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Summer I S S U E

The COVID Edition


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KJ’s Senior Rabbi. Reach him at rcs@ckj.org.

In the last 100 days, human relationships have been completely altered. In-person interactions have stopped, and work and social life have shifted online. Many of these changes will remain long after coronavirus is gone. Businesses are already planning to permanently reduce real estate and travel costs by incorporating Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

more telecommuting and Zoom conferencing. But for synagogues, the shift to the virtual is far more complicated. There is a joke from the 1990’s about an avid Atlanta Braves fan, Jack, who called his Rabbi before Yom Kippur. He said, “Rabbi, I know tonight is Kol Nidre, but the Braves are finally in the playoffs, and the first game is tonight. Rabbi, I’ve been waiting for this for years; I have to watch the game.”

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2 The Rabbi responds, “Jack, you can videotape it.” Jack loves the advice. “Rabbi, thank you so much! That is the perfect solution!” And after a pause Jack adds: “Rabbi, I never knew you could videotape Kol Nidre.” Today, the possibility of a videotaped Kol Nidrei is no longer a punchline. We have been forced to move online, with Zoom services, classes, weddings and funerals. Our synagogue is now a synagogue in a screen. But there is no way of avoiding the fact that a virtual community is a community diminished. If man is by nature a “social animal,” Jews are communal animals. It is not enough to love your neighbor; the community must join together to visit the sick, comfort the mourners, bury the dead, celebrate with the bride and groom, and welcome visitors. None of these tasks lend themselves to being “phoned in.” Without an in-person connection, community withers. That is why ten people huddled in a small corner of a room constitute a minyan, but a thousand people on Zoom do not. As far as Halacha is concerned, a Zoom community is not a true community. The spiritual inadequacies of video technology are most apparent in grief. My father-in-law, Joe Schwartz, passed away at the end of May. Due to Canadian travel regulations, there was no way for my wife, Lisa, and her continued //

sister Sari in Philadelphia, to return to Toronto in time for the funeral. A graveside service for a carefully limited group had to suffice; Joe’s daughters, relatives, and friends had to watch the funeral over Zoom. There was a bitter irony to this: Joe was a true community man, the first to greet a new face in synagogue, and the first to volunteer to help. And now a man who exemplified the personal touch was going to be memorialized in a remote service, at a great distance from his beloved family and friends. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote a responsa (OH 4:40:11) about visiting a Shiva with a phone call. He ruled that a phone call is an inferior way of comforting the mourners, and should only be used if one cannot visit in person. He explained that the Shiva is about respect and concern; and neither of those can be properly “phoned in.” But you don’t need to be a Rabbinic scholar to arrive at this conclusion; every coronavirus Shiva is silent testimony to how inadequate remote condolences are. Yet there is another side to this. While Facetime and Zoom are hi-tech innovations, socially distant relationships are age old. Well before the electronic age, geographically distant young couples wrote each other love letters. The emotional power of the love letter is built on absence and loss. The words on

the page struggle to take flight, hoping to deliver a long‑distance embrace by pen and paper.

The hurdles of social distancing are no match for the human heart. In the past three months, we have witnessed the flourishing of a new type of love letter. Improvised communities and connections have emerged, offering love and support via smartphones and computers. The hurdles of social distancing are no match for the human heart. Since the passing of my father-in-law, Lisa, her mother, and sisters have had a daily ritual. Each afternoon they connect on Facetime to talk and reminisce. At the end of the conversation, they fight back tears as they read the words of the Kaddish together. Listening in, it feels to me as if their words can reach from this world to the next. Despite being hundreds of miles apart, a family that loves each other can always be together. Love can skip over the mountaintops and leap over hills. Some think that the shutdown of the last few

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months will undermine the synagogue. The assumption is that people have gotten used to staying at home, and that they will be content to continue sleeping late instead of attending services; and even those who want a religious experience will expect to sit on their couch and watch it on Zoom. I think that the opposite is true. In the last three months, we have seen where our community’s heart lies. We can take pride in how our community and so many others have held together, with Zooms, phone calls and volunteer drives. The Synagogue in the screen is our community’s love letter, written by a congregation that can’t wait to see each other in person again.



There’s no getting around it. Life is very different since we last communicated to our KJ friends via a Bulletin. You never even received what should have been the most recent Bulletin. It would have been the Passover/ Shavuot issue. By the time it would have arrived in your mailbox, in late March, much of the information in it would have been irrelevant, so it wasn’t even printed. There was a new world order that tried to turn what we know as Community on its head. But you can’t keep a good community down, and we Zoomed right into the new reality. And it was difficult. COVID-19 was like nothing we had ever seen. Health officials were trying to understand it, and we had to hunker down at home, wait for information, wash our hands so often it would put Mrs. Macbeth to shame - and pray to stay well. Parents had to explain to their children why they could not have play dates; why school was a computer; why work for

Mommy and/or Daddy was also a computer; why shul was now in the living room. We could not visit elderly parents or newborn grandchildren; we could not mourn loved ones in the manner to which we were accustomed; or dance at weddings and Bar Mitzvah celebrations - unless it was via a screen. Our health officials became our heroes, caring for the sick 24 hours a day, putting their lives and the lives of their families in danger. We heard stories from the front lines and sent comfort food and cards to doctors, nurses, and first responders so that they knew we were grateful and were in awe of their sacrifice - both physical and emotional. There was a feeling of isolation. Holidays spent alone. Coffee dates cancelled. Dating on hold. The list was endless. Everything was different. Through it all we were blessed to have had Leah Modlin’s and Marian Gross’s chesed initiative already in place before the pandemic. The chesed volunteers became so much to so many. And through it all, KJ was a constant. The Rabbis and KJ staff, our Sephardic Minyan, Beginners, Kesher, Sisterhood, and KJYD, frequently in partnership with Ramaz, took to the ether to present shiurim and tefillah classes; cooking, yoga and dancing classes; lectures by doctors, therapists, social workers and learning specialists as well as art historians; concerts and the full complement of programming that ordinarily would have taken place within KJ’s walls. (There were times it felt like there was an endless stream of programming until we found the right balance!) In these pages there is testament to this spirit. Stories from the front lines, programming summaries, reporting from the last aborted Bulletin that is still of interest, and of course, we catch up on communal news. As we wait for a vaccine, life as we knew it just a short time ago, is taking small steps back to a semblance of “normal.” KJ evening services have begun. You can get a haircut. We are not out of the woods yet, but we can see the path. Together with our Rabbis, the KJ Board, and God’s help we will again come together someday soon to enjoy the Foremost cholent at the congregational Kiddush. Nothing would make us happier!

Images: our doors waiting to reopen with social distancing modifications in place, from new signage to rearranged services and Purell dispensers galore. K J IN THE TIME O F C O V I D - 1 9 / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N K J i n T h e T i m e of C ov i d - 1 9



President of Upper East Side Hatzolah & Executive Board member of Chevra Hatzolah, the City-wide Umbrella Organization

On the Upper East Side in early March, when Hatzolah treated its first COVID-19 patient, nobody could have projected the trajectory that this deadly virus would take during the ensuing weeks. By the third week of March and lasting through mid-April, on a citywide basis, Hatzolah was responding to four times its usual daily call volume.

At the same time, there was an immediate need to obtain personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect our 1,300 volunteers and procure materials to sanitize our ambulances after every call. This proved to be no easy task as it literally became a competition with other EMS agencies and hospitals in order to source the limited supply of N95 masks, goggles, face shields, gowns and Tyvek suits. Fortunately, with around-the-clock perseverance and determination (and at a cost), we were able to purchase the requisite PPE so that none of our volunteers had to ever respond to a medical emergency without PPE.

The quantity of hourly telephone calls received into our emergency dispatch center was higher than at any other time in our 50-year history and despite having 90 ambulances stationed in NYC, a decision was made to bring additional ambulances down from the Catskills.

The treating of patients also changed during these horrid weeks. Over 85% of the patients that Hatzolah responded to were exhibiting presumptive COVID-19 symptoms. The mainstay complaints of chest pains, possible strokes and diabetic emergencies were almost non-existent. With patients afraid to go

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That is not to say that our members were fully protected. Our volunteers were still being directly exposed to COVID-19 patients on an hourly basis. Many of them got sick but fortunately, less than a dozen of them required inpatient hospitalization. When our volunteers joined Hatzolah, they knew what they were signing up for. They constantly respond to calls at 3:00 AM. They sometimes traverse blizzard conditions outside when everyone else is comfortably in their homes, and they leave their families at the Shabbat table on a moment’s notice. However, this time was very different. One of the difficulties for us was that now we were potentially sending our volunteers into harm’s way on each and every call.

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to the hospital and contract COVID-19, this became the collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with COVID-19 patients, the majority opted not to be transported to the hospital. They were simply afraid to be introduced into an environment with a shortage of beds and dedicated medical staff stretched to the limit. At one point, Hatzolah was being called on to monitor on a daily basis over 300 patients in Brooklyn who chose to stay home on an oxygen concentrator and in some cases, with IV lines. As the pandemic progressed, symptoms were constantly evolving. Patients exhibited oxygen saturation levels that had not been seen before in the pre-hospital environment. Patients did not just have respiratory symptoms, but also had circulatory, neurological and renal issues. In addition, despite what was initially reported, COVID-19 did not just impact the elderly or those with comorbidity issues. We responded to and transported many patients in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Another tragedy that went underreported by the media was the impact on patients that resulted from the hospital lockdowns. Pre COVID-19, most patients transported by Hatzolah were accompanied by a family member, friend, or health aid. During the height of COVID-19, nobody except the patient was permitted into the hospital. Many older patients, without access to a cell phone and the ability to text, were essentially cut off from family. We received many requests from families inquiring as to whether there was anything we could do to obtain updates about their loved ones. Unfortunately, there were critically ill elderly patients

5 who opted to stay at home surrounded by family rather than die in the hospital alone. All of this created a lot of stress for our volunteers who now had to deal with emotionally fragile patients and their loved ones with regard to these traumatic issues. Fortunately, since mid-May, Hatzolah’s call volume has been back down to pre‑COVID-19 levels and we are seeing very few presumptive COVID-19 positive patients. However, now is not the time for complacency. We pray for a vaccine.

We pray for new therapeutics. We pray every day for a refuah shlemah for all of our patients, and, we remain vigilant for the COVID-19 cases that are still out there. For over 50 years, Hatzolah’s mantra has been ‫כל המקיים נפש אחת‬

‫מישראל כאילו קיים עולם מלא‬.

Someone who saves one life is considered as if they had preserved the whole world. During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, our Hatzolah volunteers were on the front lines working 24 hours a day to save every life and protect our community.

Every member of our community is a partner in Hatzolah’s mission. By continuing to socially distance, wearing a mask, and protecting our most vulnerable friends and family members, you are assisting Hatzolah and partnering with Hatzolah in the mitzvah of saving lives in our Upper East Side community. God willing, this partnership and our collective tefilot will totally rid our community of COVID-19 and we will soon be back together as a community once again.


When our daughter, Esther Menaged, volunteered to be a medic on the Magen David Adom program, she thought it would be a ‘normal’ service; people in need because of accidents, illnesses, births and other calls that could be expected over the course of a year.

As it turned out, within a couple of weeks, she was wearing a Hazmat suit, dealing with a measles case, and for the last few months, the special emergency situation due to COVID-19.

Esther graduated with the Ramaz Class of 2019 and has been living in Israel since last summer. She made Aliyah and elected to spend her Gap Year as a Sherut Leumi (National Service) volunteer medic on a Magen David Adom ambulance. After a month-long training program this past August, she was stationed in Tel Aviv. She currently shares an apartment in Tel Aviv with eight other Israeli Sherut Leumi girls. Esther spent every summer of her life in Israel, as her mother, Anat, is Israeli. She has a large extended family there, which in normal times is a source of great support. Virtually each Shabbat would be spent with her grandparents or other relatives. The pandemic changed all that. Because of the outbreak, and her possible exposure due to her work, she could not visit any family members for over 4 months, for fear of infecting them. Her circle was basically limited to fellow Magen David Adom volunteers continued / /

and a couple of friends. Shabbatot, Pesach and Shavuot were all vastly different from the normal course of events. She was often alone. In addition, of course, we can’t visit her and don’t know when our next opportunity might arise, because of the pandemic. Esther has found her experience rewarding and enjoyable. She has had a broad spectrum of emergency ambulance calls, from births to unfortunate events. From consoling a small child, to spending time with an elderly person who needs to be transported to a hospital, or dealing with trauma, she feels that she gets to leave each person “a little better off than when she met them.” We are very proud of Esther that she has extended her National Service with Magen David Adom to a second year, and we pray that it will not be as eventful as the first.

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As an immunologist working on developing new vaccines for viruses, I have spent most of my adult life thinking about immunity and viruses. How do we protect ourselves from viral diseases? I have been intrigued by the many complexities of this challenge. It hasn’t been a subject of much general interest, to say the least. I have always loved sharing my fascination with my friends and family, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. When one of my sons was in fourth grade at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, I had to come to his class to convince his classmates that his mom did, in fact, work with deadly viruses! Unfortunately, all that changed this March. All of a sudden, the need to understand how to make a new vaccine for a new virus has taken on new importance. I no longer work directly with the viruses in the lab, continued //

but am still involved in clinical development of vaccines and treatment for COVID at The Rockefeller University. So much has changed this spring. So much we have not foreseen. We are fighting a virus that six months ago was unknown to the scientific and medical community. Science is always a highly collaborative endeavor, but it has never been like this. Doctors and scientists are working together in an unprecedented way. We are working across disciplines, across institutions, and across borders in a way that has never before happened. Academics are working with colleagues in Biotech and pharmaceutical companies in ways that have never been seen. Administrators and regulators whose work is absolutely essential to moving the clinical development process forward - but often is time consuming have streamlined their processes with care to make sure that safety is preserved. Governments and funders, including

large philanthropic foundations, are also rising to the occasion. Needless to say, this is essential as this is a very expensive endeavor. All of this is to combat the common enemy, SARSCoV2, the virus that causes COVID. As complex and challenging a foe as SARS-CoV2 is, very fortunately, it is a good target for a vaccine. This is, in my view, the saving grace of the pandemic. Unlike chronic infections like HIV or malaria, which are true challenges to vaccine science, scientists are generally agreed that this virus is vulnerable to immunity from a vaccine. The result of these remarkable efforts is that there are over 150 COVID vaccine candidates (a vaccine candidate is a vaccine construct that is being developed before it has been fully tested and approved) in development world-wide, at the time of this writing. Five of these candidates have entered human testing. This is record breaking to be sure. This is wonderful because it means we have many

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shots on goal, increasing our chances of scoring. However, no matter how hard we work and no matter how many resources are brought to bear, vaccine development is a challenging process and it is riddled with pitfalls. It typically takes approximately a decade to fully develop a new vaccine. The shortest recorded time to develop a vaccine is four years for the mumps vaccine in the early 1960s. Even if everything goes right, there are certain activities that cannot be sped up. If we are very fortunate there will be a vaccine, or more than one, that protects from the virus in early 2021. Even with this, it will take some time to manufacture and then distribute. A vaccine will truly allow us to return to the life that we know and love. Until we have a vaccine, and I am confident that we will have one. There are tried and true things we can do to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from the virus. These are not

7 high-tech measures, rather they are old-fashioned, good public health and hygiene practices. They are things we all know, and candidly, are not easy to do all the time. Both my grandfather and my grandmother, Milton and Anna Schlesinger were physicians. They graduated from medical school in the early 1920s before there were any antibiotics and there were few vaccines to combat infectious diseases. Their whole lives they instructed all of us to wash our hands well when we came in the house, to never drink from a public water fountain, to keep the windows open‌ and the list went on. Following this old-fashioned advice is what we must do to be safe until there is a vaccine. This is the key to making it through to the time when we will have a vaccine or other effective specific treatment. As the pandemic has progressed, we have learned more about which of these measures work most effectively. We are building the boat as we sail. Fortunately, I am no longer afraid of my groceries. Though in lab experiments the virus has been shown to live on many surfaces, it does not seem from our experience in real world

conditions that cardboard or fabric are worrisome sources of infection. There are many things that we can do to keep safer and move closer to a “new normal.� COVID is spread mostly from the nose and mouth. Unfortunately, as many as 40% of people who are shedding virus might not have symptoms. So, screening for a fever or recent symptoms is helpful but not perfect.

Here are several ways to help stay safe and healthy: 1. The correct and consistent wearing of a mask is one of the most important actions we can take to protect both ourselves and others. In my mind, this is absolutely critical. Both the nose and mouth must be covered. Covering the chin is no help. 2. Being outside in the open air seems to offer effective protection. It is not perfect protection, but light and air are a big help. Indoors, open windows and good ventilation are also protective. 3. Most transmission seems to be person to person, but some surfaces, particularly

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stainless steel, allow the virus to linger for hours and even sometimes days. So robust disinfection by cleaning with appropriate cleansers is another important way to protect ourselves, and immediately washing hands or using hand sanitizer after touching surfaces is also important.

4. As my grandparents reminded me, good hand washing protects us from lots of germs. It also protects from COVID specifically. This means washing, fronts, backs, wrists and fingernails for 20 seconds (two choruses of the Happy Birthday song) with hot water and soap. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer used the same way is a good second choice. 5. Being careful to not touch our faces when outside of our own homes is another important measure. I find this particularly challenging, but I am trying my best. 6. Social distancing - staying at least six feet apart - is one more tried and true way to protect ourselves. 7. One of the most important things we can do is stay home if we feel unwell. The days of taking two aspirin

and soldiering through a cold have passed. It is simply not responsible to go out if one has any signs or symptoms of illness. This applies to children, too. If symptoms persist, we should consult our physicians by phone for guidance on testing, treatment and generally what to do. Even though we are still awaiting a vaccine or an effective treatment (that is a story for another day), there are many measures we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. One of the great tragedies of this pandemic is how it has disproportionately affected certain groups. Older age and the existence of preexisting medical conditions puts one at significantly increased risk. Every one of us has to evaluate our own risk and that of our loved ones. Life has surely changed in ways that I would have never imagined in February. However, I am comforted by the idea that this, too, shall pass. The virus will be with us for some time, but there will no doubt be a vaccine. Until that time, we must rely on ourselves to do the tedious daily things to protect us all.

