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JULY 1, 2019  |  SIVAN 28 5779



































As Rabbi Lau describes him: The man was a Jew who had survived Auschwitz, where he had lost his wife and children. Since the liberation, he had dedicated all his time, energy, and resources to war orphans. Rabbi Lau describes what happened next: At that moment, without any advance planning, five hundred pairs of eyes lifted in a look of solidarity toward the Jew standing on the stage. He was one of us. We looked at him, and he saw hundreds of pairs of eyes fixed on him in a powerful gesture of empathy. Tears choked his throat. He gripped the microphone, and for several long seconds, the microphone broadcast only the sounds of his hands shaking. He tried to control himself, but managed to say only three words in Yiddish: “Kinder, taiyereh kinder” (“Children, dear children”). Then he burst into tears…We all considered it unmanly to cry, since, after all, we had survived the concentration camps. Yet each boy sitting on the grassy plaza stealthily

wiped his eyes with his sleeve – and then the dam broke. All at once, the lawn of [the orphanage] was transformed into a literal vale of tears. This Holocaust survivor, alone in the world, has devoted himself to the remaining Jewish children in Europe. In three tear-choked words, he can summarize his mission: Kinder, taiyereh kinder. This mission is the theme of Rosh Hashanah. The Torah Reading and Haftara of Rosh Hashanah are unlike that of any other holiday; they are not about the rituals and sacrifices of the day, nor are they about the essence of the day, such as creation or judgment. Instead, these two readings are about two infertile women, Sarah and Hannah, struggling to conceive. The lesson is simple: on the one day when we focus on our dreams for the future, we need to remember that the way we get there is by the love we give our children, our dear children.

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This lesson may seem simple, but it is not. The first part of this lesson begins in the text; building a child-centered community only magnifies the pain of those who struggle with infertility. Sarah and Hannah are role models, and lead successful lives. Yet nothing quite stings like their inability to conceive, and the insensitive attempts by others to offer them “perspective” makes their pain worse. I hesitated more than once before writing this for the KJ Bulletin, worried that it might be misunderstood and cause pain to some of the people reading it. The Torah and Haftara readings have a clear message: we cannot talk about our dreams for family without praying for, and embracing, those who struggle to build families of their own; and I hope this is understood in a similar fashion. The second lesson is that our children are a sacred trust. The text makes it clear that the babies born to Sarah and Hannah are a divine gift; and so is every baby. Therefore, we must cherish them, protect them and love them unconditionally. They are our tayereh kinder - our dear, dear children. This love might seem universal, but it is not; children were not loved in every culture and era. At times, entire societies showed marked indifference to children. Phillipe Aries1 has argued that deep bonds of love between parent and child were uncommon in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. While his point of view has many detractors, Aries has some significant evidence. In one example, a woman in the 17th century gives comfort to her neighbor who had just had her fifth child by saying: Before they are old enough to bother you, you will have lost half of them, or perhaps all of them2. Aries’ insight is that parental 1 Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life, Penguin, 1962 2 Aries, page 37.

instinct alone isn’t enough to ensure that parents love their children; the culture of the community plays a significant role as well. Jewish culture was very different. Ephraim Kanarfogel3 points to multiple sources, both Jewish and Christian, that portray a different picture of the Jewish home. One is a comment of Rabbeinu Asher4, (1259 – 1327) the 13th century German Rabbi, who comments on the common phrase “the pain of raising children” (‫ )צער גדול בנים‬by saying that “children do not bring one pain, only joy.” Even when children are a challenge for us, we must see them as a joy. The next lesson of holding children dear


rooted in the commandment to study Torah. From it, a powerful culture of educational excellence grew. Yet at the same time, a strong awareness arose that not every child is the same, and that excellence in education means educating each child differently. The 12th century Sefer Chasidim6 offers the following educational directives: first, you can’t have students of different abilities in the same class. And if a student is not adept at Talmud, have him study Bible, or basic laws instead. Every student deserves an education on their own level. But this is not easy to do, because we want naches. There is a Jewish joke about a birth

Nothing is more dear than another link in the chain of tradition; nothing is more dear than a gift from God. is we need to cherish them for who they are. This, too, might seem obvious, but it is not. Kanarfogel notes that one of the greatest contrasts between medieval Jews and Christians is in the area of education. In the early 12th century, a student of Peter Abelard5 writes that unlike Christians, a Jew, however poor, would put even ten sons to letters, not for gain, as Christians do, but for the understanding of God’s Law, and not only his sons but also his daughters. (Even Jewish daughters are being taught in the 1100s in France, and that is notable.) This intense emphasis on education is 3 Ephraim Kanarfogel, Jewish Education and Society in the High Middle Ages, Wayne University Press, pages 34-40. 4 Tosafot HaRosh Sanhedrin 19b, s.v.”shepadau” 5 Kanarfogel, page 16

announcement in the newspaper that reads: Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Rosenberg are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Dr. Jonathan Rosenberg. Unfortunately, too often the education of children is more about the parent than the child. What the child learns becomes part of “achievement by proxy syndrome,” where the parent lives in the child’s reflected glory. And too often, naches becomes oversized expectations. To this point, the comedian David Bader wrote a haiku entitled the Jewish Mother’s Lament: Is one Nobel Prize so much to ask from a child after all I’ve done? But what about the children who won’t win Nobel Prizes, and do not fit the standard definition of naches? And what 6 Parma edition, 823-825

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about the boy who doesn’t belong in an elite educational program? Samson Raphael Hirsch7 raises this point in an essay about Esau and Jacob. He faults their parents, Isaac and Rebecca, for assuming that they both could be educated in the same intellectual Yeshiva style. He argues that Esau lost his way because his parents didn’t appreciate that he was not the same as his brother: Had Isaac and Rebecca studied Esau’s nature and character early enough, and asked themselves, how can even an Esau, how can all the strength and energy, agility and courage that lies slumbering in this child be won over to be used in the service of God … then Jacob and Esau, with their totally different natures could still have remained twin brothers in spirit and life; quite early in life Esau’s “sword” and Jacob’s “spirit” could have worked hand in hand… Not every child is meant to be a Talmud

prodigy, and there isn’t just one path for them. And whatever career they choose, they still are our dear, dear children. One final lesson must be mentioned. We might think that a desire for children is obvious. But it is not. Many people don’t want to have more children. These words are not intended to preach. Every parent thinks twice before deciding to have another child, and spouses often argue about family size. (Rabbis are not immune to these same arguments, even with all of our religion and piety.) But it is often the best and brightest who decide against having more children, and those who do opt to have more children are seen as strange. Mark Oppenheimer8, writes about having a fifth child that “among people we know, this makes us a bit odd.” When friends would ask him why he was having another child, and his pithy answer was “we think five will be


better than four.” He elaborates on his answer with a beautiful essay about the joy of parenting. But one point in the essay caught my eye, a reminder that for Jews having a child is much more than just having a child: Because I want there to be more Jews in the world. My people suffered a huge demographic catastrophe within my parents’ lifetime, and I like the idea of doing my small part to repair that damage. With these words, Oppenheimer is echoing what the tear-choked Holocaust survivor said seventy years before: they are our kinder, tayereh kinder. Nothing is more dear than another link in the chain of tradition; nothing is more dear than a gift from God. Yes, they are our dear children. They are our future. Please cherish them.

7 Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Volume 7, Feldheim, 1997 pages 319–32 8 “Yes, We Really Do Want to Have a Fifth Child” by Mark Oppenheimer, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 2018

Ramaz Lower School children offering comfort to a Holocaust survivor at the Intergenerational Lunch and Learn.




IN A WORLD SO FULL OF HATRED AND VIOLENCE AGAINST JEWS, PHILOSOPHER EMIL FACKENHEIM’S “614TH MITZVAH” TO ENSURE HITLER NEVER WINS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. HE WROTE: ... we are, first, commanded to survive as Jews, lest the Jewish people perish. We are commanded, secondly, to remember in our very guts and bones the martyrs of the Holocaust, lest their memory perish. We are forbidden, thirdly, to deny or despair of God, however much we may have to contend with Him or with belief in Him, lest Judaism perish. We are forbidden, finally, to despair of the world as the place which is to become the kingdom of God, lest we help make it a meaningless place in which God is dead or irrelevant and everything is permitted. To abandon any of these imperatives, in response to Hitler’s victory at Auschwitz, would be to hand him yet other, posthumous victories. (To Mend the World, p. 213) While some take issue with his using the term “mitzvah” in relation to framing a response to the Holocaust, Fackenheim essentially reinforces important Jewish principles of memory, continuity, optimism, and Jewish pride. These are certainly critical tenets of our identity. Often, on Yom HaShoah, we invoke the words, “Never forget.” It sometimes seems unnecessary. How can the world forget the atrocities of the Shoah? Maybe there are some ardent deniers, the insane, and anti-Semites who deny the Holocaust, but how can anybody forget? Many have. A study commissioned last year by the Claims Conference found that 31% of all Americans and 41% of millennials believe that substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust. In addition, while there were over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos in Europe during the Holocaust, 45% of Americans cannot name a single one – and this percentage is even higher among millennials.

Obviously, these numbers are different in our community. At the same time, can we be so sure that we won’t forget even a little bit? The number of survivors is dwindling, and it seems that fewer and fewer communities can draw large crowds for Yom HaShoah events. I believe that we need to place as much emphasis on Fackenheim’s second directive of his 614th commandment: remember in our very guts and bones the martyrs of the Holocaust, lest their memory perish. We need to find ways to actively remember and incorporate the memories and legacies of those who were murdered, as well as those who

survived, into our very beings. Never forget will never be enough. We need to actively, passionately, and forcefully remember. “EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL, REMEMBER THE SHOAH” – Yaakov The above message was crafted by Yaakov Weinberger, a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who made his way to Israel. He posted this sign all over his city of Nahariya and was dedicated to disseminating this message to all. Yaakov believed it was forbidden to be silent, and he felt that it is not enough to “Never forget.” People must internalize the Shoah as part of their being and always—always— remember. Yaakov Weinberger went even further to encourage people to remember. He and his wife legally changed

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their last name from Weinberger to Weinberger-HaShisha, explaining that “HaShisha” (the Six) was being added to “identify with the six million sacrifices of the Shoah.” From then on, any time someone was introduced to Yaakov, they would remember the legacy of the Shoah. We must never forget. We must also always remember. We need to introduce the stories and lessons of

survivor. Out of politeness, I refrained from asking him what exactly he survived and where he had been during the Second World War. I wanted to give him a chance to tell his story himself. He said that he had been born in the Bronx and had lived his whole life in New York, but insisted that he was a real survivor. Smiling, I dared to ask how that could be - and Ed Koch began to explain. Years earlier, he had traveled to Germany for an educational trip. At one of the stops, the guide showed the group the globe that had sat on Hitler’s desk. “It reminded me of Charlie Chaplain’s movie about the great dictator. But unlike the one in Chaplain’s movie,” Koch recounted, “that big globe had lots of numbers

Never forget will never be enough. We need to actively, passionately, and forcefully remember.

the Holocaust into our everyday lives, our dinner table discussions, and, in particular, find ways to share these with people outside our immediate circle. Seek out the stories of survivors you know or explore the many stories available online. (See full-length-testimonies for full length testimonies of survivors collected by the USC Shoah Foundation.) One way to reinforce our memory is to see ourselves, in a way, as survivors. Rabbi Israel Meir Lau describes meeting NYC Mayor Ed Koch in the early 1980s: …He is a warm Jew, sensitive and emotional, a great lover of Israel and the Jewish people. At our first meeting, he introduced himself to me and declared that he was also a Holocaust

written on it in black marker…The guide explained that when World War II broke out, Hitler recorded the Jewish population of each country. After all, they represented his life’s goal. Albania, for example, bore the number 1 for the single Jew living there…The territory of the United States bore the number six million. That includes me,” said Ed Koch with undisguised anger. “So I am also a Holocaust survivor - if the Allies hadn’t stopped the Nazi beast, no doubt I would have been destroyed.” I shook his hand warmly and said, “Today I have learned an important lesson from you, and I will carry it home with me to Israel. I’ve heard that not all Jewish communities feel a connection to Holocaust Day. From now on, I’ll tell them about the Jew born in New York


who lived all his life in an American city, but who feels like a Holocaust survivor…” (Out of the Depths, p. 241242) Each of us is connected enough to the Holocaust so as to feel compelled to “Never forget” while, at same time, to “Always remember!” This way, we can keep alive the memory of what happened while also incorporating the legacy of the Holocaust into a meaningful present and ensuring a vibrant future.

This article was posted on Rabbi Weinstock’s blog Just Judaism –

ISRAEL ACTION CHECK OUT ARTZEINU, THE WEEKLY ISRAEL NEWS UPDATE, AT ARTZEINU.ORG The Artzeinu Team: Raanan Gonansky JJ Hornblass Bennett R. Katz Karen Lerman This site, well-organized by topic, provides easy access to numerous news sources and videos.




HOW CAN WE INSTILL GENUINE GRATITUDE IN OUR CHILDREN? WE TEACH THEM TO SAY “THANK YOU,” BUT THIS OFTEN REMAINS AS A SUPERFICIAL EXPRESSION OF POLITENESS. UNFORTUNATELY, WITHOUT MORE DEPTH, THESE CHILDREN MAY PERCEIVE THE WORLD IN MECHANISTIC TERMS. THEY MAY SAY: “IF I WANT A COOKIE, I NEED TO SAY ‘PLEASE,’ AND IF I WANT ANOTHER, EITHER NOW OR IN THE FUTURE, I NEED TO SAY ‘THANK YOU.’” THIS SHOULD BE OF NO SURPRISE SINCE WE CALL THESE ‘THE MAGIC WORDS.’ We tell our children to ‘just say the magic word’ as we hold the toy or candy in front of them, and by so doing, they can get whatever they want. As these children grow older, they may become more adept, learning how to use a larger cadre of ‘magic words’ to get what they seek. While this will help them achieve success in some areas, it may lead to egocentrism and entitlement, believing everything is there for them, if they just say ‘the magic words.’ What we would like is for these words to reflect a genuine expression of gratitude.

the ‘Me Generation’ or ‘iGeneration,’ those born between 1980 and 2000. This group has been taught to focus on the self, and that the world is theirs for the taking. Dr. Jean Twenge in her book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before presents her studies which show this generation having an overinflated sense of self. Therefore, how can one expect someone from the ‘Me Generation’ to even begin the process towards expressing gratitude? They believe it was theirs for the taking.

