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News From The Hills

By Chanita Teitz

Depressing news keeps repeating itself. Israeli policemen were stabbed; Ayala bat Rut (Shapira), an 11-year-old, is on a respirator after the car she was in with her father was firebombed in the Shomron; we hear about continued strife in the Knesset and wonder about the outcome of the coming Israeli elections. I woke up Sunday morning to the news of the Air Asia plane that went down with 162 people on board.

The intensity of the news gets to me sometimes and I just have to shift gears. So this week, let’s talk real estate.

Most people say that the winter months are the slow time in real estate. That’s partly true because of holidays and partly because of the cold, stormy, snowy, and icy weather. No one wants people tramping snow into their houses, and when it’s really bad outside, driving and parking are horrible.

But some sellers must sell, winter or not. And serious buyers are willing to brave the elements for a good house. In just the past month, we have several sold listings, several under contracts, and some new listings, too.

And we are still in a very hot market with many buyers, so we continue to see rising prices.

We just closed in December on a 20-foot corner house which was listed at $700,000 and sold for $685,000. Another recent sale was listed at $579,000 and sold for $560,000. We just sold an 18-foot attached house, west of Main, with an attic, listed at $675,000 for $630,000.

Several of our most recent listings already have offers and some are pending contracts. Two brand new listings include an 18-foot attached for $659,000 and a detached colonial in Charm Circle listed at $1,200,000. As you can see, there is a lot of activity in the market, winter or not.

Keep in mind that in the coming week you will be receiving your real estate tax assessment from the New York City Department of Finance. If you disagree with the assessed value of your house, you have until March 15 to appeal to the NYC Tax Commission. In the past few years it has become more difficult to contest because they give you an assessed value and also a lower effective market value. You must prove that the current market value of your house is less than the effective market value. Nevertheless, I can help you decide what you should do.

Have a good week and b’suros tovos!

Past Events

Crowned, a project of the Chazaq Women’s Division. Crowned offers women an avenue for self-expression and creativity. They show women that covering hair does not have to lower self-esteem, be a burden, or symbolize oppression. Women can embrace this mitzvah with joy and beautify it.

BYQ girls bake cookies for Chevron

BYQ girls bake cookies for Chevron

On Monday, December 17, women of diverse backgrounds gathered together in Beth Gavriel Community Center to learn about the beauty of head-wrapping. What they discovered was that they had more in common than it seemed. They were looking for something special, and they found it.

The program began with a speaker who shared her personal experience with head-covering. She spoke of her transition from covering with hats and striped, square Israeli scarves to exploring a completely different look with volumizers, a variety of scarves, and accessories. She explained how investing a bit of time into her appearance every morning changed how she feels about herself and how the people around her treat her.

Afterwards, a Crowned representative did several head-wrapping demonstrations of different styles on volunteers from the audience. The women were amazed how material twisted and tied in different ways can change their appearance and make them feel so good. “I can’t believe that it’s just one scarf. It looks like five,” one woman was heard complimenting another. This hands-on event gave them an opportunity to see that they could do it, too. They left the event with scarves and accessories, inspired and looking forward to exploring the art of head-wrapping.

For more information about future Chazaq events, please call 718-285-9132 or e-mail

Bais Yaakov’s eighth grade raises money for Chevron youth. After meeting with Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum and Rabbi Dan Rosenstein of the Chevron Fund, Bais Yaakov’s eighth-grade students and Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, general studies assistant principal, began a conversation about how Bais Yaakov students could do something nice for Chevron’s children. With the current matzav in EretzYisrael, Rabbi Rosenstein suggested working towards a special excursion on Chanukah, their winter break.

The idea ‘sparked’ such enthusiasm, in perfect sync with Chanukah! Rabbi Mordechai Gewirtz, dean, was thrilled with the idea of the girls undertaking a chesed project for children in Eretz Yisrael. “Our Bais Yaakov’s hislahavus for Eretz Yisrael is tremendous, and if our girls can combine that feeling with their talent and creativity to benefit children there, kol ha’kavod!”

Mrs. Sarah Bergman, general studies principal, loved the idea and allocated class time for the planning. “Brainstorming, good planning, and an opportunity to express the diverse perspectives of the girls is learning to the fullest extent, a skill that will carry them through life.”