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06.27.20 I am wearing an N-95 mask tightly around my nose and mouth. By now, most people know what that feels like. It’s hard to breathe because I have another mask on top of that one. At the hospital we only get one N-95 mask per day, and therefore we use a second mask to protect the N-95 from getting soiled. As I unbolt the door to the room, the door sucks open. I shove it hard to overcome the low air pressure and restore the airtight seal. With every breath I take I compete with a negative pressure system. The air is being pulled out of the room through a high-efficiency particulate air filter and expelled outside to the street. It is hard to see. I wear a plastic face shield over my glasses and the masks. It fogs up with every breath. With the air blowers and other machines, I raise my voice to be heard by the surgeon who is standing next to me. I have to shout to communicate with the nurse who is stationed outside the door, as a runner, to hand supplies requested through the door. I feel the perspiration building. I’m wearing a lead vest and apron over my plastic protective gown and scrubs. I check my double layer of gloves. I remove the patient’s mask which continued //

protects us from the air droplets as he breathes, and I place an oxygen mask over his face. In a moment I will sedate this COVID-19 positive patient and place a breathing tube into his trachea. I think of all those who preach that the corona crisis is over. It isn’t. I worry about our plans to have a safe, small, socially-distant wedding for my son and his lovely bride later this week. I wonder when my wife (also a physician) and I will move back into our own apartment, where our two younger children have been living under the supervision of their aunt.

06.26.20 Surgery is complete and I walk out of the operation room with my face mask tied tightly. I used to enjoy ripping the mask off. Today, I don’t get the gratification of that dramatic move. I only think that I am keeping myself as well as friends, family, and co-workers safe as I walk around the hospital and beyond with my face mask on. My patient, extubated and awake, now has a mask looped around her ears as she is wheeled to the recovery room on a stretcher. Time has melted and it’s difficult to remember how long this has been going on. There are surprising moments like when I realize I haven’t davened live with a minyan in so long. But then again, if not for corona, Kabbalat Shabbat for my son’s Aufruf would have been indoors. Instead, my first minyan experience in some months was on the Central Park East Pinetum. Who even ever heard of a Pinetum minyan? We welcomed Shabbat happily and safely distanced, secluded in a peaceful and picturesque

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setting. After corona we should try this idyllic setting with the whole community. Looking back to early March, we began preparing to care for corona patients at our hospital. For the first time in my career, taking care of a patient was a direct threat to my own life and to my family. Our team began to explore how to protect itself and soon discovered that we lacked the protective equipment we needed. We devised new protocols for working on a patient’s respiratory systems without being exposed to their aerosolized breaths. We heard that we did not really need special protective equipment. We worried that this pronouncement stemmed from the hospital being short on supplies. We were told by administrators to adjust, and later, to cancel all travel plans. We came together as a community of caregivers united against the approaching surge. The entire world is struggling to cope with the attack of a microscopic virus. I think of the confusion in 1939 Warsaw described by my mother, Rachel Roth, in her book Here There Is No Why: “People scurry by in all directions, intense anxiety reflected in their faces. Though it is still early, the stores are all shut. The atmosphere is electric from the general nervousness … rumors are coming true. We’re being shipped out. Where to? Why? For what reason? What will become of the children? These thoughts raced through my mind.” To keep our family safe, we limit outside exposure to just me and my wife. I have become much better at shopping. I stick to the list to avoid getting in trouble. We

9 wear scrubs to work, change to fresh scrubs at work, and then change again before going home. We each come home and strip at the door. Hospital clothes are immediately washed. Home is now a kind neighbor’s apartment. She has taken refuge with her boyfriend elsewhere. We deliver supplies to my in-laws until we eventually decide to move them into another apartment on our floor, thanks to good friends who have abandoned the city for their summer cottage. The grandparents can be with our children and hug them for

us. I look for other vacant apartments around town to help friends whose living situation has been complicated by corona. Between my twelve-hour shifts and endless Zoom meetings I helped develop coronacareisrael@gmail.com, a service for front-line workers to meet volunteer trauma therapists from Israel online for private virtual supportive care, and I also coordinated delivery of donated kosher meals to staff in several hospitals and clinics.

07.07.20 I walk out of the hospital as the PA system plays “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles which means that another person who had the corona virus is being discharged and sent home. That’s great news; the vast majority of people I saw treated in the COVID intensive care unit did not get to hear that song. Under my arm is a large box of fruit donated to every employee by NYC and Debra and Leon Black. My continued on page 15


In early January 2020, Teri attended a meeting at Northwell – Lenox Hill Hospital: the topic was the novel COVID-19 virus.

At that time, there were no cases in the New York metropolitan area. The meeting was just informational. Two weeks later, a pandemic was declared. As healthcare providers, Massimo, Teri, and their daughter, Alessandra, were involved in preparations, in accordance with their respective institutions, to implement emergency response plans to the COVID crisis. Alessandra, then a fourth-year orthopedic resident at Einstein -

Montefiore Hospital, was redeployed from her specialty to work on the front lines, encountering endless challenges, including obtaining personal protective equipment for herself and her staff, and bravely and humbly caring for COVID patients and their families. They were always worried about Alessandra and are very proud of her heroism during the pandemic. At this time, the Szulc family wishes to thank all the members of the KJ community who went the extra mile to obtain personal protection equipment (PPE) for Alessandra and her team members at Montefiore and always asked about her well-being.

implemented new safety measures and protocols for the predicted reopening. His academic responsibilities reviewing new ad hoc research protocols were ongoing, involving new treatments of COVID patients. Teri, a Quality Management nurse specialist in Stroke at Northwell – Lenox Hill Hospital, was engaged, during the pandemic, in sharing best practices and in collaboratively undertaking the challenges of the stroke team, the stroke patients and their families.

Massimo and Teri were able to coordinate operational activities remotely.

It has been a trying time, and the fact that Teri and Massimo get to have lunch together because they are working from home may seem like a silver lining, yet they would happily give up that perk if it meant the end to this pandemic.

Massimo, the Director of Operations of the Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory at Weil Cornell Medical Center - New York Presbyterian Hospital, was forced to close the laboratory. During the forced closure, Massimo, collaboratively

The Szulces greatly appreciate the efforts of the KJ leadership to keep the community socially and spiritually engaged as the community navigates the pandemic, and are optimistic about the future.

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Above, left and right: The Javits Convention Center field hospital in New York City. Photo Credits: Headshot: Deborah Farkash Ward; Above left: Chief Mass Communication Specialist Barry Riley; Above right: K.C. Wilsey/FEMA.

My wife, Sharon, and I feel so incredibly blessed by God to have survived COVID–19. Sharon had been sick for over threeand-a-half weeks with respiratory issues and extreme fatigue when we determined that her health was declining and required hospitalization at Lenox Hill Hospital in their Northwell COVID–19 Unit. The timing posed an additional obstacle as she fell very ill shortly before Pesach. After a week of great care at Lenox Hill, Sharon was moved continued //

to the temporary field hospital set up at the Javits Center, where she stayed for an additional week, under the watchful eyes of the military nurses. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I was finally able to pick her up from the Javits Center! My own case of Novel coronavirus was very mild and brief and only left me afflicted with a dry cough, lack of taste and energy. We thank God for healing us through the care and treatment of health professionals, and for giving me the strength to help Sharon through her recovery.

It was a terrifying experience that we feel we were able to get through because of the help of our beloved community, our dear family and friends, the Rabbis and synagogue staff. So many were there for us in providing emotional support, spiritual guidance, prayers, and sustenance. The KJ Chesed Committee generously supplied bountiful groceries for Pesach as well as wonderful meals and challah when Sharon finally returned home. We were fortunate to have a few close friends in the medical field who generously gave of their time and

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expertise to help me and my daughter, Amber, navigate the many decisions that affected Sharon’s health. Following Sharon’s discharge, Northwell provided COVID specialists via Telemed, as well as home visits. The road to recovery for Sharon has been a challenging one but she has persevered and is, thank God, feeling almost back to herself. She looks forward to the day when she has the energy to take Zumba classes again, and even more importantly, that it be safe to hug our kids, grandsons, and the rest of our dear family and friends.



Our resident graphic designer. Visit her blog talialan.com for more poems and photos.

melting clocks

battle lines

MARCH 31, 2020

APRIL 2, 2020

time. suddenly we have so much time,
 languid and liquid, flowing freely, a generous river lapping against the edges of our once-busy lives.

this war of retreating does funny things to the lines in our lives.

our clocks, once metal and solid and incessant— soldiers following orders,
 bands marching to the beat of demanding drums— bend at the knees and crumple to the ground, worn out from keeping time for every moment of eternity. they take a long-awaited nap. the clocks melt and drip,
 curve and contort,
 slow to a c r a w l,
 painting a new world surreal as
dali’s canvas.

between APRIL 12, 2020

our crisp black calendar grids fade and dissipate, days and weeks tumblingintoeachother, losing definition, leaving one chunk of white where there were once neat squares with clear beginnings and ends. invisible lines lie before every door and building— do not enter. new daily guidelines. life is on the line. everyone is online. people stand feet apart in line, hoping for a bag of groceries (or nine). getting too close to any person— out of line. humanity—both the contagion and the lifeline.

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drifting among despair and uncertainty, like leaves swirling in the wind or peeking through darkness, like sunlight twinkling through forest canopy, is this: sunlight filtering through windows, warming your skin and the wood beneath your feet. branches swaying in the gentle breeze, blossoms tentatively budding, spring sticking to the schedule though nothing else will follow suit. crisp mountain-like air filling your space and your lungs (no activity or vehicles to pollute it) a silence like you’ve never heard in the city. most times scary, but in these moments— peaceful. meditation on a mat, observing your whirlwind thoughts without being sucked in; breathe in, breathe out. release.

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THE  VIEW FR During quarantine, family time has been nice. But now there is almost no “friends time” at all. I am in touch with some friends through messages and phone calls, but this is not the case with all my friends. Some of my friends are not classmates, and I have not seen them in three months, more time than I have ever been apart from them. Going to school every day felt like a burden before it was not allowed, but now I long for a change of scenery other than my desk and room. Every day in school was different and exciting. However, now that I have more free time on my hands, I am able to explore hobbies that I did not have time for before, like gardening and painting. I also think that now that the world has accustomed themselves to Zoom, that we will take advantage of that and use it in the future. For example, for someone who is homesick, they won’t have to miss school if there is Zoom available. Quarantine has definitely changed things, and I look forward to a normal life. – Eliza Binstock

When coronavirus first arrived, around the time of Purim, it was downright scary. All of the adults were panicking, and there was a flurry of closures of all the institutions that I belong to: my synagogue, my school, and even all of the stores that I would frequent. It seemed like the hustle and bustle of New York City was replaced overnight by an eerie and dreadful silence. The anticipation, it turns out, was warranted, because the death toll in New York City was of nightmarish proportions. It kept me up at night, listening to the ambulance sirens, worrying about my own family, but I tried not to think too much about it. Fortunately, we still had some semblance of school as a daily distraction until June, even though it was only remote learning on the computer. I never thought that I would come to say this, but I sincerely miss going to school. Not just interacting in person with my friends and feeling part of a living community of young people, but also learning in person from teachers who I like and whose warm physical presence is

My daughter “did very well” with Zoom, school but hated it. She burst into tears when school closed and has been exceedingly sad about it ever since. She is super worried about first grade and what it will look like.

not replaced by their projected image on a computer screen. I miss the interaction at lunch with kids from different grades, and I miss all of the special activities that make Ramaz such a great school. Seniors are supposed to rule

– A Kindergartner’s Mother

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OM  OUR  KIDS Being quarantined has changed my life in so many ways. I couldn’t see my friends and family for almost three months! Even when I did see them, I couldn’t touch them or hug them. Zoom school was really hard because all I did was sit at my desk from 9:00-3:00, and then even longer to do homework. But it was good because right after I finished homework, I had time to spend with my family. Those are some reasons quarantine changed my life.

the kingdom, but all I preside over is my small bedroom! At least I hear that the Class of 2020 will be able to graduate high school with a traditional graduation ceremony. I know that coronavirus will eventually run its course, and that, once everyone receives a vaccine, life will return to normal. However, I wonder how long that will take. Will my friends and I be able to enjoy our planned gap year in Israel beginning this fall? Will we be able to enroll in university with in-person learning, on campus, with other students, in the fall of 2021?

– Eitan Binstock

I have been doing an awful lot of reading, both for pleasure, and for school, and I am also watching way more movies on Netflix then I would ordinarily be allowed to watch; I guess, there is at least some good that comes from all of this discombobulation! I hear that synagogues are beginning to hold services, but they will not be like the ones that I am used to at KJ. I am not sure that I will like a service where I cannot sing with the cantor, or sit near anyone, or socialize when it ends. I am definitely ready for coronavirus to depart, and to look back on this someday as an old man, seeing it as a terrible chapter in an otherwise well-lived, happy life. Who knows? Stay tuned. – Benjamin Silverman

This was not the way we thought 8th grade would end. We had to finish the school year on Zoom, which was hard for my friends and me because we weren’t able to interact. Missing our Israel trip was sad for everyone. Instead, we had some programs over Zoom such as baking, talking with soldiers, and guest speakers. We had a virtual graduation party with a chance to “sign” each other’s yearbooks. We were glad when a new rule allowed drive-in graduations. Ours will take place in a parking lot, broadcast on Zoom and on the radio, so parents can tune in from their cars. Students will be called up for a live graduation picture. It may just be the strangest - and still greatest - graduation EVER. – Aviva Weinstock

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KJ’s Rabbi and Seinfeld aficionado! Email him at ravelie@ckj.org.

I would imagine you’re reading this at home. “There’s no place like home.” “Home is where the heart is.” “What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” There is a lot of sharing going on these days. Home is the place my wife, my four children (yes, Meira came back from Israel due to the situation there), and I spend LOTS of time together these days. I am sure this is a familiar feeling. Home is also, interestingly, a central motif in the very first mitzvah that the Jews in Egypt performed. In Shemot 12:1-20, God commands the Jews that each home should take a lamb for the Pesach sacrifice. If a home is too small for a lamb of its own, that home should join with neighbors. The blood of the lamb should be placed on the doorposts of the home as a sign that it is a Jewish one. God will smite the Egyptian firstborn while passing over every Jewish home. Notice one word that’s mentioned more than any others? In reading about the first Pesach in Egypt, we cannot help but see how the

home is integral in the Pesach story. We know that, subsequently, Pesach has become a home holiday. It is about family and tradition. This year, many people who would normally go away and have never been home for Pesach, spent Pesach at home. We know that Judaism focuses on family. At this time, though, our world literally revolves around and within the home. We are cut off from extended family, friends, and community. Our whole world is our home. A member of the community recounted that when he was growing up in the 60’s, the great majority of people he knew celebrated Pesach with only their nuclear family since many in his community were the children of Holocaust survivors. There were no grandparents. This year, he noted, it was like that again. A Pesach with just the nuclear family may sound lonely or less exciting. I felt that pain as my children did not celebrate Pesach with their grandparents as planned and many had solitary Seders. For months now, many have not had meaningful face-to-face interactions with anyone. The closest we come is saying hello when passing the doorman or if we – carefully and through masks – thank the cashier at the grocery store. Let’s face it. A lot in the world is not going as planned. Judaism, through the very first commandment, though, reminds us of the importance, necessity, and power of the home.

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These days, we’ve turned our homes into private synagogues and study halls. We have been forced into a “DIY” style of Judaism in which we are responsible for our own rituals. I am very proud of what I have heard has been accomplished in homes throughout the community. Some people are studying more, praying more, and interacting with community more than before. This is a small silver lining within the madness we’ve experienced.

The home provides us with our values, shapes our identities, and fuels our behavior... the home is where we need to be right now, and we need our home to shape who we need to be. “Maybe the reason you can never go home again is that, once you’re back, you can never leave…” The home provides us with our values, shapes our identities, and fuels our behavior. The home is with us always. These days, we are spending a lot of time at home. It may frustrate some of us and drive us crazy. At the same time, the home is where we need to be right now, and we need our home to shape who we need to be.

15 So let’s all strive to ensure our homes remain “home, sweet home.” Let’s talk to each other more, share with each other more, show kindness with each other more, and use our time together at home to reinforce the best we have within ourselves. Hopefully, this will transform us and the world around us when, please God, we all get to leave home and return to the world outside. I close with the traditional birkat ha-bayit, blessing for the home:

‫ְבּ זֶה ַה שַ ּׁ ַער ֹלא יָבֹוא ַצ ַער‬

continued from page 9 (An Anthesiologist’s Diary)

family will enjoy it after they clean the box with alcohol wipes. I enter the car in time to Zoom into a virtual session provided by the KJ synagogue. I was never able to go in person, and I am so happy for the classes I can now attend remotely. Some things have returned to normal. The 7:00 PM appreciation clapping in the city has faded away. It was fun to hear the cathartic claps, whoops, and pot banging by the cooped-up population. I clapped too, but not for the front-line workers. I clapped for all those staying inside, following the rules, and doing all they could to stem the surge of the pandemic. I am eager to return to the way things were; perhaps that will happen when a safe and effective vaccine becomes available. I know, however, that this will go on for some time. Now the real heroes are those of us who adhere to established protocols to prevent transmission, while we wait for therapeutic and preventive interventions.

‫ּיר ה ֹלא תָ בֹוא ָצ ָר ה‬ ָ ִ‫ְבּז ֹאת ַה ד‬ ‫ְבּז ֹאת ַה דֶ ּ לֶת לֺא תָ בֹוא ֶ ּב ָה לָה‬ ‫ְבּז ֹאת ַה ַמּ ְח ָל ָק ה לֺא תָ בֹוא ַמ ְח לוֺ ֶק ת‬ ‫ְבּ זֶה ַה ָמּק וֺם תְ ּ ִהי ְב ָר כָה וְשָ ׁלוֺם‬ Let no pain come through this gate. Let no trouble come to this dwelling. Let no fear come through this door. Let no conflict be in this place. Let this home be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.

VIRTUAL DAILY SERVICES Check out ckj.org/vds, where you will find the most up-to-date information on all classes and programming, including Rabbi Weinstock’s 8:30 AM Morning Prayer Zoom, 7:00 PM Daily Evening Services, and Rabbi Jeremy Wieder’s 9:00 AM Sunday Morning Talmud Shiur.


Before COVID: AIPAC Policy Conference The largest synagogue contingent—207 KJ members strong— spoke up for Israel at this year’s AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Due to the coronavirus, the 2021 Policy Conference has been cancelled, but all of AIPAC’s initiatives on behalf of Israel can be learned about at aipac.org.

Dorothy's iconic ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz send her home when tapped together: There's no place like home. Photo Credit: Chris Evans from St. Paul, United States / CC BY (creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/2.0)

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KJ’s Assistant Rabbi and the rabbi of our Sephardic Minyan. Email him at rml@ckj.org.

What will we tell future generations about quarantine under COVID-19? What lessons have we learned that we want to perpetuate? Will we note how the ‘pause’ put on our lives has ‘fast-forwarded’ innovation in technology, medicine, healthcare, and the speed at which these innovations have been adopted?

ways that would have otherwise taken years to decades? Our answers to these questions to ourselves and future generations will define what a post-corona world will look like.

Will we share how we have shifted our attention to community, family, and personal life? How we have found ourselves more generous, caring, and patient with ourselves and others, and how our understanding of self and our family members has accelerated in

One of the most famous responses to tragedy in the humash was that of Aharon: silence. He was famously silent - vayidom Aharon - and did not ask: “Why did God do this to

Seeing the silver lining and acting, as opposed to being acted upon, is the Jewish approach to personal struggle. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik eloquently expresses this in his book Kol Dodi Dofek: According to Judaism, man’s mission in this world is to turn fate into destiny — an existence that is passive and influenced into an existence that is active and influential; an existence of compulsion, perplexity, and speechlessness into an existence full of will, vision, and initiative (pp. 5-6).

