Mark and Ellen Newman with Ariel at his high-school graduation, a few months before his death.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In the fall of 2014, Mark and Ellen Newman, residents of Great Neck, New York, were looking forward to sending their only child, their son Ariel, to Israel for his post-highschool gap year abroad. While they were an extremely close and tight-knit family, especially Ariel and his father, Ellen says that it was time for Ariel “to spread his wings and fly.”Ariel, with his family’s help, picked an intimate one-year program that combined Torah learning, community service, krav maga and a lot of hiking. Mark says they were looking for an institution that would teach “love of Torah, love of Am Yisrael and love of the Land,” instead of a classic yeshiva focused only on learning Torah in a classroom setting.
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