Page 1

Spring ISSUE


Pesach Shavuot Edition








I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y 1 8 H O L I D AY S 3 0 W I T H I N O U R FA M I LY 4 3 IN MEMORIAM




Z M A N I M 4 8

VO LU M E XC , N U M B E R I I M A RC H 8 , 2 0 2 1 | A D A R 2 4 , 5 7 8 1


18 28 30 33 37 39

On the early morning of July 11, 1947, the steamship President Warfield set sail from Sète, France. On this ship, built to accommodate 800 people, were nearly 4,500 passengers, all of whom were survivors of the Holocaust. Each carried a diminutive bag of worldly possessions, and the epic dream of returning to their Biblical homeland. This was a risky and difficult voyage. The British wouldn’t allow new Jewish immigrants into Mandatory Palestine, and these survivors were trying to slip past a military blockade on a dangerously overcrowded boat. There were volunteer ushers constantly walking through the boat to make sure that an equal number of people were on both sides of the boat at all times, to keep the boat balanced. During the

journey two babies were born and, tragically, one of the mothers died in childbirth. On July 16, as the President Warfield neared the coast of Mandatory Palestine, it was met by six ships from the British Navy. With its true identity no longer a secret, the crew renamed the ship and unfurled a flag saying: Haganah Ship - Exodus 1947. (In Hebrew it was called Yetziat Europa.) Two days later, the British Navy boarded the ship. In the battle that ensued, two members of the crew and one of the passengers were killed before the British took control. This daring mission inspired the Leon Uris novel (and later movie) Exodus. But this is the rare instance when the fictional depiction of the story is less dramatic than the reality. The British Navy brought the Exodus 1947 to Haifa harbor. Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Minister, was determined to teach the refugees a harsh lesson, to deter future illegal immigration. So the next day, these survivors were reboarded onto three smaller ships to be returned to France. When these refugees reached France, they were promised citizenship and a comfortable place to live if only they would get off the boats. But the

2 survivors refused, and virtually no one left the ship. After sitting in port for three weeks languishing in the summer heat, Bevin sent the ships to Hamburg, which was in the British zone of occupied Germany. Upon arriving there, British soldiers beat and bullied the survivors until they left the ship. The British response had an opposite effect than intended. The world was disturbed by the British brutality towards the passengers, and shocked by the spectacle of Holocaust survivors being forced to return to the country of their persecution. Bevin’s response ended up bringing a great deal of sympathy to the Zionist cause. The 4,500 Holocaust survivors never lost their determination. They were taken from Hamburg to two Displaced Person camps; upon registration, when asked their country of origin, the survivors all responded “Palestine.” And then they made new plans. Within a year, nearly every passenger on the Exodus 1947 had found their way to the newly created State of Israel. Exodus 1947 was the perfect name for this steamship; Moshe Sharett described it as “a stroke of genius.” But this name was more than a communications coup; it was an explanation. Without the lessons of the Exodus, there would have been no Exodus 1947. How does a broken people find hope after 1,900 years of exile? Where do survivors who have lost everything find the courage to continue? The answer is: The Pesach Seder. The Seder is much more than a celebration of freedom; it is a classroom of courage. The Seder has taught generations of Jews how to face hardship and adversity. Much of the Seder is structured around remembering the difficulties of slavery: the broken Matzah (a “poor man’s bread”), the bitter herbs of slavery, the Charoset that represents the mortar and continued //

straw used by the slaves, and the salt water that recalls the bitter tears of the oppressed. These reminders of suffering and slavery might seem out of place at a joyous feast. But they are there to teach a powerful lesson: Just as we have overcome bitter difficulties in the past, we can do so again in the future. The entire Seder teaches us never to lose hope. This idea is the very foundation of the Seder. The timing of the Seder is exceptionally strange. It takes place on the night of the 15th of Nissan, when the first Passover sacrifice was eaten in Egypt. Our Seder meal concludes at midnight, the time when Pharaoh released the Jews from slavery. In Egypt, midnight is when the first Seder concluded, and the Jews prepared for their departure. The Seder doesn’t commemorate the first moments of freedom; it commemorates the last moments of slavery. If the Seder is meant to be a celebration of freedom, why aren’t we celebrating the next morning, after the Jews were released from slavery? Instead, we recreate the final moments in Egypt, a time when the slaves were huddled inside, doors locked, waiting in trepidation to leave. The Jews in Egypt faced frightening challenges on the night of the Seder. They know that there is a plague in the streets, killing the first born. They know the next morning they are going to leave their homes and defy a great military power. The question now becomes doubly difficult: Why are we commemorating the anxious final moments of slavery? The answer lies in the Seder being a classroom of courage. What happens in the final moments before midnight is a declaration of independence, where the slaves commit to follow Moses to freedom, no matter how dangerous it might be. At that first Seder, the Jews achieved inner freedom, and inner

R abbi C haim S teinmetz / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

Exodus ship following British takeover.

freedom is even more important than freedom itself.1 This is why Jews celebrated the Seder in the worst of times, when they were persecuted by new Pharaohs. Once you have inner freedom, you can never be enslaved again. Whatever these tyrants may do, they could never deprive the Jews of their hope, faith and courage. For centuries, it was taken as a given that the Jews could never return to 1 This lesson is not unique to Pesach; many philosophies emphasize how a person’s attitudes matter more than their circumstances, and as long as they choose their own response they remain free. Pesach offers a more profound version of this idea. It asserts that we cannot lose our dignity, even in the depths of exile, because God remains with us, and declares that even in the worst of times, we must never forget that redemption is our destiny.


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

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. Frank Scherschel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

the land of Israel; after years of exile, they were simply too broken and weak to rebuild. When a non-Jewish friend asked Moses Mendelssohn about making plans to return the Jews to the land of Israel, Mendelssohn objected that exile had drained the Jews of all vigor ... (and) the natural impulse for freedom has ceased its activity within us.” Mendelssohn was making a reasonable argument; after 1,700 years of exile, one could assume that the Jews were too weak to return home. But Mendelssohn was wrong; the 4,500 Holocaust survivors on the Exodus 1947 had a better understanding of the Jewish spirit. These survivors had endured five years of torture, lost their families and homes, yet for an

entire summer they took on a world power, unbroken in spirit. Where did the passengers on the Exodus 1947 find such determination? They found it in the Pesach Seder, the classroom of courage. This is our second coronavirus Pesach, and hopefully the last. It is natural to think about what we don’t have at the Seder this year. But what we always have, at each and every Seder, is courage, hope, and inner freedom. From the Exodus from Egypt to the Exodus 1947, Jews have turned to the Seder to be inspired. And each year we remember that whatever challenges we may face, we have overcome, can overcome, and will overcome. continued / /

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.

R abbi C haim S teinmetz / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



Originally delivered as a lecture on Zoom, November 5, 2020, at the Leah Modlin Annual Lecture on Caring and Community Service.

The opening eight verses of Parashat Vayera articulate a fundamental message of Judaism.

said: ‘So do, as thou hast said.’ 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said: ‘Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.’ 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto the servant; and he hastened to dress it. 8 And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

This lecture will attempt to develop the principles of that message by first analyzing the Biblical text in depth with the help of Rashi, the Talmud and the Midrash and I will then present the larger implications of the text through the eyes of Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel (the late Chief Rabbi of Antwerp and, later, Tel Aviv) in his sefer Hegyonot El Ami.

‫מצ ָאתִי חֵן‬ ָ ‫נ ָא‬-‫ אִם‬,‫ֲדֹנ ָי‬-‫ א‬:‫ג וַּיֹ אמַר‬ ‫ב ֶּדָך‬ ְ ַ ‫מע ַל ע‬ ֵ ,‫תעֲבֹר‬ ַ ‫נ ָא‬-‫אַל‬--‫ּבע ֵינ ֶיָך‬ ְ

First: Please read through the text. Genesis Chapter 18

‫בראשית פרק יח‬

1 And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed down to the earth, 3 and said: ‘My lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. 4 Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and stay ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on; forasmuch as ye are come to your servant.’ And they

‫ממְרֵ א‬ ַ ‫ּבאֵל ֹנ ֵי‬ ְ ,‫הו ָה‬-ְ ‫;א וַּי ֵרָ א אֵלָיו י‬ ‫ ּכְחֹם הַּיֹום‬,‫ה ֹאהֶל‬ ָ -‫ו ְהּוא ֹיׁשֵב ּפֶתַח‬. ‫ׁשלֹׁשָה אֲנ ָׁשִים‬ ְ ‫ וְהִּנ ֵה‬,‫ וַּי ַרְ א‬,‫ב וַּיִּׂשָא ע ֵינ ָיו‬, ‫מ ּפֶתַח‬ ִ ‫ וַּי ָרָ ץ לִקְרָ אתָם‬,‫נִּצָבִים עָלָיו; וַּי ַרְ א‬ ‫ אָרְ צ ָה‬,‫ׁשּתַחּו‬ ְ ִ ‫ וַּי‬,‫ה ֹאהֶל‬ ָ

;‫ ו ְרַ חֲצּו רַ גְלֵיכ ֶם‬,‫מַי ִם‬-‫מע ַט‬ ְ ‫נ ָא‬-‫ד י ֻ ַּקח‬ ‫ לֶחֶם‬-‫ ה וְאֶ ְקחָה פַת‬.‫הע ֵץ‬ ָ ‫ּת חַת‬ ַ ,‫ּׁשע ֲנּו‬ ָ ‫ה‬ ִ ְ‫ו‬ ‫ ּכ ֵן‬-‫ע ַל‬-‫ּכ ִי‬--‫ּתעֲבֹרּו‬ ַ ‫ אַ חַר‬,‫ּבכ ֶם‬ ְ ִ‫סע ֲדּו ל‬ ַ ְ‫ו‬ ‫ּת ע ֲׂשֶה‬ ַ ‫ ּכ ֵן‬,‫ב ְּדכ ֶם; וַּיֹ אמְרּו‬ ְ ַ ‫ע‬-‫ ע ַל‬,‫עֲבַרְ ּתֶם‬ ,‫ה לָה‬ ֱ ‫ה ֹא‬ ָ ‫מהֵר אַבְרָ הָם‬ ַ ְ ‫ ו ו ַי‬.ָ‫ׁשר ִּד ּבַרְ ּת‬ ֶ ‫א‬ ֲ ַ ‫ּכ‬ ‫סאִים ֶק מַח‬ ְ ‫ׁשל ֹׁש‬ ְ ‫מהֲרִ י‬ ַ ,‫ׂשרָ ה; וַּיֹ אמֶר‬ ָ -‫אֶל‬ ‫ רָ ץ‬,‫ּבקָר‬ ָ ‫ה‬ ַ -‫ ז וְאֶל‬.‫ׂשי עֻגֹות‬ ִ ֲ ‫ וַע‬,‫ׁשי‬ ִ ‫לּו‬--‫סלֶת‬ ֹ -‫ ו ַּי ִּתֵן אֶל‬,‫ּב ָקר רַ ְך ו ָטֹוב‬ ָ -‫אַבְרָ הָם; וַּי ִ ַּקח ּבֶן‬ ‫מאָה‬ ְ ֶ‫ ח וַּי ִּקַח ח‬.‫ לַע ֲׂשֹות אֹתֹו‬,‫מהֵר‬ ַ ְ ‫ ו ַי‬,‫הַּנַע ַר‬ ;‫ לִפְנ ֵיהֶם‬,‫ וַּיִּתֵן‬,‫אׁשֶר עָׂשָה‬ ֲ ‫ּבקָר‬ ָ ‫ה‬ ַ -‫ ּובֶן‬,‫חלָב‬ ָ ְ‫ו‬ ‫ ו ַֹּיאכ ֵלּו‬,‫הע ֵץ‬ ָ ‫ּתחַת‬ ַ ‫ ֹעמֵד עֲלֵיהֶם‬-‫ו ְהּוא‬ There are some general observations which can be seen on the story’s surface. 1. It is all about the mitzvah of Hachnasat or’chim – hospitality. 2. It demonstrates some of the principles of the mitzvah, such as: A. Hachnasat or’chim is not just for family and friends. It is especially for strangers.

B. Even strangers whose feet are dusty – a little unkempt. C. Even people who think differently from us. The Talmud, in Bava Metzi’ah, 86b, identifies these strangers as nomads, who worship the dust on their feet, i.e. the dirtiest and lowliest of idolaters. D. Hachnasat or’chim means serving your choicest foods (v’el ha-bakar…). We don’t serve leftovers to our guests! E. We demonstrate enthusiasm, passion and energy in the mitzvah of welcoming guests. Note all the verbs describing rushing, running, even energizing Sarah (I have often observed that in bringing guests home, the husband often does the inviting, but the wife ends up doing the heavy lifting). F. We involve our children in the mitzvah (vayitain el ha-na’ar – Avraham gave some responsibility to Ishmael). G. He served the guests personally – v’hu omaid aleihem…tachat haetz, va-yocheilu – and he (Abraham) stood by them while they ate. As we look deeper into the text, there are some problems that present themselves: 1. Why did God appear to Avraham in the first place? There is no indication of a reason. Usually, the Torah would have said: “And God appeared to someone and He said.” Here, there was just God’s appearance. 2. Why was it necessary to inform us of the fact that Avraham was sitting, where he was sitting, and the weather conditions?

R abbi H askel L ookstein / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N R abbi H askel L ookstein

5 3. Why does the text repeat the word Vaya’re twice? As we shall see, these are all important questions because they bear significantly on the mitzvah of Hachnasat or’chim. They are all addressed in the Talmud and the Midrash as presented by Rashi.

with his binoculars – searching for a need, looking for travelers to welcome into his home. This is exactly what Leah Modlin, Marian Gross and their chesed squad have been doing during this pandemic: searching for needs and then meeting them.

Va’yomer: A-donai (and he said: “My Lord”). Who is A-donai? Based on the Talmud, Rashi offers two explanations. The first is the obvious one. “A-donai (My lord), please do not pass by my tent; come

Let us take them one by one: 1. Why did God appear to Avraham? Rashi, based on the Talmud, says the purpose was Bikur Cholim – visiting the sick. It was the third day following Avraham’s circumcision at the age of 99. God came to visit him and ease his suffering. In a sense, this was, as the Ramban suggests, Avraham’s reward for undergoing circumcision at such an advanced age. 2. Why the stress on Avraham sitting? Avraham was in pain, in early rehab, as it were, on the third day after surgery. God, therefore, says: “I’ll stand; you sit. This is a lesson for all of us in Bikur Cholim. Always make sure that the choleh is comfortable while the visitor stands if necessary. Of course, this makes Avraham’s reaction to the appearance of three strangers all the more impressive: va’yaratz likratam – he ran to greet them. For God, he sits; to welcome strangers, he runs! Keep this picture in mind for later in our analysis. Where was he sitting? On the threshold of his tent in the heat of the day – high noon – looking for travelers to serve when he should have been in the air‑conditioned den of his desert tent, recuperating and resting. This scene demonstrates his mindset. Avraham was more than a Ba’al Chesed. A Ba’al Chesed responds to needs when he/she sees them. Avraham had a need to be needed. He was on the threshold

Three angels hosted by Abraham, Ludovico Carracci (c. 1610-1612), Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale.