Before continuing, we need to first define gratitude. Its root is the Latin gratia, meaning favor or goodwill, ‘not compelled by legal right (MerriamWebster).’ The receiver of this gratis experiences the equivalent of the Hebrew hanun (favor), and hessed (kindness) - the feeling that they are incurring more benefit than one deserves or expects, to which the response should be hoda’ah (thankfulness/acknowledgment).

Why is this negative? One can be a great scientist, doctor, lawyer, businessman, or any other profession without having a sense of gratitude. So, why should gratitude be a value that we seek to instill within our children? Dr. Emmons and Dr. Stern make a compelling case in their article Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention. They wrote: “Gratitude has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait—more so than even optimism, hope, or compassion.” If we want our children to experience the “higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness, and optimism,” then we need to teach them to be grateful. This is not to mention the benefits of improved and strengthened

This is a two-part progression as noted by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California. First, in recognizing that one has obtained a positive outcome, and that this positive outcome came from an external source. This is increasingly more difficult in

relationships and collaboration. So, how do we teach our children to recognize that the world does not owe them? It is not just through teaching them to say “please” and “thank you,” because as important as these words are, if used alone, they risk becoming a tool, like a coin or a card that one puts into a vending machine. These words

To develop genuine gratitude, we need to specify precisely why we are grateful.

need to be expanded to elaborate on why our children are thankful. This may be the reason why the Thanksgiving offering of the Torah is obligatory. One may think that a Thanksgiving offering should be voluntary and brought only when one feels emotionally grateful, but according to numerous Jewish commentators and legalists, it is mandatory. The same is true with the blessing birkat haGomel which is recited to acknowledge God’s hessed after surviving one of four scenarios: surviving a journey at sea or through

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the desert, being released from prison or recovering from a severe illness. This blessing is not only thematically connected, but also takes the place of the korban (Tur Oreh Hayyim 219). Since the Gemara in Berakhot 54b says there are four who must recite this blessing, and, as we learn from the Tur, it is in place of the Thanksgiving offering, then these same scenarios would necessitate a korban Todah, and vice versa. Alongside the animal offering, the person must bring forty loaves of bread. There are four different types loaves, one of each is given to the Kohen. This leaves the individual with thirty-six loaves. These loaves, along with the meat of the sacrifice, must be eaten before the next morning. Each loaf was the volume of over forty-three eggs, about the size of three egg cartons. How long would it take you and your family to eat 36 loaves of bread equal to the volume of 129 cartons of eggs?! Is it even conceivable to consume that much bread in the one-day time limit? The Abarbanel, commentating on the Torah’s description of the korban Todah, expresses that he thinks it is not possible, and that is exactly the point. This large volume of food forces one to invite others to share in the meal. As Abarbanel articulates: “They will ask each other what is his Thanksgiving offering for? And he will relate to them the miracles and wonders that were done with him… (Abarbanel Vayikra

7:11)” With this understanding, Rashi’s comments become clearer. Rashi, in his comment on the same source, connects the korban Todah to Psalms 107, thereby making the connection between the offering and verbally recounting God’s deeds. The Psalm states: ‘VeYizbehu zibhhei Todah, and they shall slaughter sacrifices of thanksgiving, viSaperu maAsav beRina, and they shall recount of His deeds with joyous song.’ The person brings the sacrifice and then praises God. The mandatory nature of the offering compels an individual to find a reason why they are thankful, beyond the ritual of saying ‘thank you’ or simply bringing an offering. With the shared meat, extra loaves, and short time-limit for its consumption, one must invite guests who will be ever curious: “Why are you celebrating?” The individual holding the festivities, knowing this, will have to prepare some thoughts or maybe even a speech to present to his guests. This exercise forces us to articulate that which we are grateful for, the undeserved blessing we received from God and others. Similarly, the birkat haGomel must be said in public so that we can respond to those who ask, “Why are you saying Gomel?” While not as powerful as explaining why one is hosting a banquet, the process should cause one to articulate why they are thankful, developing genuine gratitude. A study by Emmons and McCullough in


their article Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life, demonstrates that a weekly journaling schedule to note specific reasons why one was grateful led to participants feeling more grateful and optimistic. The reason is that participants needed to find specific experiences to express in writing. That is the message of the korban Todah. To develop genuine gratitude, we need to specify precisely why we are grateful. This is even before the appreciation is felt. The exercise of writing necessitates the enumeration of specific circumstances we should appreciate. Creating regular routines, whether verbally or written, teaches children to be appreciative. That is why it is important to create gratitude routines. Too often, children hear their parents complaining: “I can’t believe they didn’t give me X or do Y for me.” That just furthers the feeling of entitlement. Instead parents should say: “Wow, look at what X has done. I am so grateful.” That conveys that one is receiving more than deserved, and it is appropriate to articulate that realization. When sitting around the table for a weeknight or Shabbat dinner, a parent can ask their children to tell them to share something good that happened that day. My wife, Talia, and I have a weekly gratitude routine during Havdalah, within the haslihenu section, where we ask for God to help us out. We take a moment to express to each other what we are grateful for. When we have guests, we ask if they would like share. We have found that this instills in us a favorable feeling towards God and others. We hope that our daughter Adina, seeing this ritual every Saturday night, will recognize the blessings we have and feel genuine gratitude.


RABBI WEINSTOCK’S WELCOMING REMARKS: Va-yichan sham Yisrael neged ha-har – The Israelites encamped across from Mount Sinai (Shemot 19:2). Our Sages famously comment on the strangeness of the singular form of the verb being used for many people. They said that the people were camped out “k’ish echad b’lev echad – as one people with one heart.” Receiving the Torah at Sinai was a moment of communal unity. The Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), founded and directed by Rabbi Mark Wildes, has been committed to the mission of bringing more Jews into the community for more than two decades. We are proud that the KJ Beginners Program was an inspiration for Rabbi Wildes in developing MJE, which has become a home for so many young Jewish professionals and a platform for their growth as educated and involved Jews. In addition, MJE helps strengthen the Jewish future by facilitating young people to meet and is responsible for over 300 matches. It is due to all the good that MJE does that we at KJ are proud to be partnering with them as the host for their East Side programming. Following a successful High Holidays launch, KJ has hosted a successful weekly Torah class and monthly dinners for young professionals. We hope to better engage our own population of young professionals – including Ramaz alumni – as well as become a hub for young Jewish professional programming and further enhance our role as a JCC for the community. This synergy, please God, will be great for KJ, MJE, and the Jewish community – k’ish echad b’lev echad.


WHO WILL CARRY THE TORCH? A Modern Orthodox Response to Assimilation & Intermarriage S H A B B AT B E H U KOTA I 5 7 7 9   |   B Y R A B B I M A R K W I L D E S

THANK YOU, RABBI WEINSTOCK AND RABBI STEINMETZ, FOR SUCH A WARM INTRODUCTION. I CONSIDER IT A REAL ZECHUT FOR MJE TO BE ABLE TO PARTNER TOGETHER WITH KJ IN OUR IMPORTANT OUTREACH WORK. MJE’S CREATION BACK IN 1998 WAS INSPIRED HERE AT KJ, WHEN I SERVED AS ASSISTANT RABBI FROM 1996-98. Virtually every Shabbat, I used to quietly leave the Main Synagogue after kedusha of Mussaf and visit George Rohr’s Beginners service to share a brief word of Torah. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Rabbi Lookstein for encouraging me to start MJE twenty years ago, and for continuing to serve as a wonderful mentor and support to me all these years. I would like to begin with a story which continues to inspire me in my work in outreach. There was a small, out-of-town synagogue, in which a middle-aged man named Harry would attend Shabbat services each week. Harry would come and sit in the back, and every week the Gabbai would offer Harry an aliyah, and without fail, Harry would decline the offer. He didn’t have much of a background in Judaism and was too embarrassed to do anything too Jewish in public. Finally, one Shabbat, Harry asked the Gabbai if he could teach him how to wrap the Torah after it was lifted in the air, so he could take the honor of gelilah. The Gabbai and Harry met during the week and Harry memorized and practiced the three steps of gelilah: roll the Torah, wrap the Torah, place the mantle on top. The next Shabbat, Harry gets called up and approaches the bimah. He’s nervous, but seamlessly moves through each of the three steps he has diligently practiced. He’s done it! Harry breathes a huge sigh of relief, and as he steps down from the bimah, the Gabbi hands him a beautiful silver crown. Harry is totally confused. No one ever said anything about a crown. Harry is just standing there holding the crown. His confusion is worsened when the Gabbai whispers to him: “Harry, put it on!” Not sure what to do, Harry steps back onto the bimah, puts the silver crown on his head, and marches around the bimah so everyone can see. True story. The following Shabbat, the Rabbi began his sermon by telling the congregation: “We all had a good laugh last Shabbat, but the truth is, if there is anyone in this shul who deserves to wear a crown of Torah on his head, it’s Harry.” The Rabbi then began to quote from the Rambam who famously wrote: The people of Israel were crowned with three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of Priesthood, and the crown of Kingship. The crown of Priesthood was acquired by Aaron…the crown of Kingship was acquired by

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David…but the crown of the Torah, behold it, there it lies ready within the grasp of all Israel, as it is said: ‘Moshe commanded us a Law, an inheritance of the congregation of Yaakov’ ​(Devarim​ 33.4​). Whoever wants it may come and take it. Kol mi sheyitze yavo veyitol - “Anyone who wants it may come and take it.” Ladies and gentlemen, this is the generation in which we live. A generation in which thousands of previously unaffiliated Jewish men and women have taken Torah as their own. Individuals with little or no background in Judaism who have become more observant, more committed and have even become leaders in the Jewish community. Because, as far as Judaism is concerned, commitment and leadership is not something which is inherited but rather m ​ erited​by anyone who wants it. ​Kol mi sheyitze yavo veyitol –​“Anyone who wants it can come and take it.” And no episode in the Torah illustrates this more than the succession of Jewish leadership from Moshe to Yehoshua. We know that it was Yehoshua who took over the mantle of Jewish leadership after Moshe passed on, and not Moshe’s own children. The question raised by many of the commentators is why? Why is it that Moshe’s own children did not succeed their father into a leadership position? The Midrash, in dealing with this question, quotes a fascinating conversation between God and Moshe. In responding to Moshe’s implicit

request that his own children succeed him as leader of all Israel, God quotes a verse from Sefer Mishlei (the Book of Proverbs): “Whoever keeps the fig tree shall eat of its fruit” (Mishlei 27:18). Quoting the Midrash, God says to Moshe: Your sons idled away their time and did not occupy themselves with the study of Torah. But as for Yehoshua, he did minister to you, Moshe, he was the one who showed you great honor. He was the one to get himself up early in the morning and stay up late at night in the Tent of Meeting, arranging the benches and spreading out the mats. Since he served you with all his might, he deserves to be the leader and servant to Israel. ‘Whoever keeps the fig tree shall eat the fruit.’ Moshe, on a very personal level, learned that Torah leadership is not simply an inheritance - it has to be earned. The Talmud asks why the children of Torah scholars do not always turn out to be Torah scholars themselves, to which Rav Yosef in the Talmud responds: “So that it shouldn’t be said that Torah came to them by inheritance.” It is always great to come from wonderful lineage, to have great yichus, but at the end of the day it is our actions alone that determine our worth. This is why some of the greatest leaders of Israel, be it the Biblical personality of Ruth or the Torah translator Unkulus - both of whom converted to Judaism - or Rebbe Akiva, arguably the greatest Talmudic sage who only began to study Torah at the age of forty, all of these greats became Jewish leaders and heroes not because


of who their parents were, not because of where they came from, but because of who they themselves became. A number of years ago on a Saturday morning a young man named Larry was walking on West 86th​Street when he noticed the MJE sign on The Jewish Center building. He had come to meet a friend for brunch at a nearby restaurant but after he got to the city his friend called and cancelled. Having no other plans, Larry followed the sign

into our Beginners Service and took a seat in the back. One year later, after coming to that same Beginners Service virtually every week, after completing our Basic Judaism and Hebrew classes, coming on our annual trip to Israel, little by little, Larry became Shomer Shabbat. Although Larry received no formal Jewish education and just two years earlier had been engaged to his non-Jewish girlfriend, Larry is today a learned and observant Jew who no doubt will become a leader in the Jewish community. I was speaking recently with another student, Jonathan Yudren, who close to twenty years ago came on MJE’s first trip to Israel. Although previously unaffiliated, that trip to Israel inspired him to attended MJE’s classes and

Being exposed to a community that believes in being involved in both Torah and the general culture can be appealing to those who may not know that you don’t have to give up one in order to have the other.

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Beginners Service in New York and then he returned to Israel to study in Yeshiva, which he did for many years until he eventually became a rabbi. Today, Rabbi Yonatan lives with his wife and five children in Israel running an outreach and educational program for overseas students at Hebrew University! This is the opportunity our generation has: to inspire the hundreds of thousands of our Jewish brothers and

huge difference. Seeing a community like this, professionals involved in the modern world who are committed to a Torah way of life, completely dispel this misperception. Being exposed to a community that believes in being involved in both Torah and the general culture can be appealing to those who may not know that you don’t have to give up one in order to have the other. But there’s an even deeper reason for

Dancing—and feeling the joy.

sisters towards greater commitment and involvement in our community. And I believe very strongly that ​our​ community, the Modern Orthodox community, has a tremendous role to play. In my outreach work I find again and again that what keeps many unaffiliated Jewish professionals from stepping foot into a synagogue or from having anything to do with formal Jewish life, is this association between becoming more religiously involved and becoming more isolated from the rest of society. Many sincerely believe that doing more Jewishly, even just learning more about Judaism, will somehow alienate them from their friends and family and from life as they know it. This is where the Modern Orthodox community can make a

being involved in reaching out - and that is what it can do for us. Years ago, when Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the great author and Talmud scholar spoke here at KJ, he told the following story about his grandmother. It was the first year since the passing of his grandfather, and he and his grandmother were together for Chanukah. Rabbi Steinsaltz lit the Menorah, and out of the corner of his eye, he noticed his grandmother looking a bit sad. He turned to her and said: “Bubby - what’s the matter? Did I do something wrong?” “No, no,” she answered, “everything was fine.” “Then what’s the matter? Rabbi Steinsaltz asked: “Did I not light the Chanukah candles correctly?”