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me?” He recognized that he could not know the ‘Why,’ and understood that no human could have a full perspective knowing the mind of God. While Aharon and the text remained largely silent as to the reason, the rabbis of the midrash were not, and expressed at least six different expositions, finding meaning for themselves and their constituents (Vayiqra Rabbah 20:6,9. Tbavli Erubin 63a, Tbavli Sanhedrein 52a). These rabbis understood that while we cannot know the ‘Why,’ the motivation behind God’s actions, we can generate meaning for ourselves and create our own personal why. Viktor Frankl found meaning for himself amongst the horrors he experienced in his life, even during the Holocaust. He wrote the following powerful statement expressing this in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given

set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way....One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph… (pp. 86 and 93) In the last few months, there has been tremendous pain and loss, and we cannot know the ‘Why’ of coronavirus. Still, we can create our own personal meaning and learn lessons for ourselves, turning our challenges into opportunities for growth. Soon we will have the opportunity of returning ‘back to normal,’ to ‘freedom’ from quarantine. Have we generated meaning for ourselves to create a post-corona life, that is better than our pre-corona one? If our new freedom means a return to a life of hurriedness, the culture of ‘productivity,’ where every moment is prescheduled, yet we are too busy to eat lunch, call our family, or tuck our children in bed, then we are not truly free and are being driven, but are not the drivers of our lives.


If our new freedom means a return to a life of hurriedness, the culture of ‘productivity,’ where every moment is prescheduled, yet we are too busy to eat lunch, call our family, or tuck our children in bed, then we are not truly free and are being driven, but are not the drivers of our lives.

That is why coming out of quarantine, being granted our physical freedom, should not be the goal, the destination, but rather the opportunity to live our lives differently. During quarantine, we have experienced community cohesiveness, generosity, kindness, patience, care, and a focus on family and societal life. Will this continue, or will we retrogress, i.e., go back to normal? When the Jewish people came out of slavery in Egypt, finding themselves with renewed physical freedom, they did not head directly to ‘The Promised Land.’ Their freedom from Egypt was not the goal; entering the land would not be the ultimate victory. There would first need to be a transformative process where their experience of oppression in Egypt became the foundation of a new societal model, where instead of oppressing the weak and defenseless in

a hierarchical system, like that of Egypt, they would establish a culture that would take responsibility to protect and care for the most vulnerable and raise them up. This, in fact, is the reason why we must ‘remember’ our oppression and why the instruction ‘to remember’ is connected so often with a directive to care for the stranger, widow, and orphan. This misva, commandment, to ‘remember,’ zakhor, demands the transformative process of turning past experiences into an impactful future, and is thereby generative, the literal meaning of the Hebrew root zakhar. This is made clear on the seder night, when we fulfill the misva of zakhor, ‘remembering’ our Egyptian experience. We do our ‘remembering’ not through simply retelling a past history, but rather through expressing the memory in a way that is generative,

meaningful, and useful for our future, leBinkha (Shemot 13:8). So, for generations, we relive the Egyptian experience as a catalyst for social change: not viewing ourselves as the victim, but as the victor, empowered to create a better future. As we leave ‘Egypt’ with our exodus from quarantine, we have the opportunity of deciding how we will ‘remember’ our coronavirus experience and generate meaning. While we cannot control what happened to us, we can choose our attitude, how we respond, and the lessons we will learn and share. We have the opportunity of writing our own Haggadah, relaying the story of our trials and triumph for generations. Thus, we are catapulted to a new horizon, an existence of will, vision, and initiative. Originally published in Times of Israel, July 2020.

KJ CHESED COMMITTEE Do you feel isolated and lonely? Do you need an errand done due to COVID-19 or an ailment? Do you need accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment? The KJ Chesed Committee can help with all these things. If you would like to be contacted by a smiling friendly volunteer, or you know someone who might benefit from the services offered, please contact kjfriendlyvisit@gmail.com.

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Keter Torah

Debra Frohlinger and Rebecca Feit: Recipients of The Eighteenth Annual Judith Kaufman Hurwich Keter Torah Award The Officers and Executive Committee of the Congregation are pleased to announce that the Eighteenth Annual Judith Kaufman Hurwich Keter Torah Award, usually presented on the second day of Shavuot, was presented to Debra Frohlinger and Rebecca Feit on the day following Shavuot, May 31, 2020. The practice of conferring such an award is to appropriately recognize women in our congregation on the holiday when we celebrate the lives of two great Jewish heroines, Naomi and Ruth. While it pained us not to present the awards in the Main Synagogue due to the coronavirus, we nonetheless joined together on Zoom to continue the tradition. The award is named in memory of Judith Kaufman Hurwich, daughter of Rita and Benjamin Kaufman, of blessed memory, mother of - yibadlu l’chaim tovim - Meryl Jaffe and Adam Hurwich, and grandmother of three former Ramaz students: Talia, Leah, and Zev Hurwich. Her family continues her tradition of association with KJ and Ramaz in fostering opportunities for women to study Torah.

DEBRA FROHLINGER Debra and Barry began a journey 24 years ago when their twins, Natalie and Joshua, were born. Once-a-year shul goers, with no day school background of their own, they chose the road to build a Jewish foundation, education and community for their family.

She was a founding member of the KJ Shidduch group (ahava@KJ), initially to help singles successfully navigate in the Modern Orthodox world - and now with an amazing group of fellow congregants, KJ has a very active and dynamic Shidduch group that services all Jewish singles.

When Natalie and Joshua were admitted to Ramaz for kindergarten; Debra and Barry moved uptown and joined KJ.

Creating the Shabbat Greeting Program with Rabbi Steinmetz was Debra’s way to extend and demonstrate KJ’s warmth and friendliness every Shabbat to both our congregants as well as to visitors. Her presence in the synagogue lobby on many Shabbatot means that guests and regulars alike are welcomed with a smile and helpful navigational guidance when they enter KJ.

The extraordinary generosity and warmth of the KJ Rabbis and congregational family made what could have been daunting a journey filled with inspiration, growth and deep friendships. As a very active member and participant of the Beginners/Intermediate Programs, Debra found her calling by supporting men and women who are on a similar journey to the one she had taken. Her passion for Jewish learning has made her an active learner at KJ, enabling her to inspire and encourage beginners to be bold about taking on Jewish learning, often accompanying them to classes. The rewards have been enormous, especially when she shares the joy of seeing their children being raised in a strong Jewish home right here in our amazing KJ community. K e t e r Tor a h Aw a rd e e s / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N K e t e r Tor a h Aw a rd e e s

With affection and a deep sense of gratitude, Debra and Barry thank the KJ community for its inspiration, learning opportunities and guidance for providing a religious and spiritual home and framework enabling Debra to also have a successful career and work life in advertising.

Following the presentation, by Rabbi Weinstock, of a leather-bound and inscribed ArtScroll Megillat Ruth, Debra shared with us the following, continued on p. 20.



REBECCA FEIT When Rebecca and her husband, Rami Sasson, joined the KJ community as a young couple with two small children, they were looking for more than just a shul. They knew they wanted a place where their growing family could develop religiously and socially and be inspired by the leadership and community members. They also understood that being a part of the KJ community meant active participation in the shul. Rebecca immediately checked as many boxes as she could on the “What would you like to be involved in?” section of the membership form. Everything appealed to her — from the most private of chesed activities to shul-wide programming. Over the years, Rebecca has volunteered or been asked to assist in various shul causes. Soon after joining KJ, she received a call from Rabbi Lookstein after she had declined a request to co-chair the shul dinner’s raffles. That’s when she knew she was in this community for the long haul. Soon after, wanting to impart the importance of chesed to her children and the children of KJ, she began co-chairing UJA @KJ. Rebecca is a member of the KJ Board of Trustees, where she has been actively involved in the Youth Committee and is dedicated to making the shul a place where children develop positive feelings for Shabbat and Torah values through fun and inventive programming. She also serves on the Cemetery Committee, helping to ensure that proper respect is given to community members when they are niftar. Rebecca’s commitment to community and chesed was instilled in her through the examples set by her parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members. Chesed was never something that you “did,” it was part of who you were. Her grandfather was a founding member of the chevra kadisha in Flatbush; her grandmothers and mother were leaders of

Amit and Emunah; and her father was active in the Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry movements. Through her father’s involvement, Rebecca and her siblings have become advocates for Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia where thousands of Jews living in poverty are waiting to make Aliyah. Rebecca is a board member of the Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry (SSEJ). All three of Rebecca’s and Rami’s children are learning the importance of this cause. For their daughter Gabrielle’s Bat Mitzvah, Rebecca traveled to Ethiopia with her to assist the Jewish community. Upon their return, Gabrielle wrote an article for Tablet Magazine advocating on behalf of the community. At their son Jack’s recent Bar Mitzvah in Israel, the family held a special Bar Mitzvah celebration along with Ethiopian olim complete with traditional Hebrew and Ethiopian dancing. Closer to home, Rebecca is an active board member of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. With 75 kosher food pantries, Met Council fights poverty through social services and advocacy. Before agreeing to become a board member, Rebecca went to see some of the people and neighborhoods assisted by Met Council. Once exposed to the hunger and poverty just minutes from her comfortable Upper East Side home, she knew that she must get involved and so she joined the board. She has also recently joined the board of Legacy Heritage Fund. Rebecca and Rami are thankful to the KJ community for the opportunities it has given their family for community involvement and chesed, and for forming the framework for instilling Torah values and religious growth to their children.

Rebecca Feit shared inspirational words after Rabbi Steinmetz presented her with her copy of Megillat Ruth, continued on p. 22.

We honor these extraordinary women for their service to our community and to the Jewish People in general. We pray that God reward them with many years of health, happiness, and nachas from their children. May they continue to serve as stellar examples of Jewish commitment and service to this entire community, which loves them and blesses them.

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Thank you, Rabbis and Board members, for this honor. It is so much fun to share it with Rebecca. For many years our daughter, Natalie, would leave the house and shout: “I’m going to Sasson.” I had no clue who the Sassons were, but over time I learned that Natalie was going to Rebecca’s home to babysit. So, I got to know Rebecca’s wonderful family through Natalie, who was so lucky to have Rebecca’s opinion on many of her life decisions. We just read Megillat Ruth on Shavuot. There are so many themes in this narrative: death, illness, selfsacrifice, the search for and loss of love, dependency on others, Teshuva, poverty, fraught family relationships, yearning for children and continuity, and being torn between being part of a collective nation and family and at the same time being an individual and becoming detached from one’s upbringing and roots. continued //

There is another very important theme - the acceptance of Ruth, an ‘outsider,’ as she made herself part of Naomi’s community - that I personally connect with. Ruth could never have imagined - or anticipated - the many details and customs that circumscribe, elevate and sanctify every moment of a daily Jewish life. A glimpse of this gulf can be grasped when Ruth, who had already lived some time in Bethlehem and had already committed to a Jewish way of life, unwittingly contravened something as basic as public separation of the sexes, a feature of life in Judea but apparently not in Moab. It is noteworthy how Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, whose name means pleasantness and whose soul was tied to the root of loving-kindness, gently brings this to her attention. Naomi says to Ruth in Chapter 2, verse 8: It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that you be not met in any other field. And so, just like Ruth, I could never have imagined what would be involved in this transition from being an ‘outsider,’ and I am brought back to that ‘Oy, how am I ever going to figure this out’ feeling that I frequently used to have, when I see an eager young woman sitting up front on Shabbat in the KJB Minyan when she takes out her notebook and pen to take notes. And unlike Ruth, who had Naomi and even Boaz to guide and encourage her, this young woman or man very often is feeling very alone. So, you are probably wondering why I said I can relate to Ruth’s journey to acceptance and to this young woman. Around twenty-five years ago, Barry and I were given a gift – our twins,

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Natalie and Joshua. We had tried to conceive for many years. At that point in our lives we went to shul twice a year and had a Passover seder. Seeking a blessing from a rabbi was a way-out idea but through a random series of connections we received a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of blessed memory, and a few months later, to the utter dismay of the infertility doctors, I was pregnant with twins. Yes, it was an amazing blessing, but at the time we did not quite know what to make of it because at that point religion played no part in our lives. For those of you who know Barry, in his wisdom and thoughtfulness, he felt that at minimum we should plan for the children to have a Jewish education so they could grow up being able to pray in Hebrew and know their way through Jewish prayer and services. Being ‘outsiders,’ we assumed that because our children were Jewish and we weren’t applying for financial aid, that once we submitted their applications, they would get in. So, we made appointments at every Jewish preschool and elementary school in the city. We showed up at Ramaz and we still joke with Danielle Lassner about that interview. While interviewing us, she had to contain herself – there was not one box she could check off in our favor: kashrut, Shabbat observance, Jewish education. She was trying so hard to give us any opportunity to check off one box, she was even going back to our parents and grandparents and still nothing.

21 But instead of being discouraged and leaving feeling that Ramaz was obviously not for us, Barry and I were high-fiving each other because after reviewing Barry’s copious notes, Danielle (like Naomi) had gently provided us with a roadmap of the things we needed to do to get our kids into the best Jewish school in New York: keep kosher, join an Orthodox shul, keep Shabbat, and on and on and on. Fast forward three years later, Natalie and Joshua were accepted to the Ramaz kindergarten. And as Natalie and Joshua navigated Ramaz and were frequently my source for what to do and not to do, our family’s journey and commitment to Judaism was crafted, created and inspired by all of you in our KJ community. We learned, studied, created our family customs, mourned and shared personal challenges with Rabbis Lookstein, Weinstock, Steinmetz and Kraus and the many other rabbis and rabbinic interns along the way. We have experienced the outpouring of support from Lenny, Riva, and everyone who works at KJ. For so many years, KJ was a second home for my kids, and when they were at shul for Shabbat afternoon groups or even a Bat/Bar mitzvah and we were not in the building, I always knew Irwin Gilbert (of blessed memory, the former Foremost mashgiach, for whom KJ was also his second home) and of course, Mamadou, were there to watch over them. In thinking about the many significant people at KJ, I remember one Rosh Hashanah, I was rushed in the morning and quickly getting dressed in the dark. I pulled on my clothes and put a little eyebrow pencil on my eyebrows – they are very light, and I never leave home without coloring them a little. At that time, KJ had a security guard named Sinclair. As I entered the Ramaz Middle School, Sinclair stepped forward to great me with big warm smile and then immediately said, “Mrs. Frohlinger, I

strongly suggest that you go down to the lady’s room before you go into shul.” I went straight downstairs, walked into the lady’s room (the group of teenage girls there started giggling), and saw that I had taken a blue eyeliner pencil to my eyebrows – it was quite a sight. So, really, Sinclair deserves the credit for starting the KJ Greeting Program that I am honored to lead. That experience made it a no-brainer to join George Rohr, Dr. Steven Rudolph, Cantor Ruby Davis and, of course, Rabbi and Rachel Kraus, at the KJ Beginners Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, to do everything possible to greet and welcome the hundreds of people who come to KJ for these holidays: for many, it is their first time in an Orthodox synagogue. In Megillat Ruth, it specifically calls out that Boaz, who was a remarkable man of faith, greeted his workers – some of whom may have been day laborers or even foreigners – with the words: “May the Lord be with you.” And they responded in kind. That is simply what the small, warm greeting on Shabbat at KJ engenders – a human connection – and I look so forward to standing at that front door again, even in the cold. So, when Ruth made the decision to stay and care for her mother-in-law, Naomi, she was also making a commitment to Naomi’s people and Naomi’s God. We do not know the circumstances. But we do know that Ruth, having been drawn to Naomi’s generous spirit, desired to adopt this style of life as well. We are not told that Naomi tried to talk Ruth into believing in God. We were not told that she sent Ruth home following the death of her son because she was a non-believer. Instead, and with loving-kindness, Naomi shared advice, counseled Ruth, and led Ruth to her own love of God. Fast forward to 12th grade and my son, Josh, is on the Ramaz Poland trip and I wake up to a text from him in Poland. Of course, I’m expecting something like I broke my glasses or What’s going on in continued / /

the NBA playoffs? So, you can imagine how I felt when I opened the text and read: Mom, thank you so much for raising me Jewish and religious. At that moment, I would have loved to have forwarded that text to the Rebbe with a cc to Hashem, thanking them for the trajectory of Barry’s and my journey…a journey that we that we never would have expected for ourselves twenty-five years earlier but what they obviously had in store for us.

THREE MODERN MIKVEHS IN OUR COMMUNITY 5 East 62nd Street just off 5th Ave // 212-753-6058 419 East 77th Street between 1st & York Ave // 212-359-2020 234 West 74th Street between Broadway & West End Ave // 212-579-2011

QUESTIONS ABOUT MIKVEH DURING COVID? Contact KJ’s Yoetzet Halakhah, Julia Baruch at 929-274-0628 or jb.yoetzet@gmail.com for all your questions of this nature, as well as inquiries regarding Taharat Hamishpacha and family life.