3. That’s why vaya’re appears twice. The first means “he saw” the strangers physically. The second vaya’re means he perceived – he understood and he sprang into action – rushing out to welcome the strangers and leaving God, as it were, standing at the threshold of Avraham’s tent. This brings us to a most astonishing observation by the Talmud, based upon the following words in the text: continued / /

in and let me offer my hospitality.” In this case, the “l” in lord would be written in lower case and refers to one of the strangers. Rashi, then, offers a second interpretation which is quoted from the Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat, 127a). The letter “L” in the word Lord should be written upper case. A-donai is God. Avraham has just rushed from God’s presence to accommodate the strangers. He realizes what he has done, and he turns back to God and

R abbi H askel L ookstein / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

6 says: “God! Excuse me; I left you at the front of my tent; could you please stay for a while and wait until I have taken care of these strangers!” If the Talmud had not read it this way, who would have dared to suggest such words from Avraham to God? Yet, from the idea we presented earlier, it makes sense. Avraham, sitting, rehabbing, while God stood, suddenly jumps up and runs to welcome strangers. Then, realizing that God is left waiting at the door, he turns back and says; “God, please wait for me: I’ll be back soon!” There is only one logical conclusion from this whole story and our sages drew it, although it is a radical one. Here it is in the words of the Talmud. Tractate Shabbat 127a ‫מסכת שבת קכז‬ Rav Yehuda said that Rav said on a related note: Hospitality toward guests is greater than receiving the Divine Presence, as when Abraham invited his guests it is written: “And he said: Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please pass not from Your servant.” (Genesis 18:3)

‫אָ מַר רַ ב י ְהּו ָדה אָ מַר רַ ב‬ : ‫ּבלַת ּפְנ ֵי‬ ָ ‫ה ְק‬ ַ ‫מ‬ ֵ ‫ה כ ְנ ָסַת אֹורְ חִין‬ ַ ‫ּג ְדֹו לָה‬ ‫ אִם נ ָא‬,‫ֲדֹנ ָי‬-‫ א‬,‫ ״וַּיֹ אמַר‬:‫ ִּד כ ְתִיב‬,‫ׁש כ ִינ ָה‬ ְ ‫״‬.‫ת עֲבֹר ו ְגֹו׳‬ ַ ‫ּב ע ֵינ ֶיָך אַל נ ָא‬ ְ ‫מ צ ָא תִי חֵן‬ ָ Lest one think this is purely an Aggadic interpretation of a text, the Rambam records the Talmud’s conclusion as Law. Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Mourning 14:2

‫ב‬:‫ הלכות אבל יד‬,‫ משנה תורה‬,‫רמב״ם‬ The reward for escorting a stranger is greater than any reward. It is a practice introduced by our father Abraham, a way of kindness which was habitual with him. He served food and drink to wayfarers and escorted them. Hospitality to wayfarers is greater than welcoming the Divine Presence, as it is written: “He saw three men … he ran to meet them” (Genesis 18:2). continued //

‫ה חֹק‬ ַ ‫ ו ְהּוא‬.‫הּלְו ָי ָה מְרֻ ּבֶה מִן הַּכל‬ ַ ‫ׂשכ ַר‬ ְ ‫חסֶד ׁשֶּנ ָהַג‬ ֶ ‫ה‬ ַ ‫ח ָקקֹו אַבְרָ הָם אָבִינּו ו ְ ֶד רֶ ְך‬ ֲ ‫ׁש‬ ֶ ‫ׁשקֶה אֹו תָן‬ ְ ‫מ‬ ַ ‫אכ ִיל עֹובְרֵ י ְּד רָ כ ִים ּו‬ ֲ ‫מ‬ ַ .‫ּבָּה‬ ‫הכ ְנ ָסַת אֹורְ חִים‬ ַ ‫ ּוג ְדֹולָה‬.‫מלַּו ֶה אֹותָן‬ ְ ‫ּו‬ ‫ ׁשֶּנֶאֱמַר (בראשית‬.‫ׁשכ ִינ ָה‬ ְ ‫ּבלַת ּפְנ ֵי‬ ָ ‫ה ְק‬ ַ ‫מ‬ ֵ ‫ׁשים‬ ִ ָ ‫ׁשלֹׁשָה אֲנ‬ ְ ‫יח ב) "וַּי ַרְ א וְהִּנ ֵה‬ As if this inference from the Biblical text is not radical enough, Rav Moshe Avigdor Amiel, in his Sefer, Hegyonot El Ami, draws an even more radical conclusion from the Talmud’s words. This principle, he says, that receiving guests nicely is greater than receiving the Divine Presence, ‫לא ללמד על עצמו‬ ‫ יצא‬was not presented just to teach us a rule about the importance of Hachnasat or’chim, ‫אלא ללמד על הכלל כלו יצא‬ rather, it was enunciated by the Talmud to teach us about the totality of mitzvot, namely, that the mitzvot governing relations between people (bein adam l’chavairo) are greater than the mitzvot regarding our relationship toward God, (bein adam la-makom). Rav Amiel cautions that, of course, we must be careful to observe all the mitzvot God gave us. The Mishnah in Avot (2:1) is very precise in instructing us: “Be as meticulous in observing a minor mitzvah as you are with a major one, for we do not know the reward for any mitzvah.” The Midrash Shmuel, however, directs our attention to the first part of that Mishnah where Rabbi Judah the Prince says, “What is the straight path for a person to choose… “and then he adds “Be as meticulous with minor mitzvot as with major ones.” This implies, says Rav Amiel, that, of course, one should be careful to observe all the mitzvot, but, if forced to choose – Rabbi Yehuda spoke about choosing the right path – choose the social mitzvot because every social mitzvah is also a religious mitzvah – all of them are commanded by God. Avraham faced a situation in which he could not both honor God and serve three human beings at the same time. He had to make a choice. So, he chose the latter – to serve the three nomads. That is the larger meaning of

R abbi H askel L ookstein / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

“Hospitality toward guests is greater than receiving the Divine Presence.” Rav Amiel goes on to cite a number of proofs which demonstrate the preference for, or superiority of, social mitzvot over ritual mitzvot. I will offer just a few. 1. All prohibitions in the Torah are subject to the rule of Bitul – when a prohibited substance is mixed in with a permissible substance, the prohibited one is neutralized by some factor: a simple majority of the permissible substance; or 60 to 1; or 100 to 1 or 200 to 1, but at some point almost any prohibited substance is neutralized Halakhically. This is not true if the prohibited substance is stolen. There is no neutralization of stolen property. Tractate Beitzah 38b

‫מסכת ביצה לח‬

If one’s single kav of wheat became mingled with ten kav of another’s wheat, shall the latter eat all eleven kav and rejoice?

‫הרי שנתערב לו קב חטין בעשרה‬ ?‫קבין חטין של חבירו יאכל הלה וחדי‬ 2. The absolute rule that at least two male witnesses are required in all cases: capital cases or monetary cases.

.‫על פי שנים עדים יקום דבר‬ However, in ritual matters, only one witness is sufficient.

.‫עד אחד נאמן באיסורין‬ For example: How do we know that meat is kosher? We rely on a butcher or on one supervisor. How do we know that a kitchen is kosher? We rely on one witness – and the witness can be a woman – even though in civil cases or capital cases the requirement is two, and neither can be a woman. 3. For all sins between a person and God, repentance suffices for pardon. For sins between people, however, repentance alone does not suffice: one

7 requires forgiveness by the aggrieved party in order to be granted pardon by God. 4. In God – man mitzvot, good intentions suffice when the intended action is not doable. Tractate Shabbat 63a ‫מסכת שבת סג‬ Rabbi Ami said: Even if one merely planned to perform a mitzvah, and ultimately due to circumstances beyond his control did not perform that mitzvah, the verse ascribes him credit as if he performed it.

,‫מצ ְו ָה‬ ִ ‫אפִיּלּו חִיּׁשֵב לַע ֲׂשֹות‬ ֲ :‫אמַר רַ ּבִי אַּמֵי‬ ָ ‫הּכ ָתּוב‬ ַ ‫מעֲלֶה עָלָיו‬ ַ ,‫ׂשאָּה‬ ָ ֲ ‫ו ְנֶאֱנ ַס וְל ֹא ע‬ .‫ׂשאָּה‬ ָ ֲ ‫ּכְאִיּלּו ע‬ This is not the case if the mitzvah is a social mitzvah. If I put my hand in my pocket to give charity to a needy person and I realize that I left my wallet at home, there is no credit for the mitzvah of giving tzedakah. Good intentions are not enough; good action is required. There is good reason for the difference. In ritual matters, Rachamana liba ba’i – God’s concern is with our heart, our intentions – but in social mitzvot, the test is action – what are we doing for the next person? The standard for fulfillment is higher. No action; no mitzvah! Good intentions are not sufficient. 5. There is a rule that if one is involved in one mitzvah he/she is absolved from doing another mitzvah. But this rule applies only if both mitzvot are in the same class: two social mitzvot or two ritual mitzvot. But if the classes are different (social and ritual) the rules are different. For example: If you are involved in burying the dead (a social mitzvah), you are absolved from saying the Shema, or joining a minyan for tefillah. If, however, you are involved in studying Torah and a poor person approaches, you are not absolved from the mitzvah of tzedakah. Or, if you are needed for a burial, you stop learning and bury the dead.

This is exactly Rav Amiel’s point. This explains why Avraham left God and served the nomads. Receiving the Divine presence does not absolve one from extending hospitality to people. The social mitzvah transcends the ritual mitzvah. 6. Finally, consider the difference between the punishment meted out to the Dor ha-haflaga (the generation for the Tower of Babel) and the punishment of the Dor ha-mabul (the generation of the Flood) and the people of Sodom. The Tower generation rebelled against God and tried to replace or at least match Him. They were punished by being dispersed. The Flood generation and the people of Sodom were guilty of social sins: chamas, thievery and violence. They were utterly annihilated. Extending the specific lesson that the Talmud derived from Avraham Avinu’s behavior on the threshold of his tent does not mean denigrating Shabbat, Kashrut, Yom Tov, Talmud Torah or Taharat Hamishpachah. They are all absolutely essential for a holy and complete Jewish life. They also differentiate us from others. But the true test of a Jew is how he/she interacts with others and observes the mitzvot between people. Are we decent and fair? Do we use speech for good purposes? Do we try to never to do to someone else what we would not want someone else to do to us? Are we, as the Talmud describes us, Rachamanim – merciful – Bay’shanim – humble – and Gomlai chassadim – charitable, kind and caring? If so, then we are the true descendants of Avraham. The world needs people who live this way. The Jewish people needs Jews who understand these priorities. My father, of blessed memory, used to put it this way: “We are closest to God when we are nearest to mankind.” My motto has been: “Menschliness before Godliness.” continued / /

The Talmud might have expressed it as follows: God will wait for us at our doorstep and will watch us happily and proudly as we rush forward to care for our fellow human beings.

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

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



R abbi H askel L ookstein / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passersby only see a wisp of smoke.” Vincent Van Gogh penned these poignant words in a letter to his brother, Theo, in June 1880 expressing his profound loneliness.

reports that loneliness leads to a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke, while other studies show that loneliness could decrease one’s health as much as obesity, physical inactivity, air pollution, and smoking 15 cigarettes per day. 4 Some countries have elevated the loneliness epidemic to the highest levels of priority, including the United Kingdom which established a Commission on Loneliness, and set in place a Minister of Loneliness to develop and implement a national strategy to combat loneliness. In 2018, they published a report on grappling with loneliness, laying out a plan to address the problem of loneliness and help in implementing solutions. They note that “it is possible to be isolated without feeling lonely and conversely to feel lonely while surrounded by people.” 5 I have found this to be true in my experiences with congregants, as one shared before the pandemic: “I’m in a city full of people but I feel completely alone.” Pre-COVID, this person was working with colleagues and social with family and friends, yet they felt isolated. This may be counter to our view of loneliness, which we generally perceive as being alone, without human interaction. Yet, many people, at least before the era of Zoom and remote everything, sit across from and interact with us while feeling completely disconnected.

While we may not admit our own loneliness, many of us know at least one person who can relate to this sentiment. Even before COVID-19 and its consequent social isolation, loneliness was reported as being experienced by three in five Americans.1 Social isolation and loneliness were pronounced a behavioral epidemic due to their widespread presence across Europe, America, and China. 2 Loneliness is not only harmful emotionally and psychologically – it also takes a serious toll on our physical health, significantly increasing mortality rates. Dr. Vivek Murthy, our 19th Surgeon General, has made it his mission to combat what he calls the ‘loneliness epidemic.’ He wrote in a Harvard Business Review article that the pathology he witnessed most often when caring for patients was loneliness, not heart disease or diabetes.3 The CDC

A recent CIGNA study found that loneliness is more prevalent among younger than older generations: “Nearly eight in 10 Gen Zers (79%) and seven in 10 millennials (71%) are lonely, vs. half of boomers (50%).” 6 Before COVID-19, these young adults attended high school and college classes regularly, surrounded by others their age,

R abbi M eyer L aniado / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N R abbi M eyer L aniado

9 yet felt disconnected. This is because loneliness is not aloneness or solitude, both of which can be healthy. Loneliness has less to do with the number of people around you and more to do with whether you feel seen and known by those people. As my wife, Talia, so eloquently portrayed loneliness in an unpublished poem: “It is standing alone at a party, shifting from foot to foot awkwardly – knowing no one, afraid that no one wants to know you. It is being the only one in the room holding your opinion, your values, wondering whether you are the crazy one or everyone else is.” It is the feeling of being physically seen yet invisible, of others not interested in getting to know you or understanding what you have to offer the world, what your unique passions and ideas are, and why. How lonely it is not to connect on this level with any of the possibly tens of people one speaks to each day. One reason that individuals feel lonely is they realize that many of our social interactions are transactional. Too often, the routine greeting “How are you?” is a perfunctory question we ask, not seeking to receive a sincere response but to follow up with our next question, “Could you do the following for me?” We are looking to leverage the relationship rather than deepen it. We are not truly inquiring about the other’s wellbeing, rather attempting to maintain our reputation as a kind and thoughtful person, but in fact we are offering an empty platitude, not an outstretched hand. We have become so accustomed to others solely reaching out or connecting when they desire something from us that we are caught off guard when someone genuinely asks how we are doing, waiting for us to move beyond the standard, “I’m good,” to what lies beneath the surface. While being transactional is necessary in many of our relationships, one way to counter loneliness and be present for others is to dedicate one or two interactions a day to truly listen and care, without an ulterior motive or planned outcome in mind. Abraham, our forefather, serves as a paradigm of this, expanding out of his immediate circles to connect and show concern for others. The Torah relates in surprising detail how he cared for his ‘guests’ as a model for how we should reach out to others with genuine care (Beresheit 18:1-8). Abraham offers his guests, “Take bread, satisfy yourselves, and then you may continue on your way (Beresheit 18:5).” Understanding that they would initially refuse, he sent the message that he would like to give and is expecting nothing in return. He had no request for them to stick around, hear a pitch, or even stay in touch. He told them they could carry on with their journey, knowing he would likely never see them again and have no opportunity to ask for a favor in the future. (He didn’t offer his business card or Instagram handle.) Furthermore, he was proactive, sensitive, and aware. He sat outside his tent, knowing that there are people who need help and will not seek it out. He did not wait as Lot did for someone to happen past him. He actively searched for someone to help, ran to greet them when he did, and expressed that he was at their service. He did this not as a tedious obligation but as an opportunity for which he was grateful and excited. He rushed to have fresh bread made for them from fine, high-quality flour and ran towards the field to select his choicest cows for steak, ribs, and a roast. The most important part, however, was not the carefully prepared meal, but what is expressed: he was present with them and empathetic to their needs. His actions went beyond being merely polite or transactional. He could have felt he had done continued / /

his duty and walked away to resume managing his multitude of flocks and other business ventures. Instead, he waited on his guests, staying with and tending to them, showing genuine caring (Beresheit 18:8). This powerful lesson demonstrated by Abraham over four thousand years ago was recognized by Dr. Vivek Murthy as he wrote in his book Together, “What often matters is not the quantity or frequency of social contact but the quality of our connections and how we feel about them.” 7 The cure to loneliness is not simply interacting or even giving – it is being present and authentic, actively focusing on and lending an ear to another human being. It is letting the other person know they are not simply a task to cross off your list or a deposit in your emotional bank account to enable a future withdrawal for a favor. It is being there for another person even if there is no benefit to you, as Abraham was there for his guests, attentive, caring, and other-focused. continued on p. 15

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

R abbi M eyer L aniado / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




As we approach the Holiday of Passover, once again against the backdrop of a global pandemic, we invite you to use these three thought-provoking reflections as an aid in your preparation for the Holiday. Questions are at the Core The Seder facilitates an introspective process comprised of discussions, symbols, singing, ceremony, and questions. The Sages have designed a structure that supports a journey of discovery, to experience what redemption and freedom truly are. While the Seder only comes twice (or once for those in Israel) per year, sometimes the four questions are skirted for a more pressing question, “When is it time to eat?”, prompting a rush through the sections of the Rabbis, and the strange counting of the plagues, so that we move from Mah Nishtanah to Dayenu in under an hour. Rabban Gamliel taught Kol shelo omar shlosha devarim eilu b’pesach, lo yatza y’dei chovto, in order to fulfill your obligation of the mitzvah of vihigadita li’vincha, to relate the story of the exodus of Egypt, you must refer to three things: Pesach, Matzah and Maror!

