By Chanita Teitz
I was not one of Joan Rivers’s fans. I often found her humor to be vulgar and crass. But one thing she did was support Israel, and then her loud, crass, sock-it-to-’em attitude made me a fan. Her last interviews where she spoke out for Israel were her final mitzvos in this world. May she rest in peace.
I didn’t have a column for last week. I started writing my thoughts while my kids were still here from Israel, but I didn’t finish it. And then I lost track of the time. I thought Monday was Sunday and then Tuesday must be Monday, and I didn’t realize that I passed my deadline.
Saying goodbye is always so hard and I think about it in advance. My son and I already know not to prolong the agony. A quick hug and kiss and that’s it. Otherwise we will both be crying.
It was a wise decision to have our grandson’s bar mitzvah here. Aside from the fact that the bar mitzvah boy carries the name of my father-in-law, zt’l, and the bar mitzvah took place in my father-in-law’s shul, which my husband built for him and considers his greatest accomplishment, it allowed the entire extended family of brothers, sisters, in-laws, nephews and nieces, and cousins to attend. Especially for my mother-in-law, who should live and be well and be able to attend many more simchos in the family, and for my daughter-in-law’s grandparents, this was easier than making the trip to Israel.
When I look at my son, a tall, bearded father of two teenagers and a bunch of rambunctious younger kids, I remember the day he was born and the day my grandson was born. When I held Elchanan for the first time, it seemed like I was holding his father. They resembled each other as infants and still look alike now.
I remember how I felt holding my son as a baby. After two girls, who were my dolls, to play with and dress and put pretty bows in their hair, he was my little man, and I already pictured him—tall, strong, and protective. And now Elchanan is on his way, growing fast. I love the grandchildren when they are young, and I love when they get older and we have real conversations.
I feel blessed to have wonderful relationships with my children, their spouses, and all the grandchildren. Especially at this time of year before Rosh Hashanah, when we ask Hashem for so much, I daven for my family. I pray that Hashem bless them and let them grow happy and healthy and safe, able to accomplish their goals and to reach their potential.
I pray for this crazy, topsy-turvy world which is growing more insane each day, and I’m comforted knowing that what we are seeing is supposed to happen in the time before Mashiach.
Before Mashiach, the Arabs are supposed to control the world, and I believe that they don’t necessarily have to control it with sovereignty, but by controlling us with their terror they are fulfilling the prophecy, too. Countries will be fighting each other and we see it happening right now with the Arab world fighting, Sunnis against Shiites, dictators against rebels.
And the nations of the world will all turn against Israel and the Jews, which is also happening today. Throughout Europe, anti-Semitism is growing along with anti-Israel boycotts.
With Israel more isolated than ever and Abbas trying to get the UN to force Israel to retreat to 1967 lines; with ISIS continuing its atrocities against its own people, against Christians and against Israel; with the ongoing fighting in Syria spilling over into Israel on the Golan Heights; and with increasing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish terror in Europe, we really need rachamei Shamayim as much now as ever before.
May we all be zocheh to see the coming of Mashiach, and may all our children and grandchildren live in a world of peace.
Bnos Malka Academy President Delivers to the Gush. Bnos Malka Academy president Mr. David Berger spent part of his time in Eretz Yisrael delivering a check for $2,000 to Mrs. Shani Abrams Simkovitz, executive director of the Gush Etzion Foundation. The mothers and daughters of the school held the Bnos Malka Feels the Knead Bake Sale. In one week, the project raised $2,000 through the sale of challahs and chocolate chip cookies. The proceeds will help continue to fund the Pina Chama. The Pina Chama (a cozy corner), is a place where soldiers can stop for a bit of rest, for a drink, something to eat, or just a kind word on the way to their bases. It is located at the Gush Etzion Junction.
The station is maintained by the residents of Efrat and Gush Etzion, who volunteer. On a busy morning shift, more than 100 soldiers are served. On a broiling hot day, they come in for a cold drink. When the rain is pouring, they come in for hot soup. On an average day, 250 soldiers of every rank and every unit stop off at the station for a cup of hot coffee, a freshly baked chunk of chocolate cake, and a smile.
Mr. Berger felt privileged to deliver the check personally. “I am very proud that so many of the mothers and girls of our school took time from their summer plans to come to the school and bake challahs and cookies to help the IDF soldiers.”
BYQ Professional Development. In anticipation of the new year, Bais Yaakov’s administration coordinated two days of invigorating preparation for their teaching staff. Mrs. Leah Goldstein, the Positive Intervention team coordinator, and Dr. Howard Muscott, director of the NH Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports at SERESC, met with Bais Yaakov’s dedicated leadership team to continue coaching the Positive Behavior Intervention Support called HEART. The team met to discuss their teaching of last year’s expected behaviors while planning to move forward with new ones.
On the second day, Mrs. Nechama Jurkowitz, the new limudei kodesh principal, addressed her staff with her effusive warmth. She described the role of teacher as a “reflection of Yehoshua bin Nun’s paradigm of tuning in to the individuality of each person.” She noted that each student has a “ruach,” a uniqueness, that with a teacher’s insight and love, can be nurtured to its potential. Mrs. Jurkowitz applauded her Bais Yaakov of Queens staff as having this special ability.