“You lit the candles just fine,’’ she reiterated. “Then what’s the matter?” asked the rabbi. His grandmother looked up and said: “Your grandfather used to dance after he lit the candles. You lit the candles, but you didn’t dance.” We light the candles, we keep the mitzvot, we cross our T’s and dot our I’s, but we don’t dance. I used to think that to dance during davening, you had to be either a Chasid or a little strange. But I started dancing after MJE began 20 years ago, not because I made this a part of our Beginners service, but because that’s what my students wanted. They wanted to dance, and so I started to, as well. We need to be reminded how joyous living a life of Torah really is, and no one knows that better than someone who has discovered it on their own. To meet someone who was raised in a more secular environment but who senses that there must be more to life can have such a profound impact on our community. Having a beginner to Judaism at your Shabbat table can transform the Shabbat experience and give our own children a level of appreciation for Judaism that even their Day School experience cannot. This is the kind of inspiration we stand to gain from being involved in reaching out to our unaffiliated Jewish brothers and sisters. We have the opportunity to be challenged and encouraged by the struggles and yearnings of today’s ba’alei teshuva, and in the process, we will undoubtedly learn to appreciate our own Yiddishkeit that much more. May Hashem strengthen us as we reach out to each and every Jew with respect and love, and may Hashem bless MJE and KJ’s combined outreach efforts with great success.




TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL! Every Sunday this past school year, Jordan Mittler, a freshman in the Ramaz Upper School, made a huge impact on senior lives by teaching weekly technology classes to them and opening up their world in a way they never thought possible. Jordan feels responsible to bridge the gap for seniors who missed the whole technology boom and never learned how to communicate with their children or friends in a manner that people use to communicate today, via text, email, FaceTime, etc. Jordan spent each week focusing on a different topic, always leaving time at

DR. WILLIAM MAJOR MEMORIAL ADVANCED SHIUR IN TALMUD Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder Summer Dates: July 7, 14, 21, 28 Sundays following 8:30 AM services and breakfast HALAKHA CLASS Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Shabbat  |  8:30 AM HEBREW COURSES Sara Rosen Thursdays August 1, 8, 29 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM See for more info

the end for anyone who needed one-onone help. The topics included learning how to get on the internet, how to use a search engine, how to type and use a mouse, how to text/email, how to send pictures via text/email, how to save contacts in a phone, use the calendar app and so much more. Homework is given each week to reinforce what was taught in class that week. Jordan frequently sends text messages to his students to make sure they get practice using the text function, and he makes sure to give every student the attention they need as everyone is on a different level and learns differently. The class has been enormously successful for its first year, which ended on June 2 with a party, a game of Jeopardy with all the information they learned over the year, as well as awards! Jordan will be running this class again next year, but due to its

popularity, there is already a waiting list, so please call Menucha Parry in the KJ synagogue office at 212-774-5674 if you are interested in signing up. Jordan’s passion and devotion to helping the community has had an unexpected result. He was selected as part of the 2019 edition of “36 Under 36,” The Jewish Week’s annual special section highlighting visionaries and emerging leaders in the Jewish community. We are all proud of Jordan for his commitment to helping the community and making a difference in the world for each of his students. Jordan likes to live his life by a quote from Anne Frank’s diary, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” It behooves us all to take a page from Jordan’s playbook. There are volunteer opportunities all around us. You’re never too young to start, and you’re never too old to learn!





With Gratitude to Hashem I dearly thank you, Rabbi Weinstock, the KJ Rabbinical and lay staff, and the congregational family for your guidance, support and inspiration over these fifteen years. I am truly humbled to be following in the footsteps of the amazing women who have received this recognition, and I congratulate and thank my co-honoree, Yaira Singer, and her beautiful family. My journey began some years ago. I found myself traveling west along 85th Street rather than going with my usual 86th Street crossing. I noticed a sign that said, “KJ Shabbat Services

– No Hebrew Necessary” taped to a pole. It was this sign and this random occurrence—a true example of hashgacha pratit, the hand of God, that brought me to KJ and the Beginners Service. I went into the building and picked up a brochure about the Beginners Program. The title page consisted of photos of the KJ Rabbis. Each photo was highlighted with the same caption…I am a beginner, I am a beginner, I am a beginner. WOW! Even our Rabbi Emeritus, Rabbi Lookstein, regarded himself as a beginner. This caught me by surprise and left me in awe. Then it struck me: We are all on a long personal journey to religious and spiritual fulfillment and closeness to God.

Shavuot is the day we celebrate God’s eternal gift, the Torah, given to us at Mt. Sinai. Our Shabbat reading was Bamidbar, which in Hebrew means “wilderness.” The wilderness has a double meaning. It is the journey the Israelites took in the desert, meeting all the physical challenges that it implies. It is also symbolic of the path through the spiritual wilderness, which the newly freed slaves took before they were worthy of entering the Promised Land. There are many paths on the journey towards spiritual fulfillment. To those who entered life in an Orthodox environment at home and in school, the path taken may appear to others as a

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second nature. My path was not one of second nature. I am a Ba’al Teshuvah, meaning “I have returned.” I came from a family with loving parents who filled our home with warm Jewish traditions, values, and ethics, which became a model for my sister, Sharon, and for me. As I grew into adulthood, I developed a longing for the specific whys and hows of my religious faith. This ultimately brought me to KJ. As I became more familiar with the Torah, I was impressed with how often we are commanded to “welcome

We are all on a long personal journey to religious and spiritual fulfillment and closeness to God. and love the stranger in our midst for we were strangers in a strange land.” Curt and I committed ourselves to welcoming new members to our community as this congregational community welcomed us. On Shavuot we celebrate the acceptance of the covenant between us and God. On this day we also read the book of Ruth. Ruth epitomized the values that Judaism professes: love and chesed —acts of loving kindness. Ruth the Moabite lived a Jewish life inspired by living with Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruth’s loyalty to her adopted family symbolizes the fidelity to the Torah that is expected of all of us. Thus, Ruth becomes the quintessential “Jew by Choice.” The Beginners service affords us the opportunity to pray together with people from all walks of life. Our friendly encounters moved us to open our home to all and to host others for Shabbat and holiday celebrations. Our guests were filled with curiosity

and many questions about building an observant Jewish home. At that point my two passions, Judaism and teaching, fused together. The recognition that I could serve the KJ community best as a chavruta-study partner for those wishing to become “Jews by Choice,” was realized. The intensive one-on-one learning takes place in our apartment once a week, every week, for 2 hours using our home as a “learning lab.” At times the intensity of Torah study and Jewish history is relieved by a tour of my pantry, examining the various hechshers imprinted on cans and boxes. Cooking in a kosher kitchen became a highlight—especially when creating Jewish penicillin known as chicken soup! And yes, Curt would proudly open his wine fridges and examine and explain those wines which are mevushal and those which are not. Proudly, my first study partner, Michal, became our adopted spiritual daughter. It has been a blessing having the opportunity to support the journey of those following the KJ Guidelines leading to conversion. What was the attraction that lead so many to take this journey? In the words of one of our spiritual protégés: I wanted a spiritually observant life as I saw the strength of the KJ Jewish community, how they treated and bonded with other Jews, even those who were strangers, so willing to give a helping hand to a newcomer. You could visit a Shul anywhere in the world, and someone would invite you for a Shabbat meal. Another protégé poignantly states: It was the feel of my long-passed grandmother begging me to keep family traditions alive. And there were so many more reasons. The closeness of family; joy and celebrations of


holiday traditions, being grateful to God and expressing it through Brachot (blessings)…, the commitment Jews have in being partners with a loving God in the process of creation, in their efforts to make the world a better place. So many acts of kindness. I personally escort them to the Mikveh and they celebrate their first Shabbat as Jews in our home. We support their journey from “Beginning to Beginning.” There are great challenges along the way, which first and foremost means abandoning a lifestyle to which they have been long accustomed; everchanging relationships with friends and family; a long, arduous and intense set of study (which my husband, Curt, refers to as a Ph.D. in Judaism); and questions, and self-doubt along this journey. Their journey has enhanced my journey; their learning has enhanced my learning; their spirituality and religious growth has enhanced my spiritual and religious growth. Over the years we’ve watched them build Jewish homes and families, thereby, making the Jewish community as a whole, and KJ in particular, stronger and richer. Chag Sameach! 


419 EAST 77TH STREET (between First and York Avenues) Telephone: 212-359-2020 5 EAST 62ND STREET (just off Fifth Avenue) Telephone: 212-753-6058 234 WEST 74TH STREET (between Broadway & West End Ave) Telephone: 212-579-2011

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I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING… A DROSHE IZ SHTENDIK GESHMAKER MIT ZUP VI ON. I BET SOME OF YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU WERE THINKING THAT. IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE WORDS, ASK ME LATER, BUT TRUST ME, IF KIDDUSH IS ON YOUR MIND RIGHT ABOUT NOW, I’M PRETTY ON POINT, AND I’LL KEEP PACE. It’s a huge, even overwhelming, honor to represent the women in our community…but it’s actually not the first time I’ve had this view of the shul. After all, this is where I once delivered my Bat Mitzvah speech. This is where I sang my high school graduation solo. (In case you’re curious, it was “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler, and my kids can relax, I’m not singing it again today.) This is the spot where my engagement to Matt was announced, and where he learned the hard way that brown shoes are not to be worn if you want to get an aliyah. All I could say to him was: “Welcome to the Upper East Side!” And this is where all our children were named. So it would not be a stretch to say that most of the key events of my life have taken place within these walls, but it’s the people inside who shaped the person I am today. First and foremost, my parents, who settled in this neighborhood as a midway point between their respective childhood homes in Mexico and England. My sister and I felt not only the distance between us and our most beloved relatives, but also the

responsibility of working to maintain those relationships. My parents chose to splurge on regular long distance phone calls—since this was before the days of WhatsApp and Skype—and every single school break or vacation included an effort to see our extended family. If I had to summarize what my parents taught me while standing on

So when Matt and I returned to New York after graduate school, my top priority was getting him on board with my plan of building our home here. But as they say, nisht azoy gikh makht zakh vi es trakh zakh. Things are not so quickly achieved as conceived.

It would not be a stretch to say that most of the key events of my life have taken place within these walls, but it’s the people inside who shaped the person I am today.

one foot like Hillel, it would be that wherever we are with family, we are home, and honoring that is worth all the effort it might require. All the rest is commentary. Case in point, my grandmother traveled from Mexico to share this day, because she never misses a party. And for me, today is above all, a tribute to her and to all my grandparents. As an adult, I consider among my greatest blessings that Matt and I are raising our children surrounded not only by my parents, but also by my inlaws in Riverdale, and by my sister and brothers-in-law.

I wanted to live here, near my parents. He wanted a barbecue and a backyard. Negotiations ensued. But I knew that if I was going to sell him on staying here, he would have to be sold on KJ, because it is Matt who always felt that being an active member of our shul community should be a focus in our family. And as such, everything I have ever done as a volunteer here, has been a team effort. Every committee meeting I attend means Matt makes arrangements to leave work early and care for our kids. I couldn’t do the work I do here

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without him in the trenches doing the real work—serving dinner, bath time, homework and bedtime. (Although let’s be honest, just between us, I’m pretty sure no one gets bathed on those nights. But we’re still giving him full credit.)

our community behind-the-scenes by being welcoming balebostes, thoughtful mothers, dedicated professionals, and supportive friends. I watch with admiration and respect as you give of yourselves, I try to live up to your example, and I’m here because of you.

So this is a heartfelt shout-out to those who welcomed Matt into the community, to the person who tapped him on the shoulder on his first Friday night here and introduced himself, I’m here—we’re here—because of you.

To Rabbi Lookstein, Rabbi Steinmetz, Rabbi Weinstock, Rabbi Kraus, Rachel Kraus, Rabbi Laniado, and to Lenny Silverman and Riva Alper, for steering our kehilah full of different talents, and often opposing visions and opinions. For reminding me, and I paraphrase: Ven ale voltn getzit af ein zayt, volt di velt zikh ibergekert. If everyone were to pull in the same direction, the whole world would topple over. So, this is a heartfelt thank you also to all those out there who pull in the opposite direction as I do—there always seem to be so many of you, thank God. Apparently together we’re keeping the world balanced.

To the person who called me out of the blue when my first child, Eliza, was three weeks old—and I was a terrified new parent—and invited me to join a playgroup so I could meet other terrified new moms. The women I met there are among my dearest friends to this day; only the conversation topics have changed from how to get your baby to sleep, to how to raise teenagers who are menchn. That first invitation may seem like a small gesture also, but I’m here because of you. To the women who have stood here before me, to Roberta Stetson with whom I am humbled to share this day. And to those who have never stood here but deserve to, for quietly serving

Rabbis, your leadership opened the doors to the ideas we discussed: Ideas about commemorating the Shoah by creating a permanent, educational memorial in our shul; ideas about treasuring and celebrating the Yiddish language as a vibrant facet of distinctly Jewish culture; and ideas about taking better care of our environment and our planet starting with rethinking how we function in this very building. These are some of the pressing challenges I believe face our generation of the Jewish people and of humankind. You have offered the space and the opportunity to address these challenges within our community; I am so grateful, and I am here because of you. To my crown jewels, Eliza, Eitan, and Talia, to my gorgeous nieces Nili and Yael, and my handsome nephew Ruben, and to all our children: all this that you see here, not just today but every time you are in this room look around;


everything going on in here, is as far as I’m concerned, done with you in mind. This is about each generation of Jews setting the stage for the next. That’s why this place and everyone in it is so important to me. My hope for you, as you make your own choices, is that you feel proud of who you are and where you’re from, and know that you always have a place here, whenever you want it. That is the call to action I hear, and if there’s ever a reason our work here is worth the effort, the reason is you. I’m here because what our family has put into this shul has been returned to us in droves. You all have made this place feel like a second home to me, and home is where the heart is. And all the rest is commentary. I can’t resist breaking out the Yiddish just once more, and I’d like to close with a phrase from a folksong that comes to my mind often when I’m in shul, if you don’t understand the words ask me later, but I have a feeling you will understand: Un mir zaynen ale brider, un mir haltn zikh in einem, un azelkhes iz nito ba keinem. Gut Yontef, thank you.

