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About The Trip

Chabura Spotlight: Judah Schanzer

NCSY Kollel August 12, 2022

Judah Schanzer is returning to NCSY Kollel, this time as a madrich, after having participated in the Kollel in the summer of 2018 as a camper. Judah lives in New Rochelle, NY, and attended SAR for both Elementary and High School. After graduating in 2020 he went to Yeshivat Torat Shraga for two years through May 2022 and then spent June 2022 at Birchas Hatorah. In the Fall, he will be bez”h attending YU, where he plans on studying Business.

The guys in Judah’s chabura are some of the best guys around with each bringing a special ingredient to this extra-special group of shteigers. The chabura includes Avi Becker, Noam Azaguary, Josh Canner and Arei Kanguon. Avi Becker (Memphis, Cooper) is an intellectual superstar destined to become probably the first Talmid Chacham to have spent some of his childhood years in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Memphis. Noam Azaguary, (Pittsburgh, Hillel) is the man who keeps everyone on their toes both with his fascinating questions while learning and his intimidating sunglasses when playing ball. Josh Canner (Boston, Maimonides), despite being a big man with a sweet shot, is more notable for his genuine desire to learn Torah and grow in both mitzvot ben adam lamakom as well as ben adam lchavero. Finally, Arei “koolest kid in Kollel” Kangoun (Boston, Maimonides) lives up to his name by probably being the most outgoing, honest, and infectiously happy person, who also is at davening before minyan even starts almost EVERY DAY. Despite the five of us coming from different backgrounds both geographically and otherwise, we have meshed to such a great extent that we must be front-runners for “Chabura of the Year”.

This year, our Chabura learned the deep and hidden messages planted in the Shemonei Esrei by Chazal. Through learning different mekoros, from pesukim to Rishonim, we have been working on connecting to the Avodah in order to find greater meaning and strengthen our passion for Avodas Hashem. Every day, after reviewing everyone’s ball game the day before and sharing some mak’s cakes (thanks Noam), we first learn the words of the bracha. Afterwards, they go through an intriguing question or two about why the loshon of the text is the way it is. Finally through Kangoun reading pesukim and Gemera’s inside, to Avi pointing out ideas that make your brain thump, to Josh answering our original questions, we find ourselves learning a beautiful lesson about how to be better a friend, son, and Eved Hashem, only to be further uplifted by a deep philosophical discussion raised by Noam.

As we come towards the end of the summer, the Chaburah recognizes that collectively they have grown to unimaginable heights, which come with its pros and cons. On the one hand, they have gained an appreciation that if they focus on our growth, they can achieve great things, especially when working together. On the other hand, they have come to appreciate how much more they have to work and grow to fulfill the incredible potential within each of them.