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Winter ISSUE

Chanukah Purim Edition IN THIS ISSUE R A B B I C H A I M S T E I N M E T Z 1 R A B B I E L I E W E I N S T O C K 4 R A B B I H A S K E L L O O K S T E I N 5 R A B B I M E Y E R L A N I A D O 6 R A C H E L K R A U S 8 UP COMING EVENTS 10 I N TH E COM M U N IT Y 12 H O L I D AY S 3 0 CL ASSES 38 W I T H I N O U R F A M I L Y 4 0 IN MEMORIAM 45 B N E I M I T Z VA H 4 6 ZMANIM 52

VO LU M E XC , N U M B E R 1 N OV E M B E R 2 0 , 2 0 2 0 4 KISLEV, 5780

Highlights 10 Annual Dinner 2020 16 Farewell to Rabbi Weinstock 24 Featured Articles 30 High Holiday Recap 32 Chanukah 41 KJ Website & Brochure R abbi C haim S teinmetz


I was counseling a friend, a stay-athome mother with two children, who was going through the dual crisis of bankruptcy and divorce. The question she asked me is one that still reverberates in my mind: “How do I get through this?” Rabbis hear this difficult question all too often. There’s the couple whose young son got an ear infection on Friday and whose funeral was the next Tuesday, and the person who went for a regular checkup and found out that she has a frightening disease. Standing at the threshold of a crisis, these people wonder if they will be able to cope with what lays ahead. In the past year so many of us have been wondering: How do I get through this? While the Torah is not a psychology textbook, it does help us wrestle with the existential questions of life; and the texts of the Jewish tradition offer a great deal of guidance on how to navigate a crisis. Humanity confronts its

first crisis right at the beginning of the Bible, in the second chapter of Genesis, when Adam and Eve are exiled from the Garden of Eden; and from there on, the texts of the Jewish tradition tell of generations of strugglers, people who grappled with personal and communal challenges. The spiritual response to crisis recognizes that our spiritual lives are organized around different relationships. The Maharal of Prague, in his commentary to the beginning of Pirkei Avot, explains that there are three such relationships: between man and God, between man and his fellow man, and between man and himself. Man must always look inward, outward, and upward for inspiration; and all three relationships can help us overcome challenges. We must look inward to find courage. One of the great Biblical lessons about courage comes from our ancestor Jacob. The Bible describes the moments before he is about to confront his brother Esau. The twin brothers have not seen each other for 20 years; and the last time they did see each other, Esau vowed that he would murder Jacob. Jacob gets up in the middle of that night to move his family, and then an

2 angel comes and wrestles with him. But this is puzzling: Why is Jacob moving his family in the middle of the night, and why is God sending an angel to wrestle with him? The Rashbam offers a fascinating explanation. Jacob was afraid, and had planned on running away from Esau that night. But God did not want Jacob to run away; and to teach Jacob the lesson of courage, he sent the angel to keep Jacob from fleeing. After wrestling the entire night, Jacob vanquishes the angel, and the angel then offers Jacob a new name, Israel, because Jacob “has wrestled with God and with man and prevailed.” The Rashbam’s explanation fits the text very well, but it poses a further question of its own. How is it that Jacob is praised for wrestling that night, when in actuality he was a coward who wanted to run away? The answer to this question has to do with an understanding of where courage comes from. Many believe that courage is inborn; but it’s not. Courage is not natural. But when you are thrown into a situation that demands courage, you can find an inner strength you never knew that you possessed, much like Jacob. And that itself deserves to be highlighted. The lesson Jacob teaches us about life is that we need to just jump in and wrestle. We all have a lot more courage than we imagine.

she was deported from a privileged home, wearing a fur coat and fancy jewelry. From there she was thrust into the horrors of the Holocaust overnight. In an instant, my mother had to train herself how to be courageous. And she truly was. My mother was trying to teach me a life lesson that she had learned with a great deal of pain: you can do it. You don’t need to be born with courage. In fact, you don’t even need to be courageous to have courage. You just have to be ready to wrestle when that is what life demands. If there is a lesson we all need this year, it is a lesson that Jacob/Israel is teaching us: You can do it. But we can’t get through the crisis alone. Our relationship with others is critical. The first two human beings don’t get off to a good start. Adam and Eve eat forbidden fruit, and when confronted by God over this failure, end up playing the blame game. This isn’t a great start to a relationship. And yet after being thrown out of the Garden of Eden, confronting a cruel, cursed existence, they find comfort in each other, have children and build a family.

When I was a child, we had a basement that held a sense of foreboding for me, particularly at night; I was afraid to go down there. But my mother constantly encouraged me to go down into the basement. She felt strongly that I needed to train myself to overcome my fears.

One can fully see the shift in their relationship when Adam gives his wife an admiring new name, Eve, reflecting the fact that she is the mother of all mankind. (Before that she was simply the generic “isha,” which means “woman.”) This shows Adam’s deepening respect for the woman he previously had bad-mouthed to God.

It was only when I became an adult that I realized that my mother’s insistence was autobiographical. She was a survivor of the Holocaust. As a teenager

Then Adam and Eve endure a second crisis, even more horrible than the first. One of their sons murders the other.


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And yet they continue to build a family, and have another child, Seth. Man is a social animal, and cooperation is critical to the success of any significant project. But it is in times of defeat and difficulty that we need each other more, for companionship and compassion. It is with love that we find renewed strength, and the ability to face even the most horrible of circumstances. Adam and Eve remind us of the power of love and family. And I’ve seen this demonstrated in the lives of friends who were survivors of the Holocaust. I have one friend who, as a teenager, saw his brother murdered, and then escaped into the woods alone. He would tell me over and over again, that the first thing he wanted to do after the war was to start a family. Another person I knew spent the last two years of the Holocaust in a Hungarian labor camp. There, one of the other inmates showed him a picture of his sister. He looked at the picture, and then looked at his friend and said, “She is beautiful. I want to marry her.” And he did. Even at the worst moments of their lives, these men were thinking about family and love. And that is inspirational. Iddo Landau has written a book entitled “Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World.” At one point in the book he explains why the subject of meaning is so important to him. He writes that: “I was born in the late 1950s and spent most of my childhood and youth in Jerusalem. Many of my neighbors, and some relatives were Holocaust survivors. I remember being impressed as a teenager by the ability some of them had to lead meaningful and sometimes even

3 happy lives…many of them had gone on to create new families and new lives...

Laniado Hospital in Netanya, opened in 1975.

day in Jewish history, and on that day John’s young life was torn apart.

Meeting some of these people in my youth left on me a strong impression that has lasted to this day.”

Not all of us will end up building a hospital. But the mission we need to find is not necessarily one of decades or years. As the Baal Shem Tov once said, “A soul may descend to this world and live seventy or eighty years just in order to do one good deed.”

But then, 75 years later, something else was happening on June 22. His granddaughter was getting married in Israel to a veteran of an elite IDF unit. John could barely imagine that he would survive, and now his granddaughter was getting married in the Jewish state.

This is finding strength through love. Finally, we must also look upward. It is during crises that our relationship with God becomes strained. But there is one aspect of our relationship with God that becomes particularly important during this time. There is an element of faith that many Jewish thinkers refer to as bitachon. According to Rav Avraham Yeshayah Karelitz, the Chazon Ish, it refers to a faith that God has a plan for each of us. But how does one understand God’s plan for us? I believe that bitachon is about recognizing that our existence has been endowed by God for a greater purpose, and that we all have a mission in life. And we sometimes find our mission at our most painful moments. One of the more remarkable survivors of the Holocaust was the Klausenberger Rebbe, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam. The war had taken the lives of his wife and their eleven children, but the Rebbe continued to be a true spiritual leader, and after the war gave strength and encouragement to thousands of other survivors. During a death march, the Rebbe was shot in the shoulder, and he lost a considerable amount of blood. As he was losing his strength he made a vow to God: “If I merit to survive, I will garner all my energies to build a hospital in the Holy Land where every human being will receive the same dedicated medical care irrespective of nationality or creed.” After the war he kept his vow. In 1955 he started to work on the project of building a hospital in Netanya. After nearly 20 years, his hospital, the

Sometimes even one act of kindness is a transcendent mission; one care basket for a lonely neighbor, one phone call to a long-lost friend. We all have a mission to fulfill, and it is in times of crisis that we need to embrace it firmly. These are Jewish lessons about crisis: reach inward for courage, reach outward in love, and look upward in search of our destiny.

This is what the response to crisis looks like 75 years later. And right now, as we continue to struggle with this crisis, we should remember that with courage, love and a sense of purpose, we can transform the world.

When we look back years and decades later, we can see how powerful these responses are. Let me end with one example. On June 22, 2016, I officiated at a special wedding in Caesarea, Israel. The bride was the granddaughter of my late friend, John, from Montreal. He was a survivor of the Holocaust whose entire family, except for his mother, were murdered by the Nazis. When I arrived in Israel, John told me he had been up for a few nights thinking about the date June 22nd. Like all weddings, the couple had chosen the date for logistical reasons, but in the back of John’s mind he knew June 22nd was also a very important date; he just couldn’t remember why. Then, two days before the wedding, John realized that on June 22nd, 1941, the Germans had invaded Russia. It was on that day that the Russians took him away for military service, and it was the last day John saw his father, brothers and sister. June 22, 1941, was a tragic continued

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How have I changed in my 17 years at KJ? Maybe less hair, a little heavier, but just as good looking! The Upper East Side is the last place Naama and I thought we’d ever end up. I grew up in New Haven, and she grew up in Memphis. We expected to settle down “out of town� and looked at rabbinical positions in Omaha and Northern Westchester. As the saying goes, “Man plans, and God laughs,� and we ended up at KJ. It has been a tremendous blessing which will forever be part of who I am and who we are as a family. We came in our 20s with one child. Now, we’re older and wiser and blessed - truly blessed to have seen our four children grow and thrive. KJ has provided us with so many wonderful experiences and memories. My rabbinate, Judaism, and worldview have been shaped by my time at KJ. So here are some ways Rabbi Weinstock has changed over 17 years at KJ: I initially came to KJ for the position of Director of Outreach. I was excited for the opportunity to engage with thousands through the KJ Beginners Program and build upon its success. In addition to the “usual� programs like an explanatory service, classes, and Shabbat dinners, I am proud to have

gone outside the box, to think big, and maximize. We initiated the lighting of a Menorah in Carl Schurz Park, expanded Shabbat Across America to 1,000 participants, and celebrated Shabbat with the crowds at neighborhood street festivals. I have gotten more programming and administrative experience than I could ever have imagined. I sang and danced for the children at Tot Shabbat, expanded Kesher programs for young families, got in touch with my Sephardic side in helping to create KJ Sephardic, and taught the seniors at Lunch ‘n Learn. I have gotten more comfortable sharing my thoughts and teachings through my Just Judaism blog and through distributing my recorded classes. I developed a new appreciation for the Jewish community outside of Orthodoxy. Through active involvement in UJA-Federation, the New York Board of Rabbis, and the Shalom Hartman Institute, I studied and collaborated with serious Jews of all stripes and feel more connected and capable of impacting the Jewish people. Looking even further, I had some very memorable interfaith opportunities including hosting evangelical ministers and imams for Chanukah dinner. In connection with my rabbinate, I’ve taken dozens of trips to Israel. I’ve also taken some amazing rabbinic or Jewish communal excursions to Budapest, St. Petersburg, Guatemala, Morocco, and even Ramallah. I found a new appreciation for the role that conversion plays in our community.

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It has been amazing to see how sincere individuals transform their lives and become Jews, often transforming the course of Jewish families. Of course, ideally our children must marry Jews, and, thank God, the overwhelming majority do. At the same time, conversion, when done right, adds more committed Jewish families to our ranks. Let’s also not forget my comedy career performing standup on Christmas Eve. đ&#x;™‚ Underlying how I changed as a rabbi is the mentorship I received from Rabbi Lookstein. (Maybe not the standup comedy.) I learned from the best, and I am proud to model my rabbinate after his. After 17 years at KJ, this Rabbi Weinstock feels blessed, grateful, energized, and optimistic for the future. It is not easy to say goodbye to KJ. That’s why I am not doing so. I move on to a new chapter in a new shul in a new community with every intention of taking KJ – the experiences, the connections, the friendships – with me. To borrow my mentor’s phrase: It is l’hitraot, not goodbye. Who knows? You may even still get a birthday email! Naama joins me in wishing only the best for those still stuck in the city‌đ&#x;˜Š L’hitraot! Check out Rabbi Weinstock’s blog, Just Judaism, at rabbielieweinstock.blogspot. com. Rabbi Weinstock’s new mailing address is 99 Tioga Avenue, Atlantic Beach, NY 11509 and his email address is elieweinstock@gmail.com.

R abbi E lie W einstock



Have you ever noticed a glaring omission from the main section of the Musaf Amidah on Shabbat (Tikanta Shabbat)? It is something that is in every Musaf Amidah on every Yom Tov, including on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is in the Musaf Amidah for Rosh Chodesh too, though phrased slightly differently. But it is not even mentioned on Shabbat. Do not feel bad if you have no idea what I am talking about. I never noticed the omission all my life until very recently when I was studying the Siddur over the phone with a KJ member. I was struck by what was missing. The omission is “U’mipenay chata’einu galinu me’artzainu...” (And because of our sins we were exiled from our Land... and prevented from bringing the Musaf offering). On Shabbat, unlike every other holy day, there is no reference to our sins and the Galut which prevent our discharging our sacrificial obligations; there is only a positive plea that “Yehi ratzon...” (May it be Your Will O’ God to bring us joyously to our Land and there we will bring the sacrifices incumbent upon us, including the Musaf offering). Why is there no mention of our sins and the Galut and the destruction of the Temple? It is clear that our sages who formulated the Amidah wanted to avoid the negative confession of blame on

Shabbat and stress only the positive petition that God return us to the Land of Israel so that we could fulfill the obligation to bring the Musaf offering. Recognizing this omission helps me to understand better a teaching of the Rav zt’l, which he presented in a shiur in RIETS over sixty years ago. I vividly recall the Rav explaining that the expression in Birkat Hamazon on Shabbat: “Shelo tehei tzara v’yagon va-anacha b’yom menuchateinu (Let there be no distress, grief or lament on our day of rest), is not a plea that on Shabbat we should have no tsoros or problems about which to crechtz. Rather, it is a declaration that on Shabbat we should not speak about - or dwell on - the tzoros that we have. This explanation elicited some humorous reactions from the students. One said: “Rebbe, does this mean that maybe we shouldn’t read the newspapers on Shabbat?” The Rav responded with a smile: “Maybe!” Whereupon another student suggested that perhaps rabbis should be discouraged from delivering sermons on Shabbat. The Rav laughed and said: “Takeh - maybe!” At the time, I wondered from where this explanation of the text in the Shabbat Birkat Hamazon originated. Now, I understand that this idea is embedded in the Musaf Amidah for Shabbat. Our sages did not want us to express sad thoughts on Shabbat by lamenting our sins causing the Galut. Perhaps this is a source for the Rav’s comment on Birkat Hamazon. Another source for this explanation is found in the Talmud and quoted in our Birkat Hamazon in the special

Harachaman for Shabbat which describes the day as a total Shabbat, with uninterrupted rest as in Eternal Life. The reference is to the World to Come, where there are no problems and no difficulties. We pray for an earthly Shabbat on which we will not have to dwell on our problems and hardships. The late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel zt”l, called the Shabbat an “Oasis in Time.” It is a day which is set aside from the labors and problems of the rest of the week. We may be aware of our tzoros on Shabbat: illness, infirmities, finances, familial issues, political strife and, of course, the pandemic with all of its worrisome ramifications, but we should not dwell on them on Shabbat. They should not dominate our speech, our reading and our thoughts. At our Shabbat table, we should speak about all the good things we have, all the nice things in our world and all the things for which we should be grateful, of which we all have many. We should discuss Torah, ideas and ideals which enrich our lives. We should spend Shabbat enjoying the physical and spiritual pleasures in our world and leave discussions about our tsoros for the rest of the week. Our sages, in formulating the Musaf Amidah and the Birkat Hamazon on Shabbat, were sending an implicit and explicit message to us: “Let there be no distress, grief or lament on the day of rest.”  In fact, don’t even think about it!

