Perpetuating the memory of Noam Apter z”l

Memorial ceremony in memory of the 19th anniversary of the murder of Noam Apter z”l, son of Yossi (graduate and former CEO of JCT)and Pirchiya Apter

Every year, Yossi and Pirchiya Apter, Noam’s parents, donate a scholarship to a JCT Beit Midrash students to commemorate their son who was murdered in in Otniel settlement, while blocking the way of a terrorist who infiltrated his Hesder Yeshiva and was attempting to enter the fully occupied dining room of the yeshiva.

Noam’s parents decided to perpetuate Noam’s memory  through a scholarship, and it became common practice that on his yahrzeit, a shiur is given in his memory by the scholarship recipient student. Amit Guetta, a third-year student studying towards a degree in the Electro-Optics Engineering, was chosen as the scholarship recipient this year. Amit shared with all the attendees that he was highly impressed with what he learned about Noam’s character, who advocated the connection between worlds. Before starting his shiur, he disclosed his personal life story.

“For the most part of my life, I was not a religious person. I went to a secular school and to Tzofim boy scouts until I reached the army. In the military service, I served in the ‘Egoz’ unit, and met, for the first time in my life, religious soldiers from Atzmona and Eli. Religion wasn’t new to me because my grandfather used to go to synagogue, but actually being acquainted with people my age whose lifestyle was religious, was new to me. Their behavioral and moral codes impressed me.

The process of ‘tshuva’ was ignited by the moral issue; the connection between myself and Hashem was a process that grew gradually, and also influenced by the meeting of my future wife.  I immediately fell in love with her and found myself becoming much closer to religion. She felt uncomfortable about me making these changes for her and wasn’t initially sure how much it was coming from a genuine love of Judaism and religion. It was clear to me that I was on the right track, and I registered to study at Machon Meir where my connection to Judaism was strengthened alongside the understanding how I wish my life to look like.”

As I grew in my connection to Judaism, I realized that I cannot be a a Kollel avrach, but that I have to learn a profession in order to support myself and my family.  I searched for a framework that would allow me to meet my religious and academic needs.  I had never heard of JCT – Lev Academic Center until one of my friends told me about it. I came here to find out what programs they offered, rather than choosing my degree program and then finding the institution.  Generally, you choose an academic institution according to the profession you’re interested in, but the integration between kodesh studies in the Beit Midrash and academic studies to earn a profession was too great a gift to give up.  I love the path my life is taking and I am so grateful to my friend who introduced me to Machon Lev.