Mrs. Sarah Bergman, general studies principal, along with Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, assistant principal, welcomed their staff. Mrs. Bergman’s encouraging theme of reflection of educational practices and meeting the challenge of educating children for the 21st century was enthusiastically received by the staff. She stressed, “We teach children, not subjects, and so we will collaborate and include our children in the planning. We need clear communication to define, articulate, and teach our expectations for mastery.” She concluded her message with, “And remember to celebrate their success with warmth, and nurture them to create motivation within each student, to learn and grow.”
Afterward, Rabbi Mordechai Gewirtz, dean of Bais Yaakov, warmly welcomed the entire staff. Rabbi Gewirtz stressed, “Our number one priority is the safety, security, and well-being of our children, and we have to care and be concerned about the whole child. This includes the social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual components of every student in BYQ.” He added, “Students are to be recognized as people, with the same feelings, sensitivities, and needs as adults; therefore, it is incumbent upon us to treat our talmidos with respect at all times, and to strive to make their school experience a happy one!”
Shevach High School Begins New Year with Innovative English Curriculum. Shevach High School, under the leadership of Rebbitzen Rochelle Hirtz, is pleased to announce the implementation of a new four-year English program that is fresh and forward-thinking. The experienced staff of the English department, Mrs. Carol Neuman, Mrs. Yael Rosenberg, and Mrs. Shari Weiss, worked throughout the summer with Mrs. Nechama Mirsky, associate principal for general studies, to create a new curriculum that incorporates several recommendations from the Common Core in a smart and practical way. Through a well-thought-out and engaging English course, the students are being prepared for success in all disciplines in high school, college, and beyond. A tracked system for English was also initiated, acknowledging a more individualized approach to education. Shevach is pleased to welcome Mrs. Regina Fischbein and Mrs. Chevy Gewirtz to the English department this year to help facilitate this innovative program.
QJC Annual Sisterhood Membership Appreciation Shop & Nosh. Sunday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. (in the QJC auditorium). Designer hats for holidays and every day at discount prices. Continental breakfast served. The Queens Jewish Center is located at 66-05 108 Street in Forest Hills. Call 718-459-8432, e-mail Office@MyQJC.org, or visit www.MyQJC.org to learn more.
Sofer On-Premises. If you wish to ensure that your tefillin and mezuzos are in proper and halachic condition, as the High Holy Days approach, bring them to the QJC beis hamidrash on Sunday, September 14, following 7:15 a.m. Shacharis, until 4:00 p.m. Rabbi Moshe Sandowski, sofer (Torah scribe), will be on hand to inspect tefillin and mezuzos and determine if they are kosher. Cost: $7 per mezuzah, $60 for tefillin. At that time, Rabbi Sandowski will also be available to make appointments for house calls, to inspect mezuzos and tefillin at your home.
QJC Sisterhood and Young Adult Dept Community Barbecue. Sunday, September 14, 4:00–6:00 p.m. in the QJC side yard. Cost: $15/adult, $7/child; families with three or more children: $5/child. Hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, drinks, bounce house, face-painting, and waterslide. Everyone is welcome! RSVP preferred.
Chazaq Second Annual Dinner. September 15. Reception 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m. Leonard’s of Great Neck, 555 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck. “Together We Will Build a Stronger Future.” Dinner Chairmen Rabbi Ilan Meirov, Rabbi Yitzchok Oelbaum, Mr. Isaac Abraham, Esq. Rabbinic Leadership Award: Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier. Hakarat HaTov Award: Mr. and Mrs. Alex Yakubov. Keter Torah Award: Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Mashkabov. Youth Leadership Award: Mr. and Mrs. Shalom Zirkiev. Hakarat HaTov Award: Mr. and Mrs. Eran Varnai. Israel Leadership Award: MK Rabbi Nissim Ze’ev. Pillar of Chesed Award: Mr. and Mrs. Baruch Shamayev. Community Service Award: Mr. Avigdar Cyperstein. RSVP at www.fidelipay.com/chazaqdinner, 718-285-9132, Yaniv at 917-617-3636, Leora at 646-541-6833, Info@Chazaq.org. Couvert $180 per person.
Young Israel of Forest Hills Queens Teshuvah Lectures. The first begins at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 22 Elul 5774 (September 17) by Rabbi Dr. Yedidya Levy who will discuss shemirat lashon (guarding oneself from speaking lashon ha’ra) as explained by the Chofetz Chaim in his works entitled Shemirat HaLashon and Chofetz Chaim. Young Israel of Forest Hills is located at 7100 Yellowstone Blvd. at the corner of Burns Street in Forest Hills. Rabbi Dr. Yedidya Levi is rav of the Mazal Elul Congregation and editor and translator of the bilingual Mazal Elul English translation of numerous works by Rav Israel Maier Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim.
Mazal Tov . . .
. . .To Joel and Sherry Rada on the engagement of their son Mordechai to Yocheved Diskind of Montreal. 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.
By Chanita Teitz