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“What I plead for is the creation of a prayer atmosphere. Such an atmosphere is ... created by ... the example of prayer, by a person who prays. You create that atmosphere not around you but within you.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel critiques the pulpit rabbi in his book on prayer Man’s Quest for God. He argues that it is not the sermon that is most impactful, but the rabbi’s role modeling, his being, and genuine expression, which effectuates a transformation in the congregant. In inspiring our communities, we create new programs, restructure the learning, establish reward systems and incentives, but often overlook the most impactful resource we have: our own passion and commitment. Whether as rabbis leading our congregations or parents guiding our families, we must model our convictions and engage our children. As sociologist Christian Smith said concerning his study on religious continuity: “No other conceivable causal influence... comes remotely close to matching the influence of parents on the religious faith and practices of youth.” We may verbally express to our children

what is important but not realize the effect of incongruence between home and school, either a tension or a compartmentalization of, “This is what we do in school, and this is what we do at home.” In this light, I would like to re-emphasize the critical role of a parental partnership with educators in modeling the values, ethics, and beliefs at home and engaging one’s children in religious experiences outside of school. We should not underestimate the detrimental effect of a lack of these powerful experiential moments.

Our greatest rabbi and teacher, Moshe Rabbenu, while an exceptional role model for Benei Yisrael, had grandchildren who were idolatrous priests (Shofetim 18:30 and Talmud Bavli Bava Batra 109b). Our shock at this outcome is due to our failure to realize that Moshe’s family interactions are nearly absent from the Humash. Comparing him with our forefathers brings this to light. Like many of the stories of our forefathers, we learn about Moshe’s early family life, how he met his wife outside of Egypt, in a place called Midian, and had two children. After the birth of his sons, though, we only have one or two fleeting references

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to his family. This is in contrast to the numerous chapters dedicated to how our forefathers interacted with God alongside their families. With Moshe, all of the momentous experiences are away from his family. After about a year of separation, Moshe’s father-in-law brings Moshe’s wife, and, as the text portrays it, her two sons (Shemot 18:5). Moshe goes out to greet Yitro. They prostrate towards each other, embrace, catch up, and talk (Shemot 18:7-9). Yitro is described as being thrilled by all that he hears, but there is no mention of Moshe’s wife and sons. Did Moshe not greet them, embrace them, ask them how they were doing, fill them in on all that happened over the past year? The text is descriptive in its silence. Moshe’s sons may have suffered from what we now call Preacher’s Child Syndrome, wherein rabbis’ children perceive their fathers as being overinvolved with synagogue life. Unlike rabbis, however, our national leader, Moshe, was given a unique allencompassing mission directly from God. When Moshe’s siblings, Miriam and Aharon, lamented Moshe’s separation from his wife, God chastised them, and Miriam was stricken with sara’at (leprosy). God clarified at that time that Moshe’s situation was unique, and he had to separate from his family to maintain a certain level of focus (Bemidbar 12:6-10). The sacrifice, though, was that his children and grandchildren were offered on the altar of community. In addition, Moshe’s sons lost out on the impact of powerful experiences while they were with their mother in

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7 Midian, outside of Egypt. They did not experience the awesomeness of God’s power and presence expressed during the ten plagues. They missed the miracles of the Exodus, the splitting of the sea, and according to many commentators, even the revelation at Mt. Sinai. They were absent from these formative moments, and therefore could not internalize the feeling of awe, trepidation, and the heights of joy that remain long after the knowledge has been forgotten — since feelings, how one is emotionally moved, are the impressions that most impact and remain. That is why no amount of academic education or discussion can ever shape a child as much as a powerful religious experience. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, in a lecture he delivered in 1971, related that the moment which most impacted his religious sensitivity was the genuine religious expression he saw on his grandfather’s face during prayers on Yom Kippur. The intellectual and philosophical training he received from his grandfather, the famous Reb Chaim of Brisk, did not have the same impact as witnessing his genuine connection to prayer. Rabbi Soloveitchik remembered that moment for a lifetime and credited it as his pivotal memory, shaping him as a religiously sensitive person. One of the most impactful people in my life was Rabbi Ezra Labaton zs”l. While he was known as an intellectual who held a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy, his most significant impact on me and others was through his very being. When I reflect on my love for Torah learning, memories of Rabbi Labaton come to mind. I remember that during the last few months of his life, when cancer had spread throughout his body, and he was visibly weak, he would light up with passion and energy whenever he delivered a sermon or sat down to teach. It was as though he was in full health. He did not need to speak to me about developing a love for Torah study or how it could invigorate one’s life; he embodied it.

Rabbi Heschel’s words guide me every day as I enter the synagogue and return home to my wife and daughter. During the lockdown, I had the opportunity of sitting with my two-year-old every morning as I donned tefillin and prayed shaharit, every afternoon as I stood by our living room wall and prayed minha, and every night as I recited Shema with her. After only a few days, she began running to my room in the morning with a small book, calling it a siddur, and asking me to pray with her. She would wrap her little arm with the extra leather of my tefillin and say: “I’m putting tefillin.” When I recited the Amida, she would bring a book and stand next to me, looking up at me with admiration, sometimes swaying, as I now realize I sometimes do. It was touching to see how my own engagement in Jewish ritual and spirituality had so profoundly impacted her. We are the greatest chance our children have of leading a Jewish life, and we need to express not only in words but in our actions what we value and believe. We must actively engage our children in religious experiences, including the saying of berakhot, preparing for Shabbat, and taking them to the synagogue to to be moved, together, by the hazzan’s prayer, and see our commitment to minyan and passion for Torah study. If we want our kids to pray, we need to pray and pray with them. While they can participate in our synagogue’s youth groups, for whatever time they can experience and be involved in shul, they should be, sitting right by our side. We must recognize the incredible opportunity and responsibility that we have and realize that as impactful as Jewish Day Schools are in imparting Jewish ideas, principles, and values to our children, there is no comparison to the impact we can have through personally role modeling a genuinely engaged life of Torah, misvot, and religious experiences. continued


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David ben Gurion once said, “Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles isn’t a realist.” This statement reflected a necessary mindset at a time when the fledgling State of Israel was surrounded by enemies and its day-to-day existence was a result of the unity, the dedication and the determination of the early pioneers – a belief that out of the ashes, a Jewish State can and will rise. Kislev is a month characterized by miracles. We acknowledge these miracles with the recitation of Al Hanisim on Chanukah, as well at the Brachot on the lighting of the menorah, thanking God for the miracles “bayamim hahem, bazman hazeh” - “of the past and the continued miracles today.” The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat 23b states that the madlik, the one who engages in the physical activity of lighting the menorah, is required to make the birkat hamitzvah (the blessing recited upon performing a mitzvah) of “li’hadlik ner shel Chanukah” as well as the birkat hoda’a (a blessing of thanks) of “sheasa nisim la’avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.” The Gemara continues that the ro’eh, the observer, a passerby, has an obligation to recite birchat hoda’a on merely seeing a lit menorah. This statement sits in radical opposition to other mitzvoth when we do not recite Brachot on someone else’s mitzvah. The madlik is performing the mitzvah, why should the ro’eh, the observer, respond with a bracha?

Even though we do not hold, al pi Halacha, that the ro’eh makes a bracha, the statement in the Gemara is drawing our attention and intuiting something unique and worthy about our recognition and blessings of gratitude. A number of years ago I participated in a heritage trip to Eastern Europe. As a Jew, citizen of the world, and as the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, this trip was deeply personal. When we arrived at the gates of Auschwitz, the survivor who accompanied us asked that relatives of victims or survivors from Auschwitz step forward. I have both, two grandparents that survived and great grandparents and countless relatives who were murdered, and I was standing in their exact footsteps, at the gates of Auschwitz. As we stood together, silent and feeling the shadows of history, the survivor asked us to join her and, in full, loud, projected voices recited, B’shem Hamalchut, “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melekh Ha’olam, sheasa li nes bamakom hazeh” — a blessing of gratitude for performing a miracle for me in this very spot. A miracle happened to me here, my grandparents survived, and my very existence is a miracle. Perhaps the Gemara was calling our attention to the ongoing miracle of Jewish survival. Seeing the flame of a chanukiah flickering in a window demands our attention, to pause in our steps, and to say, “sheasa li nes bamakom hazeh,” a miracle is happening right here, “sheasa nisim la’avotenu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.” Jewish survival is a miracle. It was a miracle then and it is a miracle now.

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The enemies may change, the geography and scenery may be different, and the threats are sometimes from external sources and sometimes from internal conflict, but the battlefield continues to rage and there should never be a moment that we take for granted the miracle that we are. Our very existence is testimony to the miracles that surround us each and every day, and we bear witness to that miracle. The flames of the chanukiah that illuminate windows and entryways, are a call to illuminate and magnify the gratitude and recognition that we just acknowledge. Even when merely the ro’eh, we pour out our gratitude to God for allowing our identity to burn from our windows for the world to see: “sheasa nissim la’avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.” We thank God for the miracles performed for us then, and now. Bazman hazeh, we face a rise in antiSemitism, frightening assimilation rates and, in the wake of COVID-19, isolation and loneliness combating our unity. Our sense of unity will be restored as we pause and recognize that a single candle burning in a window is a testament to the miracle of our existence.

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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. 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. 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,

‫ת תְנְׁשֵי מִינ ָן‬ ִ ‫ש י מִינ ְָך וְל ֹא‬ ֵ ְׁ ‫ לָא נ ִתֽנ‬.‫תְּך ע ֲלָן‬ ָ ְ ‫תּן ע ֲלְָך ו ְ ַד ע‬ ָ ְ ‫דע‬ ּ ַ ,‫ה ְדרָ ְך עֲלָן‬ ֲ ְ ‫ה ְד רָ ן עֲלְָך ו‬ ֲ 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. continued

212-874-6100, ext. 3 (Recorded Message)

YOETZET HALAKHAH For questions regarding Jewish family law and women’s health, contact KJ’s Yoetzet Halakhah Julia Baruch at 929-274-0628 or jb.yoetzet@gmail.com.

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 Mikvehs are open by appointment only, with social distancing and safety measurements in place. Call ahead to schedule appointments.

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Sat Night / Dec 12 / 8 PM Featuring

Virtual Menorah Lighting Chanukah Concert with Cantor Berson Farewell to the Weinstock Family

Chairs Abby & David Doft Sara & Simon Shemia

Roberta & Curt Stetson Randi & David Sultan


rsvp ckj.org/annualdinner

Virtual Chanukah Boutique NOVEMBER 18-DECEMBER 31 Shop online to find our exciting array of vendors selling Jewelry, Judaica, Winter Accessories, Home Decor, Women’s Fashions, Chanukah Treats, Kids Clothes, Stationery, and much more! ckj.org/virtual_boutique_vendors.html

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In the C O M



KJ warmly welcomes the following new members who joined the Congregation between July 6 and the date on which this Bulletin was prepared for press, November 16: Michelle and Shir Abramov Hailey and Sol Adler Kimberley and David Allouche Alina Beketova Leandra Medine and Abie Cohen Dr. Morton Coleman Jay Domb Eden and Judah Fried Dr. Simone Z. Gordon Jenny Weinberg and Samuel Grubner Laurel Henschel Anna and Ben Jubas Laura and Daniel Kaufthal Alice and Henry Mosseri

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Fall Cooking Class

Father/Child Learning Event

Kesher is a spiritual and social home for young Jewish singles, couples, and families to connect with each other, with many special events happening throughout the year. Despite the challenges encountered since March, Kesher has been able to continue to foster a great sense of

community and will continue to do so. Please save these dates on your calendar, so you can add your spirit to our community!

Caroline Bryk, Liora Schulman & Ariel Stern | Kesher Presidium Keep up with Kesher at ckj.org/kesher.


Chantal Oldenberg Natalie and David Paige Jonathan J. Pincus Penina Krieger and Yossi Quint Calyn and Aaron Robinow Sharon and Dr. Ryan Schwab Marisa and Michael (Mikey) Shemi Jayson Rokhsar

The KJ Youth Department and over 300 KJ guests spent Parashat Noach at the Central Park Zoo. Participants had the opportunity to enjoy the grandness of our community in an outdoors, safe and exciting event – something that would be otherwise difficult to do while maintaining social distancing. It’s been so long since families have had the opportunity to see each other! Children met characters from the Noach story along the way and got to dress up as their favorite animals. Delicious rainbow cookies and challah added a sweet touch to our visit. We look forward to finding more creative ways to engage our community on a large and small scale in the upcoming months, so please share your suggestions with Youth Director Aryana Ritholtz, reachable at aryana@ckj.org.

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KJ BEGINNERS COME OUT FOR BRUNCH & LEARN The weather was unusually warm for November 8 – a perfect Sunday for KJ Beginners to gather safely in Central Park for schmoozing, learning, and enjoying brunch-in-a box. Many of our regular Beginners, some of whom are not yet comfortable coming to KJ for services, attended. They were quite emotional about how much they miss KJ and how glad they were to have the opportunity to gather in such a wonderful way. Rabbi Steinmetz, Rabbi Weinstock, and Rabbi Daniel and Rachel Kraus were all on hand to talk some Torah, schmooze, connect and just enjoy the opportunity to re-connect. The brunch was another fantastic KJ Beginners initiative to engage community with in-person opportunities during this pandemic.


On Sunday, October 18, twenty of Sephardic Minyan's most stalwart members trekked up to Bear Mountain for a day of hiking. People of all ages came out to enjoy a glorious day. The above photo is from last year’s event, before COVID-19 masking restrictions.


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The Sisterhood of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun is committed to good works and improving the lives of people. Funds raised through our programming are used to support social action projects that benefit families and individuals in our community and around the world. The Sisterhood is also responsible for preparing a local Shiva home, including the first meal and contributing to KJ’s many programs and activities, such as communal Sukkah meals, Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts and look forward to funding unsponsored kiddushim post Covid.

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Virtual Chanukah Boutique (details on p. 10) Israel Zoom Tour: Finding King David (details on p. 35) MARCH 11, 2021 | 7:30 PM

Zoom Challah and L’Chaim Challah Bake with Special Guest, inspirational speaker Rebbetzin Slovie Jungreis Wolff APRIL 27, 2021 | 7:30 PM

Do something good for you while doing something good for the community! Join us at these fun, upcoming events. Like us on Instagram and learn more at ckj.org/ sisterhood.

Sephardic Cooking Event

Enjoy! Socialize! Be involved while raising funds for worthy causes!

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Rooftop Sisterhood Boutique Sisterhood Luncheon

BOOK REVIEW RIVETS ON ZOOM Over one hundred people sat in front of their computer screens, mesmerized, as KJ member Esther Amini Krawitz discussed her recent memoir, Concealed, with Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. In it, she introduced her readers to life in her family’s ancestral home, Mashhad, Iran, a fanatic Shi’ite stronghold where Jews had to hide their true identities, always at the risk of brutal attack or death. With this fra­ught life always hovering in the background, Esther spoke of how her parents’ personalities, though different as night and day from one another, were affected by their past in Iran - and the way it informed how she was raised in Forest Hills, Queens. Rabbi Lookstein expertly focused on some of the book’s highlights, and Esther drew her readers in with recollections that were, at times horrifying, and at times humorous. Rabbi Steinmetz’s program introduction, and a question-answer period moderated by Riva Alper, rounded out the program. Kudos to Sisterhood Presidents Roberta Stetson and Sharon Garfunkel Levitsky on an outstanding program. A special thank you to program chairs Rita Woldenberg and Jane Katz for selecting such a memorable book. A riveting book, Concealed should not be missed. It is available on Amazon. Guaranteed it will transport you to another place and time — and open your eyes to a culture you might not ever have encountered.


