This is such a meaningful program, and I expect that this experience will still be reaping rewards years from now, hopefully for generations.  I’m privileged to be a part of it.  And I’m so glad that Rebeka had a meaningful time.
Jason Dougherty, Beth Tfiloh


I am so gratified to hear how our team is bonding with their Budapest counterparts and contributing and learning so much. Following the blog posts and finding them fascinating. It is the most gratifying feeling that this has been such a transformational and meaningful experience for my staff.
Zipora Schorr, Beth Tfiloh Head of School

This has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life.  I’m in this for as long as you will have me.
Jason Dougherty, Beth Tfiloh

It is a tremendous honor to participate in the program. The experience made me re-commit to all the reasons I went into teaching.  The highest compliment that I can give the experience is that I wish more of my colleagues at Beth Tfiloh could have had it.
David Green, Beth Tfiloh

I am deeply indebted to SOS for this life-changing opportunity!
Joel Monroe, Beth Tfiloh

It was holy and important work!
Rabbi Mordechai Soskil, Beth Tfiloh

It has been one of the most meaningful and enriching experiences of my professional career.  I feel I have grown, not only as a teacher, but as a person and as a Jew. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of this holy work, and I am looking forward to the next step.
Halaine Steinberg, Beth Tfiloh

This opportunity has had a profound effect on me both personal and professionally and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Rochelle Sullivan, Beth Tfiloh

 Our Master Educators’ participation in the High School Morim Project served to broaden their perspective on education and on Jewish life in parts of the world outside of America.
Marc Lindner, Charles E Smith Jewish Day School, High School Principal

I think this project is so valuable-and I had wonderful experience in Budapest. I really got to connect with so many Hungarians
Tori Ball, CES JDS

I think that my field of Jewish History has a lot of potential to enhance the teaching and the Jewish identity building in Budapest.
Rachel Bergstein, CES JDS

Truly one of the best experiences of my life.  Very educational, fun, and emotional. Excellent leadership; enjoyed my peers….all good!
Paul Blank, CES JDS

I absolutely loved this experience.  That was a unique and meaningful experience.
Natalie Levitan, CES JDS

I thank you for the effort you put into making this an unforgettable experience and know that you succeeded one hundred percent!
Daniela Munteanu, CES JDS

This experience was invigorating and inspiring and I came back with a deepened sense of renewal and perspective.
Ben Tellie, CES JDS

It has been an historic moment for our school.
Dr. Powell, Head of School, de Toledo High School

I would like to continue. Thanks again for creating all this!
Benny Ferdman, dTHS

We spend so much time educaTING – and that is a gift in and unto itself – but through this experience we are being educaTED, and that has been unforgettable.
Diane Feldman, dTHS

I wanted to convey the richness of this experience, the importance of the mission, and the excellence of the vision. The latter two resonate for me, while the experience has touched my neshama, sharpened me professionally, ignited my pintele yid, and enriched me tremendously.
Rabbi J.B. Sacks, dTHS

Now that I have been introduced to the school and the people I feel I can contribute to their growth as Jewish people and help them feel a stronger connection to the larger Jewish world and their own history and traditions.
Yaffa Malashock, Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School

Multiple benefits participating in the Morim Project which was found to be interesting and useful.  The Morim Project will have a long lasting effect upon students and teachers in the field of intercultural awareness and our shared Jewish heritage. I hope we could work together in the Morim project which is not only useful and interesting for us but could be a very important link between the Hungarian and American Jewish communities.
Gabor Horanyi, Head of School, Lauder Javne Jewish Community School, Budapest

For the teachers involved, the project granted valuable insight into how a fellow teacher from an entirely different education environment tackles the very same issues they face every day.
Henriett Kiss, High School Principal Scheiber Sandor Gimnazium, Budapest

Summer 2012: I can’t even explain how thankful I am to you(Aviva) and to Rabbi for everything you’ve done for me and for everyone on the trip! From the beginning when i fell off the bike, broke my suitcase or just in general give me a good morning hug you were always there for me! You are the most amazing people I’ve met! The trip was one of the best 3 weeks I’ve ever had! Since the moment I came everyone was so nice and welcoming! Everyday I woke up so happy to be with everyone and to do chesed! This trip made me want to do even more chesed and I gained so much from it! I made so many new friends, met people from different places, learnt about other cultures and judaism! The trip was organised so well and everyone could see that you put so much effort into it to make it perfect!! (and it was perfect!!!) I’m still telling everyone how incredible the trip was because I had the best time ever!!!! You and Rabbi made the atmosphere so special!  THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!! ~Romi

Chesed has evolved in my mind from simple community service to saving lives, all thanks to SOS. Thank you for creating one of the most unbelievable programs in the world! ~ Adam

These past few weeks have been the best times and the memories I have created on this trip will be with me forever. The SOS trip is not only a great way to bond with other extremely amazing Jewish teenagers, but also a way to fill your hearts with that special feeling you get after you perform chesed. ~Natalie

This trip has taught me that it is our responsibility to make sure that the future generations never forget. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone on this trio for restoring my faith in G-d, for bringing a smile to my face while benching. This trip I will never forget, and this trip wouldn’t have been what it was without you guys! ~ Hannah

We are reminded that as young Jews it is our duty to make sure that previous generations are never forgotten. ~ Orly

Cleaning, visiting and remembering everyone that was forgotten at the Jewish cemeteries. It is a great act of leadership and responsiblity in our Jewish life. Visiting people who have been diagnosed with trauma can make such a difference. Also, just being in Israel proves that it is ours! Walking through Israel, remebering the people that left us and visiting the people who feel forgotten, because there are so many like them, to show that they’re not and that we care. These are a few things that I think show what it means to be a Jew and a leader. ~ Rachel

