While working as a youth director, a parent brought their children to Justin for shabbat morning groups, before they began. It was ultimately discovered, that the parent wasn’t prepared to sit together in the adult.centric service.
Justin spent the summer of 2012 in Jerusalem for the final Global Institute cohort of the PresenTense fellowship.
Using 5×7 tins, magnetic paper, laser and inkjet printers, scissors and loads of time. Justin produced a hundred units to gain a proof of concept by seeing it being used with a variety of ages.
Magnets are produced in Israel! (After all, Israel has a magnet culture.) Tins were produced in China. Delivered to Chicago at the time, where Justin began assembling them late at night. After realizing that his family needed him, Justin reached out to Keshet (thanks Shlomo for your time at lunch to make the connection) where the amazing clients developed the skills of following directions to assemble the kits. Justin was blown away by the passion Keshet clients had for the product and process of MagneticShul.
For many nights, Justin would sit on the couch or at the dining room table cutting and packing sets to ship. His was family didn’t get his attention in these hours and he had to find a better solution. He wanted MagneticShul to be a learning tool for children and thought it would would be possible to involve others in expanding the learning. While having lunch with Shalom Klein, Justin expressed the desire to include Keshet in the process. Shalom made the connection and the rest is history.
Keshet is the amazing organization in Chicago that works with variety of youth and adults of a variety of abilities. Often these individuals benefit from vocational training and will one day be able to assist at the local supermarket bagging groceries, RRR or other opporunities that give them a degree of success and accomplishment. When Justin approached them with MagneticShul and the need of assembling the sets, it was an amazing “shidduch” (match). The Keshet educators broke down the steps piecemeal and creating a mini-assemblyline for the students to experience. Justin was told that often they practice processes by filling cans with tennis balls. While that teaches a process, there work wasn’t rewarding.
Week after week, Justin would drive over to collect finished cases and on a few occasions he had the distinct pleasure of meeting the members of Keshet. Once, he was simply told by a young man that “I love MagneticShul! The pictures!” He simply loved doing the work, he was empowered and was full of pride in his daily accomplishments. This was unexpected; however, Justin was incredibly moved by the team.
So if a set has an extra magnet sheet, or is missing one of the three, please know that it happens and as a learning tool it may have happened. Simply contact Justin and it will be fixed straight away.
Today, Justin continues to ship MagneticShul from Jacksonville, Florida. He tried using Amazon to create an easier fulfillment process; however, after five years at Amazon they became increasingly unfavorable for small businesses forcing MagneticShul to be direct shipping once again.