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AN UPDATE FROM KJ “FRIENDLY VISITS” CHESED COMMITTEE HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CANTOR BERSON! While it is true that Batya and Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary, the title above refers to the Cantor celebrating his one-year anniversary at KJ. It all began normally enough…a soft Shabbat services start last summer and a memorable official beginning with a Pre-selichot concert and a beautiful and meaningful start to the penitential season complete with a choir that added a spiritual high, preparing everyone for the holiday season, followed by the Inaugural Concert just a few weeks later. We were off to a rousing start. A year later we find ourselves in a place no one could have imagined, but that did not stop Cantor Berson from keeping us in the musical link with the many programs in which he has been involved since the start of Covid. Despite the necessary social distancing KJ, was able bring communities together through music. Ironically, we were able to bring more people together for our programming at this time than we have in the past. Most recently notable was Cantor Berson’s virtual pre-recorded High Holiday service, which gave people the opportunity to bring the synagogue to their homes and enjoy the melodies of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Just as we were discussing the expansion of a home visiting program at KJ, the Covid-19 pandemic came upon us. We mobilized under the guidance of our Rabbis to assist members whom we thought might benefit from our attention. We began by recruiting over 85 volunteers who reached out by phone to our senior population to check in and offer support. Close to 1000 calls were made, as we called several times. We quickly moved on to provide much-needed services, such as shopping and delivering. Some of our volunteers were able to prepare homemade meals and bake challahs for weekly distribution to members who were ailing. Pesach became a great challenge, but by the generosity of a donor on the Upper East Side, we were able to distribute complete Pesach packages to 70 KJ members who could not undertake the tedious task of shopping for the holiday. Another anonymous donor offered ten Park East Kosher Pesach meals for two, that were personally delivered. Volunteers included lay people as well as professionals who offered to help with emotional support as well as technology in assisting those who were unfamiliar with using computers as a means of communicating. We accompanied members to doctors’ visits and, when needed, even made some home visits with the proper social distancing. The pandemic brought out the best in our community. So many volunteers offered their time, we couldn’t always find assignments for everyone. Our families, children, and grandchildren were witness to how a community reaches out with a full heart to help during difficult times. Neighborhood friends saw us delivering packages and commented on how impressed they were that we “take care of each other.” We are so grateful to each and every one of our volunteers who gave of themselves in this time of need. We appreciate the continued efforts of our volunteers as the epidemic evolves. We continue to negotiate these unique times. The challenges of celebrating holidays without family are real. Anyone needing assistance in preparation for any upcoming holidays, should please leave a message at 646-306-4161 or send an email to kjfriendlyvisit@gmail.com, and we will be in touch with you. In addition, if you are lonely, ailing, disabled, handicapped, etc., and would like to receive a call from one of our friendly volunteers, please contact us. Please be assured that all interactions are kept strictly CONFIDENTIAL. With God’s help, we hope the pandemic will be over very soon — but until then, we are here for you.

Some of these programs, such as Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah, are ongoing and you can enjoy them at ckj.org/vds.

Leah Modlin and Marian Gross KJ Chesed Committee Co-Chairs continued

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Farewell to Rabbi Weinstock Trying to fit seventeen years of dedication to KJ into one paragraph is a near-impossible task. Do we mention all of Rabbi Weinstock’s inspiring sermons, articles, and programming? His commitment to the KJ Community and the greater Jewish community: AIPAC, Chabad, New York Board of Jewish Rabbis, to name a few? His dedication to outreach and his shepherding over the years of hundreds of chozrei b’teshuva and converts through the vibrant KJ Beginners program? His enthusiasm for Shabbat Across America, ensuring the highest number of participants every year? His commitment to personal and rabbinic growth as a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute? His trips to Morocco, Ramallah, and Guatemala? The thousands of “sheilot” he has answered over the years, usually within minutes of your hitting “Send.” His terrific sense of humor? The warm hospitality of the entire Weinstock family, sharing their table over countless Shabbatot and holidays with friends and friends-to-be? What best speaks to Rabbi Weinstock’s rabbinic worldview is a pasuk attributed to the ARIzal (Rabbi Isaac Luria, a 16th century rabbi and mystic from Tzefat), with which Rabbi Weinstock started his Morning Prayer Zoom class for the past seven months:

‫הרני מקבל אלי מצות עשה של ואהבת לרעך כמוך‬: I accept upon myself the Mitzvah of loving my neighbor as myself.

The basis of everything Rabbi Weinstock does, everything he achieves, is rooted in this simple dictum. The basis of every accomplishment, every program, and every class is the love he has for his fellow human being, as is evident in the following farewells from Rabbi Weinstock’s colleagues. Of course, much of this would have been impossible to accomplish without the support of his wife, Dr. Naama, and their wonderful children, Meira, Yona, Aviva, and Yakira. So much that has benefited KJ stems from this incredibly supportive family, who shared their home with the community and gave up personal time with Rabbi Weinstock for the greater KJ good. Heartfelt thanks to all the Weinstocks!! Wishing you mazal and bracha in this new chapter of your lives.

— Riva Alper continued

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17 The Torah emphasizes that hachnasat orchim, welcoming in guests, is the foundational virtue of the Jewish people, one practiced at the very beginning of our history by our forefather Abraham. Hachnasat orchim is particularly important because an outsider can feel uncomfortable and uncertain, and without a warm welcoming presence, they can lose their way. Rabbi Elie Weinstock has made hachnasat orchim his life mission; I know this from personal experience. Arriving in KJ five years ago, I didn’t even know the way to the sanctuary. Rabbi Weinstock patiently guided me step by step through everything I needed to know about our congregation. Time and time again, I tapped into his encyclopedic knowledge of our membership and his thorough understanding of every synagogue tradition and legacy. From the moment I arrived, Rabbi Weinstock has always had my back. This passion for hachnasat orchim has shaped his entire career. He’s the one who has welcomed so many into our community, and welcomes our community into so many initiatives. Whether it be Beginners, Sephardic, Kesher, UJA@KJ, or AIPAC, Rabbi Weinstock has been helping our community reach out and reach in. And together with Naama, he has warmly welcomed so many to his home, and made them feel like the Weinstock family is their family. And I have no doubt that when the occasional stranger from the Upper East Side wanders into Atlantic Beach, they will find a warm welcome in the Weinstock home. B’hatzlacha to the Weinstocks!

— Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz


“Aseh lecha rav u’keneh lecha chaver - Get yourself a Rav and acquire a friend” (Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 1; Mishna 6). Even a rabbi needs a rabbi: someone from whom to get advice when one is in doubt or unsure; someone who is a sympathetic listener when one has a problem; someone who is as committed as I to KJ and Ramaz and who shares the burdens willingly; someone who can discuss Halakhic issues when complex and difficult decisions have to be made. I have had such a rabbi for seventeen years in Rabbi Elie Weinstock: intelligent, learned, thoughtful, balanced, always concerned and very loyal; someone upon whom I could always depend.

“He who walks with the wise becomes wise.” (Proverbs 13:20) Rabbi Weinstock, thank you for your mentorship and for walking me through KJ’s history and procedures with well-organized step-by-step guides. “Direct your work towards the service of God, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3) The KJ landscape I encountered as the new Sephardic rabbi is the fruit of your foresight, planning, orchestration, and execution. From the Beginner’s program, to Kesher, Sephardic, and the AIPAC delegation - now one of the largest in the country and so many other initiatives, have all been established through your dedication to KJ and the Jewish community. I hope to make you proud, utilizing the guidance you have shared with me, to continue to develop some of the programs you have established and grown.

— Rabbi Meyer Laniado

I also had a friend for seventeen years: someone who was a colleague, on the same wavelength, sharing the same burdens, reaching out for the same goals. We always saw eye to eye - even when we disagreed. We were never divided - and if we ever were, it was a dispute for the sake of heaven. It is a friendship like that of David and Jonathan. I will miss my rabbi and my friend, but I know he is only a phone call away. I wish Rabbi Weinstock and Dr. Naama great success and fulfillment in JCAB. That shul is truly blessed. L’Hitraot!

— Rabbi Haskel Lookstein continued

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‫ּב פָנ ָיו‬ ְ ‫ׁש ּל ֹא‬ ֶ ‫ ו ְכּוּלֹו‬,‫ּב פָנ ָיו‬ ְ ‫ׁשבְחֹו ׁשֶל אָ ָד ם אֹו מְרִ ים‬ ִ ‫מ ְקצ ָת‬ ִ Only some of a person’s praise should be said in his presence, and all of it may be said not in his presence. (Eruvin 18b) Over the past few months, stories, tributes, memories and accolades have been shared about our dear friends, partners and leaders, Rabbi Elie and Dr. Naama Weinstock. Having the gift of written form, we can openly share our deepest gratitude, with reflection and heartwarming memories that populate our time at KJ with laughter, meaning and purpose. For the past eight years, we have had the extraordinary privilege to work closely alongside Rabbi Weinstock. From late night calls, to strategizing about how to create enhanced Jewish connections for the broader community, to celebrating milestones, and grieving losses, Rabbi Weinstock is driven by such deep passion and purpose. He has always been a confidant, problem solver and sounding board in ways that helped us and continue to help us grow personally and professionally. Now in its 31st year, the Beginners Program at KJ has been a crown jewel of the Upper East Side community, and, under the leadership of Rabbi Weinstock, George Rohr and other dedicated lay leaders, has achieved exponential growth in inspiring and shaping the lives of thousands of Jews. We have shared hundreds of Shabbatot together, Pesach Sedarim, Sukkah under the Stars and the most memorable High Holiday Services which attract and engage hundreds each year. From the hundreds of classes, ‘Ask the Rabbis & Rachel’ forums, Friday night dinners, Shabbat morning services, so many lives have been touched and influenced by this extraordinary community and the expansive offering that Rabbi Weinstock continues to drive. Rabbi Weinstock so deeply cares about each and every Jew. When reflecting over the past eight years, there was no program, event or gathering that did not have the signature Rabbi Weinstock touch. From behind the scenes to center stage, Rabbi Weinstock catalyzed momentum, growth and change that has left an indelible impact on individual lives and the community at large. We thank him for showing and modeling what vision can yield, for what he created, and the precious work that is now in our hands to continue. We wish the entire Weinstock family continued bracha to use their amazing energy and talent to further the Jewish world. We will deeply miss them and forever cherish their guidance and friendship.

— Rabbi Daniel and Rachel Kraus continued

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Batya and I would like to wish you, Naama and your family much hatzlachah on your move and new position. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to work with you professionally and get to know you personally. In the relatively short time I had the privilege of interacting with you, I have learned so much. You so graciously welcomed me to KJ and have always been available to offer guidance, share ideas, and provide advice based on your vast experience and knowledge. Our community has been so blessed to have had your leadership for the past 17 years.

‫השם ישמור צאתך ובואך‬ ‫מעתה ועד עולם‬ May HaShem protect and guide you and your family in this next step of your special journey.

— Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson

19 Rav Elie, as he is affectionately known, has the full rabbinic package: Preaching, teaching and pastoral counseling are securely under his belt. But what sets him apart in my experience is his dedication to personal acts of kindness and self-sacrifice for those in our midst who are not highrolling benefactors. Rav Elie volunteers to officiate at the inconvenient funerals of our “Eleanor Rigby” types, he calls and visits the sick even when bucking up against pressing work deadlines, and he always makes time to answer questions of Jewish law no matter how many balls he is juggling. His Shabbat and Yom Tov table is filled with adult singles of all stripes who might otherwise spend these special moments alone. Instead, they sit alongside last-minute sojourners on the Upper East Side who

For years to come, we will reflect on how fortunate we have been for the past seventeen years to have had you to teach us, guide us and motivate us. Through your vision we have all benefited. We have shared sad and happy times. Your guidance has always been valued by my family. We will miss you, Naama, Meira, Yona, Aviva and Yakira. We wish you much success!

— Dina Farhi

found themselves unexpectedly stuck in connection with business travel or hospitalized loved ones, all breaking bread with spiritually questing conversion candidates, tourists, curious university students, and KJ regulars. His wife, Dr. Naama Weinstock, is his generous and warm partner in this regard, and their four children have grown up surrounded by such profound commitment to people. I once asked Rav Elie if he is bothered by all these competing demands that get in the way of his rabbinic duties, and he replied: “This is why I went to Rabbi school, not to sit in the Torah Tower, but rather to help people.” What a wonderful legacy!

— Lenny Silverman

I first met Rabbi Weinstock almost seven years ago when I interviewed for my job at KJ. I had dressed in my more modest attire like my Beit Yaakov education had taught me. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised when I showed up and the Rabbi offered me his hand to shake! I knew right then that this was going to be a very different type of shul with a very different type of Rabbi. It has truly been a pleasure and an inspiration working together all these years! We have had a great run of programs, classes and opportunities to watch our community grow. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors. We are truly going to miss Rav Elie’s presence!

— Esther Feierman, Director of Communications and Programming

Wishing you and the entire Weinstock family much success and happiness in Atlantic Beach. You have helped make the Upper East Side a warm and inspiring community which I feel privileged to have been a part of. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my friends over the years.

— Menucha Parry, Director of Member Affairs continued

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20 Someone said, “When I go to the doctor’s office, I do not just want to see the medical diploma on the wall; I want to see their report card from medical school, because if I am suffering from a particular problem, I want to be certain the doctor excelled in that subject.” I think that all of us privileged to know Rabbi Elie Weinstock recognize that he not only has Rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University, but he is a scholar on so many issues that impact our lives. Reading Rabbi Weinstock’s Ruminations, I always learn something I had not known earlier. One of the greatest accolades one can confer on a Rabbi is to describe him as a talmid chacham which literally means a learned student, one who possesses a strong sense of intellectual inquiry. I truly admire the depth of Rabbi Weinstock’s scholarship as well as his ability to present a complex issue in a comprehensive fashion. He inspires

Michael Jordan once said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen!” AIPAC has been blessed to partner with many outstanding rabbis throughout the nation, but Rabbi Weinstock is in a category all his own. Rabbi Weinstock’s leadership in pursuit of strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship by working with AIPAC is unique. When it comes to AIPAC, never was a task too grand or too detail oriented. Working alongside Rabbi Lookstein and Rabbi Steinmetz, Rabbi Weinstock spearheaded efforts to develop this community’s first-ever Synagogue Delegation to Policy Conference – back in 2004. From there, KJ’s delegation consistently grew to more than 200 participants and set the bar for premiere AIPAC synagogue engagement nationwide. KJ is famous for having the largest delegation in the nation and leads the way with year-round activism that is unparalleled in America, making KJ the foremost flagship AIPAC synagogue.


others to learn more and strengthen their intellectual skills. Rabbi Weinstock also believes in C’lal Rabbanim, the pluralistic rabbinate where unity of spirit and diversity of thought can live together. We at the New York Board of Rabbis (NYBR) look forward to his ascendancy as President. Finally, like the Talmudic teaching which tells us that the morning begins when we can see the face of a friend, I am blessed to begin my day at the NYBR with a phone call with my teacher, my colleague, and my friend, Elie Weinstock.

— Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis

Most impactfully, Rabbi Weinstock’s zeal extends far beyond the KJ community. He has built strong relationships with many elected officials in the area, and by regularly spending time with a diverse group of rabbinic colleagues and engaging the next generation of rabbis, Rabbi Weinstock has encouraged colleagues across the country to get involved with AIPAC. This multiplier effect is profound, and his leveraging his great many rabbinic contact nationwide has inured to AIPAC’s great advantage. All of us at AIPAC have had the pleasure of working with Rabbi Weinstock (and there are many of us) wish him and Naama much Hatzlacha as they begin the next chapter in their lives, and we look forward to continuing to be the beneficiary of their unyielding pro-Israel leadership, friendship and passion.