KJ SYNAGOGUE MEMBERSHIP BE A PART OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE ckj.org/kjmembership Contact KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman at 212-774-5680 or lss@ckj.org

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A CHESED WORLDVIEW An excerpt. For full presentation, click this link and enter password Keter2020. BY REBECCA FEIT

It’s awfully strange to talk about chesed as a life-choice, as to me it’s not a choice, but rather a rightful restitution of a wrong. As my dad has said many times, the root of tzedakah is tzedek, a certain sort of correctness. The notion of restorative justice was written into our religious coda many years ago. It is incumbent upon us to right wrongs. Nothing is really ours in any sense, as it all comes from Hashem and I suppose I see chesed as a natural restoring of the balance the way God has instructed us to. It is not something worthy

continued //

of accolades but simply part of everyday life. It is something you do because it is what should be done. To be honest, it is uncomfortable to express such private thoughts in this way, but I do so with the hope that so many of you will share yours with me as well, if you are so inclined. It’s another way we can create community. For me, this sense of things was not quite taught, but rather, experienced from birth. My mothers’ parents were active in Emunah, while my father’s parents were active in Amit. My paternal grandfather, Grandpa Dudley was the founder of the chevra kadisha in Flatbush. He was a person who was unafraid to stand up for his values. At a time when funeral homes were targeted by mafia bosses attempting to extort money from the bereaved, he found the internal strength to stand up on behalf of the meit. The same values held true on my mother’s side. Some of my earliest memories are of my Grandma Betty painstakingly handwriting long lists of people, licking each envelope needed to

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solicit donations for the children’s villages in Israel. Dozens and dozens of hours of boring work, which she attended to as if it was the greatest of privileges. With such a background it is no wonder that my sister, brother and I grew up in a home filled with meaningful purpose. My father-in-law escaped from Syria as a child and, together with my mother-in-law, built a strong community and family life. Their values structured everything they did and everything they taught their children, grandchildren and now greatgrandchildren. Perhaps it was the shared culture between our two families that makes me feel like their home has always been an extension of my home. So why was it KJ for us? I think back to the sense of larger communal responsibility that has always been part of the culture. Thinking back to Rabbi Lookstein and the fight for Soviet Jews it seems quite obvious. Rabbi Lookstein expanded his view of community and religious obligation and fought for

their redemption until they were able to leave the Soviet Union and form new communities in Israel and the United States. Our family values were the same as those imparted by Rabbi Lookstein and the current rabbinic leadership. In fact, I went to Russia for my Bat Mitzvah and my brother Jeremy’s Bar Mitzvah to meet with refuseniks. Being followed by the KGB, secret meetings with refuseniks, private codes, and passwords seemed normal to twelve-year-old Rebecca. My role was to cry at immigration if the KGB started questioning us too much. They questioned, I cried. To this day my family praises my acting abilities. I was young, suffering from jet lag, and being questioned by scary men with strange accents. I was not acting. It is hard to believe it was real. Harder still to understand that this wasn’t my father’s first trip to Russia, as my mom had sent him there when he was 25 years old and they had a newborn. This story also seems surreal. They had both wanted to go but

23 were told it was extremely dangerous as they might not return. Someone had to stay home with baby Alison. The silent strength of my mother, a new mom with a small infant in her arms, sending her husband off because it was the right thing to do is an image that I carry with me. They established a home where the very, very unusual was simply the norm. So, it was following the model set by my parents that for our daughter Gabrielle’s Bat Mitzvah and my nephew Micah’s Bar Mitzvah, that my father, sister, brother-in-law and I traveled to Ethiopia with theBnei Mitzvah to

help the Jewish community. Again, this was a logical place to mark this rite of passage. At least for a Feit. I had first been to Ethiopia as a college student and then again on my honeymoon‌ yes, my honeymoon. But bringing my daughter was an entirely new experience. When we returned Gabrielle wrote an article for Tablet magazine questioning why Israel was not bringing these Jews to Israel. I simply lack the words to describe the devotion, religious conviction, the poverty, the disease, the joy the ruchniut, the marvelous

ability of a community of 1100 people at a minyan under a tin roof in a hot sun to make it feel like a small family. It is unbearably difficult for me to think of what must be like there three years later, as COVID has struck, work has stopped, and the dozens of Bar and Bat Mitzvah children that celebrated with Gabrielle are likely sick or starving. I stand here and speak with you in the relative safety of family and friends even as a global pandemic rages around me. I see their faces before me. The 14,000 Beta Israel in Ethiopia. I cannot explain to you what an impact these children had on me and

continued / /

my child. Even prior to the crisis these Jews somehow endured unbearable conditions, living in mud huts with no running water or electricity while awaiting Aliyah for an average of 15 years. It is hard to believe that a community that has been awaiting Aliyah, who daven daily, go to the mikveh and observe kashrut are in this position. It is much easier to see differences than to acknowledge the stark reality. Am Echad, Lev Echad. Tzedakah, Tzedek here is not a choice. It is a moral imperative.

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148 th Annual

67 NEW MEMBER HOUSEHOLDS INDUCTED AT KJ’S ANNUAL MEETING How was this Annual Meeting different than all previous Annual Meetings? Due to the coronavirus, we could not gather, as per the KJ custom, in the Heyman Auditorium, where we would have had the opportunity to welcome in person new members and bid farewell to deceased members who had been a part of the collective KJ soul. Rather, we met via Zoom, a form of video communication that by now is probably one of the most-used meeting platforms and one of the most-used words in our vocabulary.

50th Anniversary Celebrants

Janet & Mark Mittler

Jaclyn Leifert Bodenheimer

Doris Schulman

Lionel Etra

Lili Stawski

Renee & William Etra

Grace Weil

Rae & Stanley Gurewitsch

25th Anniversary Celebrants

Stuart Schlang Ellen & Sanford Ward Rosalind Zuger

40th Anniversary Celebrants Diane & Robert Abrams

To begin the program, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz delivered a powerful invocation (which can be found on page 26), offering words of encouragement as we rise to new challenges.

Sharon Dane

Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson performed a beautiful rendition of the American and Israeli national anthems, and then 67 new member households were inducted into the congregation by President David Lobel. (A listing of the new members appears on pages 26-27 of this Bulletin.)

Roslyn Friedman

Then, with incomparable warmth, Rabbi Lookstein recognized our milestone anniversarians, recalling family histories and communal contributions.

Evelyn & Gregory Katz

The following members celebrated milestone anniversaries and were honored by the Congregation:

Shlomit & Chaim Edelstein Frieda & Sasha Englard Ernest Friedman Lili Goldberg Dale & Saul Goldberg Trudy & Robert Gottesman Maeve & Andrew Gyenes Diane Hodges

David Perlman

Nicole & Raanan Agus Nava & Daniel Bettinger Nancy & Joseph Chetrit Ruth Ann & Maurice Corson Robin Davenport Carolyn Hiltebeitel & Orrin Feingold Micheal Gross Esther & Alan Haddad Helene & Michael Hartig Caren & Samuel Kohl Karen & Bruce Lerman Meirav & Robert Lobel Lauren & Mitchell Presser Audrey & Jesse Rubin Cheryl Fishbein & Philip Schatten

Vivian & Joshua Kestenbaum

Debbie Major-Schwartz & Daniel Schwartz

Hannah Kostenbaum

Deena & Adam Shiff

Fran & Arnold Lederman

Lisa & Mark Todes

Deborah & Robert Lipner

Roselyn Weitzner

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MEETING President’s Report President David Lobel spoke about the state of the Synagogue and its growth, particularly under the shadow of the coronavirus. He commented on the strength of KJ's informational technologies - how the Synagogue maintains its spiritual, educational, and social routines with the Synagogue clergy and staff working remotely. He reported on the shul's finances and the growth of the shul, pointing out that more than half our new members are under the age of 40. He enumerated all of the minyanim and classes KJ offered over the past year and invited everyone to join the KJ WhatsApp group to learn how much the shul offers every day. Following heartfelt thanks to the KJ clergy and staff, we learned the true reason why this Annual Meeting was different than all past meetings: Due to the virtual nature of the meeting, the usual repast of delicious Foremost hot dogs and ice-cold beer also had to be enjoyed virtually!

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.

Senior Vice President Elias Buchwald

Former Financial Secretary Evan Farber and Recording Secretary JJ Hornblass completed their terms of service in their current Officer positions. JJ, having also maxed out his terms of service was thanked for his devoted service. Evan Farber, eligible to continue serving in a different Officer position for two more years, was named Recording Secretary. Robyn Barsky will now serve as Administrative Secretary.

Vice President Jonathan Wagner

Regular Trustees

The following officers were elected to positions for the 2020-2021 Congregational year: President David Lobel

2nd Vice President Dr. Nicole Agus 3rd Vice President Sidney Ingber 4th Vice President Wendy Greenbaum Secretary Larry Baruch Treasurer Robert Schwartz Assistant Treasurer David Sultan Executive Secretary Morris Massel Financial Secretary Eric Gribetz Recording Secretary Evan Farber Administrative Secretary Robyn Barsky

Roy Feldman, Rocky Fishman, Barry Frohlinger and Jody Levine have completed their terms of service. Trustee Michael Kaplan will continue to serve on the Board’s Catering Committee in an Ex Officio capacity. Andrew Charles, Stefanie Katz, Joshua Kaufthal and Louis Menaged completed their present terms and were reelected.

Associate Trustees Orrin Feingold, Yonina Gomberg, Robert Katz and Rina Kestenbaum have completed their terms and were appointed Regular Trustees. continued / /

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 147th Annual Meeting: Dr. Jenny Batlay Block Florence Chasin Elizabeth Small-Feldman J. Michael Fried Dr. Joseph Heller Hon. Joel Lewittes Herbert Lukashok Dr. Vivian B. Mann E. Magnus Oppenheim Talia Pagovich Robert Saul Pollock Dr. Daniel Potaznik Judith Price Doris Sachs Henry Wilner

KJ WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS Jay Domb & Laurel Herschel who joined the KJ family after the Annual Meeting.

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Each and every year we conclude the Pesach Seder with the words:

This year, as we gather for the Seder, alone or

‫לשנה הבאה בירושלים‬

‫בירושלים‬, next year in Jerusalem, are a great

“Next year in Jerusalem”

economic crisis, and the thought that a year

And what it has meant for nearly 2,000 years is: Next year will be better. Even in the best of times, when a wonderful Seder with family, friends, fine food and deep discussion was enjoyed, we said these words. We declared that next year would be better. Like breaking the glass at the end of the wedding, we reminded ourselves not to be complacent. We reminded ourselves that the search for redemption requires us to constantly strive to make our lives, our community and our world better. Next year would be better, no matter how good this year was. And in the worst of times, when Jews huddled quietly to hide from their persecutors, these words, “next year in Jerusalem,” gave them comfort and strength. Even in the worst of times we had our faith in God’s compassion. Even in the worst of times we knew that redemption was around the corner.

in very small groups, the words, ‫לשנה הבאה‬ comfort. We are faced with a health and from now our seders will be back to normal, offers us hope during this difficult time. Yes, next year will be better. But we must also promise that we will not be complacent. This year, as we search for redemption, we must promise to help each other, call each other, and support each other.

New Members 67 new households joined the Congregation this past year and were officially inducted and welcomed at the 148th Annual Meeting by President David Lobel, who pointed out that KJ is getting younger every year, as more than half of our new members are under the age of 40.

We must come together as a community to

Talia & Michael Abramson

face our challenges together.

Efrat Aharonovich

At KJ, we are saying next year in Jerusalem.

Lenore Feder & Michael Altman

Next year will be better. Next year the synagogue will be filled with activity and overflowing services. But until then, we will continue to learn together, to pray together, and to help each

Jamie Stern & Jonathan Arbisfeld Zakai Ben-Chaim Buchler Blimi & Benjy Berger


Adi Karsch-Bluman & Koby Bluman

We will face our challenges together and say:

Colin Callender

‫לשנה הבאה בירושלים‬ Next year in Jerusalem.

Michal & Elan Cohen Michelle Collins David Copely Daniella & Robert Davis Gail & Craig Dushey Faran & Sid Efromovich Shifra & Ken Eisman Madelaine & Shai


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Meir & Alan Lerner

Rosemarie & Joseph Esmail

Rebecca Levin

Sade & Jonathan Etra

Barbara Messer

Jay Lipman

Sara & Farzin Farokhzadeh

Margalit & Jason Moche

Amy & Robert Fisher

Carole & Michael Nimaroff

Sean Frank Lauren & Jeremy Friedman

Menucha Parry

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:

Dena & Daniel Fromm

Joanne Zablud & George Poolman

Chevi Friedman & Jon Ganzarski

Robyn & Ross Radusky

Jennifer & Gabriel Gershowitz

Karen Rosenthal

Mitchell Davidson

Richard Samuelson

Judy & Ira Gomberg

Melodie & Martin Scharf

Board Members

Francesca & Jonathan Gordon Bat-Ami & Zvi Gordon Vanessa & Noam Haberman Jill Haft Moshe Halak Deborah Hasin Rachel Abucasis & Mickael Herszkowicz Karen & Ari Hirt Karin Grinbaum Jacobi & Asaf Jacobi Talya Levi & Josh Kahan Naomi & Jack Kassin Lisa Kaufman

Sami Shaio Rebecca & Jacob Shamsian Toby & Allan Silvera Rifki Zable & Yoni Slonim Elisheva & Harris Sokoloff Jackie & Jacob Soleimani Talia & Jethro Solomon Samantha Francis & Matthew Spiegel Daniel Sznajderman Sammy Tbeile

Bosi & Yaron Kinar

Shlomit & Eran Tromer

Sarah & Nachum Klar

Marian Williams

Regina Lazare

Isadora Yazdi

Alexandra Torrealba

Rachel & Dean Yogev

Charter Trustees

Drorit Ratzker Sirena Silber Rabbi Ethan Tucker

The following people were re-elected to the Ramaz Board: Charter Trustees Alissa Shams

Parent Board Members Randi Eisenstein

Alumni Board Members Diane Rein Abigail Tambor

The following Board members were re-elected to serve on the Ramaz Board: Charter Trustees Ray Chalme Emil Kleinhaus

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Board Members Parent Board Members Dr. Roy Davidovich

Alumni Board Members Rena Rosen

Community Board Members Daniele Bleier Bonnie Silvera

The following Honorary Board Members were re-elected for a one-year period: Harvey Beker Fred Distenfeld Lillian Eisman David Gruenstein Robert Kapito Ilan Kaufthal Dr. Jerry Kestenbaum Gail Propp Following a closing address by Rabbi Elie Weinstock (p. 28), in which he illustrated through portions of the Haggadah how the upcoming Passover holiday would be different from what we are accustomed to and instructed us to find the blessings in what we have, the 148th Annual Synagogue Meeting was adjourned with the hope in every heart that next year it will be different.

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‫ָהא ַל ְח ָמא ַענְיָא‬ ‫ַאר ָעא דְ ִמ ְצ ָריִם‬ ְ ‫דִ ּי אֲ כָלּו ַא ְב ָה תָ נָא ְב‬ This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in Egypt… This year, we have a deeper, personal understanding of affliction.

‫ָכּל דִ ְכ ִפין יֵיתֵ י ְויֵיכ ֹל‬ Let all who are hungry eat… Usually, we make this declaration as a reminder to open our homes for the Seder and beyond to those in need. This year, we cannot welcome guests or even family members.

‫חֹורין‬ ִ ‫ לְשָ ׁנָה ַה ָבָּאה ְ ּבנֵי‬,‫ָה שַ ּׁתָ ּא ַע ְב דֵ י‬ Now, we are slaves. Next year, we shall be free. This year, we are burdened, constricted, and restricted. Next year, please God, we will, quite literally, be free, outside, and together.

‫ַמ ה נִּשְ ׁתַ ּ נָּה ַה ַלּ יְלָה ַה זֶּה ִמ ָכּל ַה ֵלּילֹות‬ How different is this night from all other nights! Why is this night different from all other nights? This year, we know how and why this night is different. And, yet, we still have so many questions.

‫ ָבּרּוְך הּוא‬,‫ָבּרּוְך ַה ָמּקֹום‬ Blessed is the Place (Omnipresent One), Blessed is God This year, our places, our homes, require blessing. We have a new appreciation for space and place.

‫ִמ תְ ּ ִח ָלּה עֹו ְב דֵ י ֲעבֹודָ ה ז ָָר ה ָהיּו אֲ בֹותֵ ינּו‬ continued

In the beginning, our ancestors were idol worshippers This year, we look to the past for new insights into the present and guidance towards the future. Our ancestors have withstood challenge before. So, please God, shall we again.

‫ְו ִהיא שֶ ׁ ָע ְמ דָ ה לַאֲ בֹותֵ ינּו ְולָנּו‬ This has stood for our ancestors and for us What is “this?” Maybe “this” is faith. Maybe, as we raise our glasses for this passage, “this” is our ability to raise our cups to celebrate no matter the circumstances. This year, we need to rely on “this” more than ever and maintain confidence and joy in the face of fear and uncertainty.

‫ ַונִּ ְצ ַעק אֶ ל־ה' אֱ ֹל ֵהי אֲ ב ֹתֵ ינּו‬, ‫ַויִּשְ ׁ ַמ ע ה' אֶ ת־קֹלֵנּו‬ We cried out to the Lord, God of our ancestors, and God heard our voice This year, we double down on the need to call out in prayer for those who are ill, for those who are suffering, and for the heroes on the front lines providing care for those most at risk and in need. And, this year, we know that God will hear our voice.

‫אֵ ּלּו ֶע שֶ ׂר ַמ ּכֹות שֶ ׁ ֵה ִביא ַה ָקּדֹוׁש ָבּרּוְך הּוא‬ ‫מ ְצ ִרים ְ ּב ִמ ְצ ַריִם‬ ּ ִ ‫ַעל־ ַה‬ These are the ten plagues that God brought against the Egyptians This year, we can better understand the power of a plague.

‫ַ ּכ ָמ ה ַמ ֲעלֹות טֹובֹות ַל ָמּקֹום ָע לֵינּו‬ How many levels of kindness has God bestowed upon us!

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This year, despite the difficulty and uncertainty, we appreciate all the kindness that God continues to bestow upon us, the little gifts we can find in everyday life.

‫דַ ּיֵּנּו‬ It would have been enough for us! This year, we each have our own personal “Dayeinu!” Enough sickness. Enough time inside. Thank you, God, for everything, but it’s enough.

‫ְ ּב כָל־ּדֹור וָדֹור ַחיָּב ָאדָ ם ל ְִראֹות אֶ ת־ ַע ְצ מֹו‬ ‫מ ְצ ַריִם‬ ּ ִ ‫ְכּאִ ּלּו הּוא יָ ָצא ִמ‬ In every generation, a person is obligated to view themselves as actually leaving Egypt. This year, we can appreciate the feeling of anticipation for the moment of redemption. We yearn for freedom and a release from our current circumstances.

‫ לְשַ ׁ ֵ ּב ַח‬,‫ ְל ַה ֵלּל‬,‫ְל ִפי כְָך אֲ נַ ְחנּו ַחיָּ ִבים לְהֹודֹות‬ Therefore, we are obligated to thank, praise, and laud When the moment of redemption comes, we will sing and rejoice. This year, we sing with gusto in anticipation of better times and knowing that, please God, we will have much for which to praise and be grateful.

‫לְשָ ׁ נָה ַה ָבָּאה ִבּירּושָ ָליִם ַה ְבּנּויָה‬ Next year, in a rebuilt Jerusalem. This year, we are acutely aware of how much we yearn for next year. This year, despite our situation and surroundings, we can sing with confidence that next year will be a joyous Pesach Seder unlike any other before.


In the C O M M U N I T Y KJ Says Thank You and L’Hitraot to Chazan Shilo Kramer and Family as They Make Aliyah! DEAR KJ COMMUNITY, It is with a tremendous sense of gratitude and appreciation to our entire community that we are announcing that our family is moving to Eretz Yisrael, our homeland. We feel extremely indebted to the entire KJ Community and to the Rabbis for their outpouring of support and love over the past 16 years that we have been a part of the KJ Community. Everyone is welcome to visit us in our new home in Ramat Bet Shemesh. We should all be able to celebrate in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh very soon with the coming of Mashiach and the building of the Bet Hamikdash BimHera Biyaminu Amen. Chazzan Shilo & Tzivia Kramer

RABBI, DOCTOR, CHAZAN & SO MUCH MORE KJ is thrilled for the Kramer family as they embark on their next chapter by making aliya to Israel. At the same time, we will miss all that Shilo Kramer, his wife, Tzivia, and their family have contributed to the community for sixteen years. I vividly remember the conversation I had with Shilo to discuss his new role at KJ as chazan and Torah reader at the weekly Intermediate Service (now called the KJB Minyan) we were then launching. He was single back then. Fast forward, and Shilo and Tzivia, both busy, accomplished professionals, are the parents of six children who all come in from Cedarhurst for Shabbat to serve the community.

