By Chanita Teitz
My husband and I feel fortunate to be working this year on the Bet-El dinner with such a dynamic, devoted and sincere group of people like Eugen Gluck, Sherman and Sheila Simanowitz, Baruch Gordon, Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, and the rest of the dedicated committee and the other worthy honorees, Rabbi Alan Schwartz and Barry and Suri Weiss, at this year’s dinner on December 7.
Prior to the dinner, we are pleased to host the esteemed Yaakov Katz, this Shabbos, Parashas Chayei Sarah. Ketzaleh is a Yom Kippur War hero, founder of Bet El yeshiva and institutions and Arutz Sheva/Israel National News, and former member of the Knesset.
Ketzaleh is coming to Kew Gardens Hills and will be speaking in our shul, Adereth Eliyahu, 144-49 72nd Drive, on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. We invite the Kew Gardens Hills community to hear him speak on the topic “Behind the Scenes of Operation Protective Edge.” He is also scheduled to speak briefly on Shabbos morning.
Living and building in the Shomron, surrounded by hostile Arabs and a hostile world, shows the dedication of the citizens of Bet El, the city of dreams. And this is a dream that has come true in the phenomenal growth of the city and its educational institutions. We hope to greet you this Shabbos.
Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe’s Seventh-Grade Father–Son Breakfast. It is always special when parents and their children are able to bond within the framework of a yeshiva setting. Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe’s seventh-graders and their fathers were afforded just such an opportunity on Sunday morning, October 26, with an action-packed father–son breakfast.
The morning began with a special Shacharis minyan for the seventh-graders and their fathers, after which everyone enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast together. Then, fathers and sons engaged in a 45-minute seder limud, with the boys reviewing what they had learned in class the previous week, and fathers and sons were able to discuss the material with the seventh-grade rebbeim. The learning portion of the program was capped off with a short d’var Torah delivered by Rabbi Mendel Zlotnick, one of the seventh-grade fathers.
Since seventh grade is the year when boys begin celebrating their bar mitzvahs—mazal tov to Shmuel Barg on kicking off the season with his recent bar mitzvah—the yeshiva invited the Schnitzel Guys and Yossi Newman to teach dance techniques to the boys. The boys (and some fathers!) followed the Schnitzel Guys’ lead and honed their already impressive dancing skills.
An enjoyable and meaningful time was had by all.
BYQ Fourth Grades Mesmerized with Math. On a recent morning, following davening, the fourth-graders at Bais Yaakov of Queens gathered their snacks and lunches and eagerly headed for the buses taking them to the Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath. On the warm and clear day, they took in views of Manhattan, sighting the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building.
Upon arrival at the museum, they were greeted by one of the guides, who led them to a workshop where he helped them learn how to decode messages. After that, they explored the museum, where the girls interacted with each exhibit. The girls learned about shapes, numbers, colors, patterns, mazes, and graphs in the most interesting and unconventional ways. Each station was different and offered the girls insight into a variety of “lessons” while playing. The girls were mesmerized with math!
On their way back to Bais Yaakov, the girls excitedly talked about how they loved riding the tricycles with the square wheels, trying their best to stay on track. “I had a great time with the shapes, making tessellations,” said another student, while someone else added, “It was so much fun as we practiced our lefts and rights walking on the giant maze and ‘walked’ down a virtual road, avoiding barriers and building points with each successful step.” The full-day trip was a definite hit!
Veteran Visits Bais Yaakov of Queens First-Graders. In honor of Veterans Day, Mr. Even-Esh, a Marine Corps veteran and father of a BYQ first-grade student, Tehilla, visited the first grade to tell the students about his experience as a marine. He explained the job of a marine and used the Smart Board to show the girls fascinating pictures of the amphibious vehicle that he commanded. He also showed the girls his military uniform and boots. To close the visit, the first-graders recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem. The girls expressed their gratitude to Mr. Even-Esh for his service to their country.
Anchors Aweigh Chesed Breakout! Ahoy! On Tuesday, October 28, the Shevach Chesed Cruise set sail with a blast of song and much excitement in the air. The high spirits of the crew were tangible and contagious. Following an original chesed theme song, the class “mates,” who are the record keepers for their classes, were introduced through an exciting partner“ship” game. After decorating a fish bowl with one mate blindfolded and one mate’s hands tied, every class received a goldfish. This was followed by the highlight of the “cruise,” listening to world-renowned speaker Rabbi Wallerstein on the topic of chesed.
He emphasized through several inspiring stories that true chesed involves taking a second look at people in need, even when we ourselves are experiencing personal struggles. He concluded with the powerful message that we should all strive to “turn blank walls into windows” for others. Thanks to the Chesed heads, Malka Babayoff, Gayli Kaplowitz, Bayla Koss, and Ita Steinberg, and to Rebbetzin Grunblatt, Shevach’s Chesed coordinator, for an inspirational sendoff. It really made the students want to take that second look and realize how great an impact even a small act can accomplish. They’re looking forward to a great journey!