— The AIPAC Team

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21 I will miss my annual meetings with Rav Elie Weinstock where we would strategize, map out, and plan our joint activities for the coming year. One couldn’t ask for a better partner. Rav Elie’s intelligence, graciousness, good nature, sense of humor, very pleasant demeanor, a rabbi without an ego which is so rare that I eagerly looked forward to our annual get together. To Rav Elie being a rabbi is not a career. He’s genuinely motivated by the three cardinal loves: love of Hashem, love of his fellow Jew, and love of Torah. The joint ventures between Chabad Upper East Side and Congregation. Kehilath Jeshurun kept expanding under Rav Elie’s leadership. It started with the annual Simchat Torah Street Festival, where for the last 19 years we brought the love of Judaism into the streets of our neighborhood, sweeping thousands of our Jewish brothers and sisters into the fiery embrace and joyous celebration of our Jewish faith. Every year we would join forces to launch the very popular KJ Friday Night Live dinner series with a joint inaugural KJ/Chabad dinner.

Chabad.org | News

Then we pioneered the grand public lighting of the Chanukah menorah at Carl Schurz Park, where Jews from all over the Upper East Side would come to openly celebrate their Jewish pride and the number of participants just kept on growing every year. Four years ago we started our joint annual Yud Tes Kislev Farbrengen (a gathering commemorating the date that the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, was freed from a Russian prison) which was televised live and seen around the world via chabad.org. Rav Elie is a treasure to be cherished. He has made a lasting impact on the Upper East Side Jewish community. In the name of its resident 70,000 Jews I would like to say “thank you” for all that you have done for us. May Hashem continue to bless you and Naama and your beautiful family, and may you be tremendously successful in your new shlichut.

— Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski, Director of Chabad of the Upper East Side of Manhattan continued

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22 Kesher owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Rabbi Weinstock for his extraordinary service. Kesher began as a fledgling monthly service, and transformed into a booming weekly one under the strong leadership of Rabbi Weinstock. Rabbi Weinstock has been deeply involved in every single aspect of the Kesher community — from managing the details and logistics of every service with the Gabbaim, to overseeing the planning of our many Kesher events. Rabbi Weinstock has connected as deeply to Kesher’s youth as he has to Kesher’s adults — in fact, one of our most popular events has been the Sunday Father-Son learning that he leads. We wish Rabbi Weinstock the greatest luck and success on the next leg of his Rabbinical journey! We will miss him greatly and he will always have a spot in the Kesher community!

— Kesher

MAZAL TOV TO THESE NEWLY ELECTED STUDENT OFFICERS On Shabbat morning, following the recitation of the Haftarah, we recite a mi sheberach for all those who volunteer for the benefit of the community. The next time you recite that prayer, also bear in mind the next generation of communityminded young people of KJ families, recently elected as student body officers at the Ramaz Middle and Upper Schools. We wish them — and their families — Mazal Tov.


Lily Schwartz, daughter of Erica and Rob Schwartz and granddaughter of KJ grandparents Sheira and Steve Schachter

GRADE 8 STUDENT GOVERNMENT Lindsey Feit, daughter of Dr. Lauren and Michael Feit and granddaughter of KJ members Arlene and Jeffrey Peldman It is hard to put into words just how greatly you will be missed! The KJ Sisterhood will be eternally grateful for the contributions you made throughout your many years at KJ. You were always in our corner! While Naama was the official member of the Sisterhood, we welcomed Rabbi Weinstock’s constant presence at our Challah bakes, author talks and education events. In fact, his attendance might explain why the l’Chaim component was added to our Challah event! We will miss your wise counsel and your constant encouragement to add to our outreach efforts. You also introduced us to many wonderful organizations that we were pleased and honored to support. Perhaps most importantly, you led us by example — modelling the true meaning of inclusion, compassion and generosity. We wish the whole Weinstock family well in this exciting new adventure.

— The KJ Sisterhood continued

Stella Hiltzik, daughter of Dr. Aviva Preminger and Dr. David Hiltzik

UPPER SCHOOL G.O. KJ Youth Department would like to say a special “thank you” to Rabbi Elie Weinstock, who over the past years has helped grow and establish a wonderfully warm and inviting Youth Department that has grown tremendously.

— Aryana Ritholtz and Chevy Rubenstein

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President: Caitlin Levine, daughter of Drs. Jody and Elie Levine Associate Vice President of Student Life: Izzie Ottensoser, daughter of Judith and Daniel Ottensoser and granddaughter of KJ members Marion and Billy Weiss Associate Vice President of Operations: Gabby Ostad- daughter of Lisa Ohebshalom and Dr. Edward Ostad Associate Vice President of Communications: Rachel Freilich, daughter of Drs. Stephanie

23 and Jonathan Freilich, and granddaughter of KJ member Estelle Freilich


Junior Class President: Yona Weinstock, son of Dr. Naama and Rabbi Elie Weinstock

For the past twenty-four years, KJ has been the address for unaffiliated families looking for a Jewish education for their children. The Jewish Youth Connection (JYC) is the Sunday morning Hebrew school founded by KJ members Susan and Scott Shay with the goal of providing a meaningful Jewish education to unaffiliated families. A total reinvention of the Hebrew School experience, its focus is to help foster a quality connection to Judaism for students and families alike.

Junior Class President: Julia Feit, daughter of Dr. Lauren and Michael Feit and granddaughter of KJ members Arelene and Jeffrey Peldman

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, JYC successfully transferred to an online distancelearning experience overnight with full attendance for the remainder of the year. This fall, entering its twenty-fifth year, JYC reaches out via Zoom, giving students and their parents an opportunity to benefit from all its wonderful programming in the safety of their homes.

Sophomore Class President: Andrew Spielfogel, son of Michelle and Dr. William Spielfogel and grandson of Rebecca and John Steindecker

JYC’s curriculum traditionally includes Bible, Jewish history, customs, and holidays with new additions this year including sessions on resilience and diversity. The lessons and programs are relevant, fun, and exciting. Students from first through seventh grade are paired with a Big Brother/Sister for individualized Hebrew study, and there is a special track for students preparing for Bar or Bat Mitzvah that adds knowledge and meaning to this important Jewish milestone. Due to popular demand, this year, JYC is proud to be launching a “JYC Senior Year” for post Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to continue their Jewish learning.

You’re never too young to fulfill your civic responsibilities. Congratulations to all!


Enrollment is open to all, and no synagogue affiliation or Jewish background is required to participate in JYC. No one is turned away due to lack of funds. For more information, please contact Deeni Hass, at deeni@ckj.org or Morah Ariana Mizrahi, at ariana@jyc.info, or visit our website jyc.info.

JYC, the Hebrew School with H.E.A.R.T.

KJ’s tight-knit Maintenance Crew bid a fond farewell to their seniormost colleague, Marcelo Vaca, who decided to retire at age 72 after more than 20 years of dedicated service to the KJ family. Their festive rooftop retirement lunch celebration was bittersweet, as they will miss Marcelo’s experience, reliability and legendary attention to detail, but their years of working together enabled Marcelo to share his hallmark attributes and pass them along to teammates who will carry his torch stamped Excellence into the future.


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A week before COVID struck, changing our lives as we knew it, KJ Member Joseph Sokol was one of a team of 27 people, including four KJ members, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to benefit Friends of Access Israel, an organization promoting accessibility, inclusion and respect for people of all abilities around the world. Climbing the 19,341- foot mountain is a challenge for experienced climbers, let alone climbers with disabilities. Here he reports on the life-changing experience:

For the first time in my adult life, my eyes welled with tears as the soft melody of Yedid Nefesh permeated a dark, frigid bunker at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. I was emotionally moved by the two candles lit discreetly in the corner, my feeling of togetherness and finding God and Shabbat in a wilderness so incredibly far from home. I could not help thinking of all we went through to arrive at this moment, and at the same time could not assuage the fear of the challenge ahead. The final ascent to Uhuru Peak, at 19,341 feet - the very top of Kilimanjaro, is meant to be a 12-hour ordeal, 8 hours continued

up and 4 down, which is then followed by a 2 hour “rest” and then a 5-hour hike to a lower elevation where we would spend the night. We would start at midnight since trying to sleep at 15,500 feet is an exercise in futility and starting at this time would help ensure arrival to our next camp before dark. On Friday, we arrived at Kibo Hut, located at the base of Kilimanjaro. For 4 days I had hiked with almost no appetite and hardly any sleep. I had an unrelenting headache that seemed to be getting worse. These flu-like symptoms could be explained using one word — altitude. The week before I flew to Tanzania, I was telling a tennis buddy about the upcoming trip: climbing Kilimanjaro, taking a group of disabled persons on

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wheelchairs, 7 days with no shower, no toilet, no wifi, no cell service, etc. The reply came fast, “You lose a bet?” My wife and father were equally ‘encouraging.’ The former disingenuously said, “Do whatever you want,” and the latter questioned, “Do you have to?” During the months prior to boarding the Kenya Airways flight, we were bombarded with information about the itinerary and mission. Amazon packages arrived daily, and our small NYC bedroom was transformed into a canteen replete with boxes of Kind bars, drink mix, hand warmers, all sorts of camping gear, hiking boots, a 10 lb. cell phone battery, tons of pills, and the most essential ingredient of all, baby wipes.


The list of suggestions and recommendations from experienced climbers was extensive and one particularly prescient piece of advice came from a dear friend who relayed a message from an acquaintance who had recently climbed Kili, “Make sure not to go with any close friends because when the air gets thin you don’t want to think about helping anyone other than yourself.” The air at the base of Kilimanjaro contains approximately 50% of the oxygen found at sea level and this, in turn, caused my normal resting pulse of 58 bpm to go over 90 as my heart did its best to get more oxygen-depleted blood to the areas of my body that were starved for it, particularly my head.

So, shortly before midnight, as I layered up in near zero degrees Fahrenheit, having now gone over 100 hours without sleep or much in the way of nourishment, with an unabating headache that ibuprofen did little to alleviate, my expectations for reaching the summit were low. Just one day before I left for Kilimanjaro, my son’s teacher told me about a close friend of his wife, Dr. Amram Cohen, an American-born surgeon who through his Save a Child’s Heart foundation brought over 700 children from poor countries to Israel for lifesaving operations. In August 2001, while climbing Kilimanjaro with his daughter, Dr. Cohen had a heart attack and died. I ‘thanked’ him for sharing this story and begged him not to tell Suzy. continued

On the night of the final ascent, it was not death that I feared, so much as would I reach the summit? I was warned by the chief of travel medicine at New York Hospital, that if I started to feel acute altitude symptoms, I should not think twice about turning around. He read me some statistics: 20-30 deaths a year and only 65% reach the summit. I promised myself I would listen. I promised my dad and Suzy the same. The challenge was knowing when and if I had reached that point. We flew on February 2nd from JFK to Tanzania via Nairobi. A fairly empty flight gave me the opportunity to walk around and introduce myself to many of the 27-member team. Our trip was advertised as a both a fundraiser and promotion for Friends of Access Israel (FAISR), the US arm of Access Israel, the Israeli group that advocates for the

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26 disabled in Israel. Although Kilimanjaro was on my bucket list, when I learned the trip included kosher food, a minyan, a Torah, as well as the chance to make history by helping to take the largest group of disabled persons up the mountain, all I had to do was convince Suzy. Marcela Maranon was seated in a wheelchair when we met in NY a month before Kilimanjaro at the annual dinner for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. She was dressed beautifully in a red gown, with striking long straight blond hair, Latin confidence, and a smile that successfully concealed a more challenging life. Although not Jewish, she had fallen in love with Israel while working with Israel-based ReWalk, a company that has developed a walking assistance system that uses powered leg attachments to enable paraplegics to stand upright. With over 50,000 Instagram followers, Marcela is no social media lightweight. But it wasn’t until I reintroduced myself on the flight that she told me about the horrific night nearly twenty years earlier when a drunk driver took her left leg, her boyfriend’s life, and left her unable to feel or move any part of her body below her waist. Some 10 hours after leaving base camp that Saturday night, wrapped like an Egyptian mummy in layers upon layers upon layers of clothing, Marcela would become the first female with paraplegia to reach Stella Point. At 18,885 feet, it marks the second highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro. The following morning, Marcela was all smiles, but told me, “I wish I could have made it to Uhuru Peak, despite the incident that took place just minutes after reaching Stella. The path on the top of Kilimanjaro was at times too narrow for the Trekker Chairs, so porters would lift Marcela and carry her. continued

Immediately after reaching Stella Point, a well-intentioned porter accidentally dropped her. Those present recall her screaming, “I need to be emergency evacuated.” Sharing this same determination was Starla Hilliard-Barnes, the former Ms. Wheelchair Montana, who learned about our mission through Marcela on Instagram. Starla was paralyzed twice over a period of 10 years in two separate car accidents. On day two, her original trekking wheelchair broke during a heavy rain event. She had to be carried by her husband, eight porters, and some of us for over 5 hours until the guys from Paratrek, the Israeli company responsible for building the modified chairs, could bring a replacement. “Due to the altitude, my 98-pound frame must have felt like 300 pounds,” Starla said. Starla reached Gilman Point which at 18,885 feet is the first of the three peaks atop Kilimanjaro. Despite a painful kidney infection that did not abate until she returned to Montana, and several other medical complications, she expressed a sincere desire to return later this year to reach Uhuru.

climber attempts those feats with the equivalent of only one lung, the result is agonizing, there is no other word for it.” At 12:30, just 30 minutes into the ascent, I’m winded. I stop to catch my breath, take a sip of water, look up and then down. I realize I’ve gone almost nowhere. My porter instructs me to turn my headlight off and use the light of the full moon to illuminate the path. With the headlight off I was better able to see my surroundings which was safer but frightening. Looking down nine Empire State Buildings is not for the faint of heart. Time and distance pass slowly. The Swahili word for slowly slowly - Pole Pole – is the most heard phrase on our trip. At no time was it more relevant than now. After a few hours, you do little more than plant one foot forward, catch up with the other, wait, breathe, repeat, stay awake. Thoughts of my wife’s cousin reaching the summit a year earlier after having been treated for cancer instilled in me the hope that I, too, could summit. But as I ascend higher, the struggle to stay awake only intensifies.

To walk a mile, you start with a step. On that Saturday night with that daunting climb ahead, my first step took place in very slow motion, on a 45-degree grade, in pitch black frigid conditions, with eight disconcerting hours ahead. My headache was intense but the worst feeling was the incredible desire to put my head down and sleep, a sensation analogous to fighting sleep at the wheel.

Kilimanjaro is the tallest independent mountain in the world and due to its accessibility is also one of the most climbed. To say it’s easy to climb is equivalent to thinking you can run a marathon by going to a park with a pair of sneakers. People train for months to get into shape for Kili only to realize being fit might actually work against you. It’s all about the effects of altitude, which can only be made easier by Pole Pole and acclimatization.

British photojournalist, John Reader, describes the final ascent of Kilimanjaro’s summit as the “equivalent of clambering up the side of nine Empire State Buildings laid end to end at sixteen degrees. The

Martina Navratilova, one of the most physically fit female tennis players of all time, famously in December 2010 called it quits after suffering from high altitude pulmonary edema. She said, “It was the most mentally and physically

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27 demanding thing I had ever been through.” Three hours into the ascent I reach the last of the scree (fine gravel resulting from broken rock fragments) sections. It’s the steepest part of the climb and I have to be extra careful not to fall. An hour later we arrive at the boulder field and although I’m now at my weakest, barely able to keep my eyes open, I know at the top of this section I will reach Gilman Point, the lowest of the three summits. From there I’m keenly aware the route flattens out and it’s just one more hour to Uhuru. It takes more than an hour to navigate the boulders. It was apparent my porter was not familiar with a specific route. I look up and can see the top. It looks a lot closer than it really is but viewing it gives me an unexpected burst of energy. The final push goes a bit faster. Seven hours have passed

when I scramble over that final boulder, and before me lays a most magnificent sight, a beautiful terrain of the snow filled outer volcano crater, high above the clouds, so incredibly far from home. Two days later, In the lobby of our hotel, Arnold John reads a speech in his native Swahili. A father of 3 and native Tanzanian, he learned about our mission through a local tour company and in the 11th hour asked if he could join. The exact nature of Arnold’s disability was never disclosed. He got around mostly in a wheelchair, but was able to stand with the aid of a set of makeshift steel crutches. Through a translator he thanked all of us and said, “For the first time in my life, I was treated like a human being.” I flew to Israel the following day to visit my daughter, Yasmine, who is there for the year. I flew together with Omer Zur, the inventor of the Paratrek wheelchair, his friend Rowee Benbenishty and


Arnon Amit who became the first Israeli in a Paratrek chair to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. When I asked Rowee if he knew then of the risk we now were fully aware of, would he have done the trip? Without hesitation he replied, “Absolutely, I would have prepared differently, but the joy of coming together as a team for a purpose so much greater than ourselves made the risks, and they were real, worth it.” I asked Omer a similar question. His reply was rather long but there was one sentence that captured the essence of our achievement: “We started climbing as 27 individuals and finished as a team.” It will never be known if British explorer George Mallory was the first to summit Mount Everest in 1924. His body was found a few hundred feet below the summit decades later. He famously said, “We came to conquer a mountain. We ended up conquering ourselves.”