Shilo uses his voice and soul to elevate and inspire thousands. He also served as KJ chazan for Pesach and developed a loyal following at his High Holiday Service. In addition to his voice, Shilo has taught classes and become close with countless individuals, and Tzivia directed the Jewish Youth Connnection (JYC) Hebrew School for a number of years. Thank you, Shilo, for all that you have given to KJ. You gave from your neshama, and your impact will always be felt. Rabbi Elie Weinstock

SHALOM, BUT NOT GOODBYE, TO SHILO & TZIVIA KRAMER Over the past eight years, we have had the privilege of working alongside Shilo Kramer. Shilo’s contribution to the Beginners Service extends far beyond his role as Chazzan. Shilo, Tzivia and their family have been integral parts of the fabric of the community. Shilo’s ability to inspire through his Tefillah, kavanah, and breadth of Torah knowledge elevated the entire community each week. Whether at our weekly Shabbat Services, our signature Friday Night Live dinners, or our annual Community Seder, Shilo’s charisma and soulful melodies have added warmth and meaning. It is these sounds, and so such more, that have made KJB such a powerful environment of inspiration, growing our community and bringing new people into the fold of Judaism. We will miss you! B’Hatzlacha Rabbah—we look forward to seeing you in Israel! Rabbi Daniel, Rachel, Kira, Eitan, Noam and Amiel Kraus

I n T h e C o m m u n i t y / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N In The Community



Our Directors of Community Education. Reach them at rdk@ckj.org and rachel@ckj.org. ‫ ַע ל‬:‫ַע ל ׁשְ ֹלׁשָ ה דְ ָב ִרים ָה עֹולָם עֹו ֵמ ד‬ ‫ ְו ַע ל ְּג ִמילּות ֲח ָס דִ ים‬,‫ ְו ַע ל ָה ֲע בֹודָ ה‬,‫ּתֹור ה‬ ָ ‫ַה‬

we can continue to address, grow and foster our community during incredibly trying times and having to do it virtually.

“The world stands upon three things - upon Torah, upon divine service, and upon acts of kindness.”

Since March, our community has offered the following:

We are familiar with the popular teaching from Pirkei Avot (1:2). When this horrid pandemic hit, it was this teaching that guided our thinking in creating opportunities for the Beginners program.

Our KJ Community Seder has been facilitating a first Seder experience for 100+ guests for over 15 years. While we couldn’t celebrate together as a community or gather in homes through our hospitality programming, we were able to curate a selection of the Passover Seder songs from our beloved Chazan, Dr. Shilo Kramer, along with some reflections, questions, and resources to enhance everyone’s Seder table. We also conducted a virtual pre-Passover Seder and multiple pre-Passover classes to address both the meaning and the mechanics of how to create and run a meaningful Seder.

What are the three main areas of the Beginners community? How do we transition online and virtually to meet the needs of the community? Our acclaimed outreach and engagement efforts offer meaningful experiences for Jews of all backgrounds. We host weekly Shabbat services, Torah classes, Friday Night Live Shabbat Dinners, Holiday programming, and much more. Applying the framework of the Mishnah above, we reviewed each of the Beginners programs and Services and concluded that the community stands on three key areas: 

Prayer and Spirituality

Learning and Religious growth

Community and Socialization

It is our firm belief that we are all Beginners at different stages of the same journey and if we can maintain opportunities in these three key areas, continued //

Passover Seder Preparation

Weekly KJB Virtual Services For many, our Shabbat Services are the highlight of the week. Shabbat has become more than just a twenty-five-hour island of time. It is our chance to find togetherness, community, inspiration and friendship. While closing the physical doors of our beloved KJ, we needed to find a way to be there with one another. Each Thursday night at 8:30 pm we gather on Zoom to sing, learn Torah together and enjoy a ‘virtual kiddush.’ We try to capture the Shabbat spirit with some prayer and song and an interactive Parsha discussion.

Meaningful Jewish Living The class is taught either by Rabbi Weinstock or Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus. Our popular Thursday night yearlong course covering major themes in Jewish law, practice, and thought has continued each week via Zoom and Facebook Live. On Monday, May 11th, the community celebrated Lag B’Omer as never before with a special concert live from Tsfat, with the renowned band Simply Tsfat. The trio inspired us with their music, stories, and insights into Lag B’Omer as experienced in Tsfat.

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31 One-On-One Meetings With many in our community either confined to their homes during this time period or not in regular contact with others, we wanted to ensure we were there for people who needed help, assistance, friendship and attention. Volunteer leaders in our Beginners Service, and Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus scheduled times to meet with people as needed throughout the time of our closure.

Friday Night Live via Zoom In a first-of-its-kind, on Thursday night, June 11th, our popular Maztah Balls and Martinis moved online with over 75 community members registering for the best of Friday Night Live on a Thursday! The evening featured musical inspiration by Chazan Shilo and Jewbilation, words of inspiration from the Rabbis, and make your own martinis with expert mixologist Joanna Carpenter. We can’t wait to return to being together in person. We are in this community together, and even though at this point we are not in close physical proximity, the unity and thoughtfulness we share can foster even more closeness. The pillars of our community are rock solid, even on Zoom.

Two Minute Torah with Rachel Kraus!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @rabbidkraus and Facebook at fb.com/CongregationKehilathJeshurun!

TABLE TALKS Table Talks, by Rachel and Rabbi Daniel Kraus, is a new weekly 2-page discussion guide, geared towards families to discuss contemporary issues through the lens of Torah. Perfect for a Shabbat table discussion starter. Email rdk@ckj.org  to receive Table Talks via email or WhatsApp weekly.



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Please join Rachel Kraus for her Two Minute Torah (TMT) WhatsApp Group, a weekly pre-Shabbat parsha insight. Scan above to join.

SUMMER PLANS Are you and your family thinking creatively this summer? Let us know what you are up to for possible inclusion in the next bulletin!


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Send your submissions to riva@ckj.org.

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continued / /

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Sephardic Virtual Programming Since the very beginning of quarantine, Rabbi Meyer Laniado kept the Sephardic community’s spirits lifted with programming, recordings and classes. He gave us food for thought with Pirkei Avot classes and video messages, with topics such as How to Come Out of This Stronger: Taking Notes From Yoseph and When to Be a Part of and When to Be Apart From The Community. The KJ Sephardic Family WhatsApp chat has been a place for the community to connect, offer support, and share experiences during this time. Some of the responses: “Thanks for the lovely message and your dedication to our ‘family.’ You have helped make a hard situation a lot better. ‫ ”!חג שמח‬and “I’m so appreciative for all the love and support being communicated on this chat! Thanks to all!!” Members of the minyan dropped off Pesah mahzorim to those who needed and Rabbi Laniado shared messages on “KJ Sephardic Radio” with Haggadah history and tips, as well as beautiful recordings of Hazzanim Benny Zalta and Charles Zami. Rabbi Laniado also shared helpful prep guides and taught halakhah classes answering questions unique to this year’s unprecedented Pesah! Every Friday, KJ Sephardic enjoyed catching up during Scotch and Smiles followed by Shir HaShirim and Minha with Charles Zami. The community also enjoyed exclusive programs hosted by members of the Sephardic family such as Community Get Together with Rachel Sopher and cooking classes by Kim Kushner and Talia Laniado.

Images, clockwise left to right: Community members share videos of Tefillah at home; Scotch and Smiles brings everyone together; Kim Kushner teaches how to make Haroset Balls for Pesah; kids participate in our Matzah baking program; Rabbi Laniado and his wife, Talia, share a pre-Pesah message.

We would like to give a warm thank you to the KJ Office Staff: Leonard Silverman EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 


Dina Farhi


Esther Feierman


Menucha Parry



Freddie Rodriguez SUPERINTENDENT

For all of the hard work they have done behind the scenes to keep the KJ Office and Synagogue open for business as usual throughout the COVID epidemic and city lockdown.

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Yom Ha’Atzmaut. The birth of the Jewish state was celebrated with Rabbi Lookstein leading a festive Shacharit Service and Cantor Berson leading a musical Hallel. We heard words of inspiration from Ramaz Head of School Jonathan Cannon, and were treated to greetings and songs live from Aish HaTorah students overlooking the Kotel.

Every spring, after Pesach, there are four days on the Jewish calendar that commemorate important events in modern Jewish history. This year, communities world-wide gathered virtually to mark these days: Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. This year, we were privileged to welcome Shira Stoll, a producer and photo- and video-journalist, who discussed her Emmy-award winning documentary Where Life Leads You, about Holocaust survivors living in Staten Island, with Arthur Spielman, one of the survivors interviewed in the film. Yom HaZikron, Israel’s Memorial Day. Mourning turned to celebration in a community-wide program Nefesh Yehudi Homiya: From Memorial to Celebration, A Communal Ceremony of Transition. KJ, Ramaz, Central Synagogue, and Park Avenue Synagogue came together to mark the transition from Yom HaZikaron to Yom Ha’Atzmaut. This program, in partnership with AIPAC, FIDF (Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces), Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and UJA, included moving personal testimonies, words of inspiration from our rabbis, and songs of remembrance and celebration from our cantors.

Yom Yerushalayim. Our celebration of the re-unification of Jerusalem started with a Tefillah Chagigit led by Rabbi Lookstein and Cantor Berson. We were then treated to an outstanding shiur by Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, an internationally acclaimed author, educator, and expert in Jewish law, speaking on “The Secret of Jerusalem,” live from Israel. If you could not be in Jerusalem to celebrate the day, this was the next-best thing!

Tisha B’Av / July 29-30 Numerous tragedies 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, July 21, and continue until the night of the tenth of Av, July 31,

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.

For a complete listing of KJ Tisha B’Av programming, visit ckj.org/tishabav.

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Virtual Fun with KJYD! The KJ Youth Department may not be seeing our families in person, but we have been busy staying connected in new and creative ways. We celebrated Pesach with non-stop programming: magic shows, puppet shows, kid’s cooking classes, art demonstrations and so much more! Our Pesach centerpiece challenge showed us how talented our youth really is, and a community drum circle brought us all together in song. We enjoyed weekly group Zoom meetings for all different ages. Menucha’s Club became a place where elementary school students could chat, catch up, and enjoy classic games together like Pictionary! Tuesday night Story Time has become a staple for families to gather together and to read each week, a sweet and quiet moment for everyone in the middle of our busy weeks.

continued //

A weekly highlight is our Friday Sing along with Morah Chevy! Young families enjoyed singing their favorite Shabbat songs together once again. As we counted up to receiving the Torah on Shavuot, our families participated in a daily growth challenge that was fun and engaging for all! We celebrated this joyful holiday by gifting our KJ families a Shavuot treat equipped with DIY paper flowers and yummy treats. We may not be able to be together physically, but we wanted to send joy and let everyone know we are thinking of them! The icing on the cake was the Shavuot Divrei Torah, given by dozens of children. Through their words of Torah, the community children rose to the occasion and inspired us, made us laugh, and reminded us all how strong our community is. We can’t wait to embrace you all back in our hallways, singing and dancing together again, but ‘til then we will be here planning a wonderful year to come! Follow us @kjyd613 for all the latest events and news! Aryana and Morah Chevy

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Kesher Virtual Programming Sisterhood Cares Virtual Art Evening

Zoom Parent/Child Learning with Rabbi Weinstock // The Kesher kiddos brought their crayons for an exciting activity led by Rabbi Weinstock that got them into the Pesach spirit! Kesher Kumzitz // The Kesher community joined virtually for an uplifting evening of singing and ruach, led by Cantor Berson. Virtual Workout with Personal Trainer Elianna Kaye // Soul Cycle instructor, personal trainer, and Kesher member Elianna Kaye led the Kesher ladies in a fun and challenging workout. Kesher Presents Juliette and Ella’s Playdate // Our littlest Kesher kids enjoyed singing and dancing along to this adorable music class. Mental Health Check-in with Madelaine Ellberger // Madelaine Ellberger LCSW, DSW led a mindfulness practice and a discussion regarding coping mechanisms for living through a pandemic with Kesher community members. Kesher Toy Hour // Kesher kids got to participate in an exciting round of show and tell with their friends over Zoom! Men’s Night Out—Tequila and Tachlis // The Kesher men enjoyed reconnecting with one another and sharing how the crisis was affecting their respective industries. To keep up with Kesher, go to ckj.org/kesher.

“Amazing!” “Remarkable!” These are just two of the glowing reviews of the recent Sisterhood Cares Virtual Art Evening held on May 17 in lieu of the Annual Luncheon. Ronnit Vasserman and our own Jennifer Roth (pictured above) were our docents, and they presented exciting images of Israeli Modern Art. We traveled from 20th Century Israeli Modernists to Contemporary Stars of today, and were wowed by a varied selection of paintings, sculptures, and videos. The Sisterhood is planning an exciting fall line-up, so please keep in touch through the summer by checking our website at ckj.org/sisterhood.

continued / /

I n t h e C o m m u n i t y / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


Matan Bat Mitzvah Class BY R ACH E L K R AU S

This past April we concluded KJ’s hallmark mother-daughter Bat Mitzvah program. I have had the privilege of teaching this program at KJ for the past fifteen years and learning with hundreds of mothers and daughters in our community. The program, developed by MaTaN, The Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, provides an opportunity for mothers and daughters to meaningfully engage with Jewish learning and experiences in preparation for our B’not Mitzvah. The course focuses on women throughout Jewish history, with each unit broken into three sections: mother-daughter chavruta, experiential learning, and guided group discussions. Each unit’s theme is explored and experienced through Tanach, Gemara, Midrash and contemporary sources and aims to connect mothers and daughters with our past as a template for how to explore and understand possibilities of the future. Through the learning


// I n t h e C o m m u n i t y / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

about extraordinary Jewish women throughout history, we explore different modalities of leadership, strength of character, commitment, chesed, problem solving, resilience, independence and emunah. What started out as a dynamic in-person program, beautifully transitioned to a virtual experience. We were able to continue our Torah learning, experiential learning and dynamic conversations and build on the tenacious resilience of women in our past who faced their own challenges and fears with drive, purpose and faith.

‫ וַּתִ ׁשְ ַל֥ח‬,‫ וַּתֵ תַ ַ ּ֥צ ב‬,‫ ו ֵ ַּ֤ת ֶרא‬,‫ ו ָ ַּ֣ת ָק ם‬,‫וַּתֵ֨ לְֶך‬ “and she went, got up, saw, stood and sent” Through this we demonstrate that we are part of a powerful legacy of women who continued in spite of any challenge they faced. For more information, contact rachel@ckj.org.


W H E R E W E W E R E : P re-COVID The forthcoming pages feature what would have been highlighted in the Spring Issue, had it been published!

Siyum haShas Inspires Community Torah Learning BY R ACH E L K R AU S

In January, the global Jewish community gathered to mark the seven-and-a-half-year cycle of the completion of the entire Talmud. Communities all over the world gathered, in stadiums, in Synagogues, in classrooms, in Batei Midrashot and convention centers. The women in our community, along with thousands of women from Jewish communities around the world, joined forces with Hadran, an organization in Israel dedicated to encouraging women's Talmud study, to mark the first ever Women’s International Siyum HaShas in Jerusalem.

Since the Siyum, many members of our community, both men and women, have committed to the study of Daf Yomi. To delve into the daily study of Gemara, is to access conversations, insights, wisdom and knowledge of our past, our value system and our mesorah. To see the questions and curiosity come to life in dynamic conversation, heated debates and structured reasoning, is a portal to the past that enables and strengthens our future. In echoing the words of the Hadran, recited upon completion of each section of Talmud,

As part of the milestone, communities of women throughout the world adopted a Masechet of Talmud to collectively learn all 2,711 pages. Women of the KJ community adopted Masechet Avodah Zara and joined in a Siyum held at KJ, where we learned together and celebrated together with the Hadran Siyum in Israel as well as communities of women around the world. Our Siyum was shared by a beautiful cross section of women in our community, with over a 70-year age span, highlighting the accessibility, relevance and beauty of our texts and tradition.

‫ דַ ּ ְע תָ ּן ֲע לְָך וְדַ ְע תָ ְּך ֲעלָן‬,‫ֲה דְ ָרן ֲע לְָך ְו ֲה דְ ָרְך ֲע לָן‬ ‫לָא נִתֽ נְשֵ ׁי ִמינְָך וְֹלא תִ תְ נְׁשֵ י ִמינָן‬ We will return to you, and you will return to us; our mind is on you, and your mind is on us; we will not forget you, and you will not forget us, the completion of our learning is an invitation to do more and join the conversation. It is never too late to begin, it is never too late to start and whether it is daily study of Torah, Nach, Mishna, Talmud, Halacha, Chassidut or Mussar, the commitment to become stakeholders of our texts is our birthright and will deepen our understanding, strengthen our identity and solidify our future.

Left: Women’s Siyum at KJ; Right: The first international Siyum HaShas for Women in Jerusalem, hosted by Hadran this past January. W h e r e W e W e r e : P r e - C ov i d / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N W h e r e W e W e r e : P r e - C ov i d


KJ Father-Son Bar Mitzvah Program Rabbi Meyer Laniado led a group of 20 father-son pairs at Met Council’s Weinberg Residence packing 163 holiday baking kits to enable people in need to enjoy sweet treats by baking their own pies. This was part of our new Father-Son Bar Mitzvah Program in partnership with Ramaz.

showing interest in them and giving them our attention was so impactful. It was most appropriate as part of a pre-Bar Mitzvah experience to take responsibility to perform the mitzvah of tzedakah and offer a little more dignity to the lives of the people we interacted with and those who will receive the holiday baking kits. May this be just the first experience of a life that brings dignity to other humans.

These fathers and sons learned an important lesson about how tzedakah should be given in a way that provides another human their dignity. The recipients of these packages have fallen on hard times, and, now, they rarely receive more than their very basic food necessities. The boxes packed contained what for the recipients are luxuries – sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate chips – and they will be received as a real treat. The same is true about the seemingly basic brunch we provided. One of the residents came over to Rabbi Laniado and said: “Thank you. You really have impacted our lives.” They do not normally receive prepared meals, let alone have guests who take the time to connect with them. One resident mentioned that her family only visits every 3-4 months. That is why our

Simcha UNDER ADVERSITY Using the video conferencing tool, Zoom, Joseph (Jojo) Hershkowitz, son of KJ members Karen and Michael Hershkowitz, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah while under self-quarantine for the coronavirus on Thursday, March 5, after having attended a Westchester Synagogue where one of the worshipers was afflicted with the virus but was as yet undiagnosed. Over 250 classmates and friends attended online, watching Jojo layn from the Torah, be blessed by his parents, and addressed by Rabbi Lookstein (who wore his Mets jacket and cap in solidarity with Jojo, who is a die-hard Mets fan). Jojo will properly celebrate his Bar Mitzvah at KJ with the entire KJ family once all the quarantines are behind us. Until then, we wish him and his family a heartfelt Mazal Tov and thank them for setting such an important example under such an extreme situation, by overcoming a tremendous disappointment and putting together a celebration that embraced the times. It’s what you do when life gives you lemons.


