By Chanita Teitz
In April 2010, I wrote an article for the Five Towns Jewish Times titled “I Heard the Sirens,” written after Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron. Every year I watch videos of the siren sounding throughout Israel on these auspicious days and watch as the country comes to a standstill. On every street corner, street, and highway, people stop and stand as one for a moment of silence. It has been said that the yeshiva chareidi world doesn’t participate because it is a non-Jewish custom to have a moment of silence. This year I saw pictures on Facebook from all over Israel including Bnei Brak, with rabbanim and others standing, holding candles, and participating in the moment of unity. Kol hakavod to them!
When the sirens blast a warning of an impending missile, everyone runs for cover. The missiles don’t differentiate between frum and secular, dati leumi and chareidi. All wait together for the “all clear.”
Not all sirens bring bad warnings. The siren that sounds all over the country on Friday afternoon, announcing the time to light Shabbos candles, is a welcome sound accompanied by music. When I am in Israel, my grandchildren come to get me when the siren starts and we stand on the porch listening and dancing to the music.
Halevai that we should witness the final siren—a blast of the shofar—announcing the coming of Mashiach and the end to all our sadness. And Hashem will wipe away the tears from the face of our nation, and our enemies will know that Am Yisrael Chai!
NORPAC. Michael Rollhaus sent me an e-mail about his participation with 1,000 other people who came down to Washington, DC to advocate for the most pressing issues in the U.S.–Israel relationship with the leaders of our government. NORPAC met with an astounding 97% of the U.S. Senate and the majority of the House of Representatives. The Kew Gardens Hills group met with Grace Meng, Congresswoman for the 6th District. Michael received this reply after meeting Congresswoman Lois Frankel from Florida:
“It was so great having you all in the office yesterday to meet with Congresswoman Frankel. You came to the Hill with an important message of support for the critical U.S.–Israel relationship and we heard it loud and clear. In addition to the Congresswoman’s already staunch support, I wanted to let you know that just today, thanks to your comments, the Congresswoman joined as a cosponsor to the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act. Please keep in touch and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.”
BYQ. This Wednesday, the graduating class of Bais Yaakov of Queens ventured to Washington, DC. The eighth-grade girls met Mrs. Bergman, Mrs. Reisbaum, and Mrs. Acker at 6:45 a.m. in Kew Gardens Hills. Their first appointment was at the Herr’s Factory. The rain did not deter the fun-spirited group! After learning about the community-minded company and the environment-friendly ways they produce many different kinds of snacks, the girls ended their tour with warm, fresh potato chips.
Their next stop was Washington, DC. At the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the girls had a blast exploring the many ways humans take flight. They were in and out of the planes and spaceships, making lasting memories. At the Natural History Museum they were awed at the beauty of butterflies in the 3-D IMAX they viewed. After a delicious dinner, they visited the Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, Jefferson, and FDR memorials. Splashing in the rain and the overflowing Reflecting Pool added great fun to their day. The beauty and the meaning behind the design of the memorials impacted each of them. After checking into the hotel, they went for a private swim. The next morning they got up early, davened, and sang Hallel together in their private convention room.
The weather was perfect for Thursday’s touring. The precision of the changing of the guards amazed the girls. Through their studies of the Holocaust they gained a special appreciation for Daniel’s Story at the USHM museum. Afterwards, they went back to explore at the Smithsonian museums. The Natural History and American History Museums were filled with wonders. “I loved the gem exhibits,” said one student. “The animals were the best,” said another. The American History Museum was such a fun way to learn American History!
After lunch, they toured around the Capitol and White House. At the end of an invigorating yet exhausting trip they ate out in Baltimore. What a way to culminate the BYQ experience. How gratifying it is to see the graduates accomplishing the vision shared by the entire Bais Yaakov of Queens!
Religion and Politics in Israel at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. On Shabbos, May 10, 6:00 p.m., men and women are invited to a talk by Dr. Shmuel Schneider in the downstairs beis midrash, 150-05 70th Road. This is the first talk in the Spring/Summer 2014 Shabbos Afternoon Lecture Series organized by the YIKGH Women’s League and the YIKGH Education Committee.
R’ Paysach Krohn at Congregation Beit Eliyahu. Sunday, May 11, Eliyahu ben Istam and Liza Bracha bat Ketziya Memorial Foundation in conjunction with CHAZAQ present the world-renowned lecturer and author. Food served at 8:00 p.m. Lecture scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Men and women are welcome. Admission is free. 71-52 172nd St. Fresh Meadows, NY 11365. This event is in memory of Liza Bracha bat Ketziya Nisanov. For more information, call or text 917-617-3636 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
Good Fights and Bad Fights: Five ways to tell the difference at Beth Gavriel Center. Monday, May 12, 8:30 p.m. The Chazaq Women’s Division and EMET in conjunction with Beth Gavriel present Dr. Tamar Perlman. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Ladies only. 66-35 108th St. in Forest Hills. For more information, call 646-541-6833 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
Tea for Kimpatorin Aid. Tuesday, May 20, 8:00 p.m. at the home of Hennie Kenigsberg, 72-15 137th Street. The guest speaker will be Reb. Yael Marcus.
Queens Jewish Women’s Writers’ Conference at Ohel Simcha on Main Street in KGH. Sunday, June 22, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. For Jewish women writers in all boroughs and beyond. Have you always enjoyed writing? Do you have ideas but you’re not sure how to get started? Have you started but then stopped because other things got in the way? Have you dreamed of getting something published? Are you a published writer who wants to expand her contacts and hone her skills? Would you like to be surrounded by the energy of other writers in a fun creative atmosphere?
Keynote speaker: Rabbi Paysach Krohn, well-known author, speaker, and mohel, will speak about his writing process and share inspiring stories. Mrs. Chaviva Pfeiffer, well-known children’s author, will lead a workshop on writing nonfiction for children. Mrs. Susie Garber, author of Denver Dreams, a novel, Befriend, fiction, and a serial in the teen pages of Mishpacha, Road Less Traveled, will lead a fiction writing workshop.
Major Jewish publishers will be attending as well and private coaching will be available. Bring your creativity, a notebook or laptop, and lunch. For information or to register, e-mail Susie Garber, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 917-696-2433. Acceptance to the conference is on a first come, first served basis. Admission: $120. Ten percent early bird discount before June 5. Special discount available if you bring a friend. 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 email@example.com.