KJ Synagogue Membership Be a Part of the Jewish People Contact KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman at 212-774-5680 or





KJ SISTERHOOD SEASON FINALE MEET THE AUTHOR: ELLEN UMANSKY, AUTHOR OF THE FORTUNATE ONES Rita Woldenberg arranged for author Ellen Umansky to join us in Rita’s home to speak about her best-selling novel, The Fortunate Ones. Over thirty women, of all ages, came together to meet Ellen and hear what it took for this first-time author to complete her debut novel. The Fortunate Ones tells the story of two women, one an older Holocaust survivor, the other a young woman living in Los Angeles, and the stolen painting that binds them together. Ellen was especially generous with her time, and we are grateful she was able to be a part of our annual author evening.

ANNUAL SPRING LUNCHEON HONORING DONNA SILVERMAN WITH THE GERTRUDE LOOKSTEIN AWARD Jane Katz, Pamela Stern and Adrian Silverman chaired this year’s Annual Spring Luncheon held on June 3. Women of all ages came together to support the KJ Sisterhood and honor our very own Donna Silverman. Donna Silverman has been a member of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun for nearly 50 years, during which time she has actively supported the KJ Sisterhood by serving as Secretary

in addition to actively volunteering on numerous community programs, particularly KJ’s Lunch and Learn program for seniors. Donna’s warm and kind demeanor, coupled with a natural affinity for people, made her the embracing “voice” of Sisterhood for decades. Sisterhood is extraordinarily grateful to everyone who so generously participated and donated to the luncheon.

EVERY KJ WOMAN MEMBER IS A MEMBER OF THE KJ SISTERHOOD Whether you are new or a longstanding member, you are always invited to participate with the KJ Sisterhood. Get involved with us to create shul-wide activities, participate in chesed, build friendships and feel connected to our community in a meaningful way. Email us at As we close out our programming year through this article, we would like to extend warm thanks to outgoing Sisterhood President, Carla Tanz, for the outstanding job she has done at our helm for the past three years. We also wish hatzlacha rabba to our new slate of officers: Roberta Stetson and Sharon Garfunkel, our new Sisterhood coPresidents, and Nicole Sardar and Rebecca Farber, our new incoming co-Vice Presidents.

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THANK YOU CARLA. THANK YOU MEMBERS OF THE SISTERHOOD BOARD. IT’S A GREAT HONOR FOR ME TO RECEIVE THE GERTRUDE LOOKSTEIN AWARD. I KNEW MRS. LOOKSTEIN, WHOM I CALLED “GERTIE.” WHAT AN INCREDIBLE FORCE SHE WAS IN GUIDING AND STRENGTHENING THIS SHUL AND THE SISTERHOOD! WHEN I THINK OF THE EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN PAST RECIPIENTS OF THIS AWARD, BEGINNING WITH AUDREY, I AM DEEPLY HUMBLED STANDING HERE. The fact is that each one of the past and present Board members of the KJ Sisterhood has been a strong supporter of our Synagogue and our KJ-Ramaz Community in a great many ways. Without our active Sisterhood, our community would simply not be what it is. What have I done? Very simply put, and not generally known, is that I can take credit for the fact that Arthur, our sons Lenny and Danny, and our eight grandchildren are who they are because it was I—the woman of the house—who made the decision to join this synagogue forty-nine years ago when Lenny was four years old, and Danny was a baby. I was the one who met with Rabbi Haskel Lookstein to have Lenny admitted to Ramaz. And it was I who immediately joined KJ on behalf of the family—and then told Arthur what I had done. Where did this bold, independent streak come from? From my upbringing. My parents were very strong Zionists, and both my mother and my father were quiet leaders in the Portland, Maine, Jewish community where my father was a founder of the conservative synagogue there, and my mother was a member of its Sisterhood. To me, membership in KJ automatically

meant membership in the Sisterhood, as I had learned from my mother. Where did it all lead? Most of you know. Arthur eventually became a leader in Ramaz. Our children—Lenny and Danny—graduated Ramaz. They each married the most wonderful young women that one could ever imagine, and both of these “daughters” are here today—Adrian, whom you know, and who is Assistant General Counsel of the Holocaust Claims Conference; and Nomi, who flew in from Los Angeles to be here and who is a community leader in many different capacities, with one of the most open, welcoming Jewish homes in the Century City— Beverlywood section of Los Angeles. You all know what Lenny does. Danny eventually became President of Young Israel of Century City and is now the CFO of Hillel Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles. My sons and daughters dedicate themselves to their Jewish communities, and I am very proud of each of them. I could go on to tell about the extraordinary accomplishments of the eight grandchildren. But all I will say is that all the Silvermans are very much who they have become because of the influence and direction of KJ and Ramaz. This all came from my joining KJ—the decision of the woman of the house!

Though times have changed over the past forty-nine years—one year shy of a half century—the KJ Sisterhood has remained true to its many missions. That is to the phenomenal credit of all those who have been, and are, and will be the leaders of the KJ Sisterhood. The fundamentals remain intact. Shabbat Kiddush, many charitable endeavors, and the preparation of the meal of consolation for mourners returning from a burial—all are still Sisterhood functions; and a great many activities of particular interest to the young professional women of today have been added. It’s all good!! Think about it. We KJ women of all ages are still going strong, particularly our young women!! Thank you for all that you do and will continue to do. And thank you for honoring me with the Gertrude Lookstein Award.

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welcome Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun warmly welcomes the following new members who joined the Congregation between the last Annual Meeting, April 10, and this Bulletin, which went to press on July 2: Talia and Michael Abramson Faran and Sid Efromovich Shifra and Ken Eisman Karen Blatt and Ari Hirt Dr. Karin Grinbaum Jacobi and Asaf Jacobi Regina Lazar Menucha Parry


KESHER SPONSORS CHALLAH BAKE TO PROMOTE INFERTILITY AWARENESS Thanks from the Kesher Leadership for a Great Year! Sixty-five people attended the Kesher Challah Bake on June 6 to raise awareness and provide support for those impacted by infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. Thank you to the speakers who shared their personal stories and everyone who came to perform the mitzvah of Haphrashat Challah as a community. We donated the proceeds from the event to Yesh Tikva, Nechama Comfort, and the Hebrew Free Loan Society. Many thanks to Liora Schulman, Britanny Cogan, Sarah Jonas, Ashley Buterman, Miriam Vago and Monica Borowik for chairing this important program. As the programming year draws to a close, thanks are in order to this year’s Presidium: Brittany Cogan, Elisa Septimus and Ariel Stern, who helped develop and execute the programming that made the year such a success! We would also like to welcome Caroline Bryk and Liora Schulman who will be joining Ariel Stern as Presidents and who look forward to serving the Kesher community. A special thank you, as well, to our Kesher Minyan Gabbaim: Jonathan Cogan, Kenny Eisman, Evan Farber, Jon Gonzarski, David Hollander, and Ben Schulman; all our dedicated youth leaders, under the direction of Aryana Ritholtz and Chevy Rubenstein; and Tani Gordon for coordinating Kesher Minyan Kiddush. It’s never too early to book a Kiddush! Have a great summer! See you on September 13, when our Kesher Minyan resumes!

Jackie and Jacob Soleimani Jennifer Robbins-Sznajderman and Daniel Sznajderman Marian Williams K ESHER P RE SID IU M

KJ/ramaz supports israel! Celebrate Israel Parade, June 2, 2019

(Photo Credit Mara Lassner)

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On April 24, we had the opportunity of hearing a meaningful talk on how to achieve true freedom by Rabbi Meyer Laniado and Holocaust survivor Ray Kaner. A special thank you to Rachel and Jonathan Sopher for initiating, sponsoring and hosting this special event.

CONCLUDED ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR! WE ARE PROUD TO BE EDUCATING AND ENGAGING 60+ STUDENTS FROM DOZENS OF FAMILIES IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE TAKE PRIDE IN BEING THE HEBREW SCHOOL WITH H.E.A.R.T IN THE HEART OF THE CITY. JYC offer a hands-on, energetic, attentive, relevant, and tech-savvy environment for our students, who each walks away with a stronger connection to Judaism. Our unique approach to providing each student with the attention they deserve sets it apart from other Hebrew schools in New York City. The staff and administration put their heart and soul into the program, creating an engaging, loving and nurturing environment. We thank the JYC leadership team of Netanel Goldstein and Ariana Mizrahi, and express gratitude to Scott and Susan Shay for their vision and support for helping us educate the Jewish future. To learn more about the program or to refer students to JYC, see or email


be uplifted by stories of Israeli heroism, and marvel at groundbreaking Israeli innovations that are changing our world.

March 1-3 2020 in Washington, DC

Tell them that every attendee is afforded the opportunity to lobby their Congressional office to advance the US-Israel relationship.

If you are in this photo, the next time you are at Kiddush, tell a friend what was so great about the AIPAC Policy Conference so that they, too, will also consider attending. Tell them it is more than a giant pep rally for Israel where the US-Israel partnership is celebrated. Tell them the conference provides the opportunity to hear speeches by American and Israeli leaders, attend educational sessions by experts from all around the world about all facets of the Israel-American relationship,

Three powerful days of full scale, pro-Israel activism. Be there.

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THE “YOMS” EVERY SPRING, AFTER PESACH, THERE ARE FOUR DAYS ON THE JEWISH CALENDAR THAT COMMEMORATE IMPORTANT EVENTS IN MODERN JEWISH HISTORY: Yom Hashoah, commemorated on the 27th day of Nisan. This year, following the always-meaningful candle-lighting ceremony, KJ and Ramaz welcomed back Witness Theatre for a unique, live performance representing months of intensive collaboration between Ramaz students and Selfhelp’s local Holocaust survivors, featuring a moving re-enactment of their lives’ most difficult moments—narrated by the survivors—through which their legacies are passed to the next generation. Yom HaZikaron on 4 Iyar, which is Israel’s Memorial Day. It is marked by a siren which sounds morning and

evening at which time all traffic and conversation in Israel come to a halt and people can reflect on those who died in defense of our fledgling country, helping to bring it into existence. This year, DeeDee Benel coordinated a meaningful tekes ma’avar, featuring Golan Talker, a Commander in the Israeli Navy, Ramaz alumnae who have just returned from serving as Chayalim Bodedim, Lone Soldiers, in the IDF, and musical numbers by the Ramaz Middle School Choir and guest musicians Edan Tamler, Rami Yadid and senior Nathan Haron—culminating with a feast of Israeli foods! With the second

siren, at sundown, mourning turns to exuberance as Israelis and Jews worldwide celebrate Yom ha’Atzmaut, the birth of the Jewish State, on 5 Iyar, which KJYD celebrated with an Israelthemed community barbecue. Finally, there is Yom Yerushalayim, on the 28th day of Iyar, which marks the day in 1967 that the city of Jerusalem was reunited. It was observed at KJ with Rabbi Lookstein’s beautiful shacharit davening—where Hallel was recited with a bracha—and followed by a festive breakfast. Below’s photos reflect the outstanding “Yoms” programming at KJ.

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KJ YOUTH: OUR BEST YEAR YET! THIS HAS BEEN A JAM PACKED YEAR FILLED WITH SO MUCH EXCITEMENT AND FUN! From our KJYD Holiday Camp, a real live Noach and his Ark, Shababa @ KJ, Chopped competitions and more! The KJ Youth Department is the place to be, and families are voting with their feet! We loved seeing the overflowing lobby of


strollers and scooters each week, kids eager and excited to see whats in store. We had characters from tanach join us weekly and a Shabbat Shop that allowed each child’s talents to shine. We want to thank all our youth leaders for being here every Shabbat with energy and smiles, ready to welcome the KJ Kids! This summer we are getting ready to add even more to the list for the coming year! So while you may not see us in person this summer, know that we are counting down the days and getting ready for the best year ever!

OUR COMMUNITY’S BELOVED ANNUAL SPRINGTIME INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAM WITH KJ LUNCH-ANDLEARN AND “UJA AT KJ” GUESTS FROM SELF-HELP WAS HELD ON MAY 15. Our guests were entertained by the Ramaz School Choruses, heard words of wisdom from Rabbi Mayer Moskowitz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, enjoyed a delicious lunch (and yummy Ramaz chocolate chip cookies for dessert!), and chatted with Ramaz students. It is an event enjoyed by all. The words of Giselle, a Self-Help staff person who accompanied our guests, resonate with all who attended and paints a clear picture of how much the afternoon means to all who participated:

I just wanted to say thank you so much for organizing this event for our Bronx Holocaust survivors. We had a smaller turnout than expected due to some illnesses and injuries, but the clients who came had a blast. The ones who have attended in the past were welcomed back like celebrities, and the new ones were treated like gold. The clients really enjoyed the lunch, and were given food packages to take home. The bus was so luxurious, and they felt so special. And of course the concert was so moving, and really made the clients feel hopeful about the future generation. It was quite beautiful to witness, and I was honored to be a part of it. They are already looking forward to next year!





Tisha B’Av Trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage


36 Battery Park Place Private Guided Tour of the Auschwitz Exhibition SUNDAY, AUGUST 11  |  1 PM Round-trip transportation provided, gratis Details to follow at

Eyal KJ Hebrew teacher Sara Rosen has released a new iPad app based on her popular Hebrew reading program. The app is called Eyal and is suitable for all ages. Eyal is perfect for those with no prior reading experience and those with some experience who are still searching for fluency. All work can be self-checked so no teacher is required. FOR MORE INFORMATION, search for Eyal in the iPad App Store.

we mourn the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, which took place on the ninth of Av, and the events that led to their destruction. We fast on the seventeenth day of the month of Tammuz, Shivah Assar B’Tammuz, because, according to tradition, it was on that day that the enemy penetrated the walls of Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. The Talmud, however, writes that these were not the only tragedies that befell the Jewish people on this day. On the seventeenth of Tammuz four more tragedies occurred: the first tablets containing the Ten Commandments were broken by Moses after the sin of the Golden Calf; the daily sacrifice was suspended during the time of the First Temple; the wicked Apostumos burned the Torah; and an idol was erected in the Temple. Additional tragedies also befell the Jewish people on the ninth day of the month of Av—Tisha B’Av. On this day, the spies (meraglim) returned to the Jews in the desert with a negative report about the Land of Israel. In addition, it was on this day that the city of Betar was destroyed. Tens of thousands of Jews were killed, and the wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and its surroundings. Tradition asserts that the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and the expulsion from Spain in 1492 also took place on Tisha B’Av.