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39 throes of a fellow prisoner who had tried to escape. In order to take their minds off the horrible scene, Roth described in vivid detail the food that her family served at the seder table.

A Somber Reunion Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, more than 200 elderly Holocaust survivors, many of them from New York, gathered Monday, January 27, at the scene of one of the worst atrocities in modern history in a somber remembrance of the nearly one million Jews who never made it out of the Nazi extermination camp alive.

Later, she promised a fellow prisoner that if she made it out of the Nazi concentration camps alive, she would tell the world what they had witnessed. Roth’s memoir Here There is No Why has been published in several languages. There are fewer than 2,000 Auschwitz survivors worldwide, so their stories are more important and precious than ever. It is incumbent upon us all to know them and retell them.

Many of the Auschwitz survivors, now in their late 80s and 90s, returned to the largest of the Nazi death camps in southern Poland to honor their families who perished in the gas chambers. KJ member and survivor Rachel Roth, together with forty members of her family, participated in the trip. This is the fourth time Mrs. Roth has returned to Auschwitz. She was a teenager when her family was shipped to the ghetto, and soon began working for the underground resistance. She once smuggled two pistols into the ghetto, hiding the guns among stolen potatoes and butter. The Nazi guards beat her for stealing the food, but somehow missed the hidden guns, said her son Ram Roth. Roth was a prisoner of the Majdanek concentration camp before she was shipped to Auschwitz in July 1943. At Majdanek she and a group of women were forced to stand all night to watch the hanging and death

Rachel Roth and her family celebrated a wedding in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940 despite the oppression of the Nazis. Note the bare table. This photo is on the cover of her book Here There Is No Why. Everyone except Rachel (standing far right) was murdered. Rachel recreated this photo at a bountiful table with forty family members who are accompanying her to the 75th anniversary celebration of the Liberation of Auschwitz. As the largest family delegation they were invited on stage to sing Hatikva together!


The Traveling Chassidim VISIT KJ Special ruach permeated the halls of KJ on the Shabbat of Parashat Vaera, January 24-25, when KJ Beginners welcomed the Traveling Chassidim. They are a group of Chassidic families who travel around the country, bringing with them the classic Chassidic warmth and liveliness of Shabbat. They were hosted by KJ families and we had the opportunity to form a deep connection with them during their stay. ​ hat Friday night, they were the special T guests of Friday Night Live and they provided a lively and inspirational Kabbalat Shabbat before dinner. The spirit continued through Shabbat and Seudah Shlishit. The program reached its climax at a moving Havdalah service, kumzitz and spirited dancing, accompanied by live music. They got everyone onto their feet, as evidenced by the accompanying photos.

KUD OS TO Jordan Mittler

On January 8, Jordan Mittler was invited to attend the opening bell ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ by Tivity Health for his work teaching seniors about technology. For class information, click here: images. shulcloud.com/727/uploads/ Upcoming%20Programs/2019/ Mittler-Computer-Flyer.pdf.

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M A Y T H E Y G O   Higher & Higher We extend a warm Mazal Tov to the following young members of the Congregation who completed the Ramaz Middle School: Rachel Abelson daughter of Susie Leigh & Josh Abelson

Ashley Behm

Elijah Reuben Goldstein

Hallie Devorah Kopel

son of Audrey & Mark Goldstein

daughter of Julie & Reuben Kopel

Jack Ephraim Gomberg

Milan Jack Kushner

daughter of Stacy & Thomas Behm

son of Sophia & David Gomberg grandson of Gail Propp & Ephie Propp z”l

Elisabeth Naomi Berman

Liam Halpern Gomberg

daughter of Sarah Berman

Ian Robert Bernstein son of Jessica & Rafi Bernstein grandson of Gloria & Richard Kobrin

Romi Choavat daughter of Debbi & Erez Choavat

son of Yonina & Eric Gomberg grandson of Cheryl & Fred Halpern and Gail Propp & Ephie Propp z”l

Sascha Isabelle Harris daughter of Lori & Dr. Alan Harris

Sophie Grace Harris daughter of Lori & Dr. Alan Harris

Grace Cohen daughter of Suri & Kenny Cohen

Molly Kate Hiltzik daughter of Dana & Matthew Hiltzik

Ezra Michael Cole son of Karen & David Cole

Ethan Justin son of Sandra & Jeffrey Justin

Mia Corwick

son of Kim & Jonathan Kushner grandson of Lee & Murray Kushner

Claire Landy daughter of Amy & Darren Landy granddaughter of Dr. Sherry & Joel Wiener

Amiel Low son of Lisa & Nathan Low

Eli Menaged son of Anat & Louis Menaged

Alexander Ottensoser son of Judith Weiss Ottensosser & Daniel Ottensoser grandson of Marion & Bill Weiss

Gabriel Alex Piafsky son of Lauren & Barry Piafsky

Jeremy Seymour Propp

daughter of Hayley & Randy Corwick

son of Deborah Weinswig & Maxwell Kahn

son of Dina & Douglas Propp grandson of Gabrielle Propp & Seymour Propp z”l

Noa Gad

Hannah Gabrielle Kanbar

Rachel Hannah Rubinstein

daughter of Stacey & David Kanbar

daughter of Shira & Allen Rubinstein

Philip Efron

Charlotte Kleeger

Emily Bailey Schwartz

son of Elyse & David Efron

daughter of Joy & Judd Kleeger

daughter of Vanessa & Joseph Gad

grandson of Janet & Mark Mittler

Ezra Isaac Kahn

Rae Kaplan

Evan Blake Glasberg

daughter of Jessica & Adam Kaplan

son of Alisa & Dr. Scot Bradley Glasberg

granddaughter of Dr. Sherry & Joel Wiener

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daughter of Suzanne & Robert Schwartz granddaughter of Marina & Sam Schwartz

Jack Yvan Sebag son of Ariel & Jack Sebag grandson of Jean & Armand Lindenbaum


Academic A C H I E V E M E N T S

Photo Credit: Tilly Blair.

Jordan Oliver Shalhov son of Rina & Amnon Shalhov

Ezra Aaron Sholes son of Esther & Mark Sholes

Jordana Price Stonehill daughter of Robyn Price Stonehill & David Stonehill granddaughter of Judith z”l & Hon. Arnold Price z”l

Jesse Solomon Storch son of Jody & Ari Storch

Eileen Victoria Sutton daughter of Victoria & Joseph Sutton

Caleb Nathan Tambor daughter of Abigail & Shai Tambor grandson of Belda z”l & Marcel Lindenbaum z”l

Aviva Weinstock daughter of Dr. Naama Weinstock & Rabbi Elie Weinstock

Siena Yazdi daughter of Isadora & Dr. Joseph Yazdi

Julius Kalonymus Zimbler son of Deborah & Dr. Marc Zimbler

RACHEL ARATEN, daughter of Annette and Dr. David Araten, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as the recipient of the Lillian Jacobs Award for excellence in character and dedication to the spirit of Jewish ethics; the Fannye Popkin Memorial Award for excellence in fine arts; and the Beatrice & Murray Kirschblat Holocaust Award for students who have demonstrated a commitment to Holocaust awareness and care for Holocaust survivors through their participation in Witness Theater. She will attend Brandeis University in the fall.

KIRA BERMAN, daughter of Sara & Mark Bloom and David Berman, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School as the recipient of the Beatrice & Murray Kirschblat Holocaust Award for students who have demonstrated a commitment to Holocaust awareness and care for Holocaust survivors through their participation in Witness Theater, and a Chorus Award. She will attend Kivunim in the fall and Yale University upon her return. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Judy and Michael Steinhardt.

SAMUEL JAY ASCHENDORF, son of Wilma and Kenneth Aschendorf, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Drs. Gerald and Vicki Platt Award presented to the graduating seniors who have demonstrated a love of Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael as expressed in the philosophy of religious Zionism. He will attend Aish haTorah in the fall and New York University upon his return from Israel.

GABRIELLA SARAH DAVIDSON, daughter of Nina and Mitchell Davidson, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend New York University in the fall. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Ingeborg and Ira Rennert.

JACOB BERMAN (Ramaz ‘16), son of Sara & Mark Bloom and David Berman, upon his graduation from Princeton University, with a major in economics with certificates in finance and political economy. Jacob was also one of ten students named a winner of the 2020 Spirit of Princeton Award, presented to Princeton undergraduates for positive contributions to campus life. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Judy and Michael Steinhardt.

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HANNAH VITA DOFT, daughter of Suzanne and Jacob Doft, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Gilda Silverman Memorial Award, presented to the students who, with energy and good humor, have demonstrated a commitment to learning as the language of their daily lives, as well as a Yearbook Award. She will attend Bar Ilan University in the fall and the University of Pennsylvania upon her return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Arlene and Avrom Doft and Marion and Bill Weiss. LUCY HELLER DOFT, daughter of Abby and David Doft, upon her graduation

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42 from the Ramaz Upper School. Lucy was selected by her class to receive the Sam Gyenes Award as the individual most concerned with the needs and sensitivities of her classmates; the Rochelle Miller Sherut Award presented to the graduating seniors who, through leadership and dedication, have generated school spirit, contributed to the community, and enhanced the quality of student life; an award for outstanding ability in Spanish; and a Yearbook Award. She will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents Arlene and Avrom Doft. DANIELLA FEINGOLD, daughter of Dr. Carolyn Hiltebeitel and Orrin Feingold, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Jesse Deutsch Tefillah Award and the Dr. Saul G. Agus Memorial Award for Service in and Commitment to the Field of Healthcare. She will attend Nishmat in the fall and the University of Pennsylvania upon her return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandfather, Leonard Feingold. JACOB FISHER, son of Nicole and Jeff Fisher, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as the recipient of the Ramaz Prize given to the student who best exemplifies the ideals and goals of a Ramaz education. He will attend Yeshivat Orayta in the fall and New York University upon his return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandmother, Shirley Boyarsky. ALIZA FREILICH, daughter of Drs. Stephanie and Jonathan Freilich, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of a History Award and a Yearbook Award. She will attend Bar Ilan University in the fall and Emory University upon her return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandmother, Estelle Freilich. SAMANTHA GROSSMAN, daughter of Laura and Dr. Leonard Grossman, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend New York University in the fall. MAYA HOFF, daughter of Rachel and Eliot Hoff, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Darkei Noam Award, presented to the seniors who comport themselves with

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inner strength, warmth, and sensitivity; the Edith Schrank Memorial Award for outstanding work in creative writing; and the Photography Award. Maya will attend MTVA (Midreshest Torah V’Avodah) this fall and Binghamton University upon her return from Israel, where she will conduct research through the Source Project, SAMUEL IFRAH, son of Michele and Stephane Ifrah, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend the University of Miami in the fall. BENJAMIN JASPAN (Ramaz 15’), son of Michele and Ronald Jaspan, upon his graduation from Binghamton University School of Management, Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Benjamin was also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society. Benjamin will be working for KPMG Deal Advisory. BETH KAHN, daughter of Judy and Dr. Hirshel Kahn, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Dr. Irving & Dubby Shulman Derekh Hayashar Citizenship Award and the Gloria Schrenzel Sheer Dance Award. She will attend Midreshet Amit in the fall and Barnard College upon her return from Israel. NATHALIE KAHN (Ramaz ‘15), daughter of Judy and Dr. Hirshel Kahn, upon her graduation, with honors, from Barnard College with a BA in History and a minor in Psychology. Nathalie was on Dean’s List throughout. While she prepares to go to law school, Nathalie will be working at Success Academy in Special Education programming. JOSEPH ISAAC KAPLAN, son of Dr. Jennifer and Michael Kaplan, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Liselotte Samuel Gorlin Award for Excellence in Mathematics. He will attend Columbia University in the fall. MILES ALEXANDER KLASS, son of Stacey and Richard Klass, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as the recipient of the Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Award for Personal Growth, and the Beatrice & Murray Kirschblat Holocaust Award for students who have

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demonstrated a commitment to Holocaust awareness and care for Holocaust survivors through their participation in Witness Theater. He will attend Hofstra University in the fall. BEATRICE KLEEGER, daughter of Joy and Judd Kleeger, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Fannye Popkin Memorial Award for excellence in fine arts. She will attend Duke University in the fall. SOPHIA BERTA KREMER, daughter of Esther and Motti Kremer, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Rochelle Miller Sherut Award presented to the graduating seniors who, through leadership and dedication, have generated school spirit, contributed to the community, and enhanced the quality of student life; and the Rifka Rosenwein Journalism Award. She will attend MTVA (Midreshest Torah V’Avodah) this fall and Brown University upon her return from Israel. EVELYN LANDY, daughter of Amy and Darren Landy, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Edith Schrank Memorial Award for outstanding work in creative writing. She will attend Emory University in the fall. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Dr. Sherry and Joel Wiener. SAMUEL LOW, son of Lisa and Nathan Low, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Dr. Irving & Dubby Shulman Derekh Hayashar Citizenship Award and the Gorfinkle/ Waldman Computer Science Award. He will attend Torah Tech in the fall and the University of Maryland upon his return from Israel. ELIZABETH RITA NEWMAN-CORRÉ, daughter of Diana Newman and Isaac Corré, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Jesse Deutsch Tefillah Award; the Beatrice & Murray Kirschblat Holocaust Award for students who have demonstrated a commitment to Holocaust awareness and care for Holocaust survivors through their participation in Witness Theater; and a Chorus Award. She will attend the University of Michigan in the fall. Mazal

43 Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Carol and Melvin Newman. GABRIEL H. POTTER, son of Ellie Cohanim and Aaron Goldberg, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Edith Schrank Memorial Award for outstanding work in creative writing. He will attend Emory University in the fall. ETHAN AVI RUBIN, son of Stephanie and Daniel Rubin, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend the University of Indiana Kelley Business School in the fall. OLIVIA NOURIT SAKHAI, daughter of Marcy and Cyrus Sakhai, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as the recipient of the David Kagan Memorial Award presented to student athletes who best exemplify the values of sportsmanship and menschlichkeit both on and off the playing field. She will attend Boston University in the fall. RYAN LEWIS SANDS, son of Phylise and Richard Sands, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. He will attend Hunter College in the fall.

SAMMY SCHIFF, son of Deena and Adam Schiff, upon his graduation from The Leffell School (formerly Schecter Westchester). He will attend Drexel University in the fall. GABRIELLA RACHEL SCHWARTZ, daughter of Erica and Robert Schwartz, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School. She will attend Bar Ilan University in the fall and Cornell University upon her return from Israel. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Sheira and Steven Schacter. REBECCA SCHWARTZ (Ramaz ‘16), daughter of Anne and Sam Schwartz, upon her graduation from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, where she earned the Dean’s Award for Scholastic Achievement in Finance. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Rae and Stanley Gurewitsch. AVERY BENJAMIN SHOLES, son of Esther and Marc Sholes, upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School as a recipient of the Walter Koppel Jewish Political Action Award. He will attend Dartmouth College in the fall.

BENJAMIN MAX SILVERMAN, son of Adrian and KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman upon his graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Harvey Blech Memorial Award for excellence in the study of physics; and the Aron, Leah, and Leon Swergold Memorial Award for excellence in the study of Talmud. Ben will attend Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh in the fall and Columbia University upon his return from Israel. Mazal tov to proud KJ grandparents, Donna and Arthur Silverman. CAYLA ISABELLE TODES, daughter of Lisa and Mark Todes, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Gloria Schrenzel Sheer Dance Award. Cayla will attend Kivunim in the fall and the University of Miami upon her return. NATALIE HANNAH TRUMP, daughter of Lizzy and Joshua Trump, upon her graduation from the Ramaz Upper School, as a recipient of the Sidney Scheinberg Award for Politics and Law. She will attend MTVA (Midreshest Torah V’Avodah) this fall and New York University upon her return from Israel. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents, Sheira and Steven Schacter.


Raquela and Avi Adelsberg upon the birth of their son, Jerry Samuel (Yakov Shmuel Shmelka). Stephanie and Craig Basman upon the birth of a daughter, Elizabeth Grace (Shaina Ruth). Batya and KJ Chazan Chaim Dovid Berson upon the birth of their son, Yerachmiel Dov (Remi Charles). KJ Administrator Riva Alper and Joe Bierman upon the birth of their first grandchild, a daughter, Ayala Margot (Ayala Margalit Leah), born to their children, Sarah Bierman and Daniel Wallis.

Dr. Judy Schwartz and Michael Brizel upon the birth of a granddaughter, Remy Bryce, born to their children Ilana and Craig Maider. Faith and Andy Charles upon the birth of a grandson, Oliver Richard (Yaakov Gavriel), born to their children, Jackie and Zach Charles. Sheila and Jeremy Chess upon the birth of a granddaughter, Pesha, born to their children Ahuva and Josh Levine. Rebecca and Josh Chubak upon the birth of a son, Henry Allan (Yehuda Tzvi). Iris and Ilan Cohen upon the birth of twin granddaughters, Theodora Rose and Louisa Charlotte, born to their children

Danielle and Jon Segal. Daniella and Bobby Davis upon the birth of a baby girl, Sarah Nili. Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandparents, Wendy and Sholem Greenbaum. Helen and Ruby Davis upon the birth of a granddaughter, Ruth Adira (Rivka Adira), born to their children Mindie and Jonathan Davis. Mazal Tov as well to Mindie’s parents, Renee and Harry Erreich. Kenneth Eckstein upon the birth of a grandson, Adam Gerald (Avraham Eliyahu), born to his children Natasha and Max Eckstein. Barbara and Eric Eigen upon the birth of a granddaughter, Aya, born to their children, Kim Menaster Eigen and Ron Eigen of Los Angeles.

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44 Miriam and Eric Feldstein, upon the birth of a granddaughter, Hallie Liora (Hallel Liora), born to their children Jenny and Adam Teitcher. Rosie and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the birth of a grandson, Yehuda, born to their children, Malkie and Aryeh Friedman (Ramaz ‘09). Rosie and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the birth of a grandson, born to their children Rivkah and Yosef Friedman of Jerusalem. Jennifer and Benjamin Gerut upon the birth of their son, Robert Ezra (Ezra Ze’ev). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Debbie and Dr. Richard Born. Ayelet and Oren Goldhaber upon the birth of a son, Carmiel Lev (Carmiel Levi). Goldie and I. David Gordon upon the birth of a grandson, Judah Caleb (Yehuda Akiva), born to their children Aviva and Daniel Gordon. Dr. Natanya (“Tani”) and Benjamin Gordon upon the birth of a son, Caleb Phillip (Calev Peretz). Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandparents Goldie and I. David Gordon. Gabby and David Greenbaum upon the birth of a son, Jaime (Ze’ev Baruch). Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandparents Wendy and Sholem Greenbaum. Judy and Dr. Marty Grumet upon the birth of a granddaughter, Maayan Arya, born to their children, Leah and Avi Grumet, in Jerusalem. Vanessa and Noam Haberman upon the birth of a son, Dean Joseph (Yosef Adin). Deeni and Manu Hass upon the birth of their son, Ezra Yisrael. Karen Blatt and Ari Hirt upon the birth of a granddaughter, Leah Gittel, born to their children, Estee and Rabbi Avi Hirt. Rob and Ellen Kapito and Dr. Pinkas and Judith Lebovits upon the birth of a granddaughter, Ava Giselle (Amalia Gitel), born to their children, Kayla and Elias Lebovits.

