My father, Jack E. Gindi, zichrono levracha, loved every single Jew… religious, not religious, Sephardi or Ashkenazi, Israeli, American or Syrian-because these things were really completely irrelevant to him. He did not see it as his place to decide what was right or wrong with how a particular Jew practiced. He had much more productive ways to spend his energy to help our community.
My father, z”l, was an extraordinarily successful man. He was extremely confident in his abilities, and he produced an inordinate amount for this world in the 83 years that he was here. But he was also extremely humble. Despite his success, his position in the community and the tremendous respect awarded to him wherever he went, he never saw himself as better or more important than others in the eyes of Hashem. He had tremendous talents that others may not have had, and he fully recognized this. But that only meant that he had responsibilities-that others may not have had- to use these talents to make this world a better place for all Jews. He did not walk around with a sense of entitlement; he walked around with a sense of responsibility.
Pathways is a program that is completely consistent with his life: to present and educate interested young people about Judaism, to give them an authentic experience in our wonderful texts, in our wonderful land, in our wonderful culture, and in our wonderful traditions, allowing each participant to internalize the experience in his or her unique way.
My father, z”l, loved to learn, and he was a very strong believer in education because it built rock solid foundations and allowed one to think critically in a very complicated world.
Pathways, in the Darche Noam tradition, educates young people in Judaism, with all its richness and with all its critical thinking, building upon the background and past of each individual to create solid foundations in Judaism.