Our mourning for the destroyed Temples and for the other calamities which occurred on these days extends beyond the fasts themselves. The period between these two fasts, traditionally called The Three Weeks, includes several practices of mourning. During these three weeks we do not get our hair cut, attend weddings or involve ourselves in large joyous gatherings. During the nine days which begin on the first of Av, August 2, and continue until the night of the tenth of Av, August 12, we are additionally forbidden to eat meat and drink wine (except on Shabbat), to go swimming, or bathe for pleasure and to do any laundry or dry cleaning that is not absolutely necessary. The Talmud writes that when the month of Av begins, our mood should reflect our mourning for the destruction of the Temples. On Tisha B’Av itself, besides fasting, we are prohibited from washing our bodies, wearing leather shoes, anointing ourselves and having marital relations. It is forbidden, as well, to study Torah on this day excepting the sections of the prophets and the Talmud that discuss the destruction. We do not wear tefillin until mincha and the custom is to sit on low chairs as mourners do until midday. Our observance of mourning also forbids us from greeting friends on Tisha B’Av. We mourn the Temples that were destroyed over nineteen hundred years ago, and we pray that we will be worthy to see God rebuild the Temple in our lifetime.

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KJ Food Pantry

All Services and Programming at 125 East 85th Street

The KJ Food Pantry provides kosher food weekly to New York’s hungry. Clients are referred to us through the synagogue and local service agencies. Each week clients come to KJ to receive food staples tailored to their diets, as well as a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.



8:30 AM Morning Services

11:45 AM - 1:40 PM A Bag of Marbles 115 minutes.

10:30 AM Shiur by Rabbi Jeremy Wieder

A 2017 blockbuster that tells the story of a small Jewish boy’s flight, with his brother Maurice, to escape from Nazi occupied France during World War II.

The Restoration of the Temple: What Exactly Are We Hoping for on Tisha B’Av and How Will It Happen?

11:45 AM - 6:50 PM Films 7:00 PM Shiur by Rabbi Steinmetz

Too Much Mourning, or Too Little? Karaites and Chasidim on Tisha B’Av

7:30 PM Evening Services 8:35 PM Fast Concludes

1:50 PM - 6:50 PM Shoah: Four Sisters 275 minutes. A continuation of the award-winning documentary masterpiece, SHOAH, from the late director, Claude Lanzmann, comprised of interviews conducted with four women who survived the Holocaust, each finding herself improbably alive after the end of the war. With subtitles.

Ramaz students pack the bags and staff the booth in the lobby of KJ, and Ramaz/KJ members also deliver packages to those who are homebound. Please contact Bernice Kahn at for further information or to volunteer.

The KJ Food Pantry wishes to thank D’agostino Supermarket for all their help.

Download the KJ App:

Access Everything KJ Right at your Fingertips.

For information on Manhattan Kosher Establishments visit

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LEARN TO DAVEN LIKE A BA’AL TEFILLAH Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s 10 Nusach recordings, designed to help people learn how to be a shaliach tzibbur at daily services, Shabbatot, holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur & selichot around the year, are available free of charge at

There is no better time than now to avail yourself of this wonderful opportunity!

WHEN TISHA B’AV COINCIDES WITH SATURDAY EVENING If observed correctly, the nine days leading up to Tisha B’Av can greatly enhance one’s experience on Tisha B’Av itself. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l, pointed out that it is not human nature to mourn appropriately for tragedies that occurred 2,000 years ago and, therefore, a system was devised to help us gradually enter a state of mourning. We begin a moderate period of mourning three weeks before Tisha B’Av. The mourning intensifies on Rosh Chodesh Av, nine days prior to Tisha B’Av. In this manner when we arrive at Tisha B’av, we are ready to commemorate the destruction of the Temples with the proper mind set. This year is unique in the sense that Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat. The observance of Shabbat takes precedence over a fast day, so with the exception of Yom Kippur, any fast day which falls on Shabbat is observed on Sunday. And so it is this year. Therefore, some Shabbat customs are different and should be noted:

1. Shabbat Mincha on August 10 will take place in the Main Synagogue at 1:30 p.m., which will give everyone time to enjoy a hot buffet Kiddush lunch (with challah and Birkat HaMazon) and a shiur by Rachel Kraus at the conclusion of 9:00 a.m. Shabbat morning services. 2. There is no traditional Seudah

Mafseket. The pre-fast meal, which in this case will be Seudah Shlishit, can consist of anything, including meat and wine. The 1:30 p.m. Mincha allows everyone time to eat a leisurely Seudah Shlishit. Please finish eating and

drinking by 8:02 p.m., when the fast begins.

3. Birkat Hamazon may be recited as a mezuman if the opportunity arises.

4. The prayer Tzidkatcha Tzedek is not said during Mincha.

5. Regular Havdalah is not said. The blessing on the fire is said on Saturday night. The blessing on the wine and haMavdil are said on Sunday. No blessing at all is made on the spices. 6. After 8:52 p.m., please recite the words Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol in order to officially end Shabbat. 7. Maariv and the reading of Megillat Eicha will take place at 8:55 p.m. Worshippers should wear their non-leather footwear to services, and bring tzedakah to donate during the offertory. The Jerusalem Talmud affirms that “one who mourns for Jerusalem will yet see its glorious reconstruction.” May our observance of Tisha B’Av this year help to bring about that blessed outcome.

eruv hotline FOR INFORMATION regarding the weekly status of the Manhattan Eruv call the ERUV HOTLINE 212-874-6100, ext. 3 (Recorded Message)

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A HIGH HOLY DAY SERVICE UNLIKE ANY OTHER! Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Services for those in search of a more informative and inspirational experience: Traditional prayers and a modern message Over 100 Shofar Blasts Questions and Answers No knowledge of Hebrew necessary Largest Beginners Service in North America! LOCATION Ramaz Middle School | 114 East 85th Street Rosh Hashanah Monday September 30 & Tuesday October 1  |  8:00 AM Kol Nidre Tuesday October 8  |  5:55 PM Yom Kippur Wednesday October 9  |  9:00 AM RSVP | Tickets $75 No membership required!





ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS Jacob Bengualid, son of Beth and Marc Bengualid, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Sidney Scheinberg Award for Politics and Law, Jacob will attend Yeshivat Eretz haTzvi in Israel and Cornell University upon his return from Israel. Elana Bernstein, daughter of Renee and Michael Bernstein, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Leonard Friedland Hebrew Language Memorial Award, Elana will attend University of Wisconsin in the fall. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother, Eleanore Reznik. Olivia Bourkoff, daughter of Elana and Aryeh Bourkoff, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Award for Personal Growth presented to the seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic and personal growth, Olivia will attend University of Maryland in the fall. Beth Braiterman, daughter of Ronne Mandelker and Andy Braiterman, and granddaughter of Evelyn Mandelker and the late Benjamin Mandelker, upon her graduation from Stanford Law School where she served as an editor of the Law Review. Beth has accepted a position as an Associate at the law firm Covington & Burling in Washington, DC. Talia Fouzailoff, daughter of Ruth and Rafael Fouzailoff, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend the Bar Ilan University gap year program in the fall. David Gad, son of Irina and Michael Gad, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend the

Bar Ilan University gap year program in the fall. Alexander Glasberg, son of Alisa and Dr. Scot Glasberg, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Columbia University in the fall. David Grinberg, son of Jeannette and Dr. Mikhail Grinberg, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Baruch College in the fall. Matthew Gurewitsch, son of Karen and Steven Gurewitsch, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend University of Miami in the fall. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Rae and Stanley Gurewitsch. Rebecca Hershkowitz, daughter of Karen and Michael Hershkowitz, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Ramaz IDF Award given to the seniors who choose to enter the IDF after being graduated, Rebecca will perform Sherut Leumi this fall and attend New York University upon her return from Israel. Danya Jacobs, daughter of Zalman and Dr. Tikva Jacobs, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend Midreshet Lindenbaum in the fall and Barnard College upon her return from Israel. Talia Justin, daughter of Sandra and Jeffrey Justin, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend the Bar Ilan University gap year program in the fall. Dan Charles Korff-Korn, son of Dr. Janice Korff and Justin Korn, upon his graduation from Dartmouth College cum laude. Dan was awarded the

Plotnick Prize for Jewish Studies. He also received the Mcgorrian Fellowship for a documentary short film he will be directing and producing after graduation on the state of environmental action efforts in indigenous communities across the United States. Dan will be attending NYU Law School in the fall of 2020. Esther Menaged, daughter of Anat and Louis Menaged, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She was a recipient of the Ramaz IDF Award given to the seniors who choose to enter the IDF after being graduated, and the Leonard Friedland Hebrew Language Memorial Award. Esther will perform Sherut Leumi in the fall and then attend the Macauley Honors program at Baruch College. Hillel Ottensoser, son of Judith and Daniel Ottensoser, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Yeshivat Orayta in the fall and Emory University upon his return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Marion and Billy Weiss. Michael Perl, son of Gail and Berndt Perl, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall. Shireen Sakhai, daughter of Victoria and Daryosh Sakhai, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She is a recipient of the David Kagan Memorial Award for the student athletes who best exemplify the values of sportsmanship and menschlichkeit both on and off the playing field. Shireen will attend Boston University in the fall. Harrison Shams, son of Alissa and Howard Shams, upon his graduation

27 continued, ACADEMIC


from the Ramaz Upper School. Harry was Class Speaker at Commencement and is a recipient of the Renee Margareten Berger Award, presented to the students who have achieved the highest academic averages; the English Award, presented to graduating seniors for excellence in literature; the Rampage Award, given to graduating seniors for outstanding contributions to Rampage; and the Rivka Rosenwein Journalism Award, granted to the seniors who reflect a commitment to a year of study in Israel and excellence in journalism and writing. Harry will attend Yeshivat Orayta in the fall and then Harvard University upon his return from Israel. Aaron Shapira, son of Adrianne and Avi Shapira, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend University of Wisconsin in the fall. Thomas Shemia, son of Sara and Simon Shemia, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Yeshivat Orayta in the fall and then University of Maryland upon his return

from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandmother, Marilyn Meltzer. Jonathan Silverman, son of Adrian and KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman, upon his graduation summa cum laude from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and a Concentration in Finance. Jonathan begins work this summer as a Consultant in the New York City office of McKinsey & Company. Congratulations as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Donna and Arthur Silverman. Yasmine Sokol, daughter of Suzy Kamali Sokol and Joseph Sokol, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Gilda Silverman Memorial Award, presented to the seniors who, with energy and good humor, has demonstrated a commitment to learning as the language of their daily lives, Yasmine will attend Midreshet Amit in the fall and New York University upon her return from Israel.


Hillel Steinmetz, son of Lisa and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, upon his graduation from University of Chicago with a B.A. in Linguistics and the Leonard Bloomfield award in Linguistics, given for great achievements in that field of study. Brooke Stonehill, daughter of Robyn Price Stonehill and David Stonehill, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend New York University in the fall. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Judith and Hon. Arnold Price. Meira Weinstock, daughter of Dr. Naama and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. A recipient of the Walter Koppel Jewish Political Action Award, given to the student who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to political action for the benefit of the Jewish people; and the Fannye Popkin Memorial Award for excellence in fine arts, Meira will attend Midreshet Torah V’Avodah in the fall and was admitted to University of Maryland.

THINGS TO KNOW YOETZET HALAKHAH For questions regarding Jewish family law and women’s health, contact Julia Baruch, KJ’s Yoetzet Halakhah, at 929-274-0628 or

HAVE A HALAKHIC QUESTION? Rabbi Steinmetz  | Rabbi Weinstock  | Rabbi Laniado  |

CREATE AN ENDURING LEGACY WHILE RECEIVING A LIFELONG REVENUE STREAM Please consider participating in the Congregation’s Endowment and Planned Giving Program, through which you can create an enduring legacy of active participation in KJ through a Charitable Gift Annuity that pays handsomely. Contact Leonard Silverman at 212-774-5680 or or more information.