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Saba and Shawn Khodadadian upon the birth of a son, Joseph (Yoseph Yaakov). Dorothy and Daniel Katz upon the birth of their first child and son, David Sid (David Shaul). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandmother, Paula Etra. Rebecca and Aaron Kuperman upon the birth of a son, Samuel Joshua (Shmuel Yehoshua). Dr. Laura and Daniel Levin upon the birth of a son, Nathan Moses (Moshe Netanel). Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents Caryl Englander and Israel Englander. Alexandra and Alan Lerner upon the birth of a son, Gabriel Haim (Haim). Edith and Salomon Lipiner upon the birth of their eighth great-grandchild, Adira Brielle, born to their grandchildren Aviva and Dr. Michael Epstein (Ramaz ‘07). Edith and Salomon Lipiner upon the birth of a great grandson, born to their grandchildren Zeva (Ramaz ‘10) and Noah Adelsberg. Lisa and Nathan Low upon the birth of a granddaughter, Beatrice Lily (Devora Aliza), born to their children, Chantal and JJ Katz. Rachel and Matthew Luxenberg upon the birth of a son, Levi Jacob (Aryeh Barak). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents Rhonda and Jeffrey Luxenberg. Rhonda and Jeffrey Luxenberg upon the birth of a grandson, Adam Arno (Aharon Yonah) born to their children, Allie and Alex Luxenberg. Sandy and Dr. Norman Magid upon the birth of a granddaughter, Liya Tzipora, born to their children, Ariella and Gabi (Ramaz ‘08) Magid. Cara and Cal Major upon the birth of a son, Isaac Philip (Moshe Menachem). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Rochelle and Eugene Major, and to greatgrandmother Gabriella Major. Julie and Ethan Marcovici upon the birth of a son, Noah Milton (Noach Tzvi). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents,


Dr. Lauren and Jacques Blinbaum. Drs. Michelle Meersand and Allen Heller upon the birth of their grandson, Leo Ross (Ariyeh Reuven), born to their children Drs. Sarah Lieber and Benjamin Heller. Audrey and Gary Menachem upon the birth of their grandson, Ezra, born to their children, Lindsay and Shlomo Suissa. Dr. Leora Mogilner and Richard Linhart upon the birth of their first grandchild, a daughter, Adira Golda, born to their children, Tobey and Yonah Goldschmidt. Mazal Tov as well to great-grandparents KJ members Rochelle Mogilner and Hal Gastwirt, Sarina and Albert Palacci upon the birth of their first child and son, Joseph Albert (Yosef). KJ Director of Member Services Menucha Parry, upon the birth of a nephew, Adin Goldgrab, and a niece, Masha Leora Parry. Mary and Jonathan Peldman upon the birth of a daughter, Alexandra Eden (Ariella Eden). Roni and Dr. Robert Pick upon the birth of a grandson, Dov Bernard (Dov Yissachar) born to their children Tonny and Ben Pick. Michelle and Elliot Pines upon the birth of a daughter, Sylvie Erin (Sarah Chanah). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Elisa and Alan Pines. Bonnie and Isaac Pollak upon the birth of a grandson, Aryeh Noach, to their children, Avital and Zamir Pollak of Kiryat Sefer, Israel. Lauren and Mitchell Presser upon the birth of a granddaughter, Romy Gal, born to their children, Zahava and Sam Michaelson. Robyn and Ross Radusky upon the birth of a son, Oliver Ralph (Faivel Gershon). Amanda Muchnick Rapoport and Dr. Benjamin Rapoport, on the birth of a daughter. Mazal Tov as well to the KJ the grandparents, Sandra and Dr. Samuel Rapoport. Kim and Eric Rechtschaffen upon the birth of a son, Reid Pierce (Reuven Natan).

45 Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandfather, Rabbi Manfred Rechtschaffen. Dr. Steven Reisman upon the birth of a granddaughter, Nili, born to his children, Danielle and Yair Moses. Sue and Win Robins upon the birth of their fourth great-grandchild, Roni Tzion, daughter of Amichai and Gali Goldstein.

Judy and Dr. Mark Tykocinski upon the birth of a granddaughter, Sadie Brie, born to their children, Dana and Joshua Pollick. Sadie Brie is a great, great granddaughter of the late Rabbi and Mrs. Joseph H. Lookstein. Regina and Jason Yakubovich upon the birth of a baby girl, Gemma Florence (Fradel Rina). Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandparents, Jane and Nicky Yakubovich.

Pamela and George Rohr upon the birth of a granddaughter, Emma Liora (Nechama Liora), born to their children Rebecca and Harry Ritter. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ great-grandmother, Helen Nash.

May these children grow up in the finest tradition of Torah, chupah, and maasim tovim.

Sasha and Gene Salomon upon the birth of a daughter, Renay Rose (Rena).


Melodie and Martin Scharf upon the birth of a grandson, Zayden Theo (Tuvia Chaim), born to their children, Sondra and Adam Lesman.


Debbie and Dr. Shelly Senders upon the birth of a granddaughter, Nina Valerie (Nina Emunah), born to their children, Susie and Hart Goldhar. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ great-grandparents, Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Chana and Meir Shubowitz upon the birth of their first child and son, Jack (Yaakov Ze’ev). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ aunt and uncle, Dr. Naama and Rabbi Elie Weinstock. Drs. Yaffa Vitberg and Shaun Steigman upon the birth of Ilana Rose (Ilana Raizel.) Shoshana and Dr. Saul Stromer upon becoming first-time grandparents with the birth of Ruby Laine (Rochel Leah), born to their children Alexandra and Michael Farbenblum. Surie and Bob and Sugarman upon the birth of a grandson, Elan Shachar, to their children Amanda and Jonathan Klatt. Surie and Bob Sugarman upon the birth of a grandson, Abraham Barry (Avraham Baruch), born to their children, Ariel and Jason Sugarman. Anna and David Tykocinski upon the birth of a baby girl, Lily Pippa (Penina Liba). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Judy and Dr. Mark Tykocinski.

Lisa and Juda Chetrit upon the occasion of the B’nai Mitzvah of their children, Nathaniel and Yael. Shlomit and Chaim Edelstein upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Yaakov, son of Shira and Daniel Edelstein. Rosie and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Moshe Simcha Farkas, son of Yael and Paul Farkas. Rosie and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Miriam Farkas, daughter of Yael and Paul Farkas. Audrey and Mark Goldstein upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Aryeh. Aviva Preminger and David Hiltzik upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Nathan. Tzivya and KJB Minyan Chazan Dr. Shilo Kramer upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Eliyahu. Janelle and Dr. Sheldon Pike upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Ricky. Ruth and Irwin Shapiro upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Charlie Shapiro, son of Hannah and Jonathan Shapiro. Randi and David Sultan upon the occasion of the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Alex.

May our Bnei Mitzvah continue upon the path of Torah, Chupah, and Ma’asim Tovim. continued / /


Ilana and Daniel Benson upon the engagement of their daughter, Avital, to Dr. Jonathan Markowitz, son of Cheryl and Dr. Mendy Markowitz of Teaneck. Rose Gerszberg upon the engagement of her son, Jonathan Gerszberg, to Dr. Adinah Wieder, daughter of Devorah and Heshy Wieder of Monsey. Sarita and Ben Greszes upon the engagement of their granddaughter, Chani Aryeh, to Jordan Panitch of Jerusalem. Ruth and Larry Kobrin upon the engagement of their granddaughter, Yaira, daughter of Michelle and Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Kobrin, to Solomon Wiener, son of Tikvah and Aryeh Wiener of Teaneck. Yvonne Koppel upon the engagement of her granddaughter, Amanda Koppel, to Brian Fine, son of Judy and Sidney Fine of West Hempstead. Amanda is the daughter of Sharon and Michael Koppel, also of West Hempstead. Lisa and Nathan Low upon the engagement of their son, Daniel, to Eliane Dabbah, daughter of Bina and Steve Dabbah of Manhattan. Debbie and Kenny Rochlin upon the engagement of their son, Zachary, to Tamara Elefant, daughter of Rivki and Ashi Elefant of Woodmere. Mazal Tov as well to the delighted KJ grandmother, Evelyn Rochlin. Pamela and George Rohr upon the engagement of their daughter, Nina, to Yoni Cooper, son of Amy and Rabbi Mark Cooper of South Orange, NJ. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother, Helen Nash. Stacy and Ron Scheinberg upon the engagement of their daughter, Carly, to Daniel Jaret, the son of Beth and Laurence Jaret of White Plains, New York, and grandson of Barbara Gerstel and Howard Gerstel (z”l) (and Rabbi Mayer Moskowitz).

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46 Anne and Sam Schwartz upon the engagement of their daughter, Risa, to Joseph Levy of Englewood. Mazal Tov as well to the proud grandparents, Rae and Stanley Gurewitsch, and Renee and Rafael Levy of Englewood. Judy and Isaac Sherman upon the engagement of their grandson, Matthew Sherman, son of Jonathan and Sharon Sherman, to Lara Tarle, daughter of Dr. Marc and Misty Tarle of New City, NY. Ruth and Irwin Shapiro upon the engagement of their granddaughter, Rachel Shapiro, daughter of Monica and Sandy Shapiro, to Natan Bienstock, son of Sara and Mark Bienstock.

May their weddings take place in happiness and blessing.


Shira and Dr. Larry Baruch upon the marriage of their son, Joseph, to Chana Schwartzstein, daughter of Suzie Schwartzstein and Dr. Shlomo Schwartzstein of Woodmere. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Alison and Sylvain Bergfeld upon the marriage of their son, Jacob, to Racheli Weiss, daughter of Debbie (Aschheim) and Dr. Robert Weiss of Manhattan. Bonnie and Joel Bergstein upon the marriage of their son, Lance, to Laurie Parish, daughter of Sandy Parish and Neil Parish of Cherry Hill, NJ. Monita Buchwald and Charles Edelsburg upon the marriage of their son, Natan, to Caroline Hershey, daughter of Jennifer and the late Alan Hershey of Westport, CT. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandfather Elias Buchwald.

Sarita and Ben Greszes upon the marriage of their granddaughter, Juliana Gershbaum, to Ami Tobin, of Bet Shemesh. Helene & Michael Hartig upon the upcoming marriage of their son, Daniel, to Gabrielle (Gabby) Weinstein. Hon. Judy and Barry Kluger, upon the marriage of their son, Andrew, to Xhiljola Ruci, the daughter of Fatmir and Elida Ruci. KJ’s longstanding Israel Bonds representative, Robert Lunzer and his wife, Pamela, upon the marriage of their son, Eli, to Yosefa Heber of Miami and New York. Sandy and Dr. Norman Magid upon the marriage of their son, Yehuda, to Sara Birnbaum, daughter of Ruth and Dr. Stuart Birnbaum of Wesley Hills. Mindy and Howard Podolsky upon the marriage of their son, Max, to Amanda Sweetwood. Anne and Sam Schwartz upon the marriage of their daughter, Rebecca, to Zev Ben-Ami, the son of Pesha and Erez Ben-Ami of Woodmere. Mazal Tov as well to the proud grandparents, Rae & Stanley Gurewitsch, and Dr. Joel Schwartz. Adrian and KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman upon the upcoming marriage of their son, Jonathan, to Ariana Brody, daughter of Shoshana and Robert Brody of White Plains. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Donna and Arthur Silverman. Samuel Tbeile, son of Melissa and Dr. Ikey Tbeile, upon his marriage to Ayelet Bentley, daughter of Ginna and Rick Bentley.

Karen and Dr. Allen Gibofsky upon the marriage of their daughter, Esther, to Adam Rattner, son of Abbe and David Rattner of White Plains.

Judy & Dr. Philip Wilner upon the marriage of their daughter, Dani, to Gabe Roth, son of Drs. Aren & Ram Roth, and Phyllis Roth, all of Manhattan. A special Mazal Tov to KJ grandmother Rachel Roth.

Jane and Ishaia Gol upon the marriage of their daughter, Pasha, to Ari Stein, son of Evy and Shimmy Stein of Bergenfield, NJ.

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

continued //



Sharon and Howard Katz upon celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Sue and Win Robins upon celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary. Rachel Roth upon celebrating her 95th birthday. Phillip Schatten upon celebrating his 75th birthday. Ruth and Irwin Shapiro upon celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Judy and Isaac Sherman upon celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary. Donna and Arthur Silverman upon celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary.


Diane and Hon. Bob Abrams upon being honored by NJOP at their Annual Dinner. Dr. Sara Babich upon her daughter, Samantha Sinensky, receiving a writing award in the category of news and reporting on inter-religious or intercultural events from The Jewish Week’s Fresh Ink for Teens. Mark and Rosie Friedman upon the occasion of their children, Marc and Davida Yehaskel, being honored as “Pillars of Education” at the Yeshiva Har Torah Gala Dinner. Jessica and Jonathan Harooni upon being honored as Parents of the Year at the Chabad of the Upper East Side Gala. Stephanie Katz, and her daughters, Thea and Hannah, upon being honored at the Shaare Zedek Medical Health Day. Jackie and Andrew Klaber upon being honored at the Stanton Street Shul’s prePurim Masquerade Ball. Rachel and Rabbi Daniel Kraus, KJ Directors of Community Education, upon

47 their being honored with the Jewish Leadership Award at Manhattan Jewish Experience’s Annual Dinner. Sandra E. Rapoport upon the acquisition of her book on the story of the book of Esther, The Queen & the Spymaster, by the Nacogdoches Public Library in East Texas and its selection for their Book Club. Interestingly, the town is comprised of Southern Baptists (there are no Jews in the town), and they are loving it! The book has also been listed in Hadassah Magazine’s “2019 Guide to Jewish Literature.” Aryana and Dr. Steven Ritholtz upon being honored as Young Leadership Awardees by the West Side Kollel Annual Dinner.


Josh Berman, son of Sara and Mark Bloom & David Berman, upon his becoming class president at Duke University where is also president of Chabad, and noted for growing the size of Shabbat participation from 20 to 100 students through his energy. Upper East Siders Howard Blas, Geri & Dr. Aaron Gindea, Lilly & David Icikson, Mara & Jamie Lassner, Deborah Shapiro, Joseph Sokol, Dr. Barry Stein, Ari Storch, Amy Verschleiser and Benay Vynerib. who scaled 19,341 foot Mount Kilimanjaro - the tallest peak in Africa - accompanying one of the largest delegations of climbers with disabilities.

Dr. Andrea Thau and John Lieberman upon their son, Dr. Evan Lieberman, matching for a fellowship in Neuroradiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Andrea Thau and John Lieberman upon their son Richard’s promotion to Senior Director of Operations at Encore Community Service, placing him in charge of meal production and deliveries for City Meals on Wheels for the West Side of Manhattan as well as managing Encore’s two Senior Citizen Residences. Dr. Samuel and Sandra Rapoport, upon the graduation of their children, Dr. Benjamin I. Rapoport and Dr. Sarah Kate Rapoport, from their respective surgical residencies. Ben has completed his neurosurgical residency at Cornell/ New York Presbyterian Hospital as Chief Resident and Sarah is graduating from Georgetown University Medical Center as Chief ENT Resident. Both Ben and Sarah will pursue specialty surgical fellowships. Mazal Tov, as well, to Ben’s wife, Amanda Muchnick Rapoport, and to Sarah’s husband, David Bell. Dr. Miri Rosen, Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, upon presenting a talk entitled “Tics & Tantrums: Understanding Anger and Rage in Tourette's Disorder and Related Conditions” at Rutgers Church on the West Side. Meira Weinstock, daughter of Dr. Naama and Rabbi Elie Weinstock upon her upcoming aliyah. She will be joining the IDF and participating in Garin Tzabar, a program in which groups of lone soldiers have a home base together on a Kibbutz. She will be on Kibbutz Yavneh.

Ellie Cohanim upon being chosen to serve as the US State Department’s Deputy Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism.


Esther Amini (Krawitz) upon the publication of her book: Concealed: Memoir of a Jewish/Iranian Daughter Caught Between the Chador and America America.

Inna Bakker upon the graduation of her grandson son, Max Grozovsky, from the University of Delaware, summa cum laude.

Dr. Mark Friedman, upon making a Siyum on Tractate Brachot at the Young Israel of Forest Hills in honor of the 15th yahrzeit of his father, Rabbi Morris Friedman, z”l.


Jonathan Davis upon his graduation from Cardozo Law School. Dr. Sarah and Rocky Fishman upon the graduation of their son, Isaac, from Luria

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Academy in Brooklyn. He will attend SAR in the fall. Jennifer & Saul Burian and Micheal Gross upon the graduation of their daughter, Lauren, from New York University. Rosie (Ramaz ‘68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the eighth grade graduation from Yehivah Har Torah in Little Neck, Queens, of their granddaughter, Leah Sophia Yehaskel, daughter of Davida (Ramaz,’95) and Marc Yehaskel. Rosie (Ramaz ‘68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the eighth grade graduation from Yeshiva Ketana of Inwood, of their grandson, Shmuel Avigdor Tuvia, son of Ariela (Ramaz ‘97) and Rabbi Jeremy Fine. Rosie (Ramaz ‘68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the graduation from Stella K. Abraham High School of Hewlett of their granddaughter, Eleora P. Fine, daughter of Ariela (Ramaz ’97) and Rabbi Jeremy Fine. She will attend Michlalah in Israel this fall. Charlene Khagan upon the graduation of her son, Remi, from Binghamton University. Mazal Tov as well to KJ grandparents Sarah and Martin Goldman. Alissa and Howie Shams upon the acceptance of their daughter, Becky, to Sackler Medical School in Tel Aviv. Deena and Adam Shiff, upon the graduation of their son, Sammy, from the The Leffell School (formerly Schecter Westchester). He will attend Drexel University in the fall. Abigail and Shai Tambor upon the graduation of their son, Moshe, from SAR High School. He will attend Kivunim in the fall and then Vanderbilt University upon his return. Deborah and Dr. Marc Zimbler upon the graduation of their son, Gabriel, from New York University.