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HOPE HAPPENS HERE KJ member Fran Brown worked tirelessly to support her son, Alan, after a lifealtering accident. But she did not stop there.

Who, Daly wondered, was this woman who believed she could possibly help?

spent each day at the hospital with Alan.

A lifesaver, as it turned out. Fran Brown, founder of the Alan T Brown Foundation, would become a critical part of Daly’s recovery and lifelong friend to the family.

Before the accident, Fran’s life had been rooted in family and community, raising three sons and volunteering at their tightly knit synagogue. Alan’s injury prompted an immediate outpouring of support, including a weekly rotation of friends to Miami; as a result, Fran was never alone.

In the weeks that followed, Fran and her husband, Benjy, met Daly’s parents for dinner near the hospital, talking them through the tumultuous days ahead. And during Daly’s grueling and emotional months in rehabilitation, Fran was a regular visitor, fiercely insisting that life would go on. “You could cry to her, you could vent to her,” Daly says. “She was always there. And she understood all of it.” In 1988, Fran’s 20-year-old son Alan was on vacation in Martinique when a wave flipped him over, causing a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from

“I was surrounded by people in this tenuous and unsettling time, and that support was critical to getting through the chaos I was experiencing and being engulfed by,” she says. Even as she managed her own fears for her son and family, Fran began to pay that support forward with a steady stream of spontaneous outreach that would eventually inspire and define the Alan T Brown Foundation. In hospital hallways and waiting rooms, Fran sought out other new families

Here is her story, recently featured on the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation website. A week after the accident that paralyzed her from the chest down, Michele Daly woke up to find a stranger beside her hospital bed. “I opened my eyes and there was this little woman standing there,” Daly says. “She looked at me and said, “I’m Fran Brown and I’m here, and we’re going to get you and your family through this.” At that moment, Daly was 16 years old, a young woman in shock. While celebrating the end of summer with friends, the car she was riding in was hit by a truck. The accident was mostly a blur, but she remembered the sense of panic in the car and the strangeness of looking at her feet without being able to feel them. At the hospital, she was given last rites. continued

the chest down. When they received the news, the Browns called the father of Alan’s high school friend, Daniel Heumann. He helped arrange for Alan to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Benjy and Fran quickly flew south to meet him. Over nearly six months, Benjy would juggle visits with work in New York while Fran

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impacted by spinal cord injuries and began to share what she was learning. Arrive early to see the doctors. Get to know the urologist. Make sure you have a team of doctors that specialize in spinal cord injury. Pay attention to make sure loved ones were being turned regularly enough to prevent pressure sores and details that will



make a difference to the road to recovery.

once they’re in, they’re in. She never lets anybody go.”

These conversations continued in New York. Fran met doctors and patients at Mount Sinai as Alan continued his recovery. She collected phone numbers and passed out her own. Call anytime, she told people and meant it.

In 2019, two years after Benjy’s death, Fran decided to merge her life’s work with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, joining her son Alan who has served as Reeve’s Director of Public Impact since 2012. Alan has played a central part in the foundation’s efforts to expand outreach across the community, establish fundraising partnerships with Eric LeGrand, Mikey Nichols, and many others while offering support to families recently impacted by paralysis.

Simchat Torah is my favorite holiday because we have fun celebrating together.

“Through the Reeve Foundation and the Alan T. Brown Fund, people will receive information and knowledge coupled with kindness and compassion,” Fran says. “We’ll help them learn how to cross barriers and reach the goals they never thought possible after paralysis changed their lives.”

The holiday gives the Jewish people a sense of closure as well as the opening of a new chapter.

Less than a year after the accident, Fran rented an office on West 44th Street in Manhattan and, with Benjy and Alan, established the Alan T Brown Foundation. Its mission made official what Fran had been dedicating herself to since Alan was injured: helping families not only survive these injuries but rebuild joyful lives. The existence of an office implies professional distance and work done during regular hours. But calls came to Fran at all hours of the day and night, and the family often hosted outof-towners in the city for a loved one’s injury. It was personal; how could it not be? Over the next three decades, the foundation funded research for a cure but also paid attention to the day-today questions that mattered, including how to continue with education, play sports and make homes wheelchair accessible. Benjy tackled byzantine insurance questions for families while Fran’s outreach created a vast network for peer mentoring, advice and friendship. The Daly family discovered Fran after Michele’s accident in 1993, calling her urgently and out of the blue on the advice of a friend of a friend. Before they knew it, she was at the hospital— literally by their side.

Today, as part of the Reeve Foundation, Fran’s work continues to grow—and her phone continues to ring. Even as she reaches out to the newly injured, she tends to longtime members of the community, checking in with phone calls and handwritten notes to make sure they know she’s there if they need her. Daly rejoined her high school classmates for senior year, graduating on time and earning a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees. Inspired by the support she received from the foundation, Daly pursued a career that gave back to the community and is now Director of Disability Education for Ramapo College at the Meadowlands Environmental Center.

That, says her son Alan, is her legacy.

Throughout, Fran has been there to cheer Daly on and celebrate her every gain, including the recent birth of daughter Lindsey.

“She’s always one phone call away, and that one phone call has been a lifeline for thousands of people,” he says. “And

“There’s nothing she won’t try to do to help you,” Daly says. “She will always hold a place in my heart.” continued


Simchat Torah is the celebration of transitions. It is a joyous time for the Jewish people. Traditionally, we dance with the Torahs and rejoice. People come together in shul, children can be loud and happy while dancing with mini Sefer Torahs.

We read the last part of the Torah, V’Zot Habrachah which ends with Moshe, the great leader of the Jewish people, finishing his speech and sadly dying, while B’nei Yisrael enters Israel. We then read Parshat Bereishit, which talks about the beginning of the world, when Hashem starts His six days of work followed by Shabbat, the day of menucha, or rest. This symbolizes that beginnings come from endings and there is a fresh start. Sadly, we cannot have a real celebration because of Covid. Some of us cannot go to shul, so we are apart. But today, in this room, we are closer together. Hopefully, we will see a closure to the coronavirus and a beginning to the back to normalcy of life and Torah. Happy Simchat Torah and chag sameach!

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HIGH HOLIDAY 5781 RECAP The High Holidays were particularly challenging this year. With both indoor and outdoor seating options for all services, many people took the opportunity to pray at KJ in person, and for those who were not able to attend in person, KJ went out to our community with a virtual synagogue experience in the Main Synagogue, the Sephardic Minyan, and the Beginners Services that could be accessed on our website before the holidays. There was also online children’s programming, so that there was something that appealed to any audience that could be accessed from home. The website also featured highlights of the inspiring Rosh Hashanah liturgy chanted by Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson with commentaries by the KJ Rabbis and Director of Community Education, Rachel Kraus. Additionally, everyone received a Rosh Hashanah package that included two incredible, exemplary publications: the KJ High Holiday Reader that incorporated sermons, commentaries, and reproductions of artwork and historical artifacts expressing the themes of the holidays, and the KJ Beginners Pray at Home Guide which provided every “How to,” to best understand and celebrate the High Holidays. All five KJ Sukkot were operational, including a brand-new sukkah that was erected to ensure that anyone who wished could fulfill the mitzvah of eating in the sukkah throughout the week of Sukkot, and in a way that was safe and socially distanced. The effort was well worth it despite the considerable expense and effort. There were challah rolls for all who came to services to enable everyone to make Kiddush in the sukkah. We missed the delicious Foremost catered meals and the opportunity to eat in the sukkah with our friends, but many families took advantage of the beautiful weather and brought their meals to eat in the sukkah throughout the holiday. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah were also celebrated differently this year, most notably with the congregation only observing hakafot from their socially distanced seats, and a student representative offering a D’var Torah in place of the many children who traditionally offer Divrei Torah following “Hakafot Unlimited.” This year, in light of Rabbi Weinstock’s upcoming departure from KJ, we also kept the chatanim in the family (his family!). He was Chatan Torah; his son, Yona, in recognition of his profound commitment to our daily minyan – morning and night throughout the age of coronavirus, was Chatan Bereishit; and Rav Elie’s brotherin-law, Meir Shubowitz, was Chatan Maftir, in appreciation for all that he does as an FDNY Reserve Paramedic (and Hatzolah volunteer when off duty) to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers. All three honorees were individually deserving, and the fact that they all hailed from the same family was remarkable in its own right. We pray that next year, all our tefillot will come to fruition, and that we will be blessed to celebrate together as a community, unmasked and with no need for social distancing. H olidays / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N H olidays







With the permission of this congregation, we call for the honor of Chatan Torah someone who has offered our congregation 17 years of dedicated service: Rabbi Elie Weinstock.

With the inspiration of the Torah, we call for the beginning of the new Torah reading one who has shown the beginnings of leadership. We call as our Chatan Bereishit Yona Weinstock.

The numerical value of 17 in Gematria is “tov,” which means good. But for KJ, Rabbi Weinstock’s service has been “tov me’od,” very good, a term that represents the highest praise found in the Torah.

Yona has shown remarkable leadership in the past few months. He has been here for services day and night, ready to lead the prayers or read from the Torah; he did so again during the High Holidays. We can see already that Yona is on the path to leadership.

Rabbi Weinstock has been an inspiring rabbi, a devoted community leader, an insightful teacher, and a caring and supportive friend. But there is much more. If we look around our community, there are hundreds of families whose lives have been transformed by the Weinstocks. They arrived at KJ one Shabbat morning, and there found an inspiring role model for authentic Jewish living. Rabbi Weinstock and Naama have made a lasting impression on our community. Arise, arise, arise Rabbi Elie Weinstock, to be called as our Chatan Torah. And as you come to the Torah to make your blessing, we ask God to share with you and your family much goodness and blessings in the future.

But we call Yona not just for his own personal accomplishments. He is also a representative of the entire Weinstock family: first and foremost, his mother Naama, as well as his sisters Meira, Aviva and Yakira. The Weinstock home has been a place of warmth and hospitality for so many, including the legendary late night Simchat Torah Kiddush. Any accomplishment a Rabbi has is always a shared one; without his family to support the Rabbi, very little would get done. As Rabbi Akiva said to his students about his wife, Rachel: “Both my accomplishments and yours belong to her.” And so we honor the entire Weinstock family for supporting Rabbi Weinstock in his work, and sharing their husband and father with the community. Arise, arise, arise Yona Weinstock to be called up as our Chatan Torah. May this new beginning inspire you to continue on the road of leadership in the future. continued

CHATAN MAFTIR With praise to the Almighty, we call today to be our Chatan Maftir one who does God’s work each and every day: Meir Shubowitz. Meir is part of the Weinstock family theme this morning, as he is married to Rabbi Weinstock’s sister, Chana. (Together they have a baby boy, Jack, one of the first to be born in our community after the coronavirus lockdown.) But more importantly, Meir is here because of the holy work he does each and every day. Meir is a rescue medic at the New York Fire Department during the day, and then he comes home and works as one of our dedicated Hatzolah volunteers. And as if on cue, Meir ran out on a call this morning, returning just moments before he was meant to be called to the Torah! We very often forget what our true hero looks like. We assume that heroes are celebrities, athletes, or politicians. In actuality, true heroes are people like Meir who save lives each and every day, and offer tireless devotion to our community. We honor Meir today for performing this holy calling. Arise, arise, arise, Meir Shubowitz to be called up as our Chatan Maftir. May the words of the Haftarah bring you strength and courage, and may God repay you and your family for all of the blessings you bring our community.

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32 Temple, we apply the same rules to both: the candles and their flames become holy and as such cannot be used for any other purpose. With the exception of the Shamash, we cannot read by their lights or use them to light another candle.


CHANUKAH BEGINS THURSDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 10 Chanukah celebrates the miracles of the spiritual and military victories of the Maccabees against the Hellenist tyrants that imposed anti-religious rule and desecrated the Holy Temple in 165 BCE. The 25th of Kislev was the day the Maccabees entered the Temple following the battle and wanted to restart the Holy Service that had ceased under the foreign rule. The Maccabees found only one day’s supply of oil that they could use to rededicate the Menorah. Yet that tiny flask lasted until they were able to create new, pure oil – a delay of eight days. The victory established Jewish religious and political sovereignty in Israel during the second Temple times. This miracle of Jewish independence had not been seen since the destruction of the First Temple and the assassination of the then governor, Gedaliah. Primarily, we celebrate Chanukah with spiritual expressions: (1) lighting candles in commemoration of the miracle of the rededication of the Temple, (2) singing Hallel in praise of God’s deliverance from our enemies, and (3) adding Al Ha-Nisim in our prayers of thanksgiving in recognition of both aspects of the miracle of Chanukah. We also have physical pleasures and celebrations by having (4) special foods, (5) gift giving, and even (6) parties (socially distanced during Covid).

THE CANDLES The prevailing custom is for each member of the family to light his or her own menorah which will have as many candles as that night of the holiday plus the shamash. Since the Chanukah candles are to commemorate the Menorah of the continued

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Candles must be lit after nightfall (about 40 minutes after sunset) and burn for at least a half-hour. On Friday afternoon, Chanukah candles should be lit before Shabbat candles, and should be of a type that will last over an hour (this leads to many adopting the custom of using olive oil-based lamps). On Saturday night, the candles are lit after Havdalah.

CANDLE ARRANGEMENT The candles are set from the right side of the Menorah as the candle lighter faces it. The Menorah should be placed in an area where it will not need to be moved after being lit. Safety is also a major concern, so please do not leave the home with the candles unattended.

LIGHTING THE CANDLES The lights are lit from left to right – starting with the newest candle first. We begin by lighting the shamash, then we say the blessings: (1) ner shel Chanukah, (2) she-asa nisim, and on the first night we add (3) shehecheyanu. Once the blessings are said, we light the first candle and begin singing the songs Hanerot Hallalu – which explains the reasons for the ceremony – and Maoz Tzur which describes all the salvations wrought by God for the Jewish People.

PUBLICIZING THE MIRACLE We light the Menorah so we can publicize the miracle to as many people as possible. We start with our own family but we often place the Menorah in the window to proclaim our belief to others. Moreover, we publicize the miracle by singing the complete Hallel in the morning service and by adding Al Ha-Nisim in our daily Shemona Esrei and in Birkat ha-Mazon.

MATERIAL PLEASURES In addition to the spiritual nature of the holiday, we have added, in later times, the physical pleasures of special foods (latkes, jelly donuts), gift-giving (never a bad idea, especially Jewish books), and socially distanced parties (that serve as a means for fellowship and for publicizing the miracle). Chanukah is a time when we should renew our commitment and devotion to God. The brave Maccabees who risked their lives for religious freedom should serve as a model for us to celebrate those freedoms and our joy in service to God.


KJ Food Pantry The KJ Food Pantry provides kosher food weekly to New York’s hungry. Clients are referred to us through the synagogue and local service agencies. Each week clients come to KJ to receive food staples tailored to their diets, as well as a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Ramaz students pack the bags and staff the booth in the lobby of KJ, and Ramaz/KJ members also deliver packages to those who are homebound. For further information or to volunteer, please contact Bernice Berman at bernice.berman@gmail.com. The KJ Food Pantry wishes to thank D’agostino Supermarket for all their help.