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TALIA BERMAN daughter of Sara and Mark Bloom and David Berman granddaughter of
 Judy and Michael Steinhardt

ELIZA BINSTOCK daughter of
Yaira Singer and Matthew Binstock granddaughter of
Adina and Dr. Michael Singer

ANDREW BOYARSKY son of Jennifer and Jonathan Boyarsky grandson of Shirley Boyarsky

Alexandra Zohn and Vitor Cepelowicz

ARIELLA CHETRIT daughter of Monique and Eli Chetrit

JOSHUA CHETRIT son of Lisa and Juda Chetrit

JUSTIN CLEEMAN son of Tami and Dr. Edmond Cleeman



daughter of Eugenia and Dr. Ira Davis granddaughter of
Sara and Joseph Nathanson

daughter of Amy and Dr. Absalom Kotulski

JOSEPH DOFT son of Suzanne and Jacob Doft grandson of Arlene and Avrom Doft grandson of Marion and Billy Weiss

SIMON FERTIG son of Dr. Nechama and Jason Fertig

CHLOE GAD daughter of Vanessa and Joseph Gad

ALEXANDER GAGE son of Elisa and Allen Gage grandson of
Doina and Dr. Lawrence Bryskin


LILY KRESS daughter of Judy Kress

JACQUELINE LANDY daughter of Amy and Darren Landy granddaughter of
Sherry and Dr. Joel Wiener

NOAH LIBIN son of Sherri and Alexander Libin grandson of Margery and Barry Libin

ALEXANDER MASSEL son of Caroline and Morris Massel grandson of Harvey Arfa

daughter of Nancy and Andrew Newhouse



son of James Haber

IVY HALPERN daughter of Tami Rock and Joseph Halpern

ILANA KAHN daughter of Judy and Dr. Hirshel Kahn

daughter of Nina and Mitchell Davidson granddaughter of Ingeborg and Ira Rennert


son of Eugenia and Dr. Ira Davis grandson of Sara and Joseph Nathanson

son of Judy Kress

daughter of Dr. Carin and Eric Gribetz granddaughter of
Oshri and Manfred Endzweig





son of Deborah and Randall North

SAMUEL OSTAD son of Lisa Ohebshalom son of Dr. Edward Ostad

ALEXANDRA PAUL daughter of Laury and Jason Paul


son of Caren and Samuel Kohl

son of Dr. Ronit Kahanowicz son of Elliot Porter



son of Caren and Samuel Kohl

son of Emily and Harry Rimm

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GHER AND HIGHER JOYCE SALAME daughter of Ann and James Salame

GABRIELLE SASSON daughter of Rebecca Feit and Rami Sasson

SOPHIE SCHWARTZ daughter of Erica and Robert Schwartz granddaughter of
Sheira and Steven Schacter

Missing from photo: Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Principal Emeritus and Ms. Miriam Krupka, Dean of Faculty

NOAH SISSKIND son of Dr. Melanie Englese son of Dr. Steven Sisskind

ANDREW SPIELFOGEL son of Michelle and Dr. William Spielfogel grandson of Rebecca and John Steindecker

ELIZABETH SULTAN daughter of David and Randi Sultan

HANNAH TAMBOR daughter of Abigail and Shai Tambor

MAX TANZ son of Carla and Steven Tanz grandson of Judy Tanz

SOLOMON TARAGIN son of Dr. Michelle Kahana-Taragin and Bruce Taragin

JOSHUA TODES son of Lisa and Mark Todes

SAMUEL ZELENETZ son of Molly Winkler son of Dr. Michael Zelenetz

2019 8th Grade Advancees

Photos by Tilly Blair Photography






Shira & Dr. Larry Baruch and Joyce & Daniel Straus upon the birth of a granddaughter, Sarah Gwendolyn (Genendel Chana), born to their children Julia and David Baruch. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ greatgrandparents Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Brenda and Albert Bernstein upon the birth of a great granddaughter, Elia Abigail, born to their grandchildren, Julianna and Reuben Cohen. Brenda and Albert Bernstein upon the birth of a great grandson, born to their grandchildren, Tamar and Steven Perkal. Former KJ Office Manager Arona and Moshe Berow upon the birth of their second child and first son, Hillel. Vanessa and Ray Chalme upon the birth of a grandson, Jack Walter (Yaakov Yom Tov), born to their children Robin and Walter Rahmey. Stefanie and Patrick Coyle upon the birth of their first child and son, Feivel Henry (Ayal). Mazal Tov to proud KJ first time grandparents Rachelle and David Hirsch. Dr. Odelya Pagovich-Dabscheck and David Dabscheck upon the birth of a son, Benjamin Ronald (Binyamin Shmuel). Faran and Sid Efromovich upon the birth of their first child and son. Gilda Guttman upon the birth of a grandson, Elazar, the third son to her children, Jenny and Ran ben Shimol of Israel.

Alex and Aviya Halpern upon the birth of their fourth child and second son, Elisha Angel (Elisha Malachi). Mazal Tov as well to KJ grandparents Cheryl and Fred Halpern.

Jacqueline and Jeffrey Marcus upon the birth of twin grandsons born to their children Michelle and Adam Dayan.

Julia and Rafi Haramati upon the birth of a daughter, Elle Avra (Avra). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Paula and Dr. David Menche.

Andrea and Dr. Robert Meislin upon the birth of a grandson, Aiden Lev (Aharon Lev), born to their children, Rachel Meislin and Marc Ohringer. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ great-grandmother Monica Meislin.

Alexandra and Sol Hedaya upon the birth of their second child and daughter, Lucy (in both Hebrew and English).

Noemi and Daniel Messing upon the birth of a grandson, Leon Jordan (Aryeh), born to their children, Ilana and Uri Stilman.

Dr. Sarah and Elie Hirschfeld upon the birth of a granddaughter, Aria, born to their children Rachel and David Hirschfeld.

Liz and Rami Nahmias upon the birth of a granddaughter, Amelia Ruby (Mayaan Yaira), to their children Diana and Michael Nahmias of Riverdale.

Elianna and Yoel Kaye upon the birth of their second child and daughter, Sadie Joy (Sara Ita).

Colby and Justin Podolsky upon the birth of a daughter, Fanny (Faiga) Podolsky.

Gladys and Martin Kartin upon the birth of a granddaughter, Betty Ruth (Gila Bryndl), born to their children Sarah and Shragi Weitzner. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ great-grandmother, Roz Weitzner.

Helen and Dr. Daniel Potaznik upon birth of their first grandchild, Alexander Jacob “AJ” (Asher Yaacov), born to their children Reina and Ethan Davis.

Erika and Eric Kashi upon the birth of their third son, Joshua Scott (Yehoshua Simcha). Susan Kelstein upon the birth of her third grandchild and first grandson, Dov Ber Avraham, born to her children, Rachel and Dr. Sam Maryles. Debbie and Alan Kestenbaum in celebration of the birth of a granddaughter, Ruby Rose, born to their children, Riva and Jordan Kestenbaum. Alanna and Zachary Liebmann upon the birth of their first child and son, Simon Ralph (Reuven Shlomo).

Racheli and former KJ Assistant Rabbi Hillel Rapp upon the birth of their third child and second son. Debbie and Shimon Rubin upon the birth of a granddaughter, Carmel Leah, born to their children Becky Rubin (Ramaz ‘07) and Nisan Lerea. Gail and Marvin Schaffer upon the birth of a granddaughter, Sienna Lillie (Ahuva), born to their children Tanya and Adam Schaffer. Miryam Knafo and Zachary Schapira upon the birth of a daughter, Eden Tzipora. Ruth and Irwin Shapiro upon the birth of a great-grandson, born to Sara


SCHEDULING YOUR FAMILY’S BAR OR BAT MITZVAH If you are making a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at KJ between September 2020 and June 2021, please contact Riva Alper in the synagogue office at 212-7745670 to reserve specific rooms for your services, celebratory meals/kiddushim, and other functions. If your child attends Ramaz and you are a member of KJ planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Riva Alper must be notified directly of your plans. Reserving a date with Ramaz does not imply that it is reserved at KJ.

and Josh Jay, who are the children of Debbie and Dr. Ezra Feuer. Ariel and Jonathan Stern upon the birth of their third child and second daughter, Paula Donna (in Hebrew and English). Roz Weitzner upon the birth of a greatgranddaughter, Zoe Rachel, born to her grandchildren, Ilana and Alex Iszo. Natalie and Eli Zybert upon the birth of their second child and son. May these children grow up in the finest tradition of Torah, chupah, and maasim tovim.


Rosie (‘68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the Bar Mitzvah celebration of their grandson, Shmuel Avigdor Tuvia Fine, son of former Middle School Limudei Kodesh Morah, Ariela, and Rabbi



Jeremy Fine of Woodmere. Shmuel presented a siyum on Masechet Ta’anit and read Parashat Shelach. Esther Messeloff upon the Bat Mitzvah of her granddaughter, Mia Rose Schwartz, daughter of Julie & Jonathan Schwartz. Monique and Andrew Rechtschaffen upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Ashley. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Pamela Rechtschaffen z”l & Rabbi Manfred Rechtschaffen, and Perla & Julio Messer. Abigail and Shai Tambor upon the upcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Caleb, on Shabbat, September 7, at the New York Academy of Medicine. He will read Parashat Shoftim as part of a partnership-style minyan and deliver a D’var Torah. Caleb is an eighth grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.


Norma Nussbaum Bruckner and Dr. Howard Bruckner upon the engagement of their grandson, Charlie Friedman, son of Edie and Phil Friedman of Montreal, to Dalya Hirt, daughter of Dr. Rivkie and Lance Hirt of Lawrence, NY.


Mazal Tov to Judith and Daniel Ottensoser upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Alexander, on Shabbat Parashat Re’eh, August 31, in Israel. Mazal Tov as well to KJ grandparents, Marion and Billy Weiss. Alexander is an eighth grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.


Mazal Tov to Jessica and Rafi Bernstein upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Ian. Ian will read Parashat Ki Teitzei and deliver a D’var Torah on September 14 at KJ. He celebrated his Hanachat Tefilin and first aliyah with his family at the Kotel on July 1. Mazal Tov to KJ grandparents, Gloria and Richard Kobrin. Ian is an eighth grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Monita Buchwald and Charles Edelsburg upon the engagement of their daughter, Sarah, to Adam Aviv, son of Cherie and Gary Aviv of Atlanta. Mazal Tov as well to Sarah’s grandfather and aunt, proud KJ members Elias Buchwald and Gena Buchwald. Esther Gibofsky (Ramaz ’03) upon her engagement to Adam Rattner, the son of Abbe and David Rattner of White Plains, NY. Mazal tov as well to the proud KJ parents of the bride-to-be, Karen and Dr. Allan Gibofsky.

32 continued, WITHIN



Judy and Dr. Marty Grumet upon the engagement of their son, Duvi, to Daniella Papier, the daughter of Julie and David Papier of Teaneck.


Judy and KJ Board President David Lobel, upon the engagement of their daughter, Alexandra, to Jack Gindi, son of Sharon and Elie Gindi, of Los Angeles.

Louise and Sid Banon upon the wedding of their son, Ross, to Ally Federbush, daughter of Thalia and Danny Federbush of Englewood.


Ken and Shifra Eisman upon their marriage.

Rosie (’68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the eighth grade graduation of their grandson, Shlomo David Yehaskel, from Yeshiva Har Torah. He is the son of Marc and Davida (‘95) Yehaskel of Great Neck.

Ronit and Dr Lawrence Schwab upon the engagement of their son, Dr. Daniel Schwab (‘10), to Vanessa Cohen, daughter of Iris and Avi Cohen of Agoura Hills, California. Debbie and Dr. Shelly Senders upon the engagement of their son, Joseph Aaron, to Eliana Tuchman, daughter of Drs. Elissa and Ari Tuchman of Silver Spring, MD. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. May their weddings take place in happiness and blessing.

chupah rental This beautiful Chupah, designed and embroidered by members of the KJ Sisterhood, can enhance your family wedding. For rental information please contact Riva Alper at 212-774-5670 or


Chevi Friedman and Jon Ganzarski upon their wedding. Tamar and Eric Goldstein upon the upcoming marriage of their son, Aryeh, to Rachel Muller, daughter of Joyce and David Muller of Boca Raton. Vicki and Isaac Hoffman upon the marriage of their son, David, to Alieza Schvimer, daughter of Esther Buchbinder and Jeffrey Schvimer of Evanston, Illinois. Gail Kramer upon the marriage of her granddaughter, Jennifer Korff, to Jonathan Goldsmith of Woodmere. Pamela & George Rohr upon the marriage of their son, Alex, to Celine Moussazadeh, daughter of Catherine and David Moussazadeh. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother, Helen Nash. Shoshana Bachrach and KJ Rabbinic Intern Leead Staller upon their marriage. Dorothy and Andrew Tananbaum upon the marriage of their son, Charles (Tanner), to Abigail Stern, daughter of Orna and Geoffrey Stern of Manhattan. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother, Esther Peterseil. Andrea and David Weingard upon the marriage of their son, Steven, to Danielle Stein, the daughter of Elizabeth & Michael Stein. Jane and Nicky Yakubovich upon the marriage of their son, Jason, to Regina Radusky, the daughter of Bonnie Radusky.

May the newlywed couples be blessed to build homes faithful to the traditions of the Jewish people.


Mazal Tov to Elisa and Allen Gage upon the 8th grade graduation of their daughter, Lauren, from The Child School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Doina and Dr. Lawrence Bryskin. Professor Zohar Goshen upon receiving the Willis Reese Teaching Prize from Columbia Law School. Drs. Michelle Meersand and Allen Heller, upon the acceptance of their daughter, Alexis, to Sackler Medical School in Israel. Carol and Ralph Perlberger upon the acceptance of their grandson, Oliver Hollman, to Stuyvesant High School. Bonnie Pollak upon receiving her PhD from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Dr. Pollak did ground breaking research for her Dissertation on The Transmission of Trauma: The Impact of Holocaust Survivors’ Experiences on Children of Survivor’s Religious Belief and Practices. Bonnie is a professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work in the Masters and Doctoral programs. Nilda and KJ Building Superintendent Freddie Rodriguez upon the graduation of their daughter, Francesca, from Christ the King Junior High School. She will attend Mount St. Ursula in the fall.

33 continued, WITHIN


Susie and Dr. Shelly Senders upon the graduation of their son, Joseph Aaron, from Yeshiva University with a BA in Economics. Joey plans to pursue a career in medicine. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Bracha and KJ Comptroller Sy Yanofsky upon the graduation of their daughter, Gitty, from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Biology. Gitty will go on to study in the fall for her graduate degree as a Physician’s Assistant.


Rosie Friedman (Ramaz ‘68) upon her retirement from the Ramaz Faculty Aftercare Program. Rosie, a former Ramaz Daycare Teacher, has been lovingly teaching and caring for Ramaz students for the past 17 years. Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein upon celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.


Rita and Dr. David Woldenberg upon celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary.

The Jewish Week one of the “36 Under 36.” Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Janet & Mark Mittler.


Gabriela Shnay upon being honored by the American Society of Yad VaShem at their annual Spring Luncheon.


Larry Grafstein upon being honored by the Banking & Finance Group of the Wall Street Division of UJA-Federation of New York at their annual dinner where fellow KJ member Scott Shay delivered the keynote address. Dr. Aviva Preminger Hiltzik upon being honored by Sharsheret with the Lisa Altman Volunteer Tribute Award at their 18th Chai Anniversary Benefit Luncheon. Howard and Sharon Katz upon their children, Amber and Jonathan Harris, being honored at the Kehilath Kesher Shul Dinner in Englewood. Geraldine & Jeffrey Mittler upon their son, Ramaz Upper School Freshman Jordan Mittler, being named by

O sing unto the Lord a new song. - Psalms


Harry Baumgarten upon being named Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society, where he works on advancing federal judicial nominees. He previously served as Legislative Director and Counsel to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Sandra E. Rapoport upon being the featured author at Congregation Ansche Chesed’s “Scribblers on the Roof” program on Monday evening, July 8.