Other Past Events
Queens Democratic Club Honors Yaakov Serle and Yaniv Meirov. On Wednesday evening, October 29, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Democratic Club and Councilman Rory Lancman held the annual Moynihan Club Dinner at L’Amour Restaurant in Rego Park. The Jewish community is especially proud that two of the honorees, Yaakov Serle, publisher and co-founder of Queens Jewish Link, and Yaniv Meirov, operations manager of Chazaq and newly appointed member of Community Board 6, are from our Queens Jewish community.
Both of these honorees invest countless hours working for the community. The first speaker, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, greeted everyone and praised all of the honorees. She remarked on how the borough of Queens is unique—home to people from so many diverse populations. She stated that Queens never stands for second-best in any area. State Senator Toby Savitsky then greeted the crowd and also praised the honorees. Councilman Lancman then officially welcomed everyone and introduced each of the honorees.
The first honoree called up was Mr. John Skinner, president/political director of Local 46 Metallic Lathers Union. Councilman Lancman praised Mr. Skinner’s efforts fighting for workers’ rights. Mr. Skinner stated that he was accepting this award on behalf of the entire membership of Local 46.
Next, Lancman introduced Yaniv Meirov and applauded his work, which is igniting and developing the spiritual spark of young people in the Bukharian community as well as other young Jewish men and women through Chazaq since 2006. Chazaq sponsors communitywide shiurim, lectures, publications, and much more. The councilman pointed out that Chazaq has helped young people stay grounded who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Rory Lancman acknowledged the extraordinary enthusiasm and direction that Chazaq is bringing to so many young people as well as others. He noted the need to honor young leaders who work so hard to reach out to others.
Yaniv congratulated the other honorees and expressed his gratitude for being honored by Councilman Lancman, who has always demonstrated so much interest in our community. He thanked all the people who volunteer and work tirelessly on behalf of Chazaq.
The next two honorees called up to speak were Mr. Maf Mishab Uddin, treasurer of District Council 37 of AFSCME and president of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, and Mr. Arthur B. Liu, director of the Queens Art Education Center. Mr. Uddin is a leader in the South Asian community and has made it a political voice in Queens. He has helped to develop programs that service the South Asian community.
Mr. Liu has run an art center for the past 16 years that gives children a broader education. He spoke with passion about the joy in painting and how art makes life more colorful. “Art will make our community beautiful. Art can change the world.”
The final honoree, Yaakov Serle, congratulated the other honorees and commended the work and accomplishments of Chazaq. Councilman Lancman highlighted the tireless work of Queens Jewish Link and the Jewish Link of Bergen County, QJL’s sister paper.
Many local and state politicians were in attendance. The dinner celebrated the hard work of a diverse group of Queens residents who really care and labor on behalf of the Queens community.
(Thanks to Susie Garber for the preceding portion of this week’s article.)
Chazaq Torah-Based Chinuch Lecture. On Monday evening, November 3, Rabbi Avrohom Ehrman, founder and principal of Mechina L’Yeshiva Nachalat Shimon, spoke at Congregation Bais Dovid, better known as Rabbi Rubin’s shul. The lecture was organized by Chazaq. Rabbi Ehrman stressed the importance of motivating students to love learning Torah. He explained that a child needs to know the Gemara with absolute clarity because only then will he experience the sweetness of Torah. “Chinuch only comes when a person feels love.” Rabbi Ehrman noted that a child can be attending the finest school, but if he is unhappy, if he does not feel liked, then he is not receiving Yiddishe chinuch. He went on to state that a child must experience success, as this builds a child. The whole goal, he repeated, is to transmit ahavas Torah. He advocates hiring a private tutor if necessary, but the tutor should not pull the student out during Gemara time. He sees nothing wrong with using prizes or candy to motivate younger students.
He made one statement that many in the audience applauded: “Children need to play.” He explained that the more a child plays in elementary school, the less he has to play in yeshiva gedola. He touched on the dangers of the Internet and how our two potent weapons are ahavas Torah and yiras Shamayim. He pointed out that all the problems in our community actually stem from chinuch. “Chinuch is everything.”
The audience posed several questions. Everyone left with a deeper appreciation of chinuch and the necessity of helping our children and students experience success and clarity in learning.
The 81st Annual Dinner and Chag HaSemichah of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, November 23 at Terrace on the Park. The dinner will be highlighting six kiruv organizations and national ambassadors of kiruv. The guests of honor include Rabbi and Mrs. Gershon Brafman, Alumnus of the Year; Dr. and Dr. Sheldon Greenberg, Parents of the Year; Rabbi and Mrs. Yoni Schwartz, Young Leadership Award; and a special memorial tribute to Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt, zt’l. For reservations call 718-268-4700 or e‑mail email@example.com.
Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association Annual Community Legislative Breakfast. Sunday Morning, December 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, 70-11 150th Street, Kew Gardens Hills, 11367. Honoring Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, rabbi of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, Special Business Appreciation Award.
Couvert $25.00 or $36.00, which includes discounted one-year membership dues to the KGH Civic Association. RSVP to Cynthia Zalisky at 718-575-1699 (leave message) or e‑mail KGHcivic@yahoo.com. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
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.