By Chanita Teitz
Is it almost Shavuos already? As we get older and time seems to move faster, our grandchildren are saying time moves too slowly. They want their finals to be over, school to end, and the summer to start, all in one breath!
The only thing they do want to slow down is summer itself. Actually, if you ask most of us, we would also like the relaxed atmosphere of summer to last and last. Except for my son-in-law who loves winter and the cold!
Right before Shavuos is Yom Yerushalayim. For those of us who remember the Six Day War, soldiers kissing the Kotel, Rabbi Goren blowing shofar there, and the singing of Yerushalayim shel Zahav, we will use our voices in protest if the government ever considers giving back any part of Yerushalayim.
I just saw a posting on KGH Shuls for a video about the Shabbos Project, which took place in October 2013 in South Africa, spearheaded by their chief rabbi, Rabbi Warren Goldstein. This was an enormous challenge and undertaking, but it was successful beyond their wildest expectations, and now they are taking the initiative to make it an international event on Shabbos Parashas Noach, October 24–25.
The purpose is to introduce the beautiful ambience of Shabbos to the unaffiliated who don’t know what Shabbos is all about. In South Africa it was a tremendously unifying event and there were many pre-event programs to teach about Shabbos, the halachos, the customs, and the food. There was even a challah-baking event set up on a main street outdoors with thousands of women mixing and braiding challah dough and saying the berachah together on the mitzvah of separating and burning a piece of dough in memory of the Beis Hamikdash.
Community meals as well as home hospitality meals for Shabbos were held. A big Havdalah and melaveh malkah kumsitz ended the special Shabbos.
Can this event be replicated here? Can each individual neighborhood bring together a sense of shared unity with our secular Jewish neighbors and keep one Shabbos? Especially in Israel, such a project could end the politics and divisiveness, and Shabbos would be the unifier, the equalizer. It’s worth the challenge! For more information, visit www.theshabbosproject.com.
Rabbi Paysach Krohn at Chazaq. On Sunday night, May 11, many men and women attended Congregation Beit Eliyahu in Fresh Meadows, Queens for yet another special Chazaq event with the renowned Rabbi Paysach Krohn. The event was entitled “Making Every Day Count.” Rabbi Paysach Krohn was introduced by the operations manager of Chazaq, R’ Yaniv Meirov. Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn is a fifth-generation mohel, who is also known throughout the Jewish world for his books and lectures. He has written a series of books of Jewish short stories, known as the Maggid Series, as well as other titles. He has lectured in cities around the world and is a frequent lecturer at Chazaq programs. The entire event was sponsored in loving memory of Liza Bracha bat Ksia. For more information about upcoming Chazaq events and programs, please call 718-285-9132 or visit www.CHAZAQ.org.
BYQ Sixth-Grade Curators’ Annual Artifact Museum. This past Tuesday, Bais Yaakov of Queens sixth grade held their annual artifact museum. Bais Yaakov’s cafeteria was transformed into a museum. The room was filled with displays of precious objects and framed explanations composed by the students. Their parents and grandparents, who took time from their busy lives, attended the exhibit, noting the replication of an authentic museum opening. Everyone was enthralled with the collection and the presentations made by the students.
“The students were so welcoming! They were well informed and comfortable talking to me. They were able to discuss their artifacts’ history. Clearly, they were well-prepared and practiced,” said two grandparents. The atmosphere was festive and the event’s creator, Mrs. Naomi Pacht, commented, “I am so proud of these girls, they worked hard.” Looking at the crowd she added, “Each aspect of this show is a testimony of their accomplishment and success!”
The project began with each student’s search for a family artifact. The process, which took place over several weeks, included research, the interview process, discovering, relating, and writing a meaningful story about the artifact, an oral presentation, the art of a video presentation, and preparation for the opening! Their diligent practice was apparent because each student was obviously comfortable with the many guests and fellow students in other grades who visited and asked them questions. Rabbi Mordechai Gewirtz, dean of BYQ; Mrs. Sarah Bergman, general studies principal; and Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, assistant principal, each commented on the girls’ poise, knowledge, and achievement after they wove through the tables filled with projects. Their exchanges with the students were filled with smiles and relaxed conversation, a testimony to the warm atmosphere at BYQ.
The goals of the project, as well as the learning process, afford the students a greater appreciation of the history and meaning of some of the heirlooms their families own. As one student articulately said, “I look at some of the things at home a little differently now. Some of the pieces I used to not even notice have me wondering about the stories behind them.”
The girls also learned what is involved in a museum exhibition and curating an exhibit. A visit to a museum will definitely have new meaning. They appreciate the effort in the presentation of every artifact in a museum.
Nusach Carlebach Davening at Yeshiva Kesser Torah. This Friday evening (Shabbos Mevorchim), Parashas Bamidbar, May 23, (and every Friday evening of Shabbos Mevorchim) there will be a Nusach Carlebach davening. Minchah will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will conclude about 8:15 p.m. Men and women are welcome!
Thirteen Distorted Beliefs that Hurt Relationships at YIKGH. The education committee and women’s league of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills invite all men and women to a lecture by Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R on Shabbos afternoon, May 24, 6:15 p.m. in the beit midrash of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills.
Understanding the Complexities of the Chareidi vs. Non-Chareidi Issues in Israel and Here at YIKGH. The Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills invites the men and women of the community to its annual Dr. Simon Lopata Shavuot Forum on Thursday, June 4 (7 Sivan 5774), following Minchah at 7:35 p.m. Panelists: Rabbi Moshe Faskowitz, rav, Torah Center of Hillcrest, rosh hayeshiva, Madreigas Ha’adam; Rabbi Robby and Mrs. Shoshana Charnoff, directors, JLIC, Queens College; and Dr. Shmuel Schneider, associate professor of Hebrew literature, Yeshiva University. 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.