DEDICATE Members of the Congregation and others are invited to honor a friend or relative, celebrate a milestone event, or memorialize a loved one by dedicating Chumashim ($75 each) or Siddurim ($50 each)



Please join us in welcoming our new cantor at his inaugural KJ Shabbat in the Main Synagogue


J U LY 2 0 | 9 : 0 0 A M Services


Prepare to be wowed!







Sheila Chess upon the passing of her mother, Paula Pilevsky. Roslyn Friedman upon the passing of her brother. Barry Frohlinger upon the passing of his mother, Debbie Frohlinger. Jeanne Jemal upon the passing of her father, Lionel M. Levey. Esther Edelstein-Mazor and Chaim Edelstein upon the passing of their sister, Sarah Friedel. Jane Katz upon the passing of her mother, Lee Friedman. Betsy Klarfeld upon the passing of her father, Benjamin Barth. Dr. Edward Ostad upon the passing of his mother, Soraya Ostad. Dr. Daniel Potaznik upon the passing of his mother, Rosa Spindel Potaznik. Robin Rothman upon the passing of her mother, Audrey Rothman. Moshe and Joshua Scheinfeld upon the passing of their brother, Dr. Noah Scheinfeld. Alexandra Zohn-Cepelowicz upon the passing of her father, Miguel Zohn. May they be comforted among all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.

HERBERT LUKASHOK A professor of public health at Montefiore Hospital and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Herb was the son of the late Lillian and Samuel Lukashok who were members of our congregation fifty years ago. He himself was a member for over forty years and he greatly enjoyed participating in our services and, especially, in lectures and shiurim He absolutely loved the study of Torah in its broadest sense. At the age of 75, he was blessed to marry his wife, Judith, who survives him. They had twenty-two wonderful years of love, togetherness and exceptional, mutual respect and regard. They enjoyed the same things and cherished the same ideals.

Herb was also a very active member of our sister congregation, Or Zaruah, and many members of that congregation honored his memory by attending his funeral. In many ways, Herb’s life was a sanctification of God’s name in that he was straight as an arrow, meticulously ethical and consistently moral while leading a serious, religious Jewish life.

VIVIAN MANN A celebrated alumna of Ramaz, Vivian was one of those who transformed the teaching of Talmud for Ramaz women. As a student in 1959, she insisted that Talmud be taught to women in the Junior and Senior years of high school at a time when the syllabus called for typing and home economics. Two generations of Ramaz female students are the beneficiaries of her pioneering. She held a PhD in Art History and she was the leading curator at the Jewish Museum for a very long tenure. She was widely respected in the Jewish world for her broad and deep knowledge and for her brilliance in her profession. Here at KJ, she made many friends and she was both hosted for many and hosted by many, and everyone enjoyed her warmth, her culinary expertise, and her love of our community.

E. MAGNUS OPPENHEIM A member of our congregation for close to fifty years, Magnus was the beloved husband of Raquel and the revered father of Michal Cohen, Shimon, Koby and Yoni, all of them yeshiva graduates. He was also the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren. Magnus was a prominent fixture in the Main Synagogue of KJ. He occupied his seat just to the right of the center bima Shabbat after Shabbat, singing lustily as he accompanied the cantor and leading all of the congregational responses. He was a Talmid Chacham, a musmach of Yeshiva Torah Vada’at, and a graduate of both CCNY and Columbia University where he earned his MA and MBA. Magnus was very active in Jewish communal life. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the OU for ten years, a representative on the Synagogue Council of America, and a stalwart supporter of Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Cohen’s Ariel Institute in Jerusalem. He was the true model of a balabos. A proud and powerful voice for Torah, Judaism and the Jewish

35 continued, IN



people, he leaves a void which will be noticed and which will be very difficult to fill.

TALIA PAGOVICH She died at the beginning of Chol HaMoed Pesach and her body interred in Israel, where her heart was directed throughout her passionately Zionist life. She is survived by her children, Gil, Ori (Stefanie) and Odelya (David) Pagovich-Dabscheck and Shimon (Robin Mendelsohn). Her loving children accompanied their mother to her final resting place in the land of our ancestors, a fitting end to a beautiful life characterized by devotion to family, charity and God. Talia Pagovich was first and foremost a devoted wife of the late Dr. Benjamin Pagovich, and a very loving mother and grandmother. She had high expectations for her children, all of whom were educated at Ramaz, along with two grandchildren who are currently Ramaz high school students. Despite her many years as a widow, Talia remained optimistic, determined and very positive about the present and the future. She was a passionate Jew and Zionist whose presence in our Main Synagogue will be very much missed this Rosh Hashanah.

DORIS SACHS Doris succumbed to a very difficult illness at the age of ninetytwo. She was the daughter of Julius and Hattie Charnow, who were members of our congregation decades ago. She sat in her mother’s seat for almost forty years. She was very generous to KJ, always responding to the Annual Synagogue Appeal. When we suffered the catastrophic fire eight years ago, Doris Sachs immediately sent a check to the

ORDER MAIN SYNAGOGUE MEMORIAL PLAQUES FOR LOVED ONES Contact KJ Comptroller Sy Yanofsky at 212-774-5620 or

congregation to help restore her beloved synagogue. She was the essence of elegance. Her home was immaculate and beautiful. Her person was fastidious and impressive. She took over the family business and succeeded at it.She managed her husband’s stock account and made it grow. She was a loving mother and grandmother. A very memorable lady!

HENRY WILNER He died at the age of ninety-five, a heroic survivor of the Holocaust who literally jumped from a train at the urging of his mother - a train that was bound for the Belzec death camp. One brother, who jumped with him, joined Henry as the only two survivors of the family. Together, they became fighting Partisans, avenging the murdered millions even as they fought to survive. Here in America, Henry made a new life; he married his beloved life’s companion, Frieda, and they raised three sons, all of them graduates of Ramaz. One of them, Dr. Phil Wilner, serves as Chairman of the Ramaz Board of Trustees. Phil’s and Judy’s three children are all alumni of Ramaz. Henry’s affability and acumen served him well as he built a successful business from the ground up, always attributing his good fortune to God rather than himself. He focused on the good things, never dwelling on the horrific past, or on mundane dayto-day frustrations that distract so many of us from achieving happiness. Mr. Wilner had many friends in our community who used to visit him right until the end because they so respected this strong (but gentle), successful (but modest), effective (yet kind and thoughtful), Jewish mensch.

Sponsorships Are Welcome To support synagogue programs, we invite prospective Kiddush and Seudah Shlishit sponsors to contact Riva Alper in the synagogue office at 212-774-5670 or The base cost of a cake-and-wine Kiddush is $500, to which is added the cost of any extra catered food ordered through Foremost Caterers. Multiple Kiddush sponsors may, at their discretion and initiative, agree to share the expense of extra catered food, but every co-sponsor must pay, separately and individually, the $500 base fee. For families celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, we also offer a $250 sponsorship option. Sponsoring Seudah Shlishit costs every co-sponsor $250.




1 4 7 TH A N N U A L M E E T I N G




FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRANTS Suzy Eisenstat Yvonne Koppel Rita & Dr. David Woldenberg

To begin the program, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz delivered a powerful invocation (which can be found on p. 40 of this Bulletin) about the values that will guide KJ and the Jewish people into the 21st century.


Our new Cantor, Chaim Dovid Berson, performed a beautiful rendition of the American and Israeli national anthems. Many present had never heard Cantor Berson (who begins his tenure with KJ on July 15) before, and they were inspired by the richness and power of his voice.

Helen & Reuben Davis

David Lobel offered the President’s Report (p. 37) and Morris Massel presented 53 new member households (p. 39). Then, with incomparable warmth, Rabbi Lookstein recognized our milestone anniversarians, recalling family histories and communal contributions. The following members celebrated milestone anniversaries and were honored by the Congregation:

Beth & Ronald Bernard Rita & Fred Distenfeld Aaron Etra Jessica Gribetz Shelley & Martin Kaufman Rhea & Dr. Leon Landau Jean & Armand Lindenbaum Barbara & Dr. Terry Plasse Ingeborg & Ira Rennert TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRANTS Stacey & Harvey W. Abrahams Eve & Samuel Attias Emily & Bennett Epstein Penny & Moshe Errico-Nagar Jane & Ishaia Gol Ruth & David Gottesman Hoffer Kaback Robin Kaperst Jean Kelly Charlene Khaghan Perla & Dr. Julio Messer Shireen & Alfred Ohebshalom Nancy & Dr. Stanley Rosenfeld Victoria & Daryosh Sakhai

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Gloria & Gregory Schneider

President ................................... David Lobel

Ronald Schwartz

Senior Vice President ..... Elias Buchwald

Susan & Scott Shay Arlene & Daniel Stein Shoshana Bookson & Dr. Saul Stromer Susan & Dr. Robert Taub PRESIDENT’S REPORT President David Lobel spoke about the state of the Synagogue and its growth, particularly in regard to the number of young people under the age of 35 who have joined the synagogue. BOARD ELECTIONS The report of the Nominating Committee, as approved by the Board of Trustees, was presented by Wendy Greenbaum and adopted by the congregation. The following officers were elected to positions for the 2019-2020 Congregational year:

Vice President ............. Jonathan Wagner

contributions to date with the hope for many more years of dedicated service to KJ in other capacities.

2nd Vice President ......... Dr. Nicole Agus

Three Regular Trustees’ terms

3rd Vice President ............. Sidney Ingber

for re-election and will continue

4th Vice President.... Wendy Greenbaum Secretary ................................ Larry Baruch Treasurer ........................ Robert Schwartz Assistant Treasurer ............. David Sultan Executive Secretary .......... Morris Massel Financial Secretary ............... Evan Farber Recording Secretary .......... JJ Hornblass Administrative Secretary .... Eric Gribetz

expired but they were eligible to serve. They are: Kenneth Aschendorf, Ray Chalme and Gail Propp. Robin Barsky, Mark Goldstein and Karen Lerman were elected as new Regular Trustees. ASSOCIATE TRUSTEES Yaira Singer Binstock, Jeffrey Esses and Rebecca Feit completed their terms as Associate Trustees and

REGULAR TRUSTEES Leo Fox, Larry Kassman, Sheera Moffson and Jay Spievack completed their terms and were not eligible for re-election. They were thanked for their

were elected as Regular Trustees. Matthew Friend, Marco Sardar, Jonathan Stern and Jennifer Yashar were elected as new Associate Trustees.

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William Rosner

The Kol Ram Community Chorus, under the direction of Daniel Henkin, provided a four-song musical interlude that was immensely enjoyed.

Bernard Scharfstein


Barbara Seitz

Joshua Kaufthal

DECEASED MEMBERS In a solemn moment, and with warmth and sensitivity, Rabbi Lookstein then paid tribute to fifteen members of the Congregation who were called to their eternal reward since the 146th Annual Meeting: Arthur Brody Elliott Eisman Marjorie Fortinsky Dan Golan Helen Halper Honorable Jerome Hornblass

Herbert Wolff Leila Zuckerman

RAMAZ SCHOOL MEETING Board Chair Dr. Philip Wilner presented the slate of Officers for the Ramaz School. He thanked Board Members who completed their terms of service and are rotating off the Ramaz Board: BOARD MEMBERS Dana Cohen Nicole Dicker The following Board members were re-elected:

COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBERS Shaul Nakash Kenneth Tauber PARENT BOARD MEMBERS Julie Feldman Jason Kollander Lori Zeltser The following people were elected to serve on the Ramaz Board: COMMUNITY BOARD MEMBERS Jonathan Dubroff

Marcel Lindenbaum


Robert Payne

Ken Aschendorf


Hannah Ranells

Adam Kaplan

Rachel Wolf

Frida Riederman

Abbe Serphos

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The following people were re-elected for a one-year period: HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS




Harvey Beker Fred Distenfeld

Randi & Barry Altmark

Frieda Kahn

Shira & Joshua Arcus

Erika & Eric Kashi

Rebecca & Jeremy Balkin

Dorothy & Daniel Katz

Ilan Kaufthal

Madeline & Samuel Bavli

Brooke & Evan Kaye

Dr. Jerry Kestenbaum

Vera Bernstein

Jennifer & David Kellman

Gail Propp

Lenore & Ben Brachot

Linda Lang

Gabriela & Jason Brecher

Lilly & Emil Lebovich

Larry Chaityn

Jerald Levine

Michelle Chandler-Bronstein

Alanna & Zachary Liebmann

Ari & Raquel Cohen

Chela & Maximillian Lindenfeld

Frances & Bobby Cohen

Jenny Schliozberg & Howard Menikoff

Michael Doft

Danielle Miller & Adam Pickman

Marjorie & Steven Edelstein

David Roggin

Paula Etra

Sarah & Michael Rosenberg

Ruth Ezra

Lauren Bochner & Jordan Sheff

Jessica & David Feldan

Sarah & Michael Sherman

Daniel Fishman

Chana & Meir Shubowitz

Robert Fox

Seren & Michael Shvo

Sharon Bilar Goldfarb & Jeffrey Goldfarb

Charlotte Simon

Lillian Eisman David Gruenstein Robert Kapito

Following a moving closing address by Rabbi Elie Weinstock (p. 41), the assembled were invited to enjoy a traditional supper of hotdogs, sauerkraut and ice-cold beer, courtesy of Foremost Caterers. There, friends new and old mingled, creating the social chemistry for which KJ is known. “My diet starts tomorrow!” was the oftheard refrain late into the night.

