We are coming back better than ever.
Each year before Yom Kippur, KJ distributes a brochure which includes the highlights of the previous year and planned events for the coming year. This year, even though a pandemic interrupted our regular synagogue schedule, we can take pride in all that we have done despite this disruption. Our synagogue immediately went online, and at its height we were offering over 25 Zoom classes a week. Our Chesed committee stayed in constant contact with those who are homebound, maintaining connections and delivering packages. Our prayer services went online, and people all over the world joined in for the inspiration. We created a virtual synagogue experience, built on the philosophy that if our congregants couldn't come to KJ, KJ would come to their homes. Our building may have been closed, but our community remained open. We now look forward to the future. So many people have expressed to me how they cannot wait to return and join together as a community in our spiritual home; and when that time comes, we will be ready. Our team is already planning events that will take place after we fully reopen. While many things remain uncertain about our schedule for the coming months, one thing is clear: that when we come back, we will be better than ever.
It is easy to think that life ground to a halt with COVID-19.
Nothing could be further from the truth at KJ. We were able to Zoom into the lives of our community with helpful lectures addressing mental health, parenting, marriage and more. We offered virtual services, classes, yoga, and get-togethers of all sorts. Within the pages you will find fun facts with recollections of how COVID-19 could not keep KJ down. There are 11 in this brochure. Find them all and get a better of idea of all the ways that KJ was â€” and will always â€” be there for you.
The Editors 2 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
W H AT IS KJ?
â€‚B EGI N N E RS Our acclaimed outreach and engagement efforts offer meaningful experiences for Jews of all backgrounds. We host weekly Shabbat services, Torah classes, Shabbat Dinners, Holiday programming, and much more. Even when we cannot join together in person, our Virtual KJB programming creates a community for religious growth and inspiration. To inquire about the speciallytailored KJ Beginners program, including Shabbat and holiday services, classes, social programs, and more, please contact Rabbi Daniel Kraus at email@example.com.
Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus Directors of Community Education
ckj.org/kjb firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/rabbidkraus instagram.com/rabbidkraus 3 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
virtual KJB Minyan gatherings THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 3
â€‚S EP HAR D I C Ten years ago, we embarked on a mission to create a warm and diverse Sephardic community on the Upper East Side that aimed to complement the broader KJ and Ramaz community. Since then, we have flourished as a unique community and rapidly grown, welcoming new families and children with open arms.
Our minyan has been a leader amongst other synagogues in creating a virtual community that has served as a source of comfort, entertainment, and spiritual guidance in an unprecedented time of isolation for many people. Under the leadership of Rabbi Laniado and the KJ Rabbinate, the bonds of community have strengthened, despite our absence from our beloved sanctuary.
Rabbi Meyer Laniado
KJ Associate Rabbi
Dr. Benjamin Zalta Hazzan
Charles Zami Assistant Hazzan
email@example.com ckj.org/sephardicminyan 4 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
countries of origin in our KJ Sephardic family THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 4
K ES H E R 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. While the latter part of the year was extremely challenging, Kesher was able to continue to foster a great sense of community and will continue to do so this year. Please join us this year and add your spirit to our community!
UPCOMING EVENTS WED, SEPT 23 / 12:00 PM
THURS, NOV 19 / 8:00 PM
New Moms’ Event
Men’s Scotch Tasting
SUN, OCT 11 / 12:00 PM
THURS, DEC 3 / 8:00 PM
Kesher Simchat Torah Shemini Atzeret Park Lunch
Fall Cooking Class SUN, DEC 20 / 10:00 AM
Father/Child Learning THURS, OCT 29 / 8:00 PM
Women’s Wellness THURS, NOV 12 / 8:00 PM
ckj.org/kesher firstname.lastname@example.org fb.com/groups/kjkesher instagram.com/kesher_news
We are also planning a Men’s Learning Event and a Chanukah program, so stay tuned for more by checking our website, email@example.com.
Caroline Bryk Liora Schulman Ariel Stern Kesher Presidium
Kesher events including Cheese & Scotch Tasting with the Cheese Guy, Men’s Night Out, Virtual Soul Cycle workout & kumzitz!
THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 5
S ERVI C E S C H E DULE DAILY SERVICES Shacharit / Morning Services
Mincha & Ma’ariv / Evening Services
5-10 MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET
8:30 AM S U N D A Y 7:15 AM M O N D A Y
S TA N D A R D T I M E 6:45 PM
D A Y L I G H T S AV I N G S T I M E
7:30 AM T U E S D A Y
7:00 AM R O S H C H O D E S H W E E K D A Y S 9:00 AM S H A B B A T M O R N I N G S
SEPHARDIC MINYAN 8:15 AM S U N D A Y 7:00 AM M O N D A Y- F R I D A Y 6:50 AM R O S H C H O D E S H
Times ckj.org/cal 6 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
days of consecutive Zoom programming as of print time
â€‚ EN R IC H T H E S O UL Spiritually connect through prayer, Torah study, and mitzvot. We offer a wide array of engaging and interesting classes on Bible, Talmud, Halakhah, Jewish Philosophy, Ethics, Jewish History, and Hebrew language. There are many diverse arts and culture programs, including film screenings and book reviews, from which to choose. Whether in person or virtually, KJ is there to inform and inspire you! This year, when we had to close our building due to Coronavirus, we added many more classes and activities via Zoom. During the past few months more and more of our KJ Family have been taking classes at than ever before. In the coming year we will continue to add more classes to our schedule, and our learning opportunities will be better than ever.
weekly classes at the height of our Zoom programming
Connect C l a s s z o o m l i n k s ckj.org/vds c l a s s S c h e d u l e s ckj.org/calendar 7 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
CLASS SCHEDULE SUNDAY 9:00 AM
Dr William Major Memorial Advanced Shiur in Talmud Rabbi Jeremy Wieder MONDAY
Prayerbook Hebrew Sara Rosen 9:00 PM
Contemporary Halakhic Issues Rabbi Steinmetz
Exploring Jewish Thought
Meaningful Jewish Living K J C l e r gy
Thursday Night Live
For the Love of God
Rabbi Meyer Laniado
KJB - Pre-Shabbat Moments
Parshat Hashavua Rabbi Lookstein 6:30 PM
Beginners Hebrew Sara Rosen
Rabbi Daniel & Rachel Kraus MONTHLY 8:45 PM
Soul Cycle Class Rachel Kraus THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 7
â€‚YOU T H Where Torah and Fun are One! Our youth is our Jewish future, and because of this, we offer an array of fun and informal educational activities to inspire youth of all ages. This year may look different but we have the same goal in mind. We have planned for a safe and exciting year for everyone. We are excited to see you at our weekly Tot Shabbats, Tefillah Groups, scavenger hunts and so much more!
Chevy Rubenstein Assistant Youth Director
firstname.lastname@example.org instagram.com/kjyd613 ckj.org/youth 8 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
KJYD programs including magic shows, cooking classes, parsha plays and singalongs, Lower School clubs, Menuchaâ€™s Club, & holiday programming
J EWIS H YOU T H CO NN ECT I O N The Hebrew School with H.E.A.R.T. For the past twenty-four years, KJ has been the address for unaffiliated families looking for a Jewish education for their children. The Jewish Youth Connection (JYC) is the Sunday morning Hebrew school founded by KJ members Susan and Scott Shay with the goal of providing a meaningful Jewish education to unaffiliated families. A total reinvention of the Hebrew School experience, its focus is to help foster a quality connection to Judaism for students and families alike. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, JYC successfully transferred to an online distance-learning experience overnight with full attendance for the remainder of the year. This fall, entering its twenty-fifth year, JYC will come to you via Zoom, giving students and their parents an opportunity to benefit from all our wonderful programming in the safety of their homes.
additions this year including sessions on resilience and diversity. The lessons and programs are relevant, fun, and exciting. Students from first through seventh grade are paired with a Big Brother/Sister for individualized Hebrew study, and there is a special track for students preparing for Bar or Bat Mitzvah that adds knowledge and meaning to this important Jewish milestone. Due to popular demand, this year, JYC is proud to be launching a “JYC Senior Year” for post Bar/Bat Mitzvah students to continue their Jewish learning. Enrollment is open to all, and no synagogue affiliation or Jewish background is required to participate in JYC. No one is turned away due to lack of funds. Contact us at the addresses below “Connect” to learn more.
JYC’s curriculum traditionally includes Bible, Jewish history, customs, and holidays with new
jyc.info email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org fb.com/jewishyouthconnection
JYC inspirational programs with perfect attendance bringing our students, families and teachers together while physically apart THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 9
J O IN I N S ON G When Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson, his wife Batya, and daughter Annaelle (their son Remi, arrived in the spring) joined us last year, we were off to a rousing start. We began with Shabbat services last summer, a memorable pre-Selichot concert to start the penitential season complete with a choir that added a spiritual high, and the Inaugural Concert just a few weeks later. A year later we find ourselves in a place no one could have imagined, but that did not stop Cantor Berson from keeping us in the musical link with the many programs in which he has been involved since the start of COVID. Through these musical programs, and in spite of the necessary social distancing, KJ was able to keep engaging and inspiring the members of our community and beyond. Some of these programs, such as Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah, are ongoing and you can enjoy them by visiting ckj.org/vds.