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Chanukah shares the same root word as chinuch (education). The stories and halakhot of Chanukah are rich with opportunities for robust educational conversations. This Chanukah will be different for each of us in many varied ways with the world around us being in constant flux. Without our regular sharing, donut/ latke eating gatherings and communing that we deeply cherish, we can still create encounters and “teachable moments,” with opportunities to share, learn and grow as we sit by the chanukiah. Conversations about the themes of Chanukah can spark topics and engagement, enriching our Chanukah this year. Here are eight conversation starters, one for each of the eight nights of the holiday, which we offer to foster these precious encounters.

1. Enjoy the Moment The Chanukah lights are not permitted for use, rather for enjoyment, as referenced in the paragraph of Hanerot HaLalu: “V’ein lanu reshut lehishtamesh bahem, Ela lirotam bilvad.” We may not use them to do our homework, read a book, as backlight to our Netflix watching, or to add light so that we can wash the dishes. We are supposed to simply enjoy their light for its own sake. continued

As a family, do we find enough time to stop and enjoy? • Are we too busy to actually find meaning in the moment? • Does everything need to have a “use,” or is it good to have things just to appreciate?

2. Gifts, Presents and More Presents Exchanging gifts has become part of many families’ Chanukah celebration. Sometimes, this results in tremendous excitement and joy. Sometimes it causes jealousy and greed and even disappointment. • How can we make gift-giving part of the spiritual message of Chanukah? • If you could give a gift to your whole family, school, or community, what would it be?

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3. Resist Peer Pressure The Syrian-Greeks sought to destroy the Jews by outlawing certain key Jewish practices. Many Jews assimilated, becoming indistinguishable from the Greeks around them, and some who assimilated sided with the Greeks and fought the Maccabim. The heroic Maccabim resisted tremendous pressure to conform and retained both their Jewish practice and their Jewish pride. • When it seems like everyone is doing the wrong thing, how do you do what is right? • How can we be prepared to respond to peer-pressure?

4. Pirsum HaNes - Publicize the Miracle The Rambam teaches in Hilchot Chanukah that we should kindle our chanukiah in a window or doorway since its purpose is to publicize the miracle.

35 • When do we want to attract attention and show off? • What are the right things to show off? What should be kept more private? • Have there been situations or moments when you have felt reluctant to advertise your Judaism?

5. Making the Effort After the Maccabees defeated the Syrian-Greeks and wanted to rededicate the Beit Hamikdash, they famously discovered that they only had enough oil to last for one day. Though the oil was not enough to last, they lit the menorah anyway - they did the best they could. • Have you ever started something that you didn’t think would succeed?

Why would we not light all eight candles the first night, and gradually decrease by one candle each night? • One reason given for Hillel’s position is that we should increase in holiness. What does it mean to “increase in holiness” and how can we do it? • How could our method for lighting the chanukiah be a model for personal growth?

8. The Few Against the Many: Overcoming the Odds The story of the war between the Maccabim and the Syrian-Greeks is an illustration of how a few brave and strong people, with help from God, can defeat an overwhelming force.

• Did you ever overcome a challenge? How did you do it? How did it feel? • What characteristics do you think the Maccabim had that helped them defeat the Syrian-Greeks? • From where do you draw your strength?

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• When did you beat the odds? • What tools do you use to find the energy to do the best you can?

6. Recognizing the Miracles Around Us On Chanukah, we remember and express our gratitude for two miracles: The miracle of the oil, the one-day’sworth lasting for eight days, and the miracle of the military victory, the few defeating the many. • Do we still experience miracles today? If so, are they supernatural, or within the laws of nature? • Did you ever have a personal experience that felt miraculous? If so, what was it? Did you express gratitude?

7. Chanukah as a Model for Growth The Gemara relates that Hillel and Shammai argued over the correct method for lighting the chanukiah. According to Shammai, one begins with eight candles, lighting one fewer each night. According to Hillel, one begins with one candle, lighting one more each night. continued

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WHAT IS PURIM? Purim, the holiday on the 14th of Adar, is one of the happiest days of the Jewish calendar. The Talmud (Taanit 29b) states “when Adar begins we increase in Joy” because Adar and Purim are hallmarks of God’s salvation of the Jewish people. Even though Purim is not a Torah holiday, there is a Biblical book (The Scroll of Esther) which details the action of the holiday and the history of the events. Being of Biblical level gives the holiday a great deal of importance and authority.

MESSAGE OF THE HOLIDAY Purim is a festive day because God rescued us from our enemies. Yet, as seen in the ancient work Megillat Taanit, there were hundreds of days of the year that were considered minor festivals of thanksgiving. Only two, Purim and Chanukah, were applied to all Jewish communities at all times because their inherent messages were considered all encompassing. Tradition teaches us that Purim is about how God rescues the Jews in the Diaspora- where God needs to operate in a hidden manner with hidden miracles. A popular lesson about the name Megillat Esther is that the word Esther means “hidden” (like hester panim) and Megillah means “revealed.” Hence Megillat Esther is the “revelation of what’s hidden.” God is hidden in the Megillah; the story is a set of confounding coincidences continued

that appear to be catastrophes until the critical turnabout when the Jews emerge mighty and victorious. God’s name is not mentioned in the Megillah, but God’s invisible touch is active throughout. The name of the holiday, Purim, comes from the Persian word for randomness: pur. Our enemies used a lottery (purim) to determine the date for the Jewish extermination. In the earthly realm, our enemies see randomness and chaos, but we see God’s intervention especially in those events that go beyond human power. The holiday of Purim is, as a result, a holiday where we in the Diaspora learn how God interacts and communicates within the hidden.

THE HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAY The Story of Esther The story of Esther takes place while the Jews lived in the Persian empire, during the exile of 70 years (circa 366-355 BCE). The main characters are: Mordechai (rabbi, hero), Esther (his cousin, becomes queen of Persia), Achashverosh (king of Persia, easily swayed to either side), and Haman ym”sh (from Amalek; hates Jews, tries to commit genocide).

ACTION OF THE MEGILLAH The life for the Jews in exile is precarious. Achashverosh holds a party where he kills his wife in response to her insolence. The king then searches for a new queen and chooses the youthful Jewess Esther who was counseled by her uncle Mordechai. Later on, Haman is insulted that Mordechai does not pay him proper respect and Haman convinces Achashverosh to allow him to kill all the Jews. Haman chooses the date of warfare by rolling dice (which are called pur in Aramaic, see above). He rolls the date of the 13th of the month of Adar. Mordechai hears of the plot and impresses on Esther to plead with the king to spare her people. At first she refuses, for fear of her life, but then risks everything to appeal

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to the king. The appeal is successful, Haman is thwarted, and the favor of the king is such that he allows Esther’s people, the Jews, to fight back on the 13th of Adar. We were able to fight back so successfully that we created a holiday on the day afterwards as a remembrance of God’s miraculous salvation that worked behind the scenes.

HOW WE COMMEMORATE AND CELEBRATE Shabbat Zachor The Shabbat preceding Purim (this year, February 20, 2021) is called Shabbat Zachor. We choose this Shabbat to observe the commandment to remember the evil of the nation of Amalek who are central to Purim as well. In Exodus 17:8-16, we read about their terror war against the Jewish people when they attacked us without mercy. The command in Deut. 25:17-19 states: “Remember what Amalek did to you, on your way as you departed from Egypt... you shall obliterate the memory of Amalek, you shall not forget.” According to most authorities, it is a Torah level commandment to hear this portion read in synagogue.

TAANIT ESTHER 13TH OF ADAR The day preceding Purim is a thematically connected fast day. The 13th of Adar is mentioned in the Megillah as the day chosen by Haman to destroy the Jewish people. We fast in memory of the war that took place on that day and, like the fast of the first born, we use the fast to recognize our salvation. (cf. Esther 9:31). Taanit Esther is unlike the other fasts of the Jewish calendar, insofar that it is a day of thanksgiving and not sadness.

CUSTOMS OF THE FAST DAY The “half-shekel” is donated at the afternoon service (in commemoration of the half-shekel census, cf. Exodus 25:11-16, we use the half currency of the realm, e.g. three half-dollars.) The

37 money is used for communal funds and synagogue repair. We go straight from the fast to the Megillah reading - only eating after we have fulfilled that mitzvah.

PURIM 14TH OF ADAR Work is not forbidden on Purim, but we also have no tachanun, eulogies or fasting; a mourner displays no outward signs, like on Shabbat. There are a number of commandments to fulfill on Purim (that apply equally to men and women):

NIGHT Megillah: The sages tell us we must hear every word of the Megillah reading. Please help others fulfill this mitzvah by following the instructions of the community leaders as to when to cease noisemaking.

DAY Purim on Friday is a fairly unusual occurrence, and requires some planning in order to fulfill all the mitzvot in their proper time, and still be ready for Shabbat on time. Megillah: The obligation is to hear the megillah both at night and during the day. Mishloach Manot: Sending gifts during daylight hours of food to friends: Two foods to one person is the minimum. The foods must be ready-to-eat. Matanot l’evyonim: Gifts of money to the poor during daylight hours. Two coins to each of two poor people. Maimonides explains that one needs to be more meticulous in Matanot l’Evyonim than in Mishloach Manot; the underprivileged truly need our help, and should be our priority. Money can be collected ahead of time with the intention that it will be dispensed on

Purim day. We will have a special collection in synagogue for Matanot l’Evyonim, and one can donate online through our Benevolent Fund for this purpose. Seudah: Festive meal with rejoicing, which is eaten during the day. There are two schools of thought regarding when to eat the seudah when Purim is on Friday. One is to eat the meal before midday, so that it does not interfere with having an appetite for a meaningful and joyous Shabbat meal. (This view is cited by the Rama.) In recent years another practice has become popular in Israel. You begin the Purim seudah in the late afternoon, make Hamotzi and eat one course of the meal. When nightfall begins, cover the challah and make Kiddush, and continue the same meal as your Shabbat meal. One can also interrupt the meal and go out to the synagogue for services before Kiddush, provided that some of the people gathered for the meal remain at home around the table. This year with all social distancing protocols in place, we will need to get creative in celebrating Purim. So, put on a costume and Zoom your pre-Shabbat seudah with friends! Intoxication: We are enjoined to drink intoxicating spirits on Purim. Many authorities limit the drinking to the seudah, and even then, the command is just to drink a bit more than we are used to. In no fashion should we become so intoxicated that we risk harming ourselves or others. Special Prayers: We add Al Ha-Nisim to our shemona-esrei and to birkat hamazon. Yet, we do not say Hallel on Purim. Three reasons are given for the lack of Hallel. The first is that the Megillah acts as Hallel; the second is that the miracle of the day occurred secretly and outside the land of Israel; continued

the third is that (in the words of the Talmud): “we are still servants to Achashverosh.”

PURIM CUSTOMS During the readings of the Megillah, we fulfill the commandment to “blot out” the name of Amalek by making loud noises whenever Haman’s name is read aloud. Historians tell us that the custom started when people would write Haman’s name on the soles of their shoes and then stamp their feet during the Megillah reading. Nowadays, we use groggers: specially made noisemakers. Another custom is to recite a few specific verses aloud as a congregation before the reader recites them. We read aloud four verses: 2:5, 8:15, 8:16, 10:3 and the list of the ten sons of Haman, 9:7-9. Another widespread custom is to wear costumes, while some authorities hold that “yom-tov” clothing should be worn (because it is called a Yom Tov in Esther 9:19). Costumes are to depict the “hiddenness” of the miracle of Purim, and also to heighten the “turnabouts” of the day.

SHUSHAN PURIM 15TH OF ADAR Any city with walls since the time of Joshua celebrates Purim one day later on Adar 15. The Megillah relates how the war against our enemies lasted one day later in the city of Shushan. Nowadays, Shushan Purim only applies to Jerusalem (although a few other cities in Israel have taken on both days as a longstanding custom, e.g. Acco, Yaffo, Tiberias). May you have a healthy, happy, freilichen Purim!

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Dr. William Major Memorial Advanced Shiur in Talmud Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder


Exploring Jewish Thought Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz


Ripped from the Headlines: Contemporary Issues Explored Through a Jewish Lens Rabbi Elie Weinstock


Women’s Parshat Hashavua Rabbi Haskel Lookstein

6:30 PM Crash Course in Hebrew Reading Sara Rosen 7:30 PM Prayerbook Hebrew Sara Rosen 9:00 PM Contemporary Halakhic Issues Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz


8:00 PM Thursday Night Live Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz with weekly special guests 8:45 PM Pre-Shabbat Inspiration Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus


8:30 AM TGIS: Thank God it’s Shabbos! Rabbi Elie Weinstock


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SOUL CYCLE A MONTHLY SPIRITUAL WORKOUT WITH RACHEL KRAUS Women of the community are invited to participate to learn, share, engage, and inspire each Rosh Chodesh. Join us at 8:45 PM at ckj.org/vds on the following dates: December 15, January 13, February 22, March 23

KJ TECHNOLOGY CLASS FOR SENIORS WITH JORDAN MITTLER Sundays at 11:30 AM, brush up on your technology skills and learn how to text, send photographs electronically, use email, the internet, the smartphone, new apps, and more. There is no registration or cost to participate. Zoom Link mittlersenior.technology/zoom Zoom Meeting ID 838 464 615 For more information, please call 917-708-0501 or email jordan@mittlerseniortech.com.


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Within Our F A M I LY BIRTHS

Malka), born to their children Daniella and Zach Cooper.

well to KJ great-grandmother, Yvonne Koppel.

Helen and Reuben Davis upon the birth of a grandson, Jack Benson (Ben Tzion Yaakov), born to their children, Gilli & Steven Davis of Los Angeles.

Miriam and Aaron Levine upon the birth of a daughter, Rose Arielle (Rina Arielle). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Esther and Ira Krawitz.

Lenore Feder and Michael Altman upon the birth of a daughter, Elle Diana (Esther).

Diana and Dr. Robert Friedman upon the birth of their first grandson, Judah Hudson (Yehudah Menachem), born to their children, Laura & Michael Friedman, in Los Angeles. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ great-grandmother, Hedy Heller.

Edith and Salomon Lipiner upon the birth of a great-grandson, Yosef Mordechai, born to their grandchildren, Zeva (Ramaz ’10) and Noah Adelsberg.

Sandy and Dr. Robert April upon the birth of a granddaughter, Leah Tziporrah, born to their children Rina and Daniel Lauchheimer.

Marylene and Alan Friedman upon the birth of a grandson, Ethan Avi (Eitan Avi), born to their children, Carla Kalvin and David Aaron Friedman.

Joanne and Tsion Bensusan upon the birth of a son, Daniel Aaron (Daniel). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Lillie and Danny Bensusan.

Rosie (Ramaz ’68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the birth of a grandson, Yehuda, born to their children, Rivkah and Yosef (Ramaz ’04) Friedman of Jerusalem and named for Rosie’s late father, Eugen Gluck z”l.


Drs. Edie Gurewitsch Allen and Robert Allen upon the birth of a granddaughter, Esther Eliana, born to their children, Penina and Jason Allen, in Jerusalem. Kimberly Gibson and David Allouche upon the birth of a son, Levi Raphael.

