With heartfelt appreciation, I dedicate this Yom Kippur Message to Chaya-Bracha Rubin & Susan Axelrod who helped me hear and understand the words to this song and helped me open new doors:

“Nothing stands in the way of will… Make your cup it’s waiting to be filled… there’s a voice within you, that says you can do it, so listen close every day, remind yourself of your purpose…”

Dear JGU family,

My favorite moment on Yom Kippur is at the very end of the fast. The Neilah prayer, when we ask Hashem to seal us in the book of life, granting us a year of health and happiness. In that powerful moment, we recite the Shema together as one people — “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” We proclaim in awe — “Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever”. We cry out with joy, –“G-d – He is the Only G-d” seven times!

The cry of the shofar is heard.

It is incredibly uplifting to feel the unity, awe and joy during the last moments of Yom Kippur.

What is the beauty in this Neilah service, if at this time G-D/Hashem is closing the heavenly gates, sealing our future for the coming year?

Chassidic teachings explain the “closed doors” in a positive way. The gates lock us in, as opposed to out, as we stand alone, united, with our Father in Heaven.

How many times do we face a closed door in the form of a rejection, a loss, an unanswered prayer, a closed chapter in our lives and we are devastated and enveloped in sadness? With a heavy heart, we wonder why Hashem closed the door upon us, yet again?

In retrospect, we find that each time the door closed, Hashem was really closer, guiding and pushing us to grow and reach greater heights. When we view our challenges through the eyes of our Chassidic masters, we see that a closed door really means “Hashem Echod” – Hashem is united with us, behind the closed doors.

Personally, for many years, I searched to express my soul purpose. I worked on many different programs, which taught me a great deal, but I wasn’t satisfied. I struggled with the “closed doors” that I often faced in striving to fulfill my life long mission of sharing love for our heritage. There were moments that I felt alone, so I titled my journal, “Never Alone.” I made an effort to write about Hashem’s hidden hand in my life.

It was exactly one year ago on 9/11/14, when I was writing in my journal and thinking about the new year ahead. I had just concluded a great summer session at the Jewish Girls Retreat. I asked myself, “What now?” I truly missed our JGR family and felt isolated in my small hometown.

I thought, “If I had so much to be grateful for, why wasn’t I content with my life? Maybe I should just silence the voice in me that was searching for more? Could my big dreams be unrealistic?” I asked Hashem to openly reveal my true purpose on earth. I was tired of knocking on closed doors. I poured out my heart and fell asleep with tears in my eyes.

When I woke up the next morning, the first email I read was from a singer and song composer, Chaya-Bracha Rubin. She was the messenger with G-d’s answer, sent to me as I departed on a journey to a JGR camper’s Bat Mitzvah in Alaska.

She wrote :
“Please listen before you go to the Bat Mitzvah <3 You embody this in all ways, and enable Jewish girls all over the world to learn & do the same, B”H!!!” Hatzlacha Rabba (much success)!!!

Attached was her newly composed song. Here is an excerpt:
“Nothing Stands in the Way of Will”

“There’s a voice within you
That will never be silenced, There’s a part of who you are
That’s searching for more, Don’t shut it out
Don’t turn away, because it knows the reason that you’re here on this earth
what you have left to do, And the first step on this journey is to silence your fears, because the question is not IF you will succeed, It is only HOW!

Nothing stands in the way of will
With Heaven’s help, your dreams will be fulfilled
Make your cup it’s waiting to be filled
There’s a voice within you, that says you can do it
So listen close every day, remind yourself of your purpose
While you’re here on this earth, You have so much to do
When you feel like you are pushed up to the edge, weary mind, broken heart
Like Nachshon jump into the water, and the seas will part!”

She had no idea how much I needed to hear these words and this song galvanized me to change my whole mindset. It was clearly G-d talking to me through Chaya Bracha’s song, telling me not to give up on my big dreams and to listen closely to the voice inside of me. Hashem also sent me Susan who taught me how to listen to the voice within. I sang this song each day in my heart and it gave me the strength to silence my fears and jump into creating the Jewish Girls Unite global community.

Today, I am amazed at how much has transpired since 9/11/14. We launched Jewish Girls Unite, “to enable Jewish girls all over the world to learn”, as Chaya Bracha wrote to me. I no longer feel alone in my mission and no longer need to search for Hashem each day. Hashem is my partner and I feel it at every moment. B”H, I’m living my dream to inspire and empower Jewish girls around the world every single day!

I wrote this poem in my “Never Alone” Journal.
“In those difficult times, Hashem was behind each closed door!
Guiding and showing me, there was something better in store.
Hashem was saying, “Find your unique mission that I need you to fulfill.
Don’t give up, there is nothing that stands in the way of your will.

Thank you Hashem for hearing the outpouring of my soul’s cry.
Together with our JGU girls, we will reach so high.
With Hashem’s help, we will joyfully inspire Positivity and Unity,
Building the Jewish Girls Unite Global Community!”

I am so thankful to Hashem for every door that He closed and for guiding me to fulfill my soul purpose. I feel blessed that I can finally understand the reason for all the closed doors. I sing each day with joy, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” “Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.”

As we approach Yom Kippur, I share this lesson with my JGU family to remind you to thank Hashem for every “closed door”. It is the closed doors that open up our hearts to new opportunities. The Neilah service reminds us that in our most challenging moments, when a door is slammed in our face, we are never alone, but alone with Hashem!

I am so excited to open up many new doors for our JGU and JGR girls in the new year 5776! Now, I have the opportunity to continue JGR year round, through teaching JGR campers, as well as connecting to many more JGU girls and women around the world through the Live online Classroom, Forum, Blogs, Contests etc. at

May Hashem open many doors and answer your prayers this Yom Kippur! May you be sealed and inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet year!

Shabbat Shalom,

Nechama Laber
JGR & JGU Founder & Director

P.S. Hashem answered my prayers and sent me a dear friend and incredible coach Susan Axelrod, head of JGU Global Strategy. Together, we continue to figure out HOW? How do we grow our Jewish daughters into sure and strong Jewish women? How do we grow and sustain JGU? How do we open new doors?

Thank You to our supporters and partners, my wonderful husband, Rabbi Avraham Laber and children, a leadership team of incredible Women, Rabbi Yosef Resnick of, Leah Caras (formerly Yaldah Magazine) at Carasmatic Design, our awesome JGR Staff, our talented JGU Editorial Board, wonderful parents, Linda Schwartz (our Shining Lights Founder), JGU volunteers, JGU members and Online Students!

It is thanks to all of you that JGU has taken off in ways we couldn’t imagine less than a year ago!!