Chaim Dovid Berson
email@example.com fb.com/chaimdovidberson 10 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah Zooms THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 10
I SRAE L Israel, her soldiers and her citizens are always close to our hearts. In the past four years, we have brought the largest synagogue delegation to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington. Our adult education program hosts multiple Israel-focused events throughout the year, and, in ordinary years, we take a yearly mission to Israel each Pesach. Despite the coronavirus, we have continued to make meaningful connections with Israel. We continued to have scholars from Israel teach classes on Zoom, and had a virtual tour of the Old City of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av with 150 attendees. We had an exceptional Tekes Maavar (Transition Ceremony) for Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day. Joining together with Central Synagogue and Park Avenue Synagogue, we produced a program of song and inspiration that was shown on the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS), and seen by tens of thousands of people. We held a Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) celebration together with the Great Neck Synagogue which was attended by over 500 people on Zoom. And in the year to come, our Israel programs will be better than ever!
Tekes Ma’avar attendees streaming via the Jewish Broadcasting Services THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 11
S ISTE R H OO D The Sisterhood of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun is committed to good works and improving the lives of people. Funds raised through our programming are used to support social action projects that benefit families and individuals in our community and around the world. The Sisterhood is also responsible for preparing a Shiva home, including the first meal; contributing to KJ programs and activities, such as communal Sukkah meals, Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts and funding unsponsored Kiddushim. We look forward to resuming our communal Sukkah meal and Kiddushim once we have put the coronavirus behind us.
Contemporary Israeli art experts led a virtual tour at the Sisterhood Cares evening
Sharon Garfunkel Roberta Stetson Presidents
TUES, OCT 27 / 7:30 PM
Zoom Book Event with Rabbi Lookstein WED, NOV 18 / 7:30 PM
Zoom Health/Exercise Event WED, DEC 14 / 7:30 PM
An Israel Zoom Tour: Finding King David 2021 THURS, MAR 11 / 7:30 PM
Zoom Challah and L'Chaim Challah Bake with a special guest TUES, APR 27 / 7:30 PM
Sephardic Cooking Event SUN, MAY 2 / 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Rooftop Sisterhood Boutique SUN, MAY 23 / 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sisterhood Luncheon Connect
firstname.lastname@example.org ckj.org/sisterhood 12 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
Do something good for you while doing something good for the community! Join us at these fun, upcoming events. For more information, go to ckj.org/sisterhood.
C H ES E D While some of our chesed activities have been curtailed because of the need for social distancing, our members volunteer in Bikur Cholim, Hatzolah, Chevra Kadisha, our Food Pantry, the Mitzvah Toy campaign, and Ahava@KJ. During the pandemic, the KJ Chesed Committee has been helping our KJ Family. Anyone who is feeling isolated and lonely and might appreciate a call or visit; needs help with an errand, accompaniment to a doctor’s appointment, or anything else — the Chesed Committee is here to help! If you would like to be contacted by a friendly volunteer, or you know someone who might benefit from the services offered, please contact email@example.com or call our hotline at 646-306-4161, and we will respond ASAP. Please be assured that all interactions are kept strictly confidential.
Leah Modlin Marian Gross KJ Chesed Committee Co-Chairs
Connect ckj.org/chesed firstname.lastname@example.org
KJ Chesed volunteers checking in and supporting our KJ family
THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 13
â€‚ WH O'S WH O
Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Elie Weinstock Rabbi
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Meyer Laniado Assistant Rabbi
Dr. Benjamin Zalta Sephardic Hazzan
Dr. Steven Ritholtz Teen Director
Aryana Ritholtz Youth Director
Chevy Rubenstein Assistant Youth Director
Leonard Silverman Executive Director
Riva Alper Administrator
Sy Yanofsky Comptroller
Dina Farhi Executive Assistant
14 / THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020
Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder Scholar-in-Residence
Rabbi Daniel Kraus Director of Community Education
Rachel Kraus Director of Community Education
Chaim Dovid Berson Cantor
Rabbi Manu Hass Manhattan NCSY Director
Deeni Hass JYC Director
Julia Baruch Yoetzet Halakha
Talia Laniado Graphic Designer
Esther Feierman Director of Communications and Programming
Menucha Parry Director of Member Affairs
Freddie Rodriguez Superintendent
Mamadou Deme Director of Security
THE KJ DIFFERENCE 2020 / 15
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
125 East 85th Street New York NY 10028 212.774.5600 ckj.org â€˘ email@example.com fb.com/congregationkehilathjeshurun