One of the strengths of Torah Club is that it is providing opportunities for people to come together to study the Scriptures, even in remote and unexpected locations.
If there is a willing leader and a minimum of one student, a Torah Club can begin! Last fall, two Torah Clubs were birthed in an unlikely location—a Federal prison in Colorado. Helene Dallaire and Stewart Lieberman share the leadership of these clubs. Recently, Helene sat down with us to discuss these unique Torah Clubs.
Torah Club Staff: Helene, tell us about the prison and the students in your clubs?
Helene: We have two Torah Clubs at FCI Englewood, which is a federal prison. One of the clubs meets in a minimum-security section of the prison, and the other club meets in the medium-security section. Most of the men who have joined Torah Club have various Christian backgrounds. They are drawn to Messianic teaching because they feel as though that has been a missing piece in their understanding of the Bible. During our club meetings on Fridays, we also do some of the Erev Shabbat liturgy and light candles. The men love this!
Torah Club Staff: How did these clubs get started?
Helene: I live not far from the prison. I started praying for the prisoners as I would drive by. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from the prison chaplain about starting a Messianic Bible study, and I agreed to lead the study. Torah Club has brought a level of organization and consistency to our study that we needed.
Torah Club: What kind of impact is Torah Club having for these men?
Helene: Going systematically through the Torah is appealing because it’s organized. The fact that they can use the booklets allows them to do the work before our meetings and get much more out of the study. When we talked about Joseph in prison recently, it was meaningful and personal for these men. It’s very helpful that they can experience God in prison. We also have a time during Torah Club where the men pray with and for each other.
Torah Club: I heard that one of your students recently got released and is looking to join a Torah Club outside of prison. Tell us about that.
Helene: Yes, this is a good story. A man was recently released, and so he went on Club Finder and found a club in his area. He and his wife are in the process of joining a local Torah Club that they can attend together. He even called me to tell me about this. This former prisoner and his wife hope to start a Torah Club at some point!
Torah Club is where disciples learn. We are grateful that HaShem is using Torah Club to create learning and discipleship opportunities for people from all walks of life and in unexpected places.