By Chanita Teitz
More and more snow keeps coming our way. Why is the city slow in plowing the streets, especially the side streets? Seems to me that in the past, even while it was still snowing, trucks were out salting the streets. Considering what they are predicting for the weekend, I hope the trucks will be out early and often.
Super Bowl Sunday was a disappointment to many sports fans, but to me the disappointment was in Obama’s remarks on the Bill O’Reilly interview. He skirted most issues, giving vague answers (and sometimes no answers).
Over the past few days, I have read some pro-Israel articles, but I’ve also read some disturbing ones. That’s nothing new. The world is getting more and more frightening. Particularly the news about the mass march in Paris telling the Jews that France does not belong to them and they should “get out.” Well, surprise, but the truth is that only Israel belongs to us and we should be prepared to keep it. John Kerry should be told absolutely no about dividing Yerushalayim and establishing it as a capital for a Palestinian state. And by now I’m sure you know my feelings about any Palestinian state. Not in Israel! Jordan is the state established for the Arabs of Palestine. They can all go live there if they want their own state.
One bright spot on this gloomy horizon was Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s visit to Israel. For a week he visited throughout the country and, unlike President Obama, spoke at the Knesset.
Rabbi Shmuel Marcus at Bnos Malka Academy. One of the special opportunities that the girls in Bnos Malka have each month is to hear from a distinguished speaker in our community. This month, the girls were privileged to hear from Rabbi Shmuel Marcus, the rav of Kehilas Ishei Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills. Rabbi Marcus is also a rebbe in Yeshiva University’s Stone Beis Medrash Program.
The theme of his discussion was the incredible opportunity we each have of developing a personal relationship with Hashem through tefillah. He related a story of a 12-year-old student in an art museum who is disenfranchised by the masterpieces before him. This attitude, he said, is analogous to the feelings that we may feel at times towards our relationship with Hashem; we may not realize the priceless value of this opportunity. As we enter the months of Adar, Rabbi Marcus stressed that we celebrate the victory of the Jewish people over the nation of Amalek, which was accomplished through tefillah. In the same way, today, through our tefillos, we can overcome all that separates us from connecting to Hashem.
Jewish Business Development Networking Group. Last Wednesday night, our networking group had a major evening event at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. Yaniv Meirov of Chazaq, The Queens Jewish Link, and a member of our group organized and chaired the event. Over 100 people attended, representing a variety of businesses and professions. Everyone had the opportunity to introduce themselves and deliver a one-minute “elevator pitch” about their business. The purpose is to have everyone get to know each other and establish relationships that could lead to referrals and recommendations.
Introductory remarks were made by Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz and other local politicians including the new Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz. Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, the mara d’asra of the YIKGH spoke as well congratulating the group as well as the Queens Jewish Link on their second anniversary. The guest speaker was Allen Cohen, Senior Vice President of J Media Group talking about Web-based marketing solutions for businesses.
A delicious buffet by Carlos and Gabby’s was enjoyed by all and after the program many people remained to do their own “networking.”
The group meets twice a month, in Queens on Wednesday mornings and in West Hempstead on Monday nights.
If you would like to join, send me an e-mail and I will send you information about our next meeting.
Queens Hockey Championship. The championship game of the Queens Yeshiva Hockey League Senior Division was won by Team 2, expertly coached by Russell Perlmutter. The director of the Queens Yeshiva Hockey League is Rabbi Moshe Hammer, YCQ Rebbe and former Captain and star of the Rambam Ravens hockey team. The league consists of players from YCQ, YTM, and Yeshiva Ketana and consists of both a Junior Division (grades 4–5) and a Senior Division (grades 6–8). The games are professionally refereed by Rabbi Hammer and Yossi Schultz.
Shevach High School Alumnae Melaveh Malkah. On Motzaei Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Adar Aleph, Shevach High School alumnae were treated to a special melaveh malkah with their former principals and teachers. Arranged by Mrs. Malkie Roberts, a faculty member and Shevach alumna herself, the evening proved to be a very special event. Close to 60 young ladies attended and enjoyed the Purim theme presented through the masks and Megillos that decorated the beautifully set tables. As one alumna stated, “I feel like I am once again a student here at Shevach, enjoying a memorable and meaningful chagigah, and it fills me with such warm and fond memories.”
The alumnae enjoyed the delicious array of food on the buffet, yet the highlight of the evening was being addressed by Shevach’s principal. Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz shared a d’var Torah apropos to the alumni who truly represent the next generation of Bnos Yisrael. She spoke about the meaning of Rosh Chodesh as a holiday designated for women. Rebbetzin Hirtz quoted Rabbi Tzvi Romm, Rav of the Bialystoker shul on the Lower East Side and parent in Shevach High School, who had spoken to the Shevach student body on erev Shabbos. He questioned the connection between women and Rosh Chodesh. He then explained, based on the teachings of Rav Y. B. Solovetchik, that although nowadays Rosh Chodesh is not celebrated with any pomp and circumstance, in the time of the Beis HaMikdash it was a yom tov celebrated on par with every other holiday of the year. Rosh Chodesh represents the idea that, on the outside, it does not look impressive; however, when one looks at its core, one notices its kochos. This idea embodies the character trait of the Jewish woman—her role stems from her penimiyus, internality, not from her chitzonius, externals. Women’s roles in the Jewish community are not necessarily the public ones, yet when she builds her Mikdash M’at, this epitomizes her core.