Deborah and Barry Berg upon the birth of a granddaughter, Sloane Ruthie, born to their children, Marissa and Zachary Berg. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ great-grandmother, Lili Goldberg. Dr. Taryn Fishman and David Bolnick upon the birth of a grandson, Yehoshua Daniel, born to their children, Rachel and Zach Sherman. Caroline and Jordan Bryk upon the birth of a daughter, Nicole Dove (Davida Esther). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Judy & KJ Board President David Lobel, and Laurie & Dr. Eli Bryk. Mindy and Dr. Jay Cinnamon upon the birth of a grandson, Benjamin Micah (Binyamin Mordechai), born to their children, Rebecca and Dr. Noam Green. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ greatgrandparents, Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Debbie and Mark Cooper upon the birth of a granddaughter, Siena Jade (Leora

Alexandra and Eric Goodman upon the birth of a son, Tager Carter (Nachum). Jessica Gribetz upon the birth of a granddaughter, Florence Mia (Ma’ayan Feigel), born to her children, Kate and Eric Englander. Kate is also the daughter of our beloved member, the late Dr. Allen Gribetz. Mazal Tov as well to the proud great aunt and uncle, Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Michele and Ronald Jaspan upon the birth of a granddaughter, Adina Bryna, born to their children, Sarah and Joshua Jaspan of Cleveland. Margo and Jon Kobrin upon the birth of a daughter, Camille Zoe. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Gloria and Richard Kobrin. Lynette and Steven Koppel upon the birth of a grandson, Henry Theodore (Chaim Itamar), born to their children, Sarah and Josh Smith. Mazal Tov as

55-year KJ Member Hannah Low upon the birth of two great-granddaughters, Ella Paige (Ella) Friedman, born to Samantha and Mitchell Friedman, and Riley (Malka), born to Jess Rubenstein and Andrew Doppelt (Ramaz ’07). Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Debbie and Michael Doppelt. Aliza and Aaron Menche upon the birth of a granddaughter, Noam Lior, born to their children Ayelet and Dr. Aaron Krom, in Israel. Lauren and J. Ezra Merkin upon the birth of a granddaughter, born to their children, Jenny and David Merkin Brenner. Lily and Noam Mintz upon the birth of a son, Izzy Aaron (Yisrael Yechiel). Lauren and Michael Rosman upon the birth of a son, William Isaac (Moshe Yitzchak). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Phyllis and Jonathan Wagner. Ilyssa and Evan Schwartzberg upon the birth of a daughter, Lily Rae (Ruth). Dr. Phyllis and Mark Speiser upon the birth of a grandson, Noach Pesach (Noah Francis), born to their children, Tali Rasooly and Jonathan Speiser of Silver Spring, Maryland. Maureen and Jack Zaremski Rimon upon the birth of a son, Lev Avraham.

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Welcome to the New & Improved KJ Website We have updated and reorganized our website so you can more easily access important info such as Shabbat times, social media, virtual daily schedule, recent publications, helpful resources, and more. Check it out at ckj.org.

FINALLY! We are happy to present our Annual Brochure! Every year before Yom Kippur, KJ distributes a brochure which includes the highlights of the previous year and planned events for the coming year. The pandemic got in the way of much of our regularly scheduled programming, and our Fall Bulletin and the Annual Brochure were put on the back burner so that we could address the immediate concerns of the congregation. We went online with our classes and other programming and created a virtual synagogue experience. Our building may have been closed, but our community remains open, as you will see in the pages of this Brochure. Check it out at ckj.org on the homepage under Recent Publications.


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42 Alexandra and Michael Rishty upon the birth of a daughter, Vivienne Maxine (Miriam). Aurora Casirer and Sander Srulowitz upon the birth of their grandson, Gideon David (Gidon David). Drs. Shera and Alan Tuchman upon the birth of a granddaughter, Adrielle Aliza, born to their children, Liora Schultz and Ari Tuchman. Grace Weil upon the birth of a greatgrandson, Izzy, the first child born to her grandchildren, Ariana and Josh Sturm of New York. Marianna and Sam Weiner upon the birth of a daughter, Adira Libi. Melinda Elias and Daniel Winarick upon the birth of their first child and son, Arthur Isaac (Isaac). May these children grow up in the finest tradition of Torah, chupah, and maasim tovim.


Dina (KJ Executive Assistant to Rabbis Lookstein and Steinmetz) and Jacques Farhi upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Jacob (Jakey) Sadres, son of Talia and Josh Sadres. Rosie and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the Bat Mitzvah celebration of their granddaughter, Miriam, daughter of Yael (Ramaz ‘01) and Paul Farkas of Woodmere. Terry and Michael Jaspan upon the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Yakira, daughter of Arielle (Wolfson, Ramaz ‘01) and Joseph (Ramaz ‘01) Jaspan of Woodmere. Nicole and Joseph (Tuvy) Meyer upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, George, on November 13-14, Shabbat Parashat Chayei Sarah. George is a seventh-grade student in the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to KJ grandparents Seryl and Charles Kushner.


Eyal & Erin Seinfeld and Tali Seinfeld upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Asaf, on October 17, Shabbat Parashat Bereishit, in Scarsdale. Dr. Phyllis and Mark Speiser upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Netanel, son of Eva and David (Ramaz 2000) Speiser of Jerusalem, on Shabbat Parashat Vayera, November 7.


Esty and Mauricio Abadi upon the engagement of their daughter, Stephanie, to Elisha Jacobs, son of Rachel Dresner Jacobs and David Jacobs of Newton, Massachusetts. Ellen and Mitchel Agoos upon the engagement of their son, Jake, to Robyn Abramson, daughter of Ellen and Benjamin Abramson. Gila and Hon. David Cohen upon the engagement of their daughter, Sarah, to Ephraim Poloner, the son of Seth and Shoshana Poloner of Teaneck. Jan and Dan Fenster upon the engagement of their daughter, Rebekah, to Ezra Berman, son of Sally and David Berman of Toronto. Fran Margolin, and Robert Finkelstein, upon the engagement of their son, Seth Finkelstein, to Ariel Schnitzer, daughter of Maryjo and Avrumie Schnitzer, of Los Angeles. Drs. Diana and Robert Friedman upon the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca, to Ron Kimchi, son of Miriam and Dan Kimchi of Manhattan. Debra and Barry Frohlinger upon the engagement of their daughter, Natalie, to James Knepper, son of Sydelle and Rob Knepper of Great Neck. Judith and Robert Hara upon the engagement of their son, Jacob, of Winter Park, Florida, to Lyat Salomon, daughter of Rachel and Ben Salomon of New York City. Karen and Michael Hershkowitz upon the engagement of their daughter, Olivia,

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to Benni Tuchman, son of Bryndie and Neppy Tuchman of Scarsdale. Debbie & Daniel Schwartz and Nicole & Raanan Agus upon the engagement of their children, Elianna to Alex. Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandmother, Gabriella Major. Shoshana and Dr. Saul Stromer upon the engagement of their son, Michael, to Gabrielle Meyer, daughter of Ellen and Dr. Fred Meyer of Long Beach, NY. Dr. Cindy Trop and Stuart Ellman upon the marriage of her daughter, Arielle Trop, to Josh Rubin, of Merrick, Long Island. Clarissa and Harry Uvegi upon the engagement of their son, Hugo Jake Uvegi, to Eliza Braun, daughter of Marta and Joseph Braun of New York. May their weddings take place in happiness and blessing.


Kimberly Gibson and David Allouche on their marriage. Monique and Eli Chetrit upon the marriage of their daughter, Anaelle, to Toby Cohen, son of Rina and Eli Cohen. Dr. Carolyn & Orrin Feingold upon the marriage of their son, Jared, to Talia Raikin, daughter of Belinda & Dr. Steven Raikin of Merrion Station, PA. Mazal Tov to the proud KJ grandfather, Dr. Leonard Feingold. Jan and Dan Fenster upon the marriage of their son, Zach, to Avital Tzubeli,

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 for more information.

43 daughter of Ruty and Shimshon Tzubeli of Miami.

daughter, Rena, to Eli Kittay, of Toms

Rose Gerszberg upon the marriage of her son, Jonathan Gerszberg, to Dr. Adinah Wieder, daughter of Heshy and Devorah Wieder of Wesley Hills.

Natalie and David Paige upon their

Rose Gerszberg upon the marriage of her grandson, Eitan Gerszberg, to Yael Greenbaum, daughter of Steve and Rochelle Greenbaum of Teaneck.

marriage of their daughter, Abigail, to

Sarah and Martin Goldman upon the marriage of their son, Eric, to Elayna Koevary of Boston.

marriage of their son, Zachary, to Tamara

Sarita and Ben Greszes upon the marriage of their granddaughter, Chani Aryeh (daughter of their children Mindy and Daniel Aryeh of Woodmere), to Jordan Panitch (son of Alise and Kenneth Panitch of Cherry Hill). Helene and Michael Hartig upon the marriage of their son, Danny, to Gabby Weinstein.

River, NJ. marriage. Roni and Dr. Robert Pick upon the

Ruth and Dr. David Musher upon their 53rd wedding anniversary.

Queens. Debbie and Kenny Rochlin upon the


Elefant, daughter of Rivki and Ashi Elefant of Woodmere. Pamela and George Rohr upon the marriage of their daughter, Nina, to Yoni Cooper, son of Amy and Rabbi Mark Cooper, of South Orange, New Jersey. Mazel Tov as well to the proud KJ grandmother, Helen Nash. Adrian and KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman upon the marriage of their son, Jonathan, to Ariana Brody,

Ruth and Larry Kobrin upon the marriage of their granddaughter, Yaira, daughter of Michelle and Rabbi Jeffrey Kobrin, to Solomon Weiner, son of Tikvah and Aryeh Weiner, of Teaneck.

Arthur Silverman, and Sylvia Eisman.

Pam and KJ Israel Bond Representative Robert Lunzer upon the marriage of their



Dani Katz, son of Zilla and Ira Katz of

Jeffrey Kleinhaus, son of Rosalie and Harry Kleinhaus, upon his marriage to Sarit Spindler, daughter of Deena and Ziggy Spindler of Riverdale.

Lisa and Nathan Low upon the marriage of their son, Daniel, to Eliane Dabbah, daughter of Bina and Steve Dabbah of the Upper East Side.


daughter of Shoshana and Robert Brody of White Plains. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Donna and Ruth and Irwin Shapiro upon the marriage of their granddaughter, Rachel Shapiro, the daughter of Monica and Sandy Shapiro, to Natan Bienstock, the son of Sara and Mark Bienstock of Jamaica Estates. May the newlywed couples be blessed to build homes faithful to the traditions of the Jewish people.

Create an Enduring Legacy While Receiving A Lifelong Revenue Stream Please consider participating in the Congregation’s Endowment and Planned Giving Program, through which you can create an enduring legacy of active participation in KJ through a Charitable Gift Annuity that pays handsomely. Contact Leonard Silverman at 212-774-5680 or lss@ckj.org to learn more.


Harry Baumgarten upon becoming a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Fran Brown upon her son, Dan Brown, being appointed the first dedicated pro bono partner at the firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. David P. Goldman upon the publication of his new book You Will Be Assimilated: China’s Plan to Sino-Form the World. Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland writes, “If you read just one book about how China plans to make the 21st century theirs and what we can do about it, read You Will Be Assimilated.” Clarissa Kirschenbaum and Ben Kirschenbaum upon their son and brother, Michael Samson, being selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star for 2020. Dr. Mark Lebwohl (dermatologist), upon being elevated to the newly created position of Dean for Clinical Therapeutics of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Pediatrician Dr. Leora Mogilner upon being selected “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1, for her work as a volunteer with the Reach out and Read program for more than 20 years, and encouraging her young patients to read by giving them each a book when they come for an office visit. Sandra E. Rapoport upon delivering a lecture at Great Neck Synagogue’s Summer Torah Learning Institute, entitled “Warrior-Women of the Book of Judges: Devorah and Yael.”

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Murray & Lee Kushner and Jonathan Kushner, upon the passing of their son and brother, Aryeh Kushner.

Judy and Dr. Robert Podell upon the graduation of their grandsons, Aaron and Marc Fishkind. Aaron graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, and Marc graduated Yeshivat Frisch and is attending Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush), to be followed by the University of Pennsylvania upon his return from Israel.

Mauricio Abadi upon the passing of his mother, Leyla Abadi.

Liz Nahmias upon the passing of her mother, Ruth Beebe.

Stacey Abrahams upon the passing of her father, Jerome Levenberg.

Chani Penstein upon the passing of her father, Dr. Mayer Penstein.

Sammy Attias upon passing of his father, Joseph L. Attias.

Phylise Sands upon the passing of her father, Gary Grossman.

Dr. Taryn Fishman Bolnick upon the passing of her mother, Rhodalie Fishman.

Suzy Sokol upon the passing of her mother, Mali Kamali.

Saul Burian upon the passing of his father, Andrew Burian.

Amnon Shalhov, upon the passing of his mother, Lea (Looly) Shalhov.


Dina and Douglas Propp upon the advancement of their son, Jeremy, from the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother, Eve Propp. Ronnie Slochowsky and William Slochowsky upon their son, Jake, being the recipient of the William Goldberg Award as he completed his junior year at the Ramaz Upper School. This award is voted on by students, staff, and administrators.


Elana and Aryeh Bourkoff upon being honored with the Alan C. Greenberg Young Leadership Award at UJA’s Wall Street Dinner taking place virtually on November 30th. To honor the Bourkoffs or to register (the event is free of charge), please reach out to Rachel Goldrich at 212-836-1836 or goldrichr@ujafedny.org.


Patrick Coyle upon the passing of his father, Paul Coyle. Rabbi Roy Feldman (former KJ Assistant Rabbi) upon the passing of his father, David Feldman.

Arlene Stein upon the passing of her mother, Tania Katz.

Dr. Marty Grumet upon the passing of his father, Ephraim Grumet.

Billy Weiss upon the passing of his brother, Lewis Weiss.

Sharon Katz upon the passing of her mother, Shirley Singer.

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

CEMETERY PLOTS IN THE KJ GROUNDS IN PARAMUS, NJ To purchase burial plots for a loved one (or yourself after 120) at Beth El cemetery in NJ, visit ckj.org/burialplots or contact KJ Comptroller Sy Yanofsky in the Synagogue Office at 212-774-5620 or sy@ckj.org.



Contact KJ Comptroller Sy Yanofsky at 212-774-5620 or sy@ckj.org.


Jonathan Staiman upon the passing of his mother, Jean Staiman.

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.‫יהי זכרם ברוך‬




Born in the Bronx into a very warm, Jewish family, Renee was married to Dr. William Etra for over fifty years. Their son, Ian, was an excellent student in Ramaz from pre-school through High School. She was very proud and supportive of her husband’s celebrated career as a urologist. In her own right, she was a gifted sculptor. Her beautiful sculptures can be found in many homes, including precious ones in her own home.

Lea Glatstein was eighteen years old when she watched the Nazis march into Warsaw. Her father had the wisdom to flee with his family into Russia. There they were sent to labor camps in Siberia, where she did backbreaking work in awful conditions. From there she went to Israel, where she lived for ten years during a period of extreme austerity, and then at age thirty-nine came to the United States to start over again. She would work to support her family, and then come home and work until 1:00 in the morning, cooking and taking care of the affairs of the house. Through it all Lea showed exceptional resilience and determination; she never knew the meaning of the word “quit.” She was caring to all those around her, and she was a devoted and loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

Renee’s artistic insights reflected a deep spirituality that characterized her relationship with Judaism. In fact, she loved KJ and she proudly occupied a seat in the Etra section of the Ladies’ Balcony in our synagogue every High Holy Day season. DR. PHILIP FELIG

Dr. Felig was a special human being and Jew. A brilliant and innovative physician, he was beloved by his patients and widely respected in the medical community. He was a doctor from the old school who practiced patience with his patients, listening to them and giving them his full time and best advice. A brilliant student of Judaism and worldly wisdom, he was also very dedicated to his family: to his dear wife, Florence, who survives him and to his three sons and daughters-in-law and, especially, to his grandchildren both here and in Israel. He liked nothing more than playing with his grandchildren and helping them with their Talmud assignments. He was a true star in Torah u’Madah. He loved his association with KJ, sitting behind the bima in his characteristic, humble fashion, listening very carefully to sermons and davening with a full appreciation of his relationship with God. We remember him as a great mensch and Jew.