• Pesach refers to the pascal lamb offering. • Matzah refers to the unleavened bread that we eat. • Maror refers to the bitter herbs that we eat. So essentially, all you need to do is to refer to these three things (not more than a few minutes) and you will have fulfilled your obligation! And the Haggadah helps us by presenting three brief passages that detail these three mitzvot. What is most fascinating, is that within each of these passages, we ask the same question - Al shum ma? - for what reason? Based on Rabban Gamliel, we only need to recite and reference these three: there is no need to understand, inquire and ask. However, in light of the fact questions are central to Jewish identity, seeking relevance, meaning, understanding, depth and knowledge, it is for this reason that the asking of questions comes right to the heart of our Seder experience. We encourage our children to ask, to inquire, to be insatiably curious. We encourage discovery, and, as they enter into adulthood, to never stop asking questions. The “al shum ma” needs to be an integral part of our Jewish experience and a constant feature of our lives. As we head into Passover eve, and sit around the Passover table, we celebrate curiosity, discovery and questioning.

Ma Nishtanah ReMix The Seder is thoughtfully, and by design, a fully immersive sensory experience, appealing to all the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch

R abbi D aniel and R achel K raus / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

and sound. While the Hagaddah has many memorable songs and favorite texts, there are few as beloved and nostalgic as the Mah Nishtanah, the Four Questions. Often translated as, “How is this night different from all other nights?”, there is in fact another translation born from the root word, shin, nun, hay, lishanot, to change. Mah Nishtanah, then could mean, what has changed? 1. What has changed in my life since this time last year? 2. What has changed in my consumption? Consumption of media, Torah, influences? 3. What has changed in my outlook? Am I bitter? Am I resilient? 4. What has changed in my self-worth and self-respect? Have I evolved and matured through this trying time? Did I develop critical skills, bad habits, negativity or positivity? 5. What has changed in my personal comfort? Have I forced myself out of my comfort zone? Have I learned to relax and kick back, or under these conditions am I unfocused? At the end of the Maggid section, the Haggadah states, “In every generation a person is obligated to regard himself as if he had come out of Mitzraim.” That is quite an obligation. I can pretend, I can imagine, and I can try to picture what it was like, but, even with the entirety of the Seder experience, it seems like an impossible demand to fulfill. It should have said, “In every generation imagine what it would be like if you had come out of Mitzraim.” That would at least seem more reasonable. We commonly translate Mitzraim as Egypt, but the word Mitzraim has another meaning. In the book of Tehillim (Psalms) Chapter 118:5, it reads, “From the metzar, the straits or abyss, I called for God.” The word metzar or Mitzraim refers to a position of hardship, a place of despair, or a state

R abbi D aniel and R achel K raus

11 of existence that is suffocating, narrow or limiting. The Exodus from Mitzraim was not just a geographic liberation. It represented a complete shift in the inner identity of the Children of Israel. Similarly, the Seder commemorates that geographic exit from Egypt and a parallel spiritual exit from our personal metzar (confined spaces). Egypt was just a place. We can always leave Egypt, but the goal is to leave Mitzraim. At the Seder, we commemorate a historic moment and rise to a personal challenge. If we find ourselves caught in our own Mitzraim, we can be confident that like the Jews from Egypt, we will ultimately be redeemed, as well. May each of us experience such liberation at the Seder this year.

At Odds with Hallel on Seder Night Towards the end of Maggid the Haggadah states, b’chol dor vador chayav adam li’rot et atzmo ki’ilu hu yatza mi’Mitzraim. “In every generation a person is obligated to regard himself as if he himself (or herself) had come out of Mitzraim.” Following this declaration, the Haggadah leads us into a short form version of Hallel. Why is it necessary to recite Hallel at this point in the Seder when there is a dedicated

Hallel section following Birkat HaMazon (Grace After Meals)? Furthermore, whenever Hallel is recited for the other Festivals, a bracha, a blessing is recited: Asher kidishanu bi’mitzvotav vi’tzivanu li’kro et ha’Hallel, “Blessed are you, God, Who commanded us to recite Hallel.” Why is there no blessing on the Hallel of the Seder? And why do we recite it twice, once during Maggid and again during Hallel? Rabbi Lamm, z”l, once shared an idea quoting Rabbi Ze’ev Soloveitchik, who explains that there are two types of Hallel. There is the Hallel of kri’ah, reading or proclaiming the glory of God, and the Hallel of shira, singing and melodizing our praise of God. Rabbi Ze’ev Soloveitchik explains that the Hallel of kri’ah is historical, recounting of God’s miracles and glory. In contrast, the Hallel of shira is a reliving of His embrace, a re-experiencing of a palpable presence that is profound and transformational. We do not need a bracha for Hallel at the Seder. We do not need to be commanded to sing our hearts out as we experience the absolute presence of God and His unconditional and unabashed love for us, His people. We do not need to be told to express gratitude when we truly feel the glory of the presence of the Almighty. No one needs to tell a groom to say “I love you”

continued / /

to his new bride. No one needs to remind a new parent to hug their newborn baby. No one needs to be commanded to express their gratitude when they underwent an dramatic and profound Divine encounter. The Seder is engineered and architected to help us achieve a closeness, a rendezvous, with Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Through experience and the immersive environment of symbols, questions and discussions, we should each arrive at a place that we, ourselves, in this generation, right where we are, experience the meaning of Geula, redemption. B’chol dor vador chayav adam li’rot et atzmo ki’ilu hu yatza mi’Mitzraim. “In every generation a person is obligated to regard himself as if he himself (or herself) had come out of Mitzraim.” We should feel the authenticity of this declaration to a point that we not only spontaneously express our gratitude during the Maggid section, but even when it comes to a formal recitation of Hallel later in the Seder, there is no need for a blessing, no need to be commanded. We simply recite the Hallel of shira, a praise comprised of the power of our voice, declaring our gratitude, through song, melody and a profound sense of presence of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

R abbi D aniel and R achel K raus / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



Most people think they know why we eat Maror on Passover. Rabban Gamliel himself tells us in the Haggadah: “What does this bitter herb mean? It is eaten because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors.”

of suffering. The first is the primary, raw experience, which he designated as Fate. He wrote in Kol Dodi Dofek, “Evil is a fact that cannot be denied. There is evil in the world. There are suffering and agony, and death pangs. He who would deceive himself...by romanticizing life is but a fool and fabricator of illusions.” Judaism neither ignores our suffering and pain nor pretends they do not exist. We do not know the “reason” why people suffer: we just know we have suffered and will again in the future; such is our fate. The Rav called the second dimension

What should the sufferer do to live with his suffering? … What does suffering obligate man to do?’” No one denies the truth and deep struggle and pain of suffering. But Judaism’s primary questions are the ethical ones: What shall we do with this suffering, now that we have experienced it? Egyptian slavery was a great evil; following it, our ancestors used its experiences to establish our nation, our relationship with God, and inspire our ethical treatment of strangers. The destruction of the Temple and subsequent exile were catastrophic, but

In the Bible, however, bitter herbs are mentioned only in the context of eating them with the Paschal sacrifice (roast lamb) on Matzah. Literally on the eve of the exodus, this surely had nothing to do with commemorating Egyptian bondage. The Ohr Hachayim observed that there is a much simpler explanation for the Maror requirement: it tastes better that way. The Paschal sacrifice, eaten on Matzah with bitter herbs, is meant to be enjoyed, and “it is common for people to eat roast meat with something sharp as this enhances the taste of the meat and enables one to thoroughly enjoy it.” According to this, bitter herbs on the Korban Pesach are analogous to our mustard on pastrami or hot sauce on shawarma. These two rationales for eating Maror are antithetical to each other: According to our Haggadah, we eat Maror because it tastes bitter. According to Ohr Hachayim, we eat Maror because it makes the food taste better—not bitter! Which is it? Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik distinguished between two aspects

The Birds’ Head Haggadah, circa 1300. Israel Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

of our experience of suffering, Destiny. “When the ‘Child of Destiny’ suffers, he says in his heart, ‘There is evil, I do not deny it...I ask a single question:

R abbi R oy F eldman / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

the rabbinic sages used the experience to develop religious practices and Torah study which have kept our people strong and together for close to

R abbi R oy F eldman

13 two millennia. Following the greatest evil we have known in centuries, the Holocaust, the Jewish people profoundly understood that our task was to create and build up the modern State of Israel. Evil and suffering are the greatest bitterness, but we must not waste our suffering. We are called upon to utilize the experiences and the lessons learned to elevate ourselves and our world. That is why Maror has two distinct meanings and, according to Rabbi Mordechai Breuer, why we eat the bitter herb twice at the Seder. On its own, Maror is bitter and unpleasant. It commemorates our Egyptian bondage. But our task is to take the Maror and figure out what to do with it. How do we exploit Maror, on its own so unpalatable, and use it productively? The answer: We make a Korech sandwich. We use that bitter herb which we have been handed to elevate and ennoble the Korban Pesach. In other words, the Maror in both its forms represents the Jewish approach to suffering. There is no way to overstate the suffering that has taken place over the past year around the world in general and in New York City in particular. The worst suffering has been the loss of life and rampant illness, but the malaise has been exacerbated by the economic, social, and cultural effects of the pandemic. What does the future of synagogue and Jewish communal life in New York look like? I am comforted by the insight of Dr. Kenneth Jackson (my history professor at Columbia): New York City’s success and resilience is based on its unabashed willingness to reinvent itself. Since the early 1600s when it was founded, whenever tragedy struck or stumbling blocks were encountered, New Yorkers soon determined the best course and direction to take to come out of it. The Jewish community of New York, which has been here from the beginning, is no exception. In 1949, E.B. White observed, “It’s a miracle that New York works at

all. The whole thing is implausible.” But New York works because New Yorkers know how to make sandwiches out of their bitter herbs. KJ has been a leader of the Jewish community both in New York City and nationally in large part because the community and its leadership have always known how to identify approaches to modern orthodox Judaism and apply them creatively in ways that are relevant to the present. As rabbi of the modern orthodox synagogue in Albany these past years, I was inspired by the mentorship I received at KJ to create engaging adult education and innovative family programming that spoke to the interests of the community, and to form close relationships with its members. Now, Rachel and I cherish the opportunity to come back to the city we call home and a community we love so much; our children can’t wait to be back in the city and attend Ramaz. Rabbi Lookstein always taught, “To be a Jew is to be an optimist.” I am extraordinarily optimistic that as we begin to see the end of this pandemic, while we are devastated by the loss and suffering, we will innovate and create and build and emerge stronger than we were before. I am excited to join with Rabbi Steinmetz, the clergy and leadership of KJ, and the entire community as we take these bitter herbs and make them into Korech sandwiches. Wishing you all a Chag Kasher V’Sameach - we look forward to seeing you soon.

JOIN THE KJ ONLINE COMMUNITY Visit ckj.org/emaillist

continued / /


Rabbi Roy Feldman will be returning to KJ to serve as Associate Rabbi this summer. He obtained a BA in History and Linguistics from Columbia University, Rabbinic ordination and an MA in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University, and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Jewish History at Yeshiva University starting this Fall as well. Since 2016, he has been Rabbi of Congregation Beth Abraham‑Jacob in Albany. Rabbi Feldman believes that a rabbi’s primary role in the twenty-first century is to articulate, embody, and exemplify the reasons why traditional Judaism remains relevant today. He is married to Rachel Minkin, an early childhood educator, and they are proud parents of Charlotte, age five, and Millie, three, who can’t wait to start at Ramaz in the Fall.

R abbi R oy F eldman / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




According to the experts, singing has the power to alter our moods and conjure up memories and feelings. Singing also provides an emotional release, a way to express our thoughts and feelings, says Margaret Schaper, a USC professor of voice. We sing because something inside us needs to express something beyond words. Everyone can do this to some extent. The human voice is the most perfect of all instruments. She continues: Singing is the cheapest therapy you can find. During these challenging times, music and song have played an essential role in our lives. Now more than ever there is a need for the spirituality, emotion, and healing that music brings. Singing is an integral part of every ritual and life cycle event - and the holiday of Pesach is no different. We all have our favorite Seder tunes that get us into the Pesach spirit. The Seder is all about celebrating and passing on the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim and the Jewish people from generation to generation. And there is no better way to that than through song. As we say in the Haggadah:

I recently came across an article that extolled the power of our voices. It was written by journalist Susan Jaques in the LA Times, on April 2, 1992, and it resonated deeply with me. We do it in the shower. We do it in the car. We do it under our breath at work.

And when no one’s home, we even do it in front of the mirror with an imaginary microphone. And some of us even do it in the rain. Singing. Ballads and blues, show tunes and classics. But what separates us from professional crooners like Michael Crawford and Aretha Franklin is that they sound good. Fret not, though. As it turns out, carrying a tune isn’t all that important. The experts and James Brown agree that the very act of singing—even off key—makes us feeeeeeeel good.