This trip has been one of the best programs I have ever been on. It is not just the usual community service trip, It is so much more…One of the bigger reasons as to why this trio was so amazing, so many people had such an emotional connection to not just Israel(Zionism) but also to Hungary, Romania or the Ukraine. To be able to go back to these places that used to be so full of anit-semitism and then come to a JEWSIH country, is such a great feeling that more people should be able to experience. ~ Sydney

I think everyone on the trip helped me in some way decide who I want to be and how i should live my life. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you can find people who many be ifelong friends or someone who taught you something new. ~ Jenny

The thing that struck me was how happy we made people and how happy the people we met made me. I think I have been able to be a bit more outgoing and have been able to appreciate everything we have done. ~ Julianna

Spring 2012: I cannot put into words how appreciative I am for the experiences I had on ASB Greece.  You both are truly amazing people and I feel honored to have spent 10 days with you traveling, learning the Orthodox ways, seeing Greece, and helping so many incredible people.  From you I have learned the importance of Jews helping Jews and by connecting with the Jews of Greece we have given their communities strength and hope.  Over those memorable ten days, I realized I grew as a person.  You have helped me learn to embrace Shabbat and all of its meaning as well as taught me how much more special it becomes when you share a meal with people that you care about.  The trip has changed me for the better, and it will always be one of my fondest memories. Thank you! ~ Heather

Thank you so much for all the planning and execution, of making this AMAZING trip possible. Thank you for your patience, kindness, compassion and passion that inspired all of us. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to work with you and the Rabbi- I learned so much for you both ~ Shikma

I don’t know how to thank you guys enough for the experience you gave me. It was truly amazing and I couldn’t of asked for a better way to spend my spring break ~ Moriah 

I know what an incredible trip Josh had and how much the experience meant to him. Thank you for accepting him to be a part of this adventure and thank you for the work that you do.  I know how precious the engagement and passion of young Jewish life is.  You definitely succeeded in harnessing both of these with this trip. Todah rabah ~ Sherri

Summer 2011: If we hadn’t said so before, Laura had another inspiring experience on this trip. It has really had an impact on how she sees the world and how she feels about her religion and religious community ~ Louis

The SOS program meant so much to me. I learnt so many life lessons and helped so many people. The program helped me mature in so many ways and have a whole new appreciation for life. Getting through many difficult challenges krav maga intense chesed waking up no matter what the hour is all helped me grow as a person. The program has truly changed my life and the way I conduct myself now. I miss it and everyone so much. ~ Daniel

It’s been said before: “Things happen for a reason”.
When Dani’s summer plans suddenly changed, and we had to find something for her to do at the last minute, I just knew it was for the best. I remembered that the Tesslers were running a program for teens called SOS International and I was hoping that there was still room for Dani to join.
I never had a doubt that spending time with the Tesslers on this program would benefit Dani in countless ways. I just didn’t expect it to happen as early as Day #3. (See blogs July 19-21 and August 9
As a parent it is extremely gratifying to hear these sentiments coming from your child. I don’t know if I could ever properly convey my thanks and appreciation to the Tesslers (though I will certainly try!). If your teen is looking for a meaningful summer experience SOS trips are the place to be ~Shani

After our first night here sleeping in tents, dealing with the heat and bugs, it was hard to see the magic of this camp. But it has been almost two days since then and my perspective could not be more different then what it was at that point…Besides from just enjoying how each one of the boys put on a kippa to sing and how each of them knew the words, it made each of us SOS’ers feel so proud to be Jewish and to be singing together with them…..We often take for granted how easy it is for us to be Jewish in our communities with our Jewish families and friends. But after seeing the willingness of these campers to learn more, and the dedication of the staff here to helping to teach them, I think all of us SOS
teens appreciate it more then we did before. If we take anything away from our time here it will be understanding the importance of being kind to and friends alike, and the motivation to continue to reach out to others….It  has only been three days since the program started and it has already began to  change our lives. I cant wait to see what else the Tesslers have in store for us.~ Dani

Last year was so special for me and gave me a completely different outlook on everything. It was because of the trip that pushed me to realize my love of Israel and headed me towards the decision I made to move there! ~ Kivah

First I would like to start off by saying, this SOS trip has been amazing!  I could go on and on with words like amazing, fantastic, spectacular, life changing, unimaginable excitement, but instead, I am going to tell you about our second day in Spain on this fantastic, spectacular, life changing trip….This trip has only just begun but the memories and adventures are already building up more and more with each day to come. ~Olivia

And we all went to sleep, more than satisfied, recollecting all of the fond memories from a very special day. ~Ethan B

...your father remembered that my parents were from Salonika and sent me your insights to share with them. They will be very pleased and honored to know that their community has not been forgotten ~ Dianne C

Wow! You are all amazing! What a huge Mitzva to clean the cemetery, the biggest chessed one can do, chessed she emes. We are very proud of all of you. ~ Robin B

It has been so wonderful for our family to watch Noah and your amazing group as you journeyed through Greece and Israel. We shed tears from your blogs and your pictures and we have had lots of laughs too. In shul on Shabbat, (at Beth Sholom) we all wondered, “who threw up at the army base”??? We don’t want these last few days to go by quickly for you but we are all so excited to hear everything!! There are really no appropriate words of gratitude to say to Aviva, and Rabbi Tessler for every inch of love and care that you put in to planning this trip. Thank you to the two of you and Saphira and Aviad for leading this wonderful group safely with such tremendous care and enthusiasm. Enjoy these last special days. With much much love- The Soumekhian Family

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