In Mrs. Reisbaum’s discussion with the girls, they decided to plan a multifaceted fundraiser. Recognizing everyone’s varied talents and strengths, the grade split into committees, including cookie-baking in school, selling the cookies for snack at school, creating a pre-1A and 1st-grade pre-Chanukah workshop at Bais Yaakov on Sunday, selling ‘Chevron, now and forever’ bracelets, and even going door to door to collect from friends and neighbors!

Mrs. Reisbaum told us, “Their enthusiasm, creativity, achdus, and desire to do something positive for Eretz Yisrael had every student participating in at least one activity. The entire project has sincerely moved me, and working with them so closely helped me gain a new perspective of the level of responsibility and capability of 13-year-old Bais Yaakov students.”

These young ladies have shown tremendous sensitivity to the children in Chevron and can’t wait to hear what the children of Chevron did on their day out!

Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe to include writer’s workshop program. Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe is embarking on a writer’s workshop program which will begin in 6th grade and then, iy’H, include the whole school, under the direction of Mrs. Susie Garber, well-known author, journalist, and writing mentor. Over the years, Mrs. Garber has helped many schools in all different boroughs create outstanding school-wide writing programs.

In this program, the students will segue through various genres as they follow the steps of the writing process of drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. This cutting-edge writing workshop program is based on the philosophy of Columbia University Teachers’ College Reading and Writing program. It covers the Common Core Standards in writing comprehensively, while going beyond this to encourage creativity and voice and to instill a lifelong love of reading and writing.

We all know how important writing is in our students’ future academic and professional endeavors. This program will, iy’H, provide a strong grounding in writing as students hone their craft skills and learn strategies in narrative, informational, and argument writing. Writer’s workshop emphasizes that we teach the writer, not the writing, so that our students feel empowered as they gain confidence and skill in writing. The goal is for each student to compile a portfolio of “published” work from each of the genres.

There is nothing quite like that feeling of completing a well-written essay or poem or “publishing” your own book. We look forward to stellar writing from the Tiferes Moshe students through this program.

First-grade Chumash mesibah at Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe. Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe’s first grade celebrated an exciting milestone— receiving their first Chumash. The talmidim together with their rebbeim, grandparents, and parents shared this moving experience at Shaare Tova on Sunday morning, November 30. The program began with the boys marching, adorned in their Torah crowns. Rabbi Yaakov May, menahel, welcomed everyone and wished the boys a personal mazaltov on receiving their first Chumash. The boys then presented a short skit about the learning of Chumash. Each first-grade class then recited the pesukim from the beginning of ParashasVayikra with the translation. Rabbi Ahron Bookson, assistant menahel, called up each boy to receive his Chumash. Rabbi May thanked the families that sponsored the Chumashim and mentioned that one class’s Chumashim were dedicated in memory of Rabbi Moshe Stahler, whose passionate life’s vocation was educating children of the Queens community. The program concluded with singing and dancing, after which the talmidim joined their grandparents and parents in the Shaare Tova ballroom for a beautiful collation, sponsored by Seasons.

Upcoming Events

YTM Raffle. Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe is a yeshiva dedicated to the academic and spiritual nurturing of hundreds of young talmidim. At this time they are embarking on a raffle/mini Chinese Auction campaign. This year’s drawing will be held January 10. Please help them continue their vital work by buying tickets at

1 ticket: $50, 4 tickets: $180. Amazing prizes featured at mini Chinese auction: $500 ArtScroll; $360 Seasons plus $150 Mechy’s Deli; $500 restaurant package; Disney vacation package to Florida; L’chaim package; and more! For any questions or to order tickets by phone, please call Rabbi Schauder at 718-846-7300, ext. 115.

  1. Plan ahead for a special networking event sponsored by the Jewish Business Development, a networking group, and the Queens Jewish Link. To be held on Wednesday, January 14, 7:00-9:30 p.m. at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, 83-10 188th Street. Delicious buffet catered by Soy Sauce, special raffle drawing, special guests, and an opportunity to network with other professionals. $15 admission. For more information and reservations, e-mail v

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail


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Posted by on December 31, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.