Paulette Goldberg Nicole & Andrew Goletka Keren & Zohar Goshen Daniel Grinberg Julia & Raphael Haramati Alexandra & Sol Hedaya Karin Grinbaum Jacobi & Asaf Jacobi

Karen & Gabriel Slotnick Diana & Brad Stoler David Sukenik Jamie & David Toledano Anna & David Tykocinski Miriam Lieberman & Benjamin Vago Marianna & Samuel Weiner Lanna & David Weisfeld

40 continued, ANNUAL





‫ה ֹּ֖זאת לָכֶֽם׃‬ ַ ‫ב ָד֥ה‬ ֹ ֲ ‫הע‬ ָ ‫מ֛ה‬ ָ ‫אלֵיכ֖ ֶם ּבְנ ֵי ֑כ ֶם‬ ֲ ‫מרּ֥ו‬ ְ ‫וְהָיָ֕ה ּכִֽי־יֹא‬ AND WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ASK YOU SAYING: ‘WHAT DOES THIS CEREMONY MEAN TO YOU? JEWS AROUND THE WORLD WILL REPEAT THIS BIBLICAL QUESTION AT THEIR SEDERS, JUST A FEW DAYS FROM NOW. The child asking the question, perhaps a bit rebellious, challenges his parents to explain the Passover rituals and wonders: why are you still doing this? This question is relevant to the Jewish people, who are now preparing for their 3,332nd Seder, and this question is relevant to Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, which is entering its 148th year. Why are we still doing this? The answers are many and meaningful. We still do this because we have a passion for Torah, for learning and living as Jews; for educating a new generation of Jews into the mission of Judaism. (And we at KJ have been blessed to have my colleagues, who are inspiring Rabbis and community educators, to enlighten

and educate our community.) We still do this because we have a passion for tefillah, prayer, for reaching out to God and connecting to a higher purpose and raising our souls to a higher plane. (And I would like to note that our new Cantor, Chaim Dovid Berson, who is here this evening, will inspire our tefillah to reach even higher in the years to come). We still do this because Jews around the world, in America, in Israel, in the Former Soviet Union, in Yemen, and in Iran, are not a distant memory... but rather close family, and we must do everything we can to support them. We still do this because community is our foundation, and compassion is our vocation, and we believe as Jews that belonging, sharing, and giving are

the greatest of human achievements. (And we at KJ are blessed to have such devoted lay leaders who work tirelessly for our synagogue, and for whom the values of community and generosity are paramount.) We still do this because to declare Am Yisrael Chai, to commit to a Jewish future, is a noble mission for every Jew, and one which serves all of mankind. This is what these ceremonies mean to us; this is why we remain committed to the noble mission of the Jewish people. Almighty God; we stand here looking forward to the coming synagogue year. May you inspire us to bring goodness and holiness to our synagogue, the Jewish people, and the entire world. Amen.

41 continued, ANNUAL




RABBI STEINMETZ OPENED THE MEETING WITH PESACH, SO WE WILL CONCLUDE WITH THE PASSOVER THEME. NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT, WE WILL SIT DOWN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR AN EVENING OF WONDER, INFORMATION, AND INSPIRATION. THE PESACH SEDER IS A TIMELESS TRADITION WHICH REMINDS US OF WHO WE ARE AS A PEOPLE. WE RECOUNT THE PAST IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR CHILDREN, THE NEXT GENERATION, WHICH ENSURES OUR FUTURE. It is an evening of order, formality, and custom. Kadeish – We begin with sanctification and welcome all to the proceedings. We follow each step of the evening’s program. Maggid – We tell a story of the past, stopping at the various milestones – the Patriarchs, the slavery, the plagues, and, ultimately, the miracles of the Exodus. We talk about faith and purpose and mission. We remember those who have passed on. Hallel – We sing and offer praise for what God did for us. We are grateful for all that we have.

Save the


Does this remind you of anything? The Seder is a lot like the KJ Annual Synagogue Meeting! We began with an Invocation, introducing the evening and calling us to order. Next, we welcomed our new members and celebrated our anniversarians, those who have been part of the KJ family for decades. The President gave a report, telling the story of all that KJ does and can do, please God, going forward. Then we (or, more accurately, Kol Ram) sang and inspired us to joy and gratitude. We then remembered those who have passed on during the last year and committed ourselves to honoring their memory. At the Annual Meeting – much like the Seder, we do a lot before we eat. But it is all worth it. Tonight, we engaged in a traditional gathering that captures the essence of KJ. We came, we saw, we listened, we were inspired, and, now, it’s time to eat! I formally adjourn this 147th Annual Meeting of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and invite everyone downstairs to the Riklis Social Hall for a supper of hot dogs, sauerkraut, knishes, and ice cold beer, courtesy of Foremost Caterers.

12.7.19 SATURDAY NIGHT | 8 PM ANNUAL KJ DINNER Ramaz Upper School




YEAR IN SHABBAT SCHOLARS Rabbi David Stav Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder Mark Trencher

SEUDAH SHLISHIT GUEST SPEAKERS Rabbi Avraham Braun Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder AIPAC’s Sarah Sax and Julian Coakley

Extravaganza welcoming Dr. Leah and Professor Simcha Goldin Tu B’Shvat event with JNF and Rabbi Meyer Laniado Women’s Tefillah Service Women’s Megillat Esther Reading Purim Mishloach Manot Shabbat HaGadol Drasha by Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

Rabbi Amy Bolton

Tekes Ma’avar and Yom HaZikaron Program

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Services
and BBQ

Teach NYS Panel Discussion

Shavuot Dinner and Tikkun Leyl

KJ President David Lobel

Yom Yerushalayim Services

Rabbi Kalman Samuels

Holiday Programming for Israeli Children

Dr. Alan Kadish Ramaz Students Rebecca Massel and Samantha Sinensky


Yaakov Katz

Shemini Atzeret Lunch

Rabbi Menachem Schrader

UJA@KJ Chesed Activities

IDF Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia and Daniel Defur Robert Sugarman Rabbi Yehuda Aaronson

HOLIDAY EVENTS Teshuva Shiur by Dr. Elana Stein Hain Shabbat Shuva Drasha by Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

Uncle Moishy Chanukah Concert Tot Shabbat
Movie Night Yoga & Health with Jaclyn Ashkenazie New Mothers Evening “Reversing the Silence” Fertility Support Event/ Panel Discussion featuring Leandra Medine Shabbat Meals for New Parent

Sukkot Meals

Living Room Learning

Women’s Hakafot

Challah Bake

Simchat Torah Community

JNFuture Purim Planting Party

SISTERHOOD Pre-Holiday Boutique
 Book Club
 Wellness Workshop
 Yoga Foundations with Carla Tanz Challah and l’Chaim Cheese and Dessert Board Workshop with Kim Kushner Annual Spring Luncheon, honoring Donna Silverman Preparation of local houses of mourning and mourner’s first meal Sotheby’s: Judaica Art Tour The Jewish Museum Tour

MEN’S CLUB Programming by Dr. Mark Meirowitz Pete Holmberg: Republican Candidate for New York State Senate in District 28 Congressman Adriano Espaillat D-NY 13th District Chele Farley, Republican Candidiate for New York Senate Political Consultant Hank Scheinkopf Stephen Savitsky, President of B’nei Zion Shoshana Bryen: Director, Jewish Policy Center Dr. Nick Gura, Gematria Guru Dr. Lisa Young, Nutritionist Maury Litwack Executive Director of Teach NYS

43 continued, YEAR



REVIEW Fred Fleitz, Former Deputy to National Security Advisor John Bolton

KJ Conversations

Israel Max, noted expert

AIPAC Policy Conference

IDF Brigidier General (Ret.) Avigdor Kahalani

Kristallnacht: Lecture by Dr. Moshe Avital

Eli Beer

Dr. Alan Kadish, President of Touro College Rabbanit Dr. Adena Brenner, Scholar in-Residence, Kol Haneshamah Nathan Lewin, Esq., Attorney and Supreme Court Litagator

Yom Hashoah Program: Witness Theater Yud Tet Kislev Farbrengen

Miriam Peretz

BEGINNERS Jewish Youth Connection

Operation L’Hitraot Israel Pesach Trip

Friday Night Live! Service & Dinners

Chevra Kadisha Seudah Shlishit

Purim Party

KJ Annual Dinner

Hebrew Reading Crash Courses

Gilad Sharon, son of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Israel Bonds Shabbat

Chanukah Lighting in the Park

The Yiddish Schmoozers

Ruth Wisse, Harvard Professor Emerita and Tikvah Fund Senior Fellow

NJOP Shabbat Across America

Lunch and Learn

Sukkah Dinner Under the Stars

Widow Connections

Passover Seder

Sponsorship of weekly Seudot Shlishit

The Leah Modlin Annual Lecture on Caring and Community Service

Model Seder

Author Elizabeth Macauley-Lewis

Dorot Package Deliveries

Barry Libin discussing his book “The Vatican’s Vault”

Dr. Stephen Stowe Annual Shabbaton

SPECIAL EVENTS & PROGRAMS Conversation on Democracy & Human Rights with Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Judge Michael Mukasey, & Touro Law School Dean, Harry Ballan Seymour Propp Memorial Lecture Community Together Shabbat Dinner featuring Y-Studs A Capella Yonina Concert Yachad Shabbaton
 Blood Drive Annual Synagogue Meeting Simchat Torah/Shavuot Student Divrei Torah

Havdalah & Ice Skating in Central Park The Life & Legacy of Menachem Begin Tehillim Group Technology Class for Seniors with Jordan Mittler

Jewish Learning Institute

Sukkah Hop Teen Minyan NCSY JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentoring Program) Shabbaton Parent/Child Melaveh Malkah

IDF Brigadier General Ram Yavne at Security Briefing sponsored by JINSA

Purim Party/Purim Carnival
Fall and Spring Shabbatonim

“The Queen and the Spymaster” with author KJ Member Sandra E. Rapoport

Teen Shabbat Dinners

GUEST PULPIT SPEAKERS Rachelle Sprecher Frankel Rabbi David Stav AIPAC’s Dr. Ronen Bergman Bishop Robert Sterns

Teen Oneg Parsha with Rabbi Meyer Laniado Open Gym Programs
 Shabbat Youth Groups Shavuot Ice Cream Party/Chopped! Visit from Noah’s Ark
Basketball and Softball Sports Leagues






212-774-5600  |



SYNAGOGUE OFFICIALS Haskel Lookstein.......... Rabbi Emeritus Chaim Steinmetz.............. Senior Rabbi Elimelech Weinstock................... Rabbi Meyer Laniado............. Assistant Rabbi Rabbi Daniel Kraus & Rachel Kraus..... ........ Directors of Community Education Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder...................... ............................ Scholar-in-Residence Chaim Dovid Berson..................Cantor Dr. Benjamin Zalta.................... Cantor Leonard Silverman.... Executive Director

OFFICERS OF THE CONGREGATION David Lobel........................... President Elias Buchwald.... Senior Vice President Jonathan Wagner.......... Vice President Dr. Nicole Agus...... 2nd Vice President Sidney Ingber........ 3rd Vice President Wendy Greenbaum.. 4th Vice President Dr. Larry Baruch................... Secretary Robert Schwartz................... Treasurer David Sultan........... Assistant Treasurer Morris Massel........ Executive Secretary Evan Farber............ Financial Secretary JJ Hornblass........ Recording Secretary Eric Gribetz....Administrative Secretary

LIVING PAST PRESIDENTS Fred Distenfeld Chaim Edelstein Eric Feldstein Stanley Gurewitsch Joel Katz

Are you receiving your KJ Bulletin late in the mail? Are you receiving double copies of the Bulletin? We need to know! Please email or call 212-774-5670. In preparing the Bulletin, we welcome all KJ members’ announcements of communal, academic and professional achievements. Please email or mail it to the synagogue, marked “ATTN: KJ Bulletin”


Lighting of Candles

Friday Evening Services

Saturday Afternoon Services

shabbat Ends

Korah Hukkat Balak Pinhas

8:13 PM 8:10 PM 8:06 PM 8:01 PM

6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM

8:10 PM 8:05 PM 8:00 PM 7:55 PM

9:14 PM 9:1 1 PM 9:05 PM 8:58 PM

AUGUST 2-3 9-10 16-17 23-24 30-31

Mattot/Masei Devarim/Chazon Va’etchanan/Nachamu Ekev Re’eh

7:54 PM 7:46 PM 7:35 PM 7:25 PM 7:14 PM

6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM

7:45 PM 1:30 PM 7:25 PM 7:15 PM 7:05 PM

8:52 PM 8:39 PM 8:30 PM 8:19 PM 8:07 PM

September 6-7 13-14 20-21 27-28

Shoftim Ki Tetzei Ki Tavo Nitzavim

7:02 PM 6:51 PM 6:39 PM 6:27 PM

6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM 6:40 PM

6:50 PM 6:40 PM 6:30 PM 6:15 PM

7:56 PM 7:44 PM 7:31 PM 7:19 PM

July 5-6 12-13 19-20 26-27



7:30 AM

8:30 AM

7:15 AM

7:00 AM

9:00 AM

Sharon Levitsky.. President, Sisterhood Roberta Stetson.. President, Sisterhood Dr. Mark Meirowitz........Pres., Men’s Club Caroline Bryk............President, Kesher Liora Schulman......... President, Kesher Ariel Stern................ President, Kesher

Weekday Mornings

Sunday Mornings

Mondays & Thursdays

Rosh Chodesh Weekdays

Shabbat Mornings

OFFICE STAFF Riva Alper....................... Administrator Dina Farhi.............. Executive Assistant Esther Feierman.................. Director of Communications and Programming Menucha Parry.....................Director of Member Affairs Aryana Bibi Ritholtz....... Youth Director Freddie Rodriguez....... Superintendent Sy Yanofsky....................... Comptroller

EVENING SERVICES JUNE 30-JULY 11.................6:50 PM

JULY 14-SEPTEMBER 26.................6:45 PM

DATES TO REMEMBER Wednesday, July 3 Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Morning Services at 7:00 AM

Friday, August 2 Rosh Chodesh Av Morning Services at 7:00 AM

Monday, September 2 Labor Day Morning Services at 8:30 AM

Thursday, July 4 (Independence Day) Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Morning Services at 8:30 AM

Saturday-Sunday, August 10-11 Fast of Tisha B’Av Schedule on page 23 Fast begins at 8:02 PM Saturday Night Services at 8:55 PM Sunday Morning Services at 8:30 AM Sunday Night Services at 7:30 PM Fast ends at 8:35 PM

Saturday night, September 21 Selichot

Sunday, July 21 Fast of 17th of Tammuz Fast begins at 4:31 AM Morning Services at 8:30 AM Evening Services at 7:55 PM Fast ends at 9:01 PM

Saturday-Sunday, August 31-September 1 Rosh Chodesh Elul Sunday Morning Services at 8:30 AM

Monday-Tuesday, September 30October 1 Rosh Hashanah

Profile for Esther Feierman

Summer Bulletin  

Summer Bulletin