C antor C haim D ovid B erson / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

,ַ‫בח‬ ֵּ ‫ש‬ ַ ׁ ְ‫ ל‬,‫הלֵּל‬ ַ ְ‫ ל‬,‫לְפִיכ ְָך אֲנַחְנּו חַיָּבִים לְהֹודֹות‬ ‫ לְעַלֵּה ּולְ ַקלֵּס‬,‫ לְבָרְֵך‬,‫ה ֵדּר‬ ַ ְ‫ ל‬,‫ לְרֹומֵם‬,‫לְפָאֵר‬ ‫סּים‬ ִ ִ ‫אבֹותֵינּו וְלָנּו אֶת־כָּל־הַנ‬ ֲ ַ‫שׂה ל‬ ָ ָ ‫שע‬ ֶ ׁ ‫לְמִי‬ ‫מעַבְדּות לְחֵרּות מִיָּגֹון‬ ֵ ‫ הֹוצ ִיאָנּו‬:‫האֵּלּו‬ ָ ‫אפֵלָה לְאֹור‬ ֲ ‫מ‬ ֵ ‫ ּו‬,‫מאֵבֶל לְיֹום טֹוב‬ ֵ ‫ ּו‬,‫מחָה‬ ְ ‫ש‬ ִׂ ְ ‫ל‬ ‫שירָה‬ ִ ׁ ‫ וְנֹאמַר לְפָנָיו‬.‫שע ְּבּוד לִג ְ ֻאלָּה‬ ִ ּ ׁ‫מ‬ ִ ‫ ּו‬,‫גּ ָדֹול‬ .‫הלְלּוי ָּה‬ ַ :‫שה‬ ָ ׁ ‫ח ָד‬ ֲ Therefore, we are obligated to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, lavish, bless, raise high, and acclaim He who made all these miracles for our ancestors and for us: He brought us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to [celebration of] a festival, from darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption. And let us say a new song before Him, Halleluyah! Wishing you all a ‫!חג כשר ושמח‬

C antor C haim D ovid B erson

15 “The Epidemic of Loneliness” continued from p. 9

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, the Hafetz Haim, echoes this in his book Ahavat Hessed: Taking care of guests is not solely for those in material need; it includes the wealthy, and it is the caring and honoring of another human being regardless of economic or social status. This is also expressed by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed in his book Peninei Halakhah in the context of hakhnasat orhim. There he relates that inviting guests is not only taking care of another’s physical needs; it is showing another person they are valued:

With the new awareness of loneliness, many of us have stood up and made the call. We can give others hope, purpose, and encouragement, and all it takes is for us to pick up the phone, reach out, and sincerely be there for someone else. We can be the antidote to loneliness, with one genuine interaction at a time.


… to some extent the physical abundance has highlighted the anguish of the soul, and many today feel loneliness and alienation, and there is nothing like hospitality to alleviate their anguish... Good, sympathetic, warm hospitality can re-instill in them the belief that their lives have value, that people value them, are happy to be with them and are interested in helping them. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, studies have been conducted to determine whether loneliness had escalated as a result and, surprisingly, the 3% increase, as noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was viewed as relatively insignificant and essentially consistent.8 Brigham Young University Professor of Psychology Julianne HoltLunstad remarked that a cause might be “… a real outpouring of communities really trying to band together and look out for neighbors and for those who might be most vulnerable…” 9 during this crisis. It is heartening to observe the heightened connectivity communities have experienced this past year despite the social isolation born of this pandemic. This camaraderie stems from feeling that although we are distanced from one another in many ways, we are not alone. Whether virtually or in person with safety measures in place, we are strengthened and uplifted by sharing meaningful moments together. With our fellow New Yorkers, the nightly cheering from windows and fire escapes thanking our essential workers in the early quarantine days. With our friends and families, Zoom birthdays and graduations, intimate weddings surrounded by our closest friends and family, sharing the experience with those whom we love most. And with our KJ family – pre-Shabbat ‘Scotch and Smiles’ and motzaei Shabbat musical Havdalah, panels with therapists and health professionals, cooking classes and support groups are countless ways to remain connected and engaged, through seeing others and feeling seen. Most importantly, our hessed committees have mobilized volunteers to reach out and connect with our community, a conscious effort by dozens of community members to reach out and connect with others.

SUN | 8:30 AM & MON - FRI | 7:15 AM

1 CIGNA. (2020). Loneliness and The Work Place. cigna.com/static/wwwcigna-com/docs/about-us/newsroom/studies-and-reports/combattingloneliness/cigna-2020-loneliness-report.pdf 2 Jeste, D. V., Lee, E. E. and Cacioppo, S. (2020). Battling the Modern Behavioral Epidemic of Loneliness: Suggestions for Research and Interventions. JAMA Psychiatry and Leigh-Hunt, N. et al. (2017). An overview of systematic reviews on the public health consequences of social isolation and loneliness. Public Health. 3 Murthy, Vivek (2017) Work and The Loneliness Epidemic Reducing isolation at work is good for business. Harvard Business Review. 4 Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, The Potential Public Health Relevance of Social Isolation and Loneliness: Prevalence, Epidemiology, and Risk Factors, Public Policy & Aging Report and Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T.B., & Layton, J.B . (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine and CIGNA. (2020). Loneliness and The Work Place (see footnote 1). 5 HM Government. (2018). A connected society A strategy for tackling loneliness – laying the foundations for change. assets.publishing.service. gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/936725/6.4882_DCMS_Loneliness_Strategy_web_Update_V2.pdf 6 CIGNA. (2020). Loneliness and The Work Place (see footnote 1). 7 M.D., V. M. H. (2020). Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Harper Wave. Pp 8-9. 8 McGinty EE, Presskreischer R, Han H, Barry CL. Psychological Distress and Loneliness Reported by US Adults in 2018 and April 2020. JAMA. 9 SILBERNER, J. S. (2020, July 15). Loneliness Hasn’t Increased Despite Pandemic, Research Finds. What Helped? NPR News. npr.org/sections/ health-shots/2020/07/15/890777131/video-chats-driveway-dances-anddino-parades-buffer-pandemics-loneliness

continued / /

R A B B I M E Y E R L A N I A D O / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




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: April 12, May 17, June 10, July 14, August 9


WEDNESDAY 7:30 PM THURSDAY 7:30 PM 9:00 AM Prayerbook Hebrew

9:00 AM MONDAY Exploring Jewish Thought


Dr. William Meaningful Jewish Living 9:00 AM Major Women’s Parshat Sara Rosen A comprehensive year-long Memorial Advanced Hashavua Dr. William Major Memorial Shiur in Talmud course covering major themes 9:00 PM Advanced Shiur in TalmudRabbi Haskel Lookstein in Jewish law, practice and Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder thought. Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder 6:30 PM Contemporary Halakhic Issues MONDAY Crash Course inRabbi HebrewChaim Steinmetz 8:00 PM Sara Rosen

Thursday Night Live

An in-depth look at some of Featuring Rabbi Chaim themost fascinating halakhic Steinmetz th with special guests century. responsa of the 20weekly

9:00 AM Steinmetz Rabbi Chaim Exploring Jewish Thought7:30 PM Prayerbook Hebrew TUESDAY Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Sara Rosen 9:00 AM

Ripped from the

TUESDAY Headlines: Contemporary

Issues Explored Through a 9:00 AM Jewish Lens

9:00 PM

8:30 PM

Pre-Shabbat THURSDAYKJB Inspiration

7:00 PM

Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus Contemporary Halakhic IssuesMeaningful Jewish Living

FRIDAY KJ Clergy Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Ripped the Headlines: Rabbi Elie from Weinstock 8:30 AM Contemporary Issues Explored 8:00 PM TGIS: Thank God it’s An in-depth look at8:00 some ofPM Through a Jewish For the Love of God Lens the most fascinating halakhic Shabbos! Thursday Night Live Rabbi Meyer Rabbi Elie Weinstock responsa of the 20th century. Rabbi Elie Laniado Weinstock 8:00 PM For the Love of God Rabbi Meyer Laniado

Featuring Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz with weekly special guests


WEDNESDAY 9:00 AM Parshat Hashavua Rabbi Haskel Lookstein 6:30 PM Crash Course in Hebrew Reading Sara Rosen

C lasses / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N C lasses

KJB Pre-Shabbat Inspiration Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus

FRIDAY 8:30 AM TGIS: Thank God it’s Shabbos! Rabbi Elie Weinstock MORE INFO ckj.org/weeklyclasses


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.

continued / /

C lasses / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


In the C O M

FOR KJ THERE WAS LIGHT AND GLADNESS AND JOY! In our collective memories, Purim is where it all began... A year ago, Purim looked very different. We were just learning about COVID-19, and out of concern for community safety, KJ cancelled all Purim-related youth activities – including the Purim pizza party that followed megillah readings – and encouraged social distancing for those who chose to attend megillah. Many people opted not to attend. By the following week, we were in lockdown. Who would have thought that a year later, we would still be wearing masks and concerning ourselves with social distancing? But we are – and a year of experience taught us how to have Purim in a safe and meaningful way. We had a red carpet set up in front of the building, providing a socially distanced photo op with a Shushan flavor to all who attended. We were happy to provide a Kesher/Family reading in the Main Synagogue

complete with children in costume and a great slide show to make the megillah a colorful learning experience. We had a women’s megillah reading led by Rachel Kraus and Dr. Naamit Kurshan Gerber, a Sephardic megillah reading, and several of our hallmark quiet, “adultsonly” readings. Twenty-five KJ/Ramaz Upper School boys read the Megillah, the Torah, or davened for the amud, and 11 girls and women read the megillah at the women’s megillah reading. Every service was livestreamed, giving the opportunity to thousands of people – from across the street to across the world – to be part of the KJ Community Purim experience without leaving their homes. There were individually wrapped “grab ‘n’ go” hamantaschen and candy bags provided by the KJ Youth Department to add a further festive air to the holiday. The KJB Minyan enjoyed their Annual Purim Soiree via livestream, with much joy and many virtual l’Chaims!

The Main Service and Sephardic Service met twice on Purim morning to give as many people as possible a chance to attend in person – and these services were livestreaming opportunities, as well. We were happy to have Ramaz graduate (’16) Aaron Dahan, proprietor of the newly established Caffe Aronne located in the West Village, on hand with his serving cart parked right outside the Synagogue House, providing hot chocolate, coffee, and mouthwatering pastries after all morning services (p. 25). Last, but not least, Teen Coordinator Manu Hass jumped at the temperate Purim weather on Friday morning to organize an outdoor Teen Minyan Seudah for 30 community teens on the KJ roof (p. 25). A joyous time, indeed! We look forward to Purim next year – at which time we pray that the only masks we need to wear will be of the costume variety.

I n the C ommunity / / 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 the C ommunity



continued / /

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



149th Annual Synagogue Meeting

CHANUKAH DURING A PANDEMIC TUES | APR 20 | 7:30 PM Induction of New Members Tribute to Anniversarians President’s Report Election of New Officers and Trustees Memorial to Departed Members Ramaz School Annual Meeting This year has been both difficult and different, and for the second year in a row, we must hold our meeting virtually. Despite having to meet on Zoom, this gathering underlies our commitment that no matter the situation, we will continue to remain connected to our community and to serve our congregation.

Join us at ckj.org/vds Photo from 2019 Annual Meeting pre-covid.

continued //

Chanukah this year featured more illumination and joy than it has in the past. As a community, we spread the light of Chanukah as far and wide as possible, embracing the miracle despite the pandemic in the background. Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus offered daily nuggets of inspiration via WhatsApp to hundreds of followers each day of Chanukah. The Krauses also offered the community the opportunity to join them in their home (virtually) each night of Chanukah to learn, connect, and light the candles together. Members of the KJB Minyan – and beyond – enjoyed this connection with others during Chanukah. The 14th Annual Chanukah in the Park was enjoyed by hundreds of people from across the community. Together with Chabad of the UES, we spread the light and warmth of the festival with live music, Chanukah treats, holiday spirit, and fun. Rabbis Kraus and Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski offered words of inspiration, and Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz led the lighting of the large Menorah.

MODERN JEWISH JOURNEYS On Saturday night, January 6, we presented our Modern Jewish Journeys event, albeit virtually. This annual event, a stimulating panel discussion moderated by Rabbi Daniel and Rachel Kraus, has always been a staple of our popular Friday Night Live dinners. We were not going to let a pandemic stand in the way of this enjoyable event. The evening was sensational, as KJ members Charlie Greenberg, Andrea Schwartz, and David Gordon shared their personal Jewish journeys followed by concluding remarks by Rabbi Lookstein, in which he expressed how inspired he was by our guests’ individual stories and how much he learned from each of them.

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


SEPHARDIC HAPPENINGS Thirteen families, including twenty-three of our youth, participated in our Hanukkah video contest. Each family shared a video in our KJ Sephardic WhatsApp chat of their children lighting nerot Hanukkah, singing Maoz Sur, and sharing a Hanukkah message. This brought a sense of connectedness and warmth that was felt throughout the community. Our Youth class, led by Charles Zami, has completed courses on the Shema, Hanukkah Torah reading and is now learning how to recite the Haggadah according to our Sephardic tradition. Children between the ages of five and eleven are invited to join virtually on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM. In our Adult Education classes, we have nearly completed an in-depth study of the Shema based on Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. The entire community is invited to join virtually on Tuesday nights at 8:00 PM (details on p. 16). This series will be on pause until after Pesah, as until then, we will be using this time slot to focus on Pesah topics (details on p. 34). To catch up on classes and watch recordings see our YouTube Channel, KJSephardicFamily. The featured photos are screenshots from the Hanukkah video, which were recorded at home by family members.

continued / /

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


COMMUNITY GOING STRONG! 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 the outset of COVID-19, Kesher has been able to continue to foster a great sense of community and will continue to do so. Below are some of the community building events that we have enjoyed recently. We hope they inspire you to save the upcoming dates on your calendar, so you can add your unique spirit to our community!

EVENTS PAST D E C 1 1 Musical Chanukah Kabbalat Shabbat with Cantor Chaim Dovid

Berson, at which time Kesher families came together to enjoy safe, socially distanced holiday singing that was truly inspiring. J A N 7 Cooking Class with Monica Borowik, who taught via Zoom how to make a meatball ratatouille dish. A good deed twist capped the evening when participants donated their fine cuisine to people in need. J A N 3 0 Starry Havdalah with Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson and the KJ Youth Department, who joined forces to give our young families socially distanced joy and a feeling of community centered around the twinkly stars that capture imaginations young and old. Kids were given a star-themed goodie bag to enjoy on their way home.

WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING M A R 2 1 Father/Child Learning (by reservation) A P R 1 5 Meet & Greet Incoming KJ Rabbi Roy Feldman (Zoom) A P R 2 9 Infertility Awareness Challah Bake (Zoom) M AY 1 3 Men’s Scotch Tasting (Socially distanced & outdoors) J U N 5 Kesher End-of-Year Picnic Lunch in Central Park

To keep up with Kesher, visit ckj.org/kesher.

MEN’S CLUB OFFERS WEBINAR DIALOGUES WITH DIVERSE SPEAKERS ON WIDE-RANGING TOPICS Men’s Club President Dr. Mark Meirowitz is known for his tireless efforts in bringing outstanding speakers to KJ for the enjoyment and edification of all who take advantage of his programming. Mark your calendars for what promises to be an enriching spring of great conversation:

continued //

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

M A R 14 • 1 : 0 0 P M

A Rabbi in the Emirates - Beginnings, Perspectives and Reflections featuring Rabbi Elie Abadie, Senior Rabbi, Jewish Council of the Emirates. MAR 21 • 1:00 PM

The State of the Middle East: The Abraham Accords and Israel’s New Friends in the Region featuring Shoshana Bryen, Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.


FUN FOR ALL WITH KJYD Chanukah was extra-bright this year for the families who came to enjoy the lights at Lumino City at Randalls Island on December 10. Menorah lighting and treats were enjoyed by all. Rabbi Steinmetz led our children in a fascinating Parent/Child Learning evening on January 16, featuring raffle prizes and take-home pizza for families. KJYD planters came together to celebrate and learn about Tu b’Shvat by planting microgreens with Rachel Haber, Chief Planter and Founder of KnowingNature. Everyone went home from the January 31 program with an awesome planting kit to grow edible greens at home. The countdown to Purim was exquisitely exciting, as KJYD hosted the Minute to Win It virtual game show, with each player receiving a special supply box filled with play materials and treats. What a successful way to create community despite the COVID-19 protocols that keep us all safe! Purim was extra special, with community children participating in a filmed retelling of Megillat Esther that involved dozens of separately shot scenes from dozens of households. Unmasking the Miracle deserves an Oscar! Stay tuned for details about the Omer Challenge/KJ Counts! Families are invited to count sefirat ha’omer together nightly. Can you count up to Shavuot without missing a day? See ckj.org/youth for more information. The four photos in which children are not wearing masks are screenshots from the Youth Purim video, recorded safely from their individual households.


