By Chanita Teitz
It’s a good thing we have two fast days during this month of major cooking and eating. Six meals down; twelve more to go. But seriously, yom tov is wonderful spent with family. Our children and grandchildren alternated between the various meals, and now I’m looking for some new and different recipes for Sukkos so things don’t get boring.
With so much yom tov, the busy event season is on hold, although there have been many pre-Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur speakers to get us all in the spirit of teshuvah. Also, the second annual Chazaq dinner was a huge success, and you must watch the video that was shown at the dinner, which is now posted online on YouTube.
One major event that is happening a week after Sukkos is the Shabbos Project, which I’m sure you have been hearing about.
I read all about the Shabbos Project in South Africa last year, and it seemed like such an exciting and inspiring event, like all events that bring us all together. My niece who lives in South Africa was at the challah-baking event, at which tables were set up outdoors and over 2,000 women baked challah for Shabbos. One of the highlights of the weekend was Havdalah, and again thousands came and stayed for music and dancing after Shabbos.
I would like to know what some of the other Queens communities are planning for that Shabbos. Let us all get involved in some way and keep in mind during our Yom Kippur tefillos that the z’chus of spending just one Shabbos in unity with Jews all over the world will hopefully bring us all a gebentched year. Have an easy fast, read the following, and get involved!
The Shabbos Project:
Don’t Be Left Out
By Lorey Friedman
No doubt we have seen the ads and signs for the Shabbos Project. Perhaps we have heard shul announcements and received e‑mails about it. The question is, Do we know what the Shabbos Project is? Do we know what to do to be a part of this worldwide event? If so, do we know how to do it?
First of all, reprising last year’s incredible South Africa Shabbaton (which you can learn about at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADaCOKFC4ey), we in Queens are joining hundreds of other communities around the world on Shabbos Parashas Noach (October 24–25) in inviting our unaffiliated Jewish neighbors, acquaintances, and relatives to experience an inspirational Shabbos in our community.
While there are a number of ways we can participate in the Shabbos Project, first and foremost is to invite our secular relative, co-worker, friend or neighbor to join us this Shabbos. The next most important job we need to do is to spread the word about the Shabbos Project to everyone we talk to. We need to get everyone eager to be involved in the Shabbos Project, until our whole neighborhood is buzzing about it. The question “Who are you inviting?” needs to be vibrating through the streets. This is not a one-man job. In order for the Shabbos Project to be a success in our neighborhood, each one of us needs to get involved and feel a responsibility toward making it work.
There is tentative schedule of Shabbos activities. A spirited communal Friday-night davening at Yeshiva of Central Queens will take place with a concurrent option of a beginners’ prayer service. The Friday-night seudah for hosts and guests will also be at YCQ, followed by a community oneg Shabbos. For those guests who do not wish to “sleep in” on Shabbos morning, the Jewish Heritage Center will host a beginners’ prayer service.
Also planned are Shabbos-afternoon events with speakers, interactive panels, children’s activities, one-on-one learning, and game room/lounges for adults and teens. YCQ will be home of seudah shlishis for hosts and guests, followed by a moving communal Havdalah and concert, with refreshments and simcha dancing.
The Shabbos Project is prepared to help us deal with any fears we may have about hosting secular Jews. How-to guides are prepared and housing will be made available if we are unable to provide sleeping accommodations for our guests. Since all of our local shuls are involved, each one has a shul representative who can help. Little preparation has to be done, since our usual Shabbos table is in itself a most powerful and eye-opening inspiration to people who have never experienced a Shabbos.
Regardless of the halachic opinion one generally follows on this matter, the Shabbos Project organization that created and put so much effort into this initiative is asking everyone, on this one particular Shabbos, to join together in a full “sundown to stars out” Shabbos, without driving. They are respectfully requesting that we only invite our guests for the entire Shabbos.
One may ask, “Why is this Shabbos different from all other Shabbosos?” If this thought has crossed our minds or if our guests ask us this question, there is a simple answer. The beauty of the Shabbos Project is that on October 24–25, tens of thousands of Jews all around the world and of all levels of observance will be joining to keep this entire Shabbos in unity. The Shabbos Project is a unique opportunity. We are not just asking our friends to come for a random Shabbos. In fact, we are inviting them to participate in a global day of unity with tens of thousands of Jews who are coming together to create the Shabbos Project.
It’s not too early. October 24–25 is quickly approaching. Don’t wait, it may be too late. Talk to your shul representatives; ask your rabbis. Contact the committee at Shabboskgh2014@gmail.com. The mechanism for enrollment is the Shabbos Project website. Host registration is termed “individual” at the center of the page. Sample e‑mail invites are available, as is a step-by-step guide to inviting an affiliated Jew. You may be pleasantly surprised when getting a simple “Yes, I would love to come” is much easier than you thought.
Don’t be left out. Get involved, get excited, and take part by inviting a guest and spreading the excitement to your neighbors and friends. We are in this together, and baruch Hashem we live in a special community that has the ability to unite and make this a truly inspirational event and a tremendous kiddush Hashem.
Bais Yaakov Students Strive For New Heights
At Bais Yaakov, all of the elementary-grade students are engaged in the Sulam Project. The program slogan is “Climb beyond your comfort zone during these Yemei Ratzon.” Using a sulam (ladder) as the theme, the program encourages each student to choose a personal goal, and each class to choose a classwide goal to encourage change and “movement up the ladder” of connection to Hashem. The program will span two weeks. Week one, the girls worked on bein adam l’Makom goals; and week two, which continues after Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur, deals with bein adam l’chaveiro goals.
The program was introduced in an assembly, at which Mrs. Nechama Jurkowitz, Hebrew principal, addressed the girls on self-improvement and change, especially during these Yemei Ratzon. She used a beautiful mashal of a king and his wayward son who found his way back to royal behavior.
Mrs. Elisa Taub, middos program coordinator, delineated the specifics of the program. The girls watched a beautiful video on metamorphosis with meaningful lyrics dealing with change and growth. Last, the girls were taught the program song, which will be played throughout the school regularly.
Shevach High School Meet-And-Greet
On Wednesday, September 17, Shevach High School hosted an informal get-together for parents and faculty members. This was an enjoyable venue in which the teachers had the opportunity to greet their students’ mothers, and the mothers met the school administrators, teachers, and other mothers as well. All were able to enjoy a delightful program as Mrs. Victoria Dwek, food columnist of Ami Magazine, wowed the audience with a cooking demonstration.
The evening opened with warm words delivered by Shevach principal Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz. She welcomed the attendees with a short message inviting parents to partner with the school in the education of their daughters.
Mrs. Dwek then demonstrated a variety of recipes for the upcoming yamim tovim that would please health-conscious women and those hosting many guests. The audience came away with new recipes and professional cooking insights. They were even able to sample the delectable dishes. It was clear to all why Mrs. Dwek’s kosher cookbooks are best-sellers on the Jewish market.
Before and after the demonstration, the overflow crowd was treated to delicious sushi, salads, and petit fours, arranged by Shevach’s Parent Association president Mrs. Lorry Friedman together with Shevach parent Mrs. Yocheved Deitsch. The friendly atmosphere and creative program came together in an evening that was enjoyed by all. 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