My name is Lev Yaakov Voskoboynik and I live in Northridge, California. I used to be your average Los Angeles teenager—toiling in rigorous high school courses, partying when I could, and heavily involved in sports (I was a varsity tennis captain and a Los Angeles Tennis Champion). Life was good—busy and fun —but I always had a niggling feeling that something was missing.

Three years ago I attended the CTeen Extreme Summer Experience, and the impact it had on my life has been nothing short of incredible. In a nutshell: I am currently attending Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in Los Angeles, and, in between attacking my studies I have created numerous outreach programs here to help share the light and beauty of Judaism, such as CTeen Yeshiva night, Shabbatons, and Jewish programming.

This Passover, I had the privilege of travelling to the Quad Cities to help the local Chabad rabbi, Rabbi Shneur Cadaner, with his holiday activities. This was my first stint as a “roving rabbi,” and when all is said and done it was the best experience of my life. I came into Iowa, as a home-grown California boy, having absolutely no expectations. I arrived to a thriving Jewish community with a rabbi and his family who are helping to connect all those around them to Judaism.

We hit the ground running. Assisted by my friend, Aharon Chanan Weindruch, we distributed close to 100 boxes of matzah to Jews throughout the Quad Cities within four days, as well as installing several mezuzahs and putting on tefillin with many in the community. The highlight, hands down, was the beautiful Seder, which brought together many of the local Jews, people who originally hailed from Israel, the FSU, and all over the United States. It was truly inspiring to witness a tactile expression of how we Jews are united, no matter who we are, where we live, or where we find ourselves in life.

Since I haven’t had the advantage of a complete Jewish education, I like to use every opportunity to expand my knowledge. Here are my notes from this Passover:

The Jewish nation is truly an eternal and unified people, an “eternal nation unto G‑d.” When we, as Jews, stay together and remember that nothing can stop us from connecting to G‑d and connecting with each other, that will bring the ultimate time of freedom, a time of breaking of one’s true boundaries, and connecting to the ultimate truth, the Torah. Next Passover, may we all sit together at the glorious Seder in Jerusalem!