/ / I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


KJ Sisterhood Supports our Communal Sukkah Funds unsponsored Kiddushim Supports Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts Sends new KJ Members a Welcome Package Prepares local homes for Shiva Sends mourners their first meal Provides post-shiva support calls Supports the Ramaz Scholarship Fund Funds Synagogue Memorial Tablets

Committed to Doing Good Works & Improving the Lives of Others The COVID-19 pandemic has truly energized the KJ Sisterhood, highlighting its mission to develop programming designed to bring women in the community together and raise funds. These funds support social action projects that benefit families and individuals in our community and around the world.

SAVE THESE DATES Challah & L’Chaim Zoom TUES • MAR 9 • 7:30 PM

Join us for the annual co-ed Marsha Dane Stern Challah & L’Chaim, featuring Dr. Nir Barzelai, author of “Age Later: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity.” Also, learn to mix cocktails with The Cocktail Architect, Yusef Austin, who will be joined by Nandini Natasha Austin, acclaimed “chief cocktail taster” and master of engaging food and drink trivia.

With stores on the Upper East Side shuttering as a result of the pandemic, we have an 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.

continued //

NO Challah Baking. Zoom in for a lot of fun! Chairs Gail Propp and Sharon Dane

An Inspirational Evening With Rebbitzen Slovie Jungreis-Wolff Zoom TUE S • APR 27 • 8:00 PM - 9:15 P M

Be absorbed in powerful wisdom and engaged learning! Chairs Nicole Sardar and Lorraine Gold

Rooftop Sisterhood Spring Boutique S U N • MAY 2 • 10:00 AM - 4: 0 0 P M

Relax and enjoy exciting shopping under the KJ roof “Big Top.” NEW VENDORS. NEW F E AT U R E S . M O R E F U N .

Chairs Sharon Garfunkel and Devra Block

Sisterhood Spring Luncheon Zoom SUN • MAY 23 • 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Celebrate Sisterhood camaraderie as we enter KJ’s 150th Year! Chairs Dede Alpert, Merle Gonchar, Jamie Chubak, Erika Kashi

Like us at instagram.com/kjsisterhood & learn more at ckj.org/sisterhood

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




KJ warmly welcomes the following new members who joined the Congregation between November 20 and the date on which this Bulletin was prepared for press, March 3:

Thank you to Dr. Jessica Weiss and Jeff Fisher for their extraordinary efforts to make this year’s KJ/Ramaz Blood Drive one of the most successful ever. Despite COVID-19, ninety donors came out on Sunday, December 6, to support this crucial initiative that saves so many lives. Thanks to them and to the KJ/Ramaz community for their combined efforts.

Rebecca and Harry Ritter Jayson Rokhsar Marcelle and Benjamin Sandel Leslie and Steven Socol Pasha Gol and Ari Stein



ckj.org/kjmembership Contact KJ Executive Director Leonard Silverman at 212-774-5680 or lss@ckj.org Aaron Dahan mans the Caffe Aronne cart; Rooftop Purim Activities for KJ Teens

continued / /

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



For 260 days we were immersed in discussions, debates, and discourse about Shabbat, first in Masechet Shabbat, followed, of course, by Masechet Eruvin. The one constant, stable, predictable part of life since March 8th has been Shabbat. The center of gravity of our week and our identity is Shabbat. And each day, in the 260 days and 260 pages of these Talmudic discussions, we have been in isolation, separated, learning remotely, virtually, and trying to find ways to feel part of something, and Shabbat has literally kept us on the same page, first about the sanctity of time, followed by the sanctity of space. Masechet Eruvin has been described as a grand metaphor for unity, the intricacies, the geometry, brushing up on the Pythagorean theorem, all these dimensions, measurements and accommodations, to ensure that we can be together, that we can be part of something greater than just ourselves. On Daf 49a the Gemara states:

:‫אָמַר רַ ב י ְהּו ָדה אָמַר ׁשְמּואֵל‬ — ‫ּמ ְקּפִיד ע ַל ע ֵירּובֹו‬ ַ ‫ה‬ ַ ‫ מָה ׁשְמֹו — ע ֵירּוב ׁשְמו‬.‫ֹאֵין ע ֵירּובֹו ע ֵירּוב‬ Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: With regard to one who is particular about his eruv, i.e., that the other people should not eat of the food he contributed, his eruv is not a valid eruv. After all, what is its name? Joining [eruv] is its name, indicating that it must be jointly owned [me’urav] by all the participants in the eruv. If one person does not allow the other participants to eat of it, it does not belong to all of them and cannot be called an eruv. continued //

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N

Kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh, we belong to each other, responsible for one another, where the structure itself, the eruv, is predicated on togetherness. The landmark sugya – ‘elu vielu divrei elokim chaim’ is thoughtfully plugged into this Masechet. Eruv is how we construct spaces so that we can be together, learn together, learn from one another, share together, eat together, bond together – to learn to live within our differences and celebrate the dynamic fabric of who we are together. At a time of intense divisiveness that continues to plague the world, maybe we need to ask ourselves each and every week, “Is the eruv up this week?”, metaphorically meaning, “Are we doing what we can to engender togetherness?”

:‫אָ מַר רַ ב י ְהּו ָד ה אָמַר ׁשְמּואֵל‬ ‫ּמ ְק ּפִיד ע ַל ע ֵירּובֹו‬ ַ ‫ה‬ ַ Let us be makpid not on being separate, but makpid on kol Yisrael arevin zeh bazeh, to be on the same page, enveloped by a structure that reinforces our empathy and concern for one another and for humanity.

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

ENRICH YOUR SOUL To explore the classes offered by KJ, see pp. 16-17 or visit ckj.org/weeklyclasses


KJ CHESED COMMITTEE UPDATE The KJ Chesed Committee has been busy continuing to service members and friends of our community. On Chanukah, we partnered with the KJ Youth Department to send treats and to light menorahs on Zoom. Over 30 Zoom calls were made by children and their families to members, at which time they lit candles together and sang Chanukah songs. The Committee has received weekly challahs baked in the merit of a refuah shlemah for Ellie Cogan. These challahs have been distributed to our homebound, elderly, single and family members. We are grateful to the many women who have provided these challahs and extend the mitzvah! Since the beginning of the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, our Committee has been working tirelessly day and night with the help of many volunteers to assist and respond to the needs of the community by making appointments for COVID vaccinations. Many volunteers have also assisted members in getting to the vaccination sites, waiting in long lines, and providing support to recipients. Many volunteers have also assisted members in getting to the vaccination sites, waiting in long lines, and providing support to recipients. We have also continued offering shopping, food preparation, help with personal matters and weekly phone check-in calls. We are grateful to our teenagers from both KJ and Ramaz who have helped us with deliveries, tech support, tutoring and so much more. For the Purim holiday, we have again partnered with the KJ Youth Department to package and deliver Mishloach Manot to many older members. As we look forward to Pesach, KJ Chesed is preparing to help those in need of shopping and cooking assistance for the upcoming holiday. As, always, we thank our Rabbis, KJ administration and all of the many wonderful volunteers who have stepped up to help others during this challenging time. To volunteer, or to refer someone for COVID-19 Vaccine help, please write to us at kjfriendlyvisit@gmail.com. With gratitude to HaShem for giving man the knowledge to create a vaccine for Covid-19. The pictured cake was made with love for two KJ grandparents were able to host their grandson after months of isolation and lonely Shabbat dinners.

continued / /

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N




COME TO JERUSALEM! M A RC H 1 4 | 1 1 : 0 0 A M Join KJ and UJA-Federation for a virtual musical tour of Jerusalem with Yonina, the Israel-American musical duo!

MAR 23 | 8 PM

Snapshots to inspire your Seder The KJ clergy and cantor offer insights, songs, and meaningful moments to enhance and incorporate into your Seder.

Featured photos are screenshots from Yonina's YouTube promo video.


We’ll hear a live acoustic performance, complemented by a very special musical journey to ancient Jerusalem filled with interesting and personal stories. Hope to “see” you there! You can register at bit.ly/3u9AcEU and check out their promo video at youtube.com/watch?v=8WITPFILJ8Y&feature=youtu.be For volunteer opportunities with UJA, whose list is always being updated, visit ujafedny.org/volunteer/coronavirus

continued //

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N


AN ANNUAL DINNER TO REMEMBER Here’s a peek at the “Live” part of the livestream you enjoyed on Saturday night, December 12. Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson and our special guests, Avraham Rosenbloom of the Diaspora Yeshiva Band and songwriter Reverend Freddy Washington, gathered in the Heyman Auditorium with a full orchestra to record the musical portions of a truly memorable evening. Participants received a special Annual Dinner swag box including an event program, a l’Chaim shot glass and tequila, and chocolate, contributing to the festive mood.

Thurs | Mar 25 Shaharit Siyum Bediqat Hames Fri | Mar 26 Shaharit Biur Hames

7:00 am 7:30 am after 7:50 pm 7:00 am by 11:10 am

Kal Hamira not recited until Shabbat morning

Minha Candle Lighting Sat | Mar 27 | Ereb Pesah Shaharit Stop Eating Hames Discard all hames and recite second “Kal Hamira” Minha and Arbit Start Seder Candle Lighting

6:45 pm 6:56 pm 8:00 am by 10:10 am by 11:10 am 6:45 pm after 7:51 pm 7:52 pm


Sun | Mar 28 | Pesah I Shaharit

9:15 am

Minha and Arbit

6:45 pm

Shift to morid haTal in Mousaf Remember to light candles

Second Seder (if needed 7:37) after 7:52 pm *Begin counting Omer after 7:52 pm

Tip: place Omer card reminder,

Fri | Apr 2 | Hol Hamoed Pesah VI 7:30 am


6:45 pm

Candle Lighting

7:03 pm after 7:57 pm

Sat | Apr 3 | Pesah VII Shaharit

9:15 am 7:00 pm 7:53 pm after 7:53 pm

Tues | Mar 30 - Apr 1 | Hol Hamoed Pesach III - V Shaharit (No Tefillin) 7:30 am

continued / /

6:45 pm after 7:56 pm

Shaharit (No Tefillin)

Count Omer

say with family after Kiddush of seder

Mon | Mar 29 | Pesah II Shaharit Minha Yom Tob Ends Count Omer

Count Omer


9:00 am 7:00 pm

Candle Lighting

after 7:58 pm

Count Omer

after 7:58 pm

Sun | Apr 4 | Pesah VIII Shaharit

9:00 am


7:00 pm

Yom Tob Ends

7:58 pm

I n the C ommunity / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N



Thurs  |  Mar 25 Morning Services & Siyum B’chorim (Firstborn) Search for Chametz after

CH OL HAM OED 7:00 AM 7:50 PM

Fri  |  Mar 26 Morning Services “Burn Chametz” Kol Chamira not recited until Shabbat morning Evening Services Candle lighting

6:45 PM 6:56 PM

Thurs  |  Apr 1  |  Passover V

Morning Services Evening Services

7:00 AM 6:45 PM

Morning Services Evening Services

7:00 AM 6:45 PM

Fri  |  Apr 2  |  Passover VI 8:30 AM 10:56 AM 11:59 AM 7:00 PM 7:52 PM

Sun  |  Mar 28  |  Passover I 9:00 AM 7:10 PM 7:52 PM

Mon  |  Mar 29  |  Passover II Morning Services Evening Services Conclusion of Yom Tov

7:00 AM 6:45 PM

Wed  |  Mar 31  |  Passover IV

Sat  |  Mar 27  |  Passover Eve

Morning Services Evening Services Candle lighting & Seder after

Morning Services Evening Services

7:30 AM 11:59 AM

F I R S T D AY S Morning Services Chametz may not be eaten after Annul Chametz by Evening Services Candle lighting & Seder after

Tues  |  Mar 30  |  Passover III

9:00 AM 7:10 PM 7:53 PM

Morning Services Evening Services Candle lighting

7:00 AM 6:45 PM 7:03 PM

C O N C L U D I N G D AY S Sat  |  Apr 3  |  Passover VII Morning Services Evening Services Candle lighting after

9:00 AM 7:10 PM 8:00 PM

Sun  |  Apr 4  |  Passover VIII Yizkor is recited Morning Services Evening Services Conclusion of Yom Tov

9:00 AM 7:20 PM 8:00 PM



It is customary to recite Yizkor in the Synagogue on the last day of Pesach.

T H U R S DAY • A P R I L 1 • 8 : 0 0 P M

For those who choose not to attend services during these COVID times, there will be a Virtual Yizkor featuring Rabbi Steinmetz and Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson.

Join the service at ckj.org/vds

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



A PASSOVER TIMELINE STEP 1: REMOVAL OF CHAMETZ – CLEANING THE HOUSE STEP 2: KASHERING APPLIANCES Gas ovens, both the stove-top and inside (racks as well), should be cleaned with an oven cleaner, and then not used for 24 hours. After 24 hours, invert the metal spiders and turn the burners on to the highest setting for 15 minutes. (If using an electric oven, turn the burners on the highest setting for 15 minutes as well.) After this is done, cover the stovetop with aluminum foil for the duration of Pesach. The inside oven should be turned on to broil for one hour. For glass-top stoves, turn on burners for 15 minutes and clean surface afterwards. If any hot food drops between the burners, it should not be eaten. If the oven is self-cleaning, go through one cycle.


Pesach begins Yom Hashoah Yom Hazikaron Yom Ha’atzmaut YomYerushalayim Shavuot begins Three Weeks begin

Microwave ovens should be cleaned, and not used for 24 hours, after which a bowl or cup containing a few ounces of water should be put in and ‘cooked’ until the water is vaporized into steam.

Items that may not be kashered are: glassware that is used for cooking, earthenware, pottery, porcelain, and chinaware.

Stainless steel sinks should be cleaned with a cleaning solution, and not used for 24 hours, after which boiling water should be poured on every area of the sink and its parts. Porcelain sinks cannot be kashered. They must be cleaned and covered.

The easiest way to kasher utensils is to bring them to the KJ “Kasher-In” from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Sunday, March 21 or Monday, March 22, from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM., where Rabbis Chaim Steinmetz, Meyer Laniado, and Daniel Kraus will supervise the immersion of metal utensils in a large sink of rapidly boiling water. Social distancing will be observed in the KJ Lobby, and guests will be ushered to the KJ Kitchen one at a time, so allow extra time.

Pyrex may be koshered.

Dishwashers may be kashered for Pesach after standing unused for 24 hours. They should be put through three complete cycles, using soap in the first one.

Kashering Utensils While it is preferable to have as many utensils as possible specially reserved for use only on Pesach, many utensils used throughout the year may be kashered for use on Pesach. Items that are ‘kasherable’ include: metal utensils used for hot and cold, providing they are not difficult to clean (i.e., a sieve, parts that are glued together), and glass utensils that were used strictly for cold food.

