Remember that gleeful moment when the school year came to a close and summer began? “No more pencils, no more books . . .” Then we grow up and realize that to be successful in life requires continuous learning, growth, and development in spiritual, professional, and psychological areas. Thousands of adults have come to Chabad of the Five Towns to benefit from its various educational programs over its 20 years of existence.
Chabad has a full schedule of classes and programs for men and women, in a group or more individualized setting. On a daily basis, learned, experienced educators including Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, director of Chabad of the Five Towns, along with R’ Nachman Ross, R’ Mayer Preger, R’ Eliezer Cohen, R’ Yanky Feder, Mrs. Leah Muller, and Dr. Annette Labovitz give classes on subjects spanning from chassidus, parashah, Navi, dafyomi, and Rambam. The highly respected Rebbetzin Rivkah Kotlarsky came in from Crown Heights to teach a popular parashah class for ladies each week for 15 years. In addition, Rabbi Wolowik leads the highly acclaimed Jewish Learning Institute Series on a weekly basis, and beloved speakers such as Mrs. Chaya Franklin come on a monthly basis to inspire and educate. Many of these classes have been gathering for so long that the students become teachers in their own right!
Back in school, we all learned about Patrick Henry famously declaring, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Some did not learn the less-famous equivalent in the Gemara—“O chavruta, o metuta,” loosely translated as “The one without a study partner is as one who has died.” This was never meant to be taken literally, yet it conveys the importance of two people learning together. This type of intimate learning ensures choosing your own subject, time schedule, pace, etc., and Chabad has programs set up for men, as well as women, to learn in this fashion. Many friendships have developed from this special, emotional bond that forms when two people grow together spiritually.
Learning how to take care of yourself, your family, your friendships, etc. is also vital and a key program regularly scheduled for Chabad members and the community at large. These “Women’s Nights Out” are extremely popular and feature beautiful décor, delicious food, and many, many women gathering together to learn and grow.
Chabad of the Five Towns has always had a special place for seniors. Conveniently located near apartment complexes which house many seniors, wheelchair accessible, and with ample parking space, Chabad is physically convenient but also open and friendly on an emotional level. Though seniors are welcome at all programs, Smile on Seniors is a special weekly program geared towards their needs exclusively. Each session features an informative and fun program and a delicious brunch. The programs are lovingly coordinated by volunteers Michele Justic and Lisa Pockriss and many friendships have formed between the seniors who eagerly anticipate each week’s program. Topics at the sessions vary from eldercare law, cooking demonstrations, jewelry making, yoga, exercise, floral arranging, first aid, safety, Israel advocacy, and more, as well as more lighthearted fare such as game-show day, senior karaoke, cards, and bingo. This year a book club has formed and promises to be a successful addition to the schedule.
Chabad of Hewlett is an exciting subsidiary of Chabad of the Five Towns to meet the direct needs of the Hewlett community. In its few years of existence, Rabbi and Rivkie Tenenboim have already created many successful programs, including Sunday-morning tefillin club, children’s program, Jewish women’s circle, bar mitzvah club, Hebrew reading lessons, holiday preparation, inspirational services, holiday celebrations, mezuzah-checking service, weekly classes, weekly community lunch, and much more.
Now is the time to express your hakarasha’tov for the uplifting environment offered by Chabad to all in the community. You are invited to attend the 20th annual Dinner Celebration on Sunday, December 14 at the Sands at Atlantic Beach. If you cannot attend, please consider purchasing an ad in the scroll of honor or raffle tickets. Visit www.chabad5towns.com or call 516-295-2478 for more.