning

TAL – The Big Family Show & Expo education zone sponsor – enhances the lives of youth and young professionals through Jewish learning

TAL, short for Torah Action Life, is an enigmatic Jewish organisation helping enhance the lives of Jewish youth and young professionals. It’s the proud sponsor of the Education Zone at The Big Family Show & Expo.

Sunday also coincides with the launch of a campaign to raise £1million in 36 hours to build a community and learning centre in Temple Fortune.

Open to anyone from a Jewish background, with a specific concentration on the Sephardic community, TAL was founded by Rabbi Jonathan Tawil in 2011.

Born and bred in London, before  studying in the UK and Israel, Rabbi Tawil and his wife, Raya felt there was a significant gap in synagogues for the provision of young people, or for those who remain single.

“I saw the void. There were so many holes,” says Rabbi Tawil. “I wanted to plug them. At the time, there wasn’t a place for the youth to gather, for them to hear Torah that was speaking to them.”

Rabbi Tawil attempted to help bridge this gap, with his simple         formula: Torah + Action = Life.

From small beginnings of hosting regular shiurim at Rabbi Tawil’s house, TAL today produces an innovative parsha sheet distributed to more than 25 synagogues across the UK and read by thousands.

TAL has also set up a regular chavruta night, where people from all backgrounds can come and learn, as well as themed shabbatons, which attract more than 200 people.

Other activities hosted by TAL include everything from singles events, trips abroad and paintballing to go-carting, cooking classes, chanukah and Purim parties.

“At TAL, it’s one big family, everyone is treated like family. There’s no cliques, no judgement, but a lot of Torah and social events to make it appealing.

“We are TAL. Torah Action Life. Torah is life. It’s about how you live, how you interact, even how you have fun. So we do all those social events in a Torah way.”

Of the effect TAL has had on tomorrow’s generation, Rabbi Tawil cites one example where he runs a Sephardi explanatory minyan at a school every Thursday.

“These kids have a growing curiosity, and we try to instil a love of prayer, the chance to wear tefillin. We nurture them and by Year 10 they are leading the services.”

Reflecting on TAL’s success, he adds: “I didn’t have to do this. I could’ve been a banker. But I didn’t want to wake up in a decade or two and ask: where have all the youth gone?”

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