It is also possible to kasher in the privacy of your own home. The procedure for kashering is as follows: Metal utensils should be thoroughly cleaned with a cleaning solution and then not used for 24 hours. Small utensils such as silverware or other cutlery should be immersed briefly in a large pot containing rapidly boiling water. If the pot is very large, more than one item may be immersed at a time. Each item should then be rinsed with cold water. continued on next page

FREE LARGE PRINT HAGGADAH for the visually impaired or reading disabled Call 800-999-6476 before March 15, 2021 or order online at jbilibrary.org. A 501(c)(3) non-profit agency serving people of all ages and backgrounds. JBI International, established in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute.

continued / /

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


KJ Benevolent Fund Is Renamed The Sandy Eisenstat Benevolent Fund of KJ Just in Time for Passover Relief Last fall, the KJ Benevolent Fund Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Congregation approved the naming of the KJ Benevolent Fund in memory of our former President and great friend, Sandy Eisenstat, who passed away in Israel a little over two years ago. In both discussions, the proposal was approved unanimously and enthusiastically. Sandy, of blessed memory, was Mr. Benevolence. Whenever there was a need, one could call on Sandy, whether that need was for funds, advice, or help in re‑establishing one’s life. He was always available for support, making time for everybody and investing deep thought and concern for those whose needs came to his attention. Sandy would approach the rabbi with a need and explain that somebody was down and out and needed a great deal of help. He started with his own funds and then proceeded to solicit others, demonstrating with his own generosity how tzedakah is done. A young Ramaz alumna who helped him in his later years in his efforts to foster American support for the State of Israel, said that when she heard at the memorial service that we held for Sandy in late 2018, so many acts of kindness and goodness that he performed, she found it hard to believe that the person who sat next to her in their communal work, day after day, did all those things and she never knew anything about it. That was Sandy’s nature; that was Sandy’s MO. He practiced benevolence and generosity of self and of substance quietly, without attribution, often anonymously.

continued from previous page

Pots are kashered by bringing water in them to a boil and then immersing a hot stone or iron such that the water will overflow onto the sides of the pot. Then rinse the pot in cold water. Items which came into direct contact with chametz, without the medium of water (e.g. a broiler, frying pan) may be kashered by heating them until they are literally ‘red hot’ or by placing them in a self-cleaning oven during the self-clean cycle. Glass utensils used exclusively for cold drinks should be cleaned carefully and may be used for Pesach.

STEP 3: THE SEARCH FOR CHAMETZ One of the most beautiful and meaningful ceremonies associated with Passover is b’dikat chametz — the search for chametz. The ceremony is composed of five parts. 1. Reciting a special blessing over the mitzvah of the removal of chametz. 2. The search of the house by the light of a candle to find vestiges of chametz. 3. The reciting of the formula of nullification of chametz.

The congregation is proud to honor Sandy in the best way we know how, by naming the Benevolent Fund in his memory.

4. The burning or disposal of any chametz found during the search.


5. The reciting of a final, more inclusive formula of nullification.

Our first concern in Passover Relief is to helping people who are in need to celebrate Passover as fully as possible. We will give our largest grant to Met Council, which serves the hungry throughout the year and which redoubles its efforts at Passover time. We also want to support members of our community who used to be generous donors to the Benevolent Fund but who today are on the receiving end of our benevolence. Our Appeal at Passover time helps us to respond to these needs and to support worthy causes throughout the year. By contributing generously to this year’s Appeal, we will not only help those in need, but we will also honor the memory of Sandy Eisenstat. Please make your contribution now and help this year’s Passover Relief Appeal be the most successful ever either by mailing in your check made out to “KJ Benevolent Fund,” or by donating online at ckj.org/pay. May our contributions help many to celebrate Passover and may God bless us all with a Chag Kasher v’Sameach. continued //

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

The first three parts of this ceremony will be observed this year on Thursday evening, March 25, after nightfall, at 7:50 PM. The disposal should be on Friday morning, March 26. Children especially will be impressed by the ceremony. It should, therefore, be performed with enthusiasm and dedication. The children should be asked to place pieces of chametz in the various rooms — a practice which ensures that the search will not be in vain. They can hold the candle and the feather and they should examine their own possessions,

33 dressers and desks, for long forgotten relics of chametz.

Passover Workshop

Passover is a beautiful festival. It is a serious one, too. Both these aspects can be captured in advance of the festival by a careful observance of b’dikat chametz.

Disposal of Chametz No chametz may be eaten on Shabbat morning, March 27 after 10:56 AM. The final, more inclusive formula of nullification may be recited from then until 11:59 AM.

with Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus THURS | MAR 18 | 7 PM

Gain new insight into Passover as we virtually review the ins & outs of the upcoming holiday. Great refresher class! ckj.org/passover


STEP 5: THE BURNING OF CHAMETZ On Friday morning, March 26, it is customary to burn chametz, even though Erev Pesach actually falls on Shabbat this year. Chametz should be removed from one’s possession and burned by 11:59 AM. The synagogue provides a large, contained fire for this purpose. No bracha should be said, since the one said before the search applies to the burning as well.

STEP 6: AFTER PESACH According to Jewish Law, chametz that was owned by a Jew during Pesach may never be eaten by a Jew. Therefore, it is preferable that after Pesach one buys food from establishments owned by non-Jews, establishments owned by Jews who properly sold their chametz before Pesach, or after a month (time that a store’s stock has been used up) from any establishment.

S U N D AY | M A R C H 2 1 | 7 : 3 0 P M

First Matzah THE

The ritual sale of chametz must be completed by early Friday morning, March 26. There are those who prefer to perform the ritual in person. For those who cannot attend to the matter in person, there is a form provided on page 35 of this Bulletin which authorizes Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz to sell your chametz. This must be returned to the synagogue by Friday morning, March 26, no later than 8:30 am.


An Alternate History of the Exodus A Virtual Shabbat Ha-Gadol Drasha by Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Sponsored by Suzy and Larry Present C K J . O R G / PA S S OV E R

continued / /

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


Passover Prep at KJ Social distancing will be observed in the KJ Lobby, and guests will be ushered to the KJ Kitchen one at a time, so please allow extra time.

“Kasher-In” SUN, MAR 21 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM MON, MAR 22 | 6: 00 PM - 9:00 PM

Shmurah Matzah Pickup SUN, MAR 21 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (see order form below)


Please make checks payable to Congregation KJ or pay online at ckj.org/matzah.

Kehilath Jeshurun is again pleased to offer to its membership the opportunity to purchase Shmurah Matzah through the synagogue. The Matzahs are available at $27 per pound.

Please reserve ___ pounds of regular Shmurah Matzah at $27 per pound.

The pickup will be on Sunday morning, March 21, in the synagogue lobby between 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM.

Name ____________________________________________

All orders must be prepaid and ordered by Friday, March 19.

Phone (Day) _ _____________________________________

continued //

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

Please reserve ___ pounds of whole wheat Shmurah Matzah at $27 per pound. Address __________________________________________ Phone (Evening) ___________________________________



FRIDAY, MARCH 26 The Burning and Selling of Chametz

Although chametz may be eaten all of Friday and until 10:56 Shabbat morning (Erev Pesach), it is customary to burn any chametz on Friday morning before 11:59. The Kol Chamira which is usually said after the burning is not recited this year until Shabbat morning because we are still allowed to use chametz until that time, although all meals consumed on Friday night and Shabbat must be Passover meals eaten on Passover dishes.

SHABBAT, MARCH 27 The Procedure on Shabbat


Rabbi Steinmetz follows the opinion that washing and eating egg matzah on Shabbat morning is superior to eating bread since there is less of a chance for crumbs of chametz to fall in your ready-for-Passover home. If you do eat bread for hamotzi, (which should be consumed over a disposable napkin and any remaining crumbs should be eliminated from the home,) you must be finished eating by 10:56 AM, and many rabbinic authorities say you should be finished eating egg matzah by that time, as well. If you are concerned that you will not have time to finish your meal by 10:56 AM, Rabbi Steinmetz suggests you pray at the 7:10 AM KJ Hashkama Minyan that morning.

Fast of the Firstborn

Preparing the Seder

On rare occasions, the eve of Passover comes out on Shabbat. This year is one of those rarities. Since the last time this occurred was in 2008, it is appropriate to note the following changes in our practices when our calendar falls this way.

This year’s fast of the firstborn takes place on Thursday, March 25, three days before Passover - instead of Erev Pesach. Our services will begin at 7:00 AM. The siyum, which will be viewable on Zoom immediately following services, will serve to absolve the firstborn of the need to fast.

Bedikat Chametz

The search for chametz should take place on Thursday night after 7:50 PM. It is performed in the usual fashion, with the blessing and the recitation of Kol Chamira.

FORM FOR SALE OF CHAMETZ I, __________________________________, do hereby authorize RABBI CHAIM STEINMETZ, of 125 East 85th Street, City, State and County of New York, to sell, transfer and assign all chametz of whatever kind and nature which I possess, or in which I may have an interest, wherever situated, in my residence at: _____________________________________________ or in my place of business at: _____________________ _____________________ or in any other place, without reservation and limitation.

Inasmuch as it is forbidden to prepare on Shabbat for Yom Tov, one should not prepare for the Seder on Shabbat. On the contrary, one should have a good solid rest on Shabbat afternoon and enter the Seder in a far more relaxed state than usual. The egg and the shank bone should be broiled before Shabbat. Romaine lettuce or horseradish and charoset should also be prepared prior to Shabbat. If one forgets to prepare the shank bone, one may cook it on Saturday night and it should be consumed sometime during the first day of Yom Tov.

I further authorize him to lease all places in which chametz might be found. If you plan to spend Passover in Israel or Europe, please check here: If you plan to spend Passover in another US time zone, please mark a circle: Central Rocky Mountain Pacific

Signature _______________________ Date _________ Please return to the Synagogue office by Friday, March 26, no later than 8:30 AM.


/ / 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



9. What is slavery? Where does slavery exist today? 10. If you could invite any historical or living person to your Seder, who would it be? Why? 11. What was the best gift you ever received for the Afikoman?

The Seder is the night of questions. We dramatize and narrate through symbols and experiences, all for the purpose of evoking and provoking questions. Over the past 15 years, we have had the privilege of hosting hundreds of Jews from all backgrounds in our home and sharing the beauty and excitement of Pesach. These questions prompt discussion, reflection, laughter and debate, and are suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

12. Moses had a fear of public speaking. What do you fear? Why?

We cut them out, fold them into little squares, and have each person pick one out of bowl.

15. “Tradition! Tradition!” Does your family have a special Passover tradition or ritual?

1. Remember and share a time about an ancestor who had a physical or spiritual struggle…. Reflect on how it shaped that person and how it inspired you. 2. Reflect on your life. If you can, identify a time of physical or spiritual struggle…How has it generated growth for you? 3. Reflect on your daily life…. Where do you feel most challenged? Is it professional? Is it a particular relationship? Identity? 4. Passover celebrates many miracles, such as the Ten Plagues, the splitting of the sea etc. What makes a miracle? What modern day miracles have you witnessed? 5. How do rituals like that of the Seder keep your family and community together? What rituals do you remember from growing up? 6. On Passover, we remember the plight of our ancestors’ struggle for freedom. We also remember the suffering of the Egyptians. Where are other people suffering in the world today? How can you help? 7. As the ‘new employee’ at the matzah factory, you are asked to create a new flavor of matzah. Describe the flavor. Would you make it in a different shape? 8. Why do you think the story of Exodus is so important? Why do we have to keep telling this story?

continued //

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

13. Do you have any family heirlooms used only on Passover? What are they? 14. If the prophet Elijah walked through the door and sat down in his chair, what would be the first thing you would ask him?

16. What is the largest Seder you have been to? How many people were there? What was it like? 17. Jelly, butter or cream cheese? What is your favorite spread on matzah? 18. Is there a special family recipe used on Passover? Who is it from and when was it first used? 19. If you had to leave in haste, what three things would you take with you and why? 20. How is this year different for you?


57 8 1

SHAVUOT S U N D AY N I G H T | M AY 1 6 Evening Services Candle Lighting

8:05 PM 7:47 PM

M O N D AY | M AY 1 7 Morning Services Evening Services

9:00 PM 6:35 PM


Candle lighting & Kiddush after 6:38 PM, before 8:08 PM Regular Candle Lighting after 8:47 PM T U E S D AY | M AY 1 8 Morning Services - Yizkor will be recited Evening Services Yom Tov ends

9:00 AM 8:05 PM 8:49 PM

C K J . O R G / S H AV U O T


Please duplicate last year’s listing(s) Offering $_______________ for ________ people. Please add the following:

Once again during the spring, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun will publish a Book of Remembrance in which the names of departed dear ones are recorded by their living relatives who recite Yizkor for them four times a year. At the Yizkor service there is a prayer which says that an offering has been made in memory of those for whom Yizkor was recited. Members of the congregation and the community at large may authorize us to publish the names of their departed relatives by making a token contribution of $36 or more for each name to be memorialized. Please use this form if you wish us to record names for you.

Full Name in English (Please Print) Offering Name ____________________________ $__________ Name ____________________________ $__________ Name ____________________________ $__________ Name ____________________________ $__________

The Book will go to press on Thursday, April 22, so that it will be ready in time for Shavuot. Enclosed please find my Yizkor offering* for the entire year in memory of those listed below, who are to be recorded in the KJ BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE published by the congregation.

Your Name ___________________________________ Address ___________________________________ Phone ___________________________________ Please check here if you did not have a listing last year.

*This offering is a token of reverence and is designed to be within reach of all. We suggest a contribution of $36 or more for each name.


continued / /

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


Esteemed Chesed Committee to Receive 19th Annual Judith Kaufman Hurwich Keter Torah Award on Shavuot

This year, however, we are taking a turn from the usual in order to acknowledge the exceptional men, women, and children of our Chesed Committee. They have helped countless numbers of members and non-members who have been isolated in their homes with shopping, food and holiday package deliveries, preparing meals, telephone and Zoom calls, setting up vaccination appointments and accompanying them to the vaccine locations, and so much more!

The Officers of the Congregation are pleased to announce that the Nineteenth Annual Judith Kaufman Hurwich Keter Torah Award will be presented our esteemed Chesed Committee. Usually presented following services in the Main Synagogue on the second day of Shavuot, this year we will celebrate the outstanding achievements of this exceptional group of people virtually on Thursday, May 13, following a 7:30 PM Shavuot Yizkor Zoom.

This cadre of dedicated volunteers, who have given of themselves day and night, are named below – and we apologize in advance for any omissions. Their neshamot know no bounds. We are grateful to all of you. Accepting the Keter Torah award on behalf of all our volunteers will be Leah Modlin who, with Marian Gross, chairs the Chesed Committee, and Gail Propp, who together with Rebecca Feit, Rina Kestenbaum, Dr. Laury Paul, Liora Schulman, and Tamar Wise, have been instrumental in helping a significant elderly population, as well as those with serious underlying health conditions, arrange for their vaccinations. There was a need; the response from our community was a resounding Hineni. Please join us in celebrating our Chesed Committee – and if you would like to volunteer, please contact kjfriendlyvisit@gmail.com.

Since its inception, it has been the practice of conferring such an award to appropriately recognize women in our congregation on the holiday when we celebrate the lives of two great Jewish heroines, Naomi and Ruth. It offers us an opportunity, as part of a religious ceremony, to express our appreciation for the services rendered to our community by women. The award is named in memory of Judith Kaufman Hurwich, daughter of Rita and Benjamin Kaufman, of blessed memory, mother of our members - yibadlu l’chaim tovim - Meryl Jaffe and Adam Hurwich, and grandmother of three former Ramaz students: Talia, Leah, and Zev Hurwich. Her family continues her tradition of association with KJ and Ramaz in fostering opportunities for women to study Torah.

Special thanks to the KJ rabbis and office staff for liaising with us, preparing lists, and forwarding all requests for help. We honor these extraordinary people for their service to our community and to the Jewish People in general. We pray that God reward them with many years of health and happiness. May they continue to serve as stellar examples of Jewish commitment and service to this entire community, which loves them and blesses them.