Rabbi Romm had added an additional insight which Rebbtzin Hirtz conveyed to the girls. The entire Jewish calendar is dependent upon Rosh Chodesh. A yom tov could not be declared until Rosh Chodesh was announced. So although the other yomim tovim were feted with their various mitzvos, that which enabled the yom tov to be celebrated was Rosh Chodesh! This is also the role of the Jewish woman. She can be quiet and unassuming as “Kol kevudah bas Melech penimah,” yet she is also an enabler. The Jewish home stems and flows from the kochos of the women. We, as women, exemplify the personality of Rosh Chodesh. The success of Klal Yisrael is not dependent upon outward appearances but rather through the development of the internals, the unassuming yet enabling factor.
Rebbetzin Hirtz together with Rebbetzin Grunblatt, Mrs. KleinKaufman, Mrs. Lipsius, Mrs. Meltzer, and Mrs. Weiss all enjoyed a tremendous amount of nachas from seeing their former students returning to their alma mater with fond memories of their high-school years, and looking toward their futures built on the foundation of their Shevach High School experience.
Spanish-Speaking Jewess Luncheon. On Sunday, January 12, a group of Spanish-speaking Jewish women got together for their very first luncheon. Some of them knew one another. Others met for the first time at Chopped & Pressed restaurant in Kew Gardens Hills.
The ladies in attendance were either born in or have family from Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, and El Salvador. The goal of this luncheon was to gather the Spanish-speaking women from our community so that they not only share their mutual experiences and interests, but exchange their Torah knowledge and discuss ways to service the needs of the broader Spanish-speaking Jewish community.
Sarah Rakofsky gave a warm welcome message. She emphasized that although Jews are spread out all over the world and may speak different languages, they are bound together by their Torah values and belong to one whole nation, Am Israel.
Esther Valladares gave a shiur in Spanish. Esther and Sarah met at an Alumni Shabbaton held last year by the Jewish Heritage Center (JHC) in KGH. Esther shared and discussed the beauties of being an observant Jewish woman. After the shiur, the ladies further discussed some Torah ideas and made suggestions for some possible chesed projects for the community. These included programs for chinuch of their children and visiting the neglected elderly patients at nursing homes.
With Hashem’s help, there will be another luncheon in the future. If you are a Spanish-speaking Jewess and would like to participate, you are invited to attend the next gathering. To learn more, contact Sarah Rakofsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to keep your most important relationships close. Rebbetzin Gitty Margareten will be speaking on Monday, February 10. Lecture is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Ladies only! Location: Beth Gavriel Center 66-35 108th Street in Forest Hills. For more information, call 646-541-6833 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
The Baalei Mussar on the Parashah. K’hal Toras Emes, 78-15 Parsons Boulevard, invites the whole community to a new weekly shiur every Tuesday evening delivered by R’ Ezra Kier. Shiur at 8:40, Ma’ariv at 9:15. Sushi will be served.
Household Help in the Kitchen (Cleaning Ladies, Babysitters, Elder Care). Ahavas Yisroel Women’s League invites the community to the third topic of its “In The Kitchen Halacha Series” given by mara d’asra Rabbi Herschel Welcher. Wednesday, February 12, 8:00 p.m. Congregation Ahavas Yisroel 147th Street and 73rd Avenue KGH.
Amalek and Purim: What Makes a Miracle? Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills presents shiur ha’chodesh for women by women. This month, Rachel Friedman, associate dean, chair of Tanach Studies, and director of Yesodot Skill-Building Program at Drisha Institute, will speak. Wednesday, February 12, 7:45 p.m. The shul is located at 147-19 73rd Avenue Kew Gardens Hills. Suggested donation: $4 shul members, $5 non-members. This shiur and the refreshments are being sponsored by Gila and Michael Rollhaus in honor of the residents of Yesha who stand on the frontlines of the struggle for our homeland. Future program dates: March 19, Dr. Michelle Levine; May 14, Reb. Peshi Neuberger; and June 11, Prof. Elisheva Carlebach.
Free Beginner’s Hebrew Class. Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills Library at 150-05 70th Road, every Wednesday night, 7:30–8:30 p.m. starting February 19. Adults ages 30 and up who are unfamiliar, forgot, or know a little and want to improve on their reading, writing, and speaking. Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills is dedicating this class in memory of Rabbi George Rushfield and Mr. David Baron for their devoted years to Jewish education. RSVP: Linda Katz, 718-261-3772 or e-mail email@example.com.
Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim Chinese Auction. Motza’ei Shabbos, March 1, 7:45 p.m. in the Shaare Tova Ballroom 82-33 Lefferts Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Complimentary valet parking is being provided. There is a Chinese-auction website at www.KollelAuction.org.
Chazaq Hosts Toy Drive At Maimonides Hospital
By Esther ben Avraham
“There’s no greater gift than the gift of giving!”
In the last few months, the Chazaq organization has given members of the community a chance to take part in a beautiful mitzvah. They held a toy drive, encouraging everyone to give, in hopes of making even the smallest difference. This is the first time that they’ve done something like this, and thank G‑d they received well over 100 toys! After much planning, they were able to arrange a meet-and-greet on Tuesday, January 28, with the Child Life Specialist at Maimonides hospital, Ms. Kimberly Mason. She was kind enough to give them a tour of the beautiful facility and she introduced them to some of their lovely staff members. Although they weren’t able to meet with the children and personally hand them the toys, it is known that their efforts were not left unnoticed. In the merit of this toy drive and everyone’s chesed, we all hope that each and every one of the patients being treated at Maimonides hospital has a refuah sheleimah (complete recovery)! Chazaq is so grateful to have been given this opportunity, and to have been able to share it with all of our community members. Thanks to everyone who participated, this toy drive was definitely a successful one. It was the first one, and it definitely won’t be the last. To get involved in future toy drives please e-mail Info@Chazaq.org. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.