On Shabbos Parashas Noach, Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX) had a mini-Shabbaton. It began with their weekly Friday night Carlebach davening, led by Shloime Dachs. The Shabbaton was standing-room-only. The energy from the tefillos was almost tangible. After Rabbi Fingerer, rav and rosh kollel of BJX, welcomed everyone to BJX and shared empowering words of divrei Torah from Rav Yechezkel of Kuzmir and the Zohar, Shloime Dachs surprised everyone when he asked for special permission to speak. Shloime spoke from his heart and said that he had to publicly thank Rabbi Fingerer for everything that he is doing for the Flatbush community. He recalled how he hosted students from BJX in his home almost two years ago, and told everyone how impressed he was with the new BJX Kiruv and Chizuk Center.
Dr. Faygie Zakheim hosted a magnificent Shabbos seudah and oneg in her home with the participation of her sons. Students who dined with the Waldman family joined the rest of the students at the Zakheim residence for the oneg. Throughout the meal, the students expressed the impact that BJX has had on their lives and how much they have grown in their Jewish observance. Dr. Faygie Zakheim felt that hosting BJX students was the most fitting tribute to her beloved husband Shlomo, zt’l, who had a special place in his heart for BJX. Faygie said, “There are no words to describe how amazing our Friday night was.”
So what exactly has been going on in Flatbush for people who either left Yiddishkeit or don’t even know what Yiddishkeit is all about? BJX, Brooklyn’s Kiruv and Chizuk Center, borrowed sifrei Torah from Mr. Leon Goldenberg and hosted another year of explanatory davening for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. What made the davening particularly unique wasn’t just the wide variety of college students and professionals who filled up BJX, but that all the davening was hosted for the first time in their own kiruv shul and kollel, located at 2915 Avenue K. At the conclusion of each yom tov tefillah, there was a delicious hot kiddush sponsored by a BJX student who owns a catering business in NYC. As one mentor observed, “Over Yom Kippur, we were joined by the Marines and the Air Force. Another one of our students is employed by the FBI. BJX’s students are very eclectic. We also had an entire table of former Satmar Chasidim as well. At all of our programs, in addition to local secular young professionals, we have individuals formerly from Satmar, Bobov, Munkacs, Lubavitch, etc. who are regulars at our classes. They had all abandoned ship; now they are benefiting tremendously from our programs.” BJX had shiurim each day, even on Yom Kippur night. Those who davened at BJX were surrounded by Torah learning, heartfelt tefillah, and inspiration. Yom Kippur ended with spirited dancing and a delicious meal.
BJX built a magnificent sukkah and filled it to capacity for a simchas beis hashoeivah. The students from frum homes and secular homes were treated to a kumzits arranged by Chairman Reb Moishe Caller, delicious food, and super inspiring words of divrei Torah by their beloved Rav Yitzchok Fingerer.
The Torah learning and shiurim continued on Simchas Torah at BJX. Many were enthralled to see the love of Torah exhibited by enthusiastic dancing and singing.
If you thought BJX Kiruv and Chizuk Center would be satisfied with running daily programs throughout the week, a kiruv minyan, Carlebach davening every Friday night and Shabbos morning, and explanatory services throughout the Yomim Nora’im and yomim tovim, then you don’t understand the purpose of BJX.
History was made in Flatbush this week with the launch of a new morning kollel dedicated to inspiring young working men, ba’alei batim, and students ready to take the next step. BJX Chairman Reb Moishe Caller realized that many men from our community start their day without the opportunity to learn Torah, and enter the work day without much-needed ruchniyus. He and the rav planned a special morning program that would be enjoyed by young men and ba’alei batim and give them a real geshmak in learning.
Each day, Monday through Friday, davening begins at 7:15 a.m. At 8:00 a.m. a delicious breakfast is served consisting of bagels and cream cheese, cereals, fruit, Danishes, and coffee. During breakfast, Rav Fingerer gives a brief and inspiring d’var halachah, then everyone breaks up into small groups led by especially selected yungeleit who serve as magidei shiurim to tackle the sugyos in Gemara. The morning seder ends at 8:45 a.m. to enable everyone to get to work but there are many people who stay later, as they can’t bring themselves to leave the joy of learning.
On the first day of the z’man, Reb Moishe Caller gave a powerful schmooze stressing that Torah learning can make a huge difference in one’s personal and professional life. He attested to the fact that he personally has seen incredible siyata d’Shmaya in different inyanim and guaranteed the entire crowd that they too would gain considerably from their attachment to learning. He then conducted a well-attended chaburah.
Rav Fingerer gave a fascinating d’var halachah on the subject of tefillin retzuos and then shared some mussar based on the Sefer Ahavas Chesed. He then gave a brief pesicha shiur on the second perek of Pesachim, which is the seder halimud.
BJX is increasing harbatzas haTorah in a grand way. Whether it’s the inspiring Shabbos davening, the morning kollel (coffee club), the night kollel, or any of its many classes throughout the week, BJX is impacting many lives and returning Jews back to their roots.
BJX offer kiruv and chizuk classes and programs for all types of Jews ages 19–34. To sponsor the kollel or an event, or to learn more about BJX visit www.BrooklynKiruv.com or call 646-397-1544. v