By Chanita Teitz
“For everything there is a season,” and this is the season of memories. From Pesach on, we remember the triumphs of our nation as well as the horrors of war and death. Juxtaposed during the Jewish months of Nissan, Iyar, and Sivan are biblical and ancient events such as the Exodus from Egypt, Lag B’Omer and Shavuos, and modern historical events including Yom HaShoah remembering the Holocaust, Yom HaZikaron in memory of Israeli soldiers who died for Israel’s independence from the British and in other wars as well as victims of terror, Yom HaAtzmaut, the day of the modern rebirth of our ancient homeland, and finally Yom Yerushalayim, the day during the Six Day War when Jerusalem was reunited into an undivided Jewish city. We celebrate together and we mourn together.
On the national memorial days of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron, the siren is sounded in Israel. Its shrill wail is not a “code red” warning citizens to run for shelter, but it is sounded as a reminder to stop and stand united, quietly remembering our lost ones.
Thousands of people visit Har Herzl and other cemeteries with the graves of their loved ones, most of whom were young soldiers, but in some cases, parents. I saw a heartbreaking picture of a young boy lying on top of his father’s grave. The caption said that he wanted to give his father a hug. Parents burying children, young children reciting Kaddish for their parents; a national Jewish tragedy wherever we live.
Today I read a message on Arutz Sheva from Naftali Bennett, the head of the Bayit Yehudi party. He wrote, “We are one family and all of us know someone who gave his life for us. Our enemies attack us because they know we are one big family. They see that as our weakness. They are wrong. That is our strength.”
I was asked to post a poem (see next page) written appropriately at this time to stir us all to unity both politically and ideologically. The author, Annette Amelia Mandis, would like your feedback and would like you to join her in starting a grassroots organization to create unity in K’lal Yisrael. A group is currently being formed to brainstorm and implement ideas with the goal of helping Jews from all backgrounds unify. If you are interested in joining this group, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ohr Natan Shul has a Shabbat class for young ladies and women at 5:30 p.m. every Shabbat, at 98-75 Queens Boulevard (at 66th Avenue), Forest Hills, NY 11375. There will be Tehillim reading, divrei Torah, a berachot party, and more. Those who don’t have a babysitter can come with their babies. Bring friends too. This class is for all backgrounds, for both non-religious and religious. Spread the word!
The Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association invites the community for a “groundbreaking” ceremony for the KGH library expansion scheduled for April 19 at 1 p.m. to take place at the library site, now located on Pat Dolan Way (formerly Vleigh Place). Thanks to Borough President Marshall, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Stavisky, Assemblyman Simanowitz, and Councilman Gennaro for their support.
Young Israel of Queens Valley (77th Avenue & Main Street) presents a Holocaust Remembrance Program on April 20. Minchah at 5:00 p.m., followed by the program. Keynote address: “The Holocaust: Lessons of faith and sacrifice,” Rabbi Shmuel Marcus, mara d’asra of Kehilas Ishei Yisrael of Kew Gardens Hills. Representing the Second Generation: Moshe Engel. Please join in paying tribute to the memory of the six million kedoshim and honor to the survivors.
The Parks Department has arranged to name the trail around Willow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park the Pat Dolan Trail, after our late friend and civic leader Pat Dolan. Dedication to take place Sunday, April 21, at 11:00 a.m. at the Al Mauro Playground, located at Park Drive East and 73rd Terrace (east side of park, south of Jewel Avenue).
The Young Israel of Queens Valley chevra kadisha and the National Association of Chevra Kadisha invites all chevra members and possible members to a Yom Iyun: “The Tahara Process.” For beginners, and review for the experienced. Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, director of chevra kadisha, Vaad HaRabonim of Queens and director, National Association of Chevra Kadisha. Sunday, April 21, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Young Israel of Queens Valley, 141-55 77th Avenue, Kew Gardens Hills, NY (corner of Main Street). Registration is $18 per person.
Echo Institute for Health’s Annual Queens Tea presents Mrs. Chani Juravel, noted lecturer and therapist speaking on “Defining Our Mission: What it is and what it is not,” Tuesday, April 23, at 8:00 p.m. at the home of Mrs. Lisa Reichmann, 82-36 Beverly Road, Kew Gardens. All women and girls are invited to attend to support this important organization.
Happiness lives in the halls of Bnos Malka. It hits you as soon as you enter the building and it sinks in as you spend some time walking around: there is something really special about this school. If you ask any parent, they’ll surely agree. There is truly something special about Bnos Malka Academy of Queens. You can see it on the faces of first-grade girls listening raptly as their morah tells a parashah story. You can see it in the interactions between seventh-grade students working in groups on a major project. You can even hear it in the voices of enthusiastic teachers who create new excitement for learning in their classrooms every day. As one person aptly described Bnos Malka, “It is clear that happiness lives in these halls.”
In honor of BMA’s 17th anniversary, this year’s annual dinner on April 30 will honor a number of very worthy individuals in our community who have devoted much time and resources to the school throughout the years. The theme, “Chinuch for Generations,” clearly describes the value that Bnos Malka places on its sacred task of educating our children. This year’s honorees are Mr. Mark and Mrs. Stephanie Kirschner, Guests of Honor; Rabbi Bentzion and Mrs. Rachel Chait, Parents of the Year; Mrs. Ayelet Goldberg, Eishes Chayil Award; and Professor Robert Leder, Educator of the Year. To take part in this crucial campaign, contact the school at 718-268-BNOS or email@example.com. You can also contribute online at BnosMalka.org.
Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association presents: “Identity Theft: Don’t be a victim” on Tuesday, April 30, at 7:45 at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. This is a free community-service presentation; light refreshments will be served. Each year, over 2 million people are victims of serious crimes. To help keep us safe and out of harm’s way, the civic association is presenting a nationally recognized safety program on avoiding identity theft. Presented by Ardelle Kasdan and Dignity Memorial Smart & Safe Living.
Condolences . . .
To the Scheinwald family on the petirah of Mr. Kalman Scheinwald, executive director of Shevach High School for more than a quarter of a century. HaMakom yenachem eschem b’soch she’ar aveilei Tziyon v’Yerushalayim. v
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage, with offices in Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows. For all your real-estate needs in Queens, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.