Heartfelt thanks to our volunteers! Janis Altman Dr. Efrat Aharonovich Rachel Amsel Dr. Robert April Penny Aryeh Julia Attie Mara Attie Nina Attie Paula Attie Robyn Barsky Dr. Larry Baruch Shira Baruch Stephanie Knepper Basman Liat Benjio Alison Bergfeld Sylvain Bergfeld Naomi Bernheim Mike Bernstein Renee Bernstein Karen Blatt Sara Bolnick

continued //

Monica Borowik Abigail Bryskin Doina Bryskin Matthew Bryskin Monita Buchwald Ashley Buterman Benjamin Chubak Jamie Chubak Judah Chubak Lindsay Chubak Brittany Cogan Lisa Cohen Eugenia Davis William Etra Evan Farber Rebecca Feit Jessica Feldan Isaac Fishman Sami Fishman Shirley Friedman Natalie Frohlinger Erica Gallo Sophia Gomberg

Sharon Garfunkel Jen Gerut Julia Gerut Stacie Glick Rebecca Gober Raanan Gononsky Giselle Green Charlie Greenberg Rae Gurewitsch Anne Hadel Don Hadel Yossi Halpern Michael Hershkowitz Diane Hodges Chloe Ifrah Ruth Spinner Jacoby Michele Jaspan Bernice Kahn Judy Kahn Margery Kalb Elise Kassel Aliza Katz Chai Katz

Harry Katz Jane Katz Joseph Katz Sharon Katz Rina Kestenbaum Ruth Kestenbaum Alana Koblenzer Rabbi Daniel Kraus Kira Kraus Rachel Kraus Melanie Kule Bob Kurzweil Kim Kushner Irene Kofman Dr. Satya Laren Nicole Leiberman Janet Lichtenstein Alexandra Lobel Caroline Lobel Sandy Magid Caroline Massel Olga Medvedeva Ari Mentzel

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

Mia Mentzel Jenny Merkin Monique Messer Danny Messing Danielle Miller Margalit Moche Deborah North Donald Olenick Judy Olenick Jaci Paradis Laury Paul Gail Perl Roni Pick David Pine Gail Propp Ilana Propp Jeremy Propp Gabriella Raviv Jesse Raviv Micaela Raviv Elana Resnick Daniella Rochlin Evelyn Rochlin

Kenny Rochlin Marlene Rosenberg Jennifer Roth Joel Rubenstein Gail Schaffer Stacy Scheinberg Ben Schulman Liora Schulman Andrea Schwartz Benjamin Shay Gabriel Silverman Yaira Singer Francesca Siskin Noah Siskin Ronnie Slochowsky Tzip Slonim Jonathan Sopher Rachel Sopher Gila Srour Marco Srour Raquel Srour Rhea Stein Akiva Steinmetz

Hillel Steinmetz Roberta Stetson Tali Tantleff Judy Tanz Max Tanz Michele Kahane Taragin Corey Title Cheyna Volkov Dr. Barbara Waitman Rabbi Elie Weinstock Meira Weinstock Dr. Naama Weinstock Dr. Jessica Hirsch Weiss Arielle Wise Eden Wise Romy Wise Tamar Wise Jen Yasher Jeremy Yasher Chani Zable Jo Zablud





It is customary to recite Yizkor in the Synagogue on the second day of Shavuot. For those who choose not to attend services during these COVID times, there will be a Virtual Yizkor featuring Rabbi Steinmetz and Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson. Immediately following this remembrance of who we have lost, we will celebrate what we have: an outstanding group of volunteers who will be our Keter Torah honorees.

W E D N E S DAY • A P R I L 1 4 • 7 : 3 0 P M

As we transition from Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day, to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, come together on Zoom with the UES community to mark this moment of memorial and celebration. This program, a partnership between Central Synagogue, Park Avenue Synagogue, KJ, 92Y, JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel), UJA-Federation of NY, and AIPAC will include moving personal testimonies, words of inspiration from our rabbis, and songs of remembrance and celebration from our cantors. Celebrate Israel! Join us for a festive morning service including Hallel recited with a bracha.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Tefillah Chagigit T H U R S DAY • A P R I L 1 5 • 7 : 0 0 A M

Yom Yerushalayim Tefillah Chagigit M O N DAY • M AY 1 0 • 7 : 0 0 A M

You can join this virtual Yizkor service and celebrate our Keter Torah Awardees at ckj.org/vds

continued / /

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


Two Minute Torah with Rachel Kraus Hover your phone over the QR code with your camera app to join this Whatsapp group with weekly pre-Shabbat parsha insights!

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 measures in place. Call ahead to schedule appointments.

continued //

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



These days, I’m a little bored. The boardwalk is my lifesaver. I’m two blocks from the boardwalk. I can walk to Coney Island if I want to. I go alone. I have some friends here. We used to play canasta once a week. But when Covid arrived, my daughter insisted, “You can’t sit in one room!” So, I talk on the phone. I read. The grandkids call in by Zoom. I also do a little bit of Zoom lecturing for the Museum of Jewish Heritage. I keep very busy, and it helps me a lot. I am trying not to give up. But what is getting me down is that I am losing a year. And this bothers me terribly. I’m 87 years old, and I lost almost a full year. I’m doing everything I can to stay connected, to make an impact. So even now, amid Covid, I tell my story to schools and to audiences the museum organizes for me, by Zoom. Here’s what I say: I was born in 1933 in a small town called Chodorow, now Khodoriv, about 30 minutes by car from Lvov, now Lviv, in what was then Poland and is now Ukraine. We lived in the center of town in my grandfather’s

house. The Russians occupied the town from 1939 to 1941, then the Germans from 1941 to 1944. My father was well liked in town by Jews and non-Jews. One day in early 1942, one of the guys came to him and said, “Moshe, it’s going to be a big killing. Better find a hiding place.” So my father built a place to hide in the cellar. My grandfather didn’t want to go. He was shot in the kitchen; we heard it. Not long after that, the Germans said they were going to relocate the remaining Jews to the ghetto in Lvov, so my father and my aunt searched for someone to hide them more permanently. They found Stephanie, who had a house on the main street with a garden and a barn. She had known my parents their whole life. My father built a wall inside the barn and a hiding place for nine people, where we slept like herrings. It was just four feet by five feet. Pigs and chickens were on one side, and we were on the other: my parents, my aunt and uncle, my maternal grandmother and four children, ages 4, 6, 8 and 12.

We had lice. We had rats. But every day in the barn was a miracle. I’m not a regular person. I’m a miracle child. Most of the Jews of Chodorow never returned.

During the war, we didn’t know if we would make a day. I didn’t have any freedom. I couldn’t speak loudly, I couldn’t laugh, I couldn’t cry. But now, I can feel freedom. I stay by the window and look out. The first thing I do in the morning is look out and see the continued / /

I still sometimes feel that I am missing out. A full year is gone. I lost my childhood; I never had my teenage years. And now, in my old age, this is shortening my life by a year. I don’t have that many years left. The way we have lived this year means I have lost many opportunities to lecture, to tell more people my story, to let them see me and know the Holocaust happened to a real person, who stands in front of them today. It’s important. I am scared that I am not going to be in the shape I was a year ago. When this started in March, one of my grandchildren, who lives in New Jersey, went to Maine with his wife; they never came back. They have a baby boy now, and I have only seen him on Zoom. This child will never know me. That’s a loss.

Eventually, with the help of Stephanie’s 16-year-old son, they expanded the space a bit and added a way for the kids to look out. That is where I spent the next two years. I always think of the son when I get down, because when Stephanie was scared to keep hiding us, he insisted we stay.

So when the coronavirus came, I thought, “I’m a miracle. I will make it. I have to make it.”

world. I am alive. I have food, I go out, I go for walks, I do some shopping. And I remember: No one wants to kill me. So, still, I read. I cook a little bit. I shop a little bit. I learned the computer. I do puzzles.

Some of what I’m missing is so simple. I have a male friend I know from synagogue. We would take a trip, if we could, by car. To anyplace! I would go to Florida. Maybe even go to Israel for a couple of weeks. But not now. So, again, this has shortened my life. That is my biggest complaint. I understand the fear people have, and I understand you have to take care. But there is no comparison of anxiety, of the coronavirus, to the terror I felt when I was a child. That was a fear with no boundary. This is going to end, and I am already thinking, planning where I am going first, what I will do first, when this ends. Toby Levy is a retired accountant, volunteer docent for the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the mother of KJ member Dr. Howard Levy.

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


THE FAST OF TAMMUZ, TISHA B’AV & THE THREE WEEKS JUNE 27 – JULY 18 During the summer months, we mourn the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, which took place on the ninth of Av, and the events that led to their destruction. We fast on the seventeenth day of the month of Tammuz, Shivah Assar B’Tammuz, because, according to tradition, it was on that day that the enemy penetrated the walls of Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. The Talmud, however, writes that these were not the only tragedies that befell the Jewish people on this day. On the seventeenth of Tammuz four more tragedies occurred: the first tablets containing the Ten Commandments were broken by Moses after the sin of the Golden Calf; the daily sacrifice was suspended during the time of the First Temple; the wicked Apostumos burned the Torah; and an idol was erected in the Temple. Additional tragedies also befell the Jewish people on the ninth day of the month of Av – Tisha B’Av. On this day, the spies (meraglim) returned to the Jews in the desert with a negative report about the Land of Israel. In addition, it was on this day that the city of Betar was destroyed. Tens of thousands of Jews were killed, and the wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and its surroundings. Tradition asserts that the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and the expulsion from Spain in 1492 also took place on Tisha B’Av. Our mourning for the destroyed Temples and for the other calamities which occurred on these days extends beyond the fasts themselves. The period between these two fasts, traditionally called The Three Weeks, includes several practices of mourning. During these three weeks we do not get our hair cut, attend weddings or involve ourselves in large joyous gatherings. During the nine days which begin on the first of Av, Friday night, July 9, and continue until the night of the tenth of Av, July 18, we are additionally forbidden to eat meat and drink wine (except on Shabbat), to go swimming, or bathe for pleasure and to do any laundry or dry cleaning that is not absolutely necessary. The Talmud writes that when the month of Av begins, our mood should reflect our mourning for the destruction of the Temples. On Tisha B’Av itself, besides fasting, we are prohibited from washing our bodies, wearing leather shoes, anointing ourselves and having marital relations. It is forbidden, as well, to study Torah on this day excepting the sections of the prophets and the Talmud that discuss the destruction. We do not wear tefillin until mincha continued //

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

and the custom is to sit on low chairs as mourners do until midday. Our observance of mourning also forbids us from greeting friends on Tisha B’Av. We mourn the Temples that were destroyed over nineteen hundred years ago, and we pray that we will be worthy to see God rebuild the Temple in our lifetime.

WHEN TISHA B’AV COINCIDES WITH SATURDAY EVENING If observed correctly, the nine days leading up to Tisha B’Av can greatly enhance one’s experience on Tisha B’Av itself. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l, pointed out that it is not human nature to mourn appropriately for tragedies that occurred 2,000 years ago and, therefore, a system was devised to help us gradually enter a state of mourning. We begin a moderate period of mourning three weeks before Tisha B’Av. The mourning intensifies on Rosh Chodesh Av, nine days prior to Tisha B’Av. In this manner when we arrive at Tisha B’Av, we are ready to commemorate the destruction of the Temples with the proper mindset. This year is unique in the sense that Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat. The observance of Shabbat takes precedence over a fast day, so with the exception of Yom Kippur, any fast day which falls on Shabbat is observed on Sunday. And so it is this year. Therefore, some Shabbat customs are different and should be noted: 1. There is no traditional Seudah Mafseket. The pre-fast meal, which in this case will be Seudah Shlishit, can consist of anything, including meat and wine. Mincha on July 17 will take place at 5:30 to allow everyone time to eat a leisurely Seudah Shlishit. Please finish eating and drinking by 8:24 p.m., when the fast begins. 2. Birkat Hamazon may be recited as a mezuman if the opportunity arises. 3. The prayer Tzidkatcha Tzedek is not said during Mincha. 4. Regular Havdalah is not said. The blessing on the fire is said on Saturday night. The blessing on the wine and hamavdil are said on Sunday. No blessing at all is made on the spices. 5. After 9:08 p.m., please recite the words Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’chol in order to officially end Shabbat. 6. Maariv and the reading of Megillat Eichah will take place at 9:30 p.m. Worshippers should wear their non-leather footwear to services, and bring tzedakah to donate during the offertory. The Jerusalem Talmud affirms that “one who mourns for Jerusalem will yet see its glorious reconstruction.” May our observance of Tisha B’Av this year help to bring about that blessed outcome. Photo Credit: shlomi kakon Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 <creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons



Shira & Dr. Larry Baruch and Joyce & Daniel Straus upon the birth of a grandson, Noah Aaron (Noam Aaron), born to their children Julia and David Baruch. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ great grandparents Audrey and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. Beth and Marc Bengualid upon the birth of their first granddaughter, Rochelle Grace (Rachel Ne’imah), born to their children, Elana and Jack Harary. Laurie & Dr. Eli Bryk and Joyce & Daniel Straus upon the birth of a granddaughter, Annabel Rose (Sarah Chana) born to their children, Diana and Joseph Straus. Aliza Katz and Ariel Cooper upon the birth of a son, Lior. Monita Buchwald and Charles Edelsburg upon the birth of their first grandchildren, twins Lillian Florence (Gita Chana) and Arthur Davis (Aharon David), born to their children Natan Edelsburg and Caroline Hershey. Mazal Tov as well to great grandfather, Elias Buchwald. Shlomit and Chaim Edelstein upon the birth of twin granddaughters, Devorah and Chana Beila, born to their children, Elizabeth and Rabbi Ariel Edelstein. Gilda Guttman upon the birth of a grandson, Ya’ar Moshe, born to her children, Jenny and Ran ben Shimol, in Israel. Sue and Dr. Norman Javitt upon the birth of a great-grandaughter, Amelie Raquel (Amalie Rachel) born to their grandchildren, Myriam and Aaron Javitt of Rehovot. Alyssa and Aaron Kapito upon the birth of a daughter, Charlotte Anna (Chana Shulamit). Mazal Tov as well to proud

KJ grandparents Laurie & Dr. Eli Bryk and Ellen & Robert Kapito.

KJ grandparents Ruth Kestenbaum and Gerald Kestenbaum.

Shelley and Marty Kaufman upon the birth of a grandson, Isaiah Meyer (Meir Yeshaya), born to their children, Annie and David Kaufman. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ great-grandmother, Hannah Low.

Alissa and Howie Shams upon the birth of a granddaughter, Ruthie Lee (Rivka Liat), born to their children, Jaimee (Goldschmidt) and Nathan Shams.

Debbie and Alan Kestenbaum upon the birth of a grandson, Eyal Noach, born to their children, Riva and Jordan Kestenbaum of New York City. Drs. Deborah and Robert Lipner upon the birth of a granddaughter, Porter (Sarah Maor), born to their children, Annika Goldman and Louis Lipner. Rhonda and Jeffrey Luxenberg upon the birth of a grandson, William Lyon (Yehuda Zev), born to their children, Tzivia and Danny Luxenberg. Rebecca and Noah Nunberg upon the birth of a grandson, Simon Asher (Shimon Asher), born to their children, Abby and Rafi Nunberg. Claire and Michael Olshan upon the birth of a daughter, Colette Eve (Esther Zeva). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Rita and Fred Distenfeld. Roni and Dr. Bob Pick upon the birth of a grandson, Aharon Netanel, born to their children Jenny and Sammy Sultan. Meredith and Michael Rishty upon the birth of their daughter, Vivienne Maxine (Miriam). Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Perri and Akiba Stern. Molly Winkler and Joel Rubenstein upon the birth of their son, Lev Harry (Leib Tzvi). Dr. Evelyn and Salomon Sassoon, upon the birth of a granddaughter, Grace Hadassa, born to their children, Danielle Sassoon and Adam Katz. Jesse and Joe Scherban upon the birth of a daughter, Hazel Drew (Nili Hadassah). Mazal Tov as well to proud

Toby and Allan Silvera upon the birth of a grandson, Allan Sasha (Hillel), born to their children, Shelley and Haskell Silvera. Toby and Allan Silvera upon the birth of a grandson, Allan Jack (Hillel), born to their children, Morgan and Edward Silvera. Teri and Dr. Massimo Szulc upon becoming first-time grandparents with the birth of a grandson, Leo Samuel (Shmuel Yehudah), born to their children Avital and Jonathan Garshofsky. Rosy and Chazan Charles Zami upon the birth of a daughter, Juliette (Yaffa). May these children grow up in the finest tradition of Torah, chupah, and maasim tovim.