ERUV HOTLINE For information regarding the weekly status of the Manhattan Eruv, call the ERUV HOTLINE 212-874-6100, ext. 3 (Recorded Message)




Sandy April upon the passing of her mother, Fania Klein. Michael Altman upon the passing of his mother, Elayne Altman. Savitra and Rudy Arjune (beloved former KJ building engineer of 33 years) upon the passing of their daughter Samanta Arjune, as a result of complications sustained after the senseless shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas in October 2017. Karine Attias upon the passing of her mother, Esther Godlewicz Montluc. Albert H. Bernstein upon the passing of his sister, Alice B. Mendelson. Lauren Breslauer upon the passing of her father, Samuel Adwar. Esther Buterman Rubinstein, Larry Buterman, and Ilana Buterman, upon the passing of their father, Dr. Irving Buterman. Roberta A. Caplan upon the passing of her father, Dr. Paul S. Caplan. Jack Dayan upon the passing of his grandmother, Marcelle Diner. Bonnie Dietrich upon the passing of her father, Bob Dietrich.

Lili Goldberg upon the passing of her brother, Emanuel Gordon.

Michelle Meersand upon the passing of

Lili Goldberg upon the passing of her brother, Seymour Gordon.

Dr. Fred Miller upon the passing of his

Andrea Gorlyn upon the passing of her father, Victor Goldstein.

Randy North upon the passing of his

Mikhail Grinberg upon the passing of his mother, Riva Grinberg. Moshe Halak upon the passing of his wife, Penina Halak.

her mother, Sheila Meersand. father, Rabbi Amos Miller. father, Robert North. Megan Paznik upon the passing of her mother, Rita Paznik. Wilhelm Rosenberg upon the passing of

Eliot Hoff upon the passing of his father, Dion Hoff.

his mother, Gertrude Rosenberg.

Kesher Gabbai David Hollander upon the passing of his mother, Kaila Hollander.

mother, Leonora Resnick.

Maxwell Kahn upon the passing of his mother, Susan Kahn. David Kanbar upon the passing of his mother, Judith Kanbar.

Nancy Rosenfeld upon the passing of her James Salame upon the passing of his father, Robert Salame. Martin Schaffer upon the passing of his brother, Hyman Schaffer.

Dr. Jennifer Kaplan upon the passing of her father, Dr. Ron Brisman.

Lisa Steinmetz, upon the passing of her

Roberta A. Kaplan upon the passing of her father, Dr. Paul S. Kaplan.

Lee’at Sharoni upon the passing of her

Jennifer Kashanian upon the passing of her grandfather, 108-year-old Haghnazar (Aghajoon) Faranik.

father, Joe Schwartz. mother, Ann Sharoni. KJ Catering Manager, Ira Shulman, upon the passing of his father, Morris Shulman.

Carol Kaufman upon the passing of her mother, Deborah Morgenstern.

Lisa Sopher-Deutsch upon the passing of

Deborah Skaler Labendz upon the passing of her mother, Mary Skaler.

Jody Storch upon the passing of her

her mother, Marilyn Sopher. father, Dr. Harry Spiera.

Robin Davenport upon the passing of her 105-year-old mother, Eunice Simon.

Talia Laniado upon the passing of her paternal grandfather, Eliyahu Ovadia ben Haim and Mazal.

KJ Executive Assistant Dina Farhi, upon the passing of her mother, Tamara Riwlin Baumgold.

Regina Lazare upon the passing of her husband, Harvery Lazare.

Dr. Chaim Trachtman upon the passing of

Arnold Lederman upon the passing of his brother, Saul Lederman.

Phyllis Wagner upon the passing of her

Elena Neuman Lefkowitz upon the passing of her mother, Stephanie Lefkowitz.

Michael Wolff upon the passing of his

Evelyn Ostow Mandelker upon the passing of her sister, Shari Ostow Friedman.

Marilyn Zarabi upon the passing of her

Andrea Fastenberg upon the passing of her father, Dr. William Fastenberg. Ziel Feldman and Tammy Rosen upon the passing of their mother, Judith Feldman. Eric Feldstein upon the passing of his father, Dr. Donald Feldstein. Lauren Geller upon the passing of her mother, Fern Schless.


Josh Marans upon the passing of his paternal grandfather, Rabbi Arnold B. Marans.

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Laurie Tansman, upon the passing of her 100-year-old mother, Pearl Tansman. his father, Mendel Trachtman. father, Rabbi Isaac Furman. brother, Peter Wolff. mother, Lily Madeb.

May they be comforted among all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.





An internationally renowned artist, Jenny was a regular service, class, and program participant, and these were hallmarks of her steadfast commitment to Jewish tradition. She delighted in raising her daughter, Marcelline, in the KJ family, and Jenny lavished Marcelline with much love and maternal devotion, imparting to her the eternal values of our people while relishing her many academic and professional accomplishments. In many ways, Jenny’s life was miraculous: Her mother fled Germany after Kristallnacht. Her father, a Russian Jew, fought in the French Resistance, lost an arm during war combat, and was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his heroism. Many of Jenny’s cousins actively participated in the British Resistance network. We were blessed to have played an important role in her life for the past quarter century.

KJ lost its oldest congregant with the passing of Florence Chasin, who attended services as recently as November, and passed away shortly after her 102nd birthday. Florence was an inspiration with her positive attitude, patience, wisdom, and her penchant for always showing up. She was a source of support and strength for her family and friends. She took good care of her late husband, Artie, and devoted much time and energy to caring for her sons, Joe, and his family, and Elliott. Florence always wanted to give to others and not receive, and she was still welcoming visitors and hosting holiday meals and Pesach seders until the end. She adapted to the times and was a very fast email responder and one of the most excited members when the synagogue switched to Shul Cloud, allowing her to more easily manage her KJ business online. May we all learn to be so active, joyful, caring, faithful, and giving.

Elizabeth Small came to KJ late in life when she married our long-time, distinguished member, Dr. Leon Feldman, of blessed memory. Together with him, she was involved in all of the religious, intellectual and social activities of our congregation. She was a voracious reader who matched her husband’s intellectual candlepower and was every bit his equal.


Jean Blumenthal and her late husband, Dr. Mort Blumenthal, were members of KJ for over fifty years. She was very proud of her four children, Samuel, Celia of blessed memory, George and Rachel, all of whom are Ramaz Alumni. Many of her grandchildren are either alumni of, or students in, Jewish Day Schools. Jean and Mort were among the most hospitable members of KJ. If a person came to shul on Shabbat and didn't have a place for lunch, Mort would somehow find out and that guest soon found himself – or herself - being wined and dined at the Blumenthals. Often, their home accommodated guests who stayed with them for weeks. They were in a class by themselves in hachnassat orchim. Jean was a founding member of the KJ Women’s Chevra Kadisha, leaving her home at all hours of the day or night to fulfill this sacred mitzvah. Jean was truly a giant on whose shoulders we are privileged to stand.


Like his name, he was a precious part of the KJ community; a diamond who was polished in every way. As a husband to Phyllis, he was great, and as a father and grandfather he was superlative. Jack and Phyllis were living in Florida for many years, but they spent from Pesach through Sukkot in New York and they were a very integral part of our community. They were the first to arrive together every Shabbat morning. Jack came to every morning service, arriving long before the start of the davening. He greeted everyone with a smile and a warm handshake, happy to be alive and joyous about being in shul. He was generous to every Appeal for the congregation and for the Benevolent Fund. He never had a complaint about anything. He only shepped nachas from his life and from his friends in shul and beyond. He was blessed to die suddenly, without any suffering, in his eighties, but too soon.

She had her own family to whom she remained very close and who cared for her until the end. We admired how she made a life for Leon Feldman after the passing of his first wife, Carolyn. Elizabeth represented the highest levels in commitment to Jewish culture and practice. We at KJ were privileged to know and to cherish her. A DAM F R IE D MAN

He was the first in our congregation to succumb to the coronavirus. That terrible disease cut short a remarkable life of chesed, Talmud Torah and love. After many years living in New Rochelle, Adam and Shirley moved to the Upper East Side where they both loved being part of our congregation. Unbeknownst to any of us, Adam had quietly organized a large effort in New Rochelle, following the economic downturn in 2008, designed to help people recover and find employment at a difficult moment in our nation’s history. One can only imagine how busy he would have been had he continued to live today, in the post-COVID period. Adam also contributed and practiced personal chesed, in wheeling a stroke patient from our community to shul, Shabbat after Shabbat, and learning Talmud on a regular basis with another member of the congregation whose mobility is limited. Nobody knew anything about that until the Zoom memorial to him.

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50 A first-rate Talmid Chacham, a refined and understated mensch, a caring, considerate and loving husband for fifty-two years, Adam Friedman was a remarkable Jew and a great gift to our congregation. He is sorely missed by a wide swath of our congregational family. E R NE S T F R IE D MAN

A quiet and reserved Jew who sat in the back of our synagogue every Shabbat for many years, he had a smile for everybody and he genuinely loved Kehilath Jeshurun, its members and its clergy. He knew the siddur by heart and davened with great kavanah. Ernest always strode with purpose and a dignified bearing, proudly telegraphing his presence and sense of mission. European-born and a survivor of the Shoah, he spoke Yiddish beautifully. He was worldly, had lived in Australia, and appreciated the fine points of British civilization. He was also a very talented chess player. The loving father of Daniel and Lisa, he was so proud of their Ramaz education and their attachment to Torah and mitzvot. We were proud and grateful to have had him in our midst. ELLI O T F R EILI C H

The KJ/Ramaz community was devastated by the passing of Elliot Freilich at the young age of 45. After fifteen months of a very difficult struggle, he succumbed to his disease, leaving behind a grieving family, including his heroic wife, Helen, his beloved children, Alexander, Lily and Isaac, his loving mother, Estelle, and his hugely supportive brothers, Benjamin, Jonathan and David. The Riverside was filled beyond overflowing for his funeral at which many hundreds of friends and associates learned of his multifaceted life of good deeds, generosity of self, loving nature as a husband, father, son, brother and friend, and his deep, but unassuming piety and humility. And he was a boatload of fun, too! He was an extraordinary human being


who touched so many lives deeply and who, sadly, was taken from our world far too soon. A community of friends and supporters demonstrated unbounded care and strength for Helen and the family throughout Elliot’s long struggle. May they all be blessed for their personal chesed and may they and the family be able to find happiness, comfort, and peace in the years to come. D R . J O S E P H HELLE R

Dr. Joseph Heller came to KJ with his wife, Hedwig, about twelve years ago to live near their children, Drs. Diana Friedman and Robert Friedman. Previously, their home had been Washington Heights, where he had a practice in internal medicine. A survivor of the Holocaust who spent much of World War II in Siberia, he raised his children, Diana and her brother, Chaim, and sent them both to Jewish Day Schools. He was very proud of Diana being an alumnua of Ramaz together with her three children. He loved KJ, and until he was unable to walk to shul, he not only came on Shabbat, but almost every day to evening services as well, where he generously shared a stable full of stories from the war years that demonstrated his quick wit, keen judgment, and God’s providence, that together proved his salvation in dark times. When one saw him, one was always impressed by his smile and optimism, features and traits that made this survivor a very successful Jew and human being. D R . J E S S E K R AV IT

Despite many decades of residency across the park, Jesse was a steadfast worshiper in our Main Synagogue, occupying his regular seat, and thoroughly enjoying the collective prayer experience that KJ offered. We will miss his presence, and his quiet, dignified demeanor. He was moved by our decorous service and generously supported our initiatives.

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Joel died suddenly and unexpectedly just before the coronavirus lockdown. He was a proud alumnus of Ramaz and even prouder that all three of his sons, Ronnie, David and Michael, were alumni and, beyond that, he gloried in the fact that all of his grandchildren are Jewish Day School graduates and, in the case of the youngest, students at Ramaz. He enjoyed a beautiful married life with Ruth for nearly sixty years. They met at Camp Massad which was part of Joel’s inspiration for a lifelong love of the State of Israel, in which they and their sons spent over ten summers and to which he was extremely devoted. A retired Judge, Joel was a brilliant and opinionated, student of just about everything. In pre-Google times, his sons could ask him about almost anything and he was able to give them a full and detailed dissertation. Being so well informed led to his strong skill in debating, but one learned to expect that in an argument with Joel Lewittes, the chances of winning were very slim. As Ruth put it, their life together almost made it to sixty, and Joel’s lifespan was just short of 85. Sadly, both were not long enough, but both were very good. His regular seat in the very first, and center, pew of our Main Synagogue will be conspicuously empty without his outsized neshama to occupy it. D R . SY D NEY MEHL

Syd was a distinguished cardiologist at NYU/Langone for over 40 years. With a keen diagnostic insight and a warm touch, he was extremely well respected throughout the medical community. Walking in the hospital hallways would take Syd forever, because he knew everyone by name and stopped for one informal consultation after another. His colleagues trusted his readings of EKGs over that of the most sophisticated computer program, and his patients knew that he was utterly devoted to them, and they could call him on his cell phone at all times, even on vacation, if they needed immediate advice.

51 Syd took the study of Torah extremely seriously. He had a regular chavruta with whom he finished tractate after tractate of the Talmud. In addition to being a die-hard cinephile, he was extremely well-read, and considered reading some of the most difficult classic works of literature to be fun. Syd had a profound love for family. He was the beloved husband of Nancy, and they were inseparable. They found joy together in so many ways and shared a passion for travel. Syd was extremely close to his late brothers and was a beloved uncle and great uncle. His daughter, Jaclyn, was the apple of his eye, and just being together brought them both joy. Syd was a fixture at KJ services, and was a dear friend to so many. Syd’s smile radiated joy and optimism, and he touched everyone around. His presence at KJ will profoundly missed. ANITA PAYNE

She was a woman of exceptional beauty and elegance: A perfect model for the fur industry in which she and her husband, Robert, were entrepreneurs for decades. She always looked and acted first-class. A loving wife for 68 years, a beloved mother to her children, Clarissa and David, and an adoring grandmother to Hugo and Gabriella, she was the matriarch of a beautiful family which gathered together every Friday night in her home for many years right up to the point that she fell ill last fall.

his expertise and ideas to support Israel and the Jewish community. He loved color and was always decked out in fashionable suits, ties, and memorable tortoise shell glasses. His sartorial presence is sorely missed. Bob appreciated the finer things in life and was a connoisseur (and critic) of Manhattan’s Kosher restaurant scene. His was a life lovingly lived. A blessing to all who knew him. D R . DANIEL P O TAZNI K

After a heroic struggle for almost three years, Dr. Daniel Potaznik finally succumbed to his illness. His passing was very sad for the family, but there is comfort and consolation in the wonderful life that he led together with his wife, Helen, who survives him, and his children, Yehuda ’01 (Chen) and Reina ’03 (Ethan Davis). Daniel Potaznik was a very accomplished pediatric oncologist. Ironically, he helped so many people with a disease that ultimately brought about his own demise. He was so proud of his children, both of whom are graduates of Ramaz, and of his grandchildren. All of them carry on the tradition of Torah and good deeds which he and Helen modeled in their lives.

Everybody loved Anita perhaps because Anita loved everybody.

It is not generally known that Dr. Daniel Potaznik served on the Chevra Kadisha of our congregation for almost twenty years, beginning in 1982. He participated in over two hundred and fifty taharas. Truly, he was a living embodiment of the principle of chesed shel emet, a life of piety, loyalty to Judaism and the State of Israel, and love of his fellow Jews. We all mourn his passing.



Bob and his wife, Sasha, came to KJ 25 years into their life together on the Upper East Side when they took their Jewish journey to the next level. Bob, who attended several Torah classes each week, started off in the Beginners Service, graduated to the Intermediate Service, and then found a permanent home in the front rows of the Main Synagogue, making new friends at each service. He was a hard worker and creative thinker, who gave of

Humble, caring, intelligent, and accomplished, Arnold, served as a Civil Court judge and then a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. A religious man, he had strong faith in God and never missed attending synagogue on Shabbat, accompanied by his daughters – and, later, his sons-in-law and grandchildren. During his time at KJ, he made an impression on all, and he absolutely loved the cholent at our congregational Kiddush. Arnold was


a warm convivial presence, always quick to share anecdotes from his long history on the bench. He was genuinely fun to be around, and his affable nature won him many friends. Married for 55 years to his beloved Judith, who passed away in October, he passed away just shy of their May 31 anniversary (which was also his birthday). He taught his family to be respectful and always grateful, and he took tremendous pride in his daughters, Lynne Frenkel and, our member, Robyn Price Stonehill, and their families. His greatest joy was his five grandchildren, and all loved him in return.

May they be comforted among all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.

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). Call Riva Alper at 212-774-5670 to learn more.

ORDER MAIN SYNAGOGUE MEMORIAL PLAQUES TO HONOR LOVED ONES Contact KJ Comptroller Sy Yanofsky at 212-774-5620 or sy@ckj.org.

In lieu of Seudah Shlishit—or for any occasion—consider sponsoring a virtual class or shiur. Contact riva@ckj.org for more information.

/ / I n M e m or i a m / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




S Y N AG O G U E O F F I C I A L S Haskel Lookstein Rabbi Emeritus Senior Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz 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 Hazzan Leonard Silverman Executive Director OFFICERS OF THE C O N G R E G AT I O N President David Lobel Elias Buchwald Senior Vice President Jonathan Wagner Vice President 2nd Vice President Dr. Nicole Agus 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 Eric Gribetz Financial Secretary Evan Farber Recording Secretary Robyn Barsky Administrative Secretary L I V I N G PA S T P R E S I D E N T S Fred Distenfeld Chaim Edelstein Eric Feldstein Stanley Gurewitsch Joel Katz

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

SHABBAT SCHEDULE JULY 10-11 17-18 24-25

WEEKLY PARASHA Pinchas Matot-Masei Devarim


SHABBAT ENDS 9:12 PM 9:07 PM 9:00 PM

AUGUST 31-1 7-8 14-15 21-22 28-29

Va'etchanan Ekev Re'eh Shoftim Ki Tetze

7:55 PM 7:47 PM 7:37 PM 7:27 PM 7:16 PM

8:53 PM 8:43 PM 8:32 PM 8:22 PM 8:10 PM

SEPTEMBER 4-5 11-12

Ki Tavo Nitzavim/Vayelech

7:05 PM 6:53 PM

7:59 PM 7:48 PM

For information regarding services, please contact riva@ckj.org.

A F F I L I AT E P R E S I D E N T S Sharon Garfunkel. 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




Administrator Riva Alper 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

8:10 PM 8:15 PM 9:00 PM


Evening Services: Mincha/Ma’ariv via Live Stream Fast begins Eichah


10:00 AM

Shiur with Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, speaking on Laughing at a Fox in the Ruins: In Destruction Lie the Seeds of Redemption

6:45 PM

Class with Rachel Kraus: Lost & Found: Tisha Ba’av Belongings

7:45 PM

Evening Services via Live Steam

8:47 PM

Fast ends

Access all programming over Tisha B’Av at ckj.org/tishabav. All programming is via Zoom except where indicated on the website.

7:30 AM

Morning Services: Shacharit via Live Stream


9:00 AM


Rosh Chodesh Elul

Profile for Esther Feierman

Summer Bulletin 2020 - Covid Edition  

Summer Bulletin 2020 - Covid Edition  

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