Lea Glatstein died in her 100th year. She, and her late husband, Sam, were members of the congregation for almost 30 years. ROZ ZUGER

Roz and her late husband, Martin, came to our congregation fifty years ago. She was honored for this at our Zoom Annual meeting in April. While she was never blessed with children, she was very close to her nieces and nephews and their children, some of whom came from far away to honor her at a graveside service on August 19. She was active in our Sisterhood and, most recently, thoroughly enjoyed Jordan Mittler’s Senior Technology classes in person and, now, in Zoom. She died at the age of ninety in full possession of her wide-ranging intellect, through which she engaged with friends from KJ and with whom she enjoyed the Metropolitan Museum of Art — her second home — and many other cultural institutions and events

in New York. She loved her association with our Congregation and her prayer experiences in our synagogue. We will miss her. R O N S C H WA R T Z

For 25 years, Ron Schwartz was a quiet, gentle, and very regular presence in shul. Beloved by friends, who would often invite him to join them for Shabbat and holiday meals, Ron took advantage of all that KJ had to offer. He attended Torah classes, Beginners Shabbat dinners, lectures, book discussions, films, and more. A serious student with a thirst for knowledge, Ron was a regular participant in the Kollel morning learning program at Chabad of the Upper East Side, where he would often stay after classes or services to discuss matters of Jewish law and practice with the rabbis. A generous person, Ron was remembered by family and friends as a true mensch who cared deeply for the needs of others. Ron passed away suddenly on Hoshanah Rabbah, after ensuring the proper celebration of Sukkot by picking up his arba minim and being sure to make Kiddush and Motzi in the KJ sukkah. His life of dignity, kindness and piety serves as his legacy and is a lesson to us all. MANFRED JOSEPH

Manfred Joseph was a Prince of a man and a Prince of a Jew. Together with his dear wife, Barbara, he raised a beautiful, religious family which adored him and respected him. When they were in their apartment in the city, he rarely missed a Shacharit Minyan. In their home in Lawrence, he practiced the same piety. Generous to many causes, including KJ, he was a wonderful example of a modern Orthodox Jew. Modest, self -effacing and unobtrusive, but with a smile always on his face, he was a model of “walking humbly with God.”

I n M emoriam / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N I n M emoriam


Bnei M I




Mazal Tov to Samantha and Jonathan Rubenstein upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jesse, in Atlantic Beach, on August 1, Shabbat Nachamu Parashat Va’etchanan. He read the parasha, led the Musaf service, and delivered a D’var Torah, entitled The Power of Why. Jesse is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Alexandra and Vitor Cepelowicz upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Ari – not in Tzfat, as originally planned – but at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, on Thursday, August 13, where he led morning services, read Parashat Re’eh, and delivered a D’var Torah about the Yetzer Harah and Yetzer Hatov. Ari is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Sarah Berman and Nathaniel Berman upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Benjamin, in Maryland, on Shabbat, August 22, at which time he read Parashat Shoftim. Benjamin is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.




Mazal Tov to Dr. Carin and Eric Gribetz upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Charles, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Monday, August 24. He led the Shacharit service, read Parashat Ki Teitzei, and delivered a D’var Torah on selected mitzvot from his parasha. Charles is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents and Oshri and Manfred Endzweig.

Mazal Tov to Carmit and Georges Archibald upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jacob, at the home of his aunt and uncle in Germantown, New York, on August 27. Jacob led Shacharit services, read the Torah portion of Ki Teitzei, and presented a D’var Torah that explores common themes among the many mitzvot in his parasha. Jacob is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Deena and Adam Shiff upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Charlie, on Thursday, August 27. He read Parashat Ki Teitzei and delivered a D’var Torah on this esoteric parasha. Charlie is a seventh-grade student at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.

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MaTaN Mother-Daughter Bat-Mitzvah Program

RICKY PIKE Mazal Tov to Janelle and Dr. Sheldon Pike upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Ricky, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on August 29, Shabbat Parashat Ki Teitzei. He read the parasha, delivered an inspiring D’var Torah, and celebrated the completion of Masechet Rosh Hashanah with a siyum. Ricky is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

We are pleased to offer a special mother-daughter Bat Mitzvah program that will be taught by Rachel Kraus, KJ’s Director of Community Education. 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. The course focuses on women throughout Jewish history and aims to connect us with our past in order to help us understand our future. Each lesson will involve text learning (with sources in Hebrew and English), dynamic discussions, activity and experiential learning. Each mother-daughter pair is guided to work on their own Bat Mitzvah project. No previous Hebrew or Jewish knowledge is necessary. The program will include seven Sundays of interactive learning beginning Sunday, January 24th and three experiential sessions – a challah bake, musical Havdalah and a chesed day. This year we will also feature a father-daughter learning session!

JACK LINHART Mazal Tov to Dr. Leora Mogilner and Richard Linhart upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jack, in a family minyan in Westhampton Beach on Monday, September 7. Jack led Shacharit davening, read from Parashat Nitzavim - Va’Yelech, and delivered a D’var Torah. Jack is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents Rochelle Mogilner and Hal Gastwirt.

This course is being offered to girls in 5th grade and their mothers, so we can be sure that all students will complete the course before their Bat Mitzvah. The cost of the program is $150. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. This course has been the hallmark of Bat Mitzvah preparation in our community and it is a treasured learning and bonding experience for mothers and daughters. Registration is open online at ckj.org/batmitzvah or contact rachel@ckj.org for any questions.


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VICTORIA DOFT Mazal Tov to Abby and David Doft upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Tory, at a Women’s Tefillah at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Thursday, September 10. She read from Parashat Nitzavim and presented a D’var Torah on a related topic. Tory is a sixthgrade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Arlene and Avrom Doft.

JOSEPH KAUFTHAL Mazal Tov to Abby and Joshua Kaufthal upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Joseph, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Chol HaMoed Sukkot, at which time he led services, including Hallel, and read the special Chol HaMoed Torah portion. Joseph also delivered a D’var Torah related to Mishnah Sukkah. Joseph is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

ZACHARY KOCHIN Mazal Tov to Anna and Dr. Israel Kochin upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Zachary, in Westhampton Beach, on Thursday, September 24, at which time he read Parashat Ha’azinu and delivered a D’var Torah relevant to his parasha. Zachary is an eighth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Drs. Jenny Shliozberg and Howard Menikoff.

VICTOR SHEMIA Mazal Tov to Sara and Simon Shemia upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Victor, in Atlantic Beach, on Monday, October 12, at which time he read from Parashat Bereishit. Victor is a seventhgrade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother Marilyn Muhlbauer.


KIRA KRAUS Mazal Tov to Rachel and Rabbi Daniel Kraus, our Directors of Community Education, upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Kira, via Zoom, on Motzei Shabbat, September 26, at which time she made a Siyum on the 19 Books of Nach (Neviim and Ketuvim). Kira is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

ELIANNA GONEN Mazal Tov to Sharon and Shachar Gonen upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Elianna, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, on October 15, at which time she read Parashat Bereishit and delivered a D’var Torah on a topic relevant to her parasha. Elianna is a sixth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

If you are making a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at KJ between September 2021 and June 2022, please contact Riva Alper in the synagogue office at 212‑774‑5670 to reserve specific rooms for your services, celebratory meals, and

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EVIE RECHTSCHAFFEN Mazal Tov to Miera and Alan Rechtschaffen upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Evie, on Tuesday, October 27, the 9th of Cheshvan. Mazal Tov as well to 50-year KJ member Rabbi Manfred Rechtschaffen and to the entire Evie Rechtschaffen family.

YAKIRA WEINSTOCK Mazal Tov to Dr. Naama and Rabbi Elie Weinstock upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Yakira, who made a siyum this summer on Seder Zera’im at a family celebration. She also celebrated her Bat Mitzvah with a Zoom Havdalah service and D’var Torah on October 31. Yakira is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.



Mazal Tov to Marcy and Cyrus Sakhai upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Leila, on Thursday, October 29, at the Safra Center. Leila is a sixth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Drs. Jody and Elie Levine upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, William, on October 31, Shabbat Parashat Lech Lecha. William read the parasha, chanted the Haftarah, and delivered a D’var He is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.



Mazal Tov to Dr. Jessica and Marcus Weiss upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Elliot, on Thursday, November 12, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, at which time he read Parashat Chayei Sarah. Elliot is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Jennifer and Jeremy Yashar upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jacob, on Shabbat morning November 21, at which time he read Parashat Toldot and delivered a D’var Torah. Jacob is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

other functions. If your child attends Ramaz, and whether or not you are a member of KJ, Riva Alper must be notified directly of your plans. Reserving a date with Ramaz does not imply that it is reserved at KJ.


HAVE A HALAKHIC QUESTION? Rabbi Steinmetz  |  rcs@ckj.org Rabbi Laniado  |  rml@ckj.org

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Mazal Tov to Deborah and Eric Edell upon the upcoming Bar Mitzvah of their son, Truman, on December 3, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. Truman is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandmother Mira Levenson.

Mazal Tov to Dr. Naamit Kurshan and Michael Gerber upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Amalia, on December 16, Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the sixth day of Chanukah. She will be leading davening and reading Torah at Women’s Tefillah at SAR Academy. Amalia is a sixthgrade student at SAR. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents, Fran and Morry Gerber.

Mazal Tov to Jennifer and Daniel Agus upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Harrison, which will take place at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on December 20, at which time he will read Parashat Vayeshev. Harrison is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.




Mazal Tov to Sara & Mark Bloom and David Berman upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Nate, which will take place on January 30, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, where he will read Parashat Beshalach. Nate is a seventh-grade at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Judy and Michael Steinhardt.

Mazal Tov to Anne and Don Hadel upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Michael Avraham, on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Adar morning, February 13, at which time he will read Parashat Mishpatim, at Congregation Orach Chaim. Michael is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Dr. Dana Mannor and the Mannor family upon the Bat Mitzvah of Neely, which will take place on Monday, March 8, 2021, at the KJ Women’s Tefillah, at which time Neely will read Parashat Vayakel and will deliver a D’var Torah on the Parashah. Neely is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

LEARN HEBREW WITH EYAL! KJ Hebrew teacher Sara Rosen has released an iPad app based on her popular Hebrew reading program. Eyal is suitable for all ages and is perfect for those with no prior reading experience and those with some experience who are still searching for fluency. All work can be self-checked so no teacher is required. To learn more, search for Eyal in the iPad App Store.


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51 SERVICE TIMES & DATES TO REMEMBER THIS SEASON TUES, NOV 17 Rosh Chodesh Kislev Morning Services | 7:00 AM THURS, NOV 26 Thanksgiving Day Morning Services | 8:30 AM FRI, DEC 11 – FRI, DEC 18 Chanukah Morning Services Weekdays except Dec 16 | 7:10 AM

EMILY MITTLER Mazal Tov to Gerry and Jeffrey Mittler upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Emily, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on March 12, at which time she will lead the Kabbalat Shabbat service and deliver a D’var Torah. Emily is a sixth-grade student at The Windward School. Mazal Tov to proud KJ grandparents Janet & Mark Mittler and Wendy Zizmor.

With stores on the Upper East Side shuttering as a result of the pandemic, this holiday season presents us all with the opportunity to do our part. Take a break from Amazon and help struggling local shops stay afloat!  Visit shopues.com to learn more and spread the word.

WED, DEC 16 Chanukah/Rosh Chodesh Tevet Morning Services | 7:00 AM FRI, DEC 25 Fast of Tenth Of Tevet Fast begins | 6:06 AM Morning Services | 8:00 AM Evening Services | 4:10 PM Fast ends | 5:08 PM FRI, JAN 1 New Year’s Day Morning Services | 8:30 AM THURS, JAN 14 Rosh Chodesh Shevat Morning Services | 7:00 AM

Fathers & Sons Bar Mitzvah Program Building off our launch program last year, KJ is excited to once again bring young men and their fathers together to meaningfully prepare for their Bar Mitzvah. Fathers and sons in the KJ/Ramaz community are invited to participate in five experiential programs to explore what it means to come of age in Judaism. Led by the KJ Rabbis, students will be exploring Tefillin, Chesed, Shabbat, Torah learning and Prayer. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Rabbi Meyer Laniado at rml@ckj.org.

MON, JAN 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Morning Services | 8:30 AM THURS, JAN 28 Tu B’shvat FRI, FEB 12 Rosh Chodesh Adar Morning Services | 7:00 AM MON, FEB 15 President’s Day Morning Services | 8:30 AM THURS, FEB 25 Ta’anit Esther Fast begins | 5:23 AM Morning Services | 6:50 AM Evening Services | 5:15 PM Maariv and Megillah | 6:05 PM Fast ends | 6:13 PM THURS, MAR 25 Fast of the Firstborn Morning Services and Siyum | 7:00 AM Shabbat & Service Schedule on next page


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212-774-5600  | ckj.org SYNAGOGUE OFFICIALS

Haskel Lookstein Rabbi Emeritus Chaim Steinmetz Senior Rabbi Elimelech Weinstock Rabbi Meyer Laniado Associate 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 CONGREGATION

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

Fred Distenfeld Chaim Edelstein Eric Feldstein Stanley Gurewitsch Joel Katz AFFILIATE PRESIDENTS

Sharon Garfunkel Roberta Stetson Dr. Mark Meirowitz Caroline Bryk Liora Schulman Ariel Stern

President, Sisterhood President, Sisterhood President, Men’s Club President, Kesher President, Kesher President, Kesher


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

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.”


WEEKLY PARASHA Toldot Vayetzei





DECEMBER 4-5 11-12 18-19 25-26

Vayishlach Vayeshev Miketz Vayigash

4:10 PM 4:10 PM 4:12 PM 4:16 PM

4:25 PM 4:25 PM 4:25 PM 4:10 PM

4:15 PM 4:15 PM 4:15 PM 4:20 PM

5:09 PM 5:09 PM 5:12 PM 5:16 PM

JANUARY 1-2 8-9 15-16 22-23 29-30

Vayechi Shemot Vaera Bo Beshalach

4:20 PM 4:27 PM 4:34 PM 4:43 PM 4:51 PM

4:35 PM 4:40 PM 4:50 PM 4:55 PM 5:05 PM

4:25 PM 4:30 PM 4:40 PM 4:50 PM 4:55 PM

5:20 PM 5:27 PM 5:34 PM 5:41 PM 5:49 PM

FEBRUARY 5-6 Yitro (Shekalim) 12-13 Mishpatim 19-20 Terumah (Zachor) 26-27 Tetzaveh

5:00 PM 5:08 PM 5:17 PM 5:25 PM

5:15 PM 5:25 PM 5:30 PM 5:40 PM

5:05 PM 5:15 PM 5:20 PM 5:30 PM

5:57 PM 6:06 PM 6:13 PM 6:21 PM

MARCH 5-6 Ki Tisa (Parah) 12-13 Vayakhel-Pekudei (haChodesh) 19-20 Vayikra 26-27 Tzav (HaGadol / Erev Pesach)

5:33 PM 5:41 PM 6:48 PM 6:56 PM

5:45 PM 5:55 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM

5:40 PM 5:45 PM 6:55 PM 7:00 PM

6:29 PM 6:37 PM 7:44 PM 7:52 PM

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

MORNING SERVICES DAYS Sun Mon & Thurs Tues, Wed, & Fri Rosh Chodesh Wkdays Shabbat

EVENING SERVICES MAIN SEPHARDIC 8:30 AM 8:15 AM 7:15 AM 7:00 AM 7:30 AM 7:00 AM 7:00 AM 6:50 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM

MAIN WITH SEPHARDIC Nov 15 – Nov 19 Nov 22 – Dec 17 Dec 20 – Dec 24 Dec 27 – Dec 31 Jan 3 – Jan 7

4:30 PM 4:25 PM 4:30 PM 4:35 PM 4:40 PM

B U L L E T I N D E S I G N BY TA L I A L A N I A D O / Z manim

Dates to Remember on previous page Jan 10 – Jan 14 Jan 17 – Jan 21 Jan 24 – Jan 28 Jan 31 – Feb 4 Feb 7 – Feb 11


4:45 PM 4:55 PM 5:00 PM 5:10 PM 5:20 PM

Feb 14 – Feb 18 Feb 21 – Feb 25 Feb 28 – Mar 4 Mar 7 – Mar 11 Mar 14 – Jun 10

5:25 PM 5:35 PM 5:45 PM 5:50 PM 6:45 PM

Profile for Esther Feierman

Winter Bulletin 2020