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.

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

W ithin O ur Family / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N W ithin O ur F amily








Sandy and Dr. Robert April upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Michael Lauchheimer, son of Pamela and Aaron Lauchheimer, at the Young Israel of Scarsdale.

Shira and Dr. Larry Baruch upon the engagement of their daughter, Erica, to Elisha Friedman, son of Judy and Bob Friedman of New Rochelle. Mazal Tov as well to delighted grandparents Audrey & Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, and Rivka & Larry Friedman.

Victoria and David Copley upon their marriage.

Carole and Seymour Cohen upon the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Isabella Cohen. Lynne and Josh Fishman upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Oliver Fishman. Rosie (‘68) and Dr. Mark Friedman upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Shmuel Moshe Yehaskel, son of Davida (‘95) and Marc Yehaskel of Great Neck, on Shabbat Acharei Mot / Kedoshim. Esther Messeloff and Judy Tanz upon the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Alfred Tanz, at the Amsterdam Modern Orthodox Sjolel in Amsterdam. Freddy is the son of Sara (Messeloff, Ramaz ’90) and Larry Tanz (Ramaz ’88). Ruth and Dr. David Musher upon the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter, Ariella Eisenstadt, daughter of Sharon Musher and Daniel Eisenstadt of Philadelphia.

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.

continued //

55-year KJ Member Hannah Low upon the engagement of her grandson, Max Doppelt to Allie Siegel, daughter of Amy and Glen Siegel of New York City. Mazal Tov as well to Max’s parents, KJ members Debbie and Michael Doppelt. Judy and Dr. Hirshel Kahn upon the engagement of their son, Adam, to Stephanie Wilf, daughter of Audrey and Zygi Wilf of Springfield, NJ. Wendy and Adam Modlin upon the engagement of their daughter, Dylan, to Johnny Kluger, son of Rachel and Alan Kluger of New Jersey. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Leah & Barrie Modlin, and Marlene Kreinen. Anne & Sam Schwartz upon the engagement of their son, Jeremy, to Catie Cooper, the daughter of Debbie Cooper and Marc Cooper of New York. Mazal Tov as well to the proud KJ grandparents, Rae & Stanley Gurewitsch and Joel Schwartz. Susie and Jay Spievack upon the engagement of their daughter, Ilana, to Ariel Smith, son of Orit and Stephen Smith of Riverdale. Mazal Tov as well to delighted KJ grandmother, Gabriella Major. Lisa and Lee Snow upon the engagement of their son, Michael, to Elena Weissmann, daughter of Nancy and David Weissmann of Atlanta, Georgia.

Sheera and Kenneth Eckstein upon their marriage. Former KJ Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi David Flatto, upon his marriage to Yael Zatarski. Pam and KJ’s Israel Bond representative, Robert Lunzer, upon the marriage of their daughter, Rena, to Eliyahu Kitay of Toms River, NJ. May the newlywed couples be blessed to build homes faithful to the traditions of the Jewish people.


Brenda and Albert Bernstein upon the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary. Evelyn Mandelker upon the occasion of her 99th birthday.


Hon. Robert Abrams upon the publication of his memoir, The Luckiest Guy in the World. Andy Braiterman, upon being honored by the New York State Bar Association Tax Section as the outgoing Chair of the Tax Section. Andy is head of the tax department of the New York law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

Dr. Meg Rosenblatt and David Stein upon the engagement of their daughter, Natalie, to Isaac Benjamin, son of Karen and Jerry Benjamin of West Hartford, CT.

Former KJ Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi David Flatto upon the publication of his latest book, The Crown and the Courts: Separation of Powers in the Early Jewish Imagination, at hup.harvard.edu/order/ cart.html.

May their weddings take place in happiness and blessing.

Matthew Hilztik upon being named to the Plaza Community Chapel Board.

W ithin O ur Family / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N W ithin O ur F amily

45 Dina and Marshall Huebner upon being honored at UJA’s Bankruptcy Annual Event on May 26. Esther Amini Krawitz upon Kirkus Reviews anointing her recently released book Concealed: Memoir of a JewishIranian Daughter Caught Between the Chador and America as one of the Best Books of 2020. If you haven’t already read this fascinating story, order your copy through Amazon. KJ Israel Bonds Account Representative Robert Lunzer upon celebrating his 30th Anniversary with Israel Bonds, during which time he has raised half a BILLION dollars for the Jewish homeland, the State of Israel.

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.


Lily Goldberg upon the passing of her brother, Sidney Gordon.


Zohar Goshen upon the passing of his father, Zechariah Goshen.

Marilyn Adler upon the passing of her father, Dr. Daniel Schwartz. Jennifer Agus and Bonnie Silvera upon the passing of their father, Harold Wilensky. Jared Bernheim upon the passing of his grandfather, William Bernheim. Lauren Brody, Jennifer Novick, and Ariel Weiner upon the passing of their grandmother, Marilyn Belz.

Dr. Wallace Lehman upon the passing of his sister, Eleanor Lehman. Dr. Rochelle Levine upon the passing of her brother, Elliot David Levine. Maurice Levy upon the passing of his mother, Audrey Levy. Gila Srour upon the passing of her father, Joseph (Zouzou) Dana.

Michael Brizel upon the passing of his mother, Ruth Brizel.

Victoria Sutton upon the passing of her father, Alfonse Missry.

Lisa Chetrit upon the passing of her father, Haim Sasson.

Ivan Moskowitz upon the passing of his brother, Mark Moskowitz.

Iris Cohen upon the passing of her mother, Elaine Krenzis.

Gabriela Shnay upon the passing of her father, Symcha Horowitz.

Debbie Cooper upon the passing of her father, Michael Friedman, and her mother, Carole Friedman.

Yoni Slonim upon the passing of his father, Dr. Ephraim (“Alfie”) Slonim.

Michelle Freudenberger upon the passing of her husband, Andy Dimond.

Dr. Lu Steinberg upon the passing of her father, Milton Steinberg.

Moshe Errico-Nagar upon the passing of his mother, Romya Nagar.

Paula Solinsky upon the passing of her mother, Anita Skorecky.

David Fields upon the passing of his sister, Vickie Fields-Litt.

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

In M E M O R I A M H O WA R D R U B E N S T E I N Howard Rubinstein was a member of the congregation, together with his dear wife, Amy, for close to fifty years. Their three children are all alumni of Ramaz. Howard was always extremely generous to the congregation and to Ramaz, on a yearly basis and particularly when we were involved in building campaigns. He served as an advisor to us in difficult situations. His sagacity was unfailing. Howard’s extraordinary success in the public relations business came from two principles. First, he was exceptional in personal

relations. He had an ever-present smile on his face and a cheerful personality. It was a pleasure to come in to talk to him. He was always positive and encouraging. Second, he had impeccable honesty and integrity. He used to say that doing things right was not only the correct way to live; it was also very good for business. People relied on his unblemished character and his passion for doing the right thing. Howard was a remarkable man who, quietly and humbly, cast a large shadow. He will be remembered by us for all the good things he did in his life. 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


Bnei M I

MaTaN Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzvah Program


Passover — Schedule on pp. 29-30


MON - TUES, APR 12 -13

Rosh Chodesh Iyar Morning Services | 7:00 AM


Yom Hazikaron


Yom Ha’Atzmaut Morning Services | 7:00 AM


Lag Ba’Omer

KJ launched the annual Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzvah program in January. Now in its 16th year, this was the inaugural Zoom edition! Developed by MaTaN, the Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, this experiential based learning program, taught by Rachel Kraus, KJ’s Director of Community Education, focuses on women throughout Jewish history spanning from the time of the Torah through to contemporary personalities.


Yom Yerushalayim Morning Services | 7:00 AM


Rosh Chodesh Sivan Morning Services | 7:00 AM

SUN - TUES, MAY 16 -18

Shavuot — Schedule on p. 37

Each unit involves chavruta-based learning, guided discussions, activities and interactive experiences that foster an environment of curiosity, questions and connection to our heritage. With over 40 participants, each mother-daughter pair received a box, delivered to their home, which was full of surprises and supplies to bring each teaching unit to life.


Memorial Day Morning Services | 8:30 AM

THURS - FRI, JUN 10 -11

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Morning Services | 7:00 AM

Throughout the program, both mothers and daughters learn with each other, from each other, and about each other. The principles, lessons and meaning derived from this course are intended to enhance participants’ connection to Jewish identity, inspire understanding and personal connection with what it means to become a Bat Mitzvah, and strengthen ties to our past in order to secure our Jewish future. To learn more contact rachel@ckj.org.


Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz Fast begins | 4:15 AM Morning Services | 8:00 AM Evening Services | 8:05 PM Fast ends | 9:07 PM


Independence Day (observed) Morning Services | 8:30 AM


Rosh Chodesh Av Morning Services | 9:00 AM


Tisha B’Av Fast begins | 8:24 PM Morning Services | 8:30 AM Evening Services | 8:00 PM Fast ends | 8:58 PM Shabbat & Service Schedule on page 48

SCHEDULING YOUR FAMILY’S BAR OR BAT MITZVAH 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 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.

B nei M itzvah / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N B nei M itzvah






Mazal Tov to Yaira Singer and Matthew Binstock upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Eitan, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on March 13-14, Shabbat Parashat Vayakel-Pekudei. On Sunday, he will deliver a Dvar Torah entitled The Torah as Song as part of a celebratory musical program. Eitan is a seventh-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Dr. Adina and Michael Singer.

Mazal Tov to Abbe and Michael Serphos upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Kate, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on April 11. Kate will lead a Women’s Shacharit service and deliver a Dvar Torah, The Transformative Power of the Omer. Kate is a sixth-grade student at the Ramaz Middle School.

Mazal Tov to Amy and Absalom Kotulski upon the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Dylan, on June 5, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Shabbat Parashat Shlach, at which time he will lead a family service and deliver a D’var Torah. Dylan is a seventh-grade student in the Ramaz Middle School. Mazal Tov as well to proud KJ grandparents Shirley and Stephen Harrison.

Fathers & Sons Bar Mitzvah Program During the first program at Met Council, we were joined by ten pairs of fathers and sons who packed 630 food packages to supply NYC Holocaust Survivors with 2,520 meals. We were joined by another eight pairs of fathers and sons virtually for our Torah component, led by Rabbi Meyer Laniado. He explained that tzedakah is our duty and responsibility to sustain and maintain both the physical wellbeing and morale of others in our society. He pointed out that in the packages were multiple types of food, cookies, and treats, as our goal is to do more than offer basic sustenance. It is to bring a smile to the survivors’ faces and help them feel cared for and dignified.

Upcoming Programs MARCH 7

10:00 AM


The Year in Israel Experience with Rabbi Steinmetz, a Ramaz Alum currently studying in Israel, and an Israeli Rebbe MARCH 21


10:00 AM

Exploring Prayer with Rabbi Lookstein and Cantor Berson APRIL 25


10:00 AM

Sofer Workshop with Rabbi Joey Mizrachi and Rabbi Daniel Kraus M AY



Hike and Jewish Leadership Workshop with Rabbi Laniado

To learn more, please contact Rabbi Meyer Laniado at rml@ckj.org.

continued / /

B nei M itzvah / / K E H I L AT H J E S H U R U N B U L L E T I N





212-774-5600  | ckj.org SYNAGOGUE OFFICIALS

Haskel Lookstein

Rabbi Emeritus

Chaim Steinmetz Senior 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


Elias Buchwald

Senior Vice President

Jonathan Wagner

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.”

Vice President

Dr. Nicole Agus

2nd Vice President

Sidney Ingber

3rd Vice President

Wendy Greenbaum

4th Vice President

Dr. Larry Baruch


Robert Schwartz


David Sultan

Assistant Treasurer

Morris Massel

Executive Secretary

Eric Gribetz

Financial Secretary

Evan Farber

Recording Secretary

Robyn Barsky

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.

Administrative Secretary


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






19-20 26-27

Vayikra Tzav (haGadol/Erev Pesach)


6:45 PM 6:45 PM

6:55 PM 7:00 PM

7:44 PM 7:52 PM

Shabbat Pesach Shemini Tazria-Metzora Acharei Mot/ Kedoshim Emor

7:03 PM 7:10 PM 7:18 PM 7:25 PM 7:32 PM

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

7:10 PM 7:15 PM 7:25 PM 7:30 PM 7:40 PM

8:00 PM 8:07 PM 8:15 PM 8:23 PM 8:32 PM

Behar/Bechukotai Bamidbar Naso Beha’alotkha

7:40 PM 7:47 PM 7:53 PM 7:59 PM

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

7:45 PM 7:50 PM 8:00 PM 8:05 PM

8:40 PM 8:47 PM 8:55 PM 9:02 PM

Shelah Korach Hukkat Balak

8:04 PM 8:09 PM 8:11 PM 8:13 PM

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

8:10 PM 8:15 PM 8:15 PM 8:15 PM

9:07 PM 9:12 PM 9:14 PM 9:16 PM

Pinchas Matot/Masei Devarim Va’Etchanan Eikev

8:12 PM 8:11 PM 8:07 PM 8:02 PM 7:55 PM

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

8:15 PM 8:15 PM 8:10 PM 8:05 PM 8:00 PM

9:15 PM 9:12 PM 9:08 PM 9:01 PM 8:54 PM

Re’eh Shoftim Ki Tetzei Ki Tavo

7:47 PM 7:39 PM 7:29 PM 7:18 PM

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

7:50 PM 7:40 PM 7:30 PM 7:20 PM

8:45 PM 8:35 PM 8:24 PM 8:13 PM

APRIL 2-3 9-10 16-17 23-24 30-1


Fred Distenfeld Chaim Edelstein Eric Feldstein Stanley Gurewitsch Joel Katz

7-8 14-15 21-22 28-29



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

Sharon Garfunkel

President, Sisterhood


Roberta Stetson

President, Sisterhood

Dr. Mark Meirowitz

President, Men’s Club

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

Caroline Bryk

President, Kesher

Liora Schulman

President, Kesher

Ariel Stern

President, Kesher


Riva Alper


Dina Farhi Executive Assistant Esther Feierman Director of Communications and Programming Menucha Parry Director of Member Affairs Aryana Bibi Ritholtz Freddie Rodriguez Sy Yanofsky

Youth Director Superintendent Comptroller

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






Sun Mon & Thurs Tues, Wed, & Fri Rosh Chodesh Weekdays Shabbat

8:30 AM 7:15 AM 7:30 AM 7:00 AM 9:00 AM

Mar 14 – Jun 11 Jun 13 – Jul 15 Jul 18 – Aug 31

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

8:30 AM 7:15 AM 7:15 AM 7:15 AM 9:00 AM


6:45 PM 6:50 PM 6:45 PM

Dates to Remember on page 46

Profile for Esther Feierman

KJ Spring Bulletin