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Community Currents Lag B’Omer 5773
The Munkatcher Rebbe
At the Center for Jewish Life’s Lag B’Omer Fair in Marlboro, N.J.
The Biala Rebbe of Borough Park in Miami.
Rabbi Mendel Zaltzman of the Jewish Russian Community Centre of Ontario (center) and Councillor Rav Binyomin Eisenberger of Khal Heichal HaTefillah dancing at the James Pasternak with student performers at the an- In Moscow with Rabbi Berel Lanual Lag B’Omer family festival in Earl Bales Park. zar. hadlakah in Meiron.
At the grand Lag B’Omer parade in Crown Heights.
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Community Currents At the Anti-Defamation League’s 2013 Centennial Summit in Washington, D.C.
Last week, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, visited Yeshiva University. The chief rabbi was welcomed to campus with a performance by YU’s Sephardi choir before delivering a shiur to students in the Glueck Beit Midrash. He then offered divrei chizuk to students in YU’s James Striar School upon their siyum of Masechet Tamid and participated in a luncheon with various roshei yeshiva, members of YU’s faculty and administration, and local Sephardi community leaders. His wife, meanwhile, Rabbanit Mazal Amar, delivered a lecture titled “Women’s Leadership According to Chazal” at YU’s Stern campus in midtown Manhattan.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, right, is greeted by Abraham Foxman, left, national director of ADL.
Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, former chief of intelligence for the Israel Defense Forces and director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, speaking at the event. (Photo: David Karp) Bonei Olam inaugurated the “Pomegranate Conference Room” in its headquarters last week for the sheva brachos of the daughter of Bonei Olam’s director, Rabbi Shlomo Bochner, shown here with Pomegranate’s founder, Abraham Banda.
The M Generation Boys Choir will perform in a 10th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, May 19, organized by F.R.E.E. of Brighton Beach, under the direction of Rabbi Hershel Okunov.
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Community Currents Upcoming events… “Fire in my Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh” will be on exhibit from May 14-September 8 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. It sheds light on Hannah Senesh, the inspiring 23-year-old young woman who died by firing squad in 1944, but has endured as one of Israel’s most iconic heroes. This exhibition tells the story of how this Budapest-born poet, diarist, and author of the hymn “Eli, Eli” discovered her love for the Land of Israel, courageously volunteered for a mission to rescue downed Allied ﬂiers and Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary, and ultimately became a lasting symbol of courage and determination. This poignant exhibition begins in cosmopolitan Budapest of the 1920s and 1930s, exploring Hannah’s home life, education, and religious beliefs as part of a bourgeois Jewish family, and demonstrates how her priorities shifted towards Zionism upon facing anti-Semitism. The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will feature programs and events in conjunction with the exhibition. These include: “Guest Curator Talk with Dr. Louis Levine” on May 19 and “Film and Discussion: Blessed is the Match” on June 23. To register for these events or to learn more, visit www.ilholocaustmuseum.org or call 847-967-4800.
Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, mara d’asra of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation (“The BAYT”), sent STAR-K the following letter of appreciation for hosting the Yarchei Kallah: “Thanks so much to STAR-K for having our chaburah as your guests. It was truly a wonderful experience.”
OU Kosher In Boro Park OU Kosher presented its annual staff “Kashrut Conference” last weekend at the Renaissance Ballroom in Boro Park, Brooklyn for rabbinic coordinators from headquarters and rabbinic field representatives from around North America.
Topics included the meat industry; applications and understanding of dairy equipment; OUDirect, an online program for companies; and “Thinking OUt of the Box.” Chaya Cohen of the New York State Department of Labor gave a session on ergonomics; OU posek Rabbi Yisroel Belsky spoke on bitul issur l’chatchila; and Rabbi Shmuel Dishon, mashgiach ruchani of Yeshiva Karlin, provided divrei chizuk. The program included a chavruta session and concluded with a question and answer session led by Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, CEO and COO of OU Kosher, respectively.
Touro Students Go to Albany Touro College School of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) students visited Albany recently with the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA). Their goal was to raise awareness among elected officials about the occupational therapy profession at all levels and the role of OTAs in upcoming healthcare legislation impacting the profession. In addition to the healthcare
legislation, currently there are bills pending that address OTA licensure in New York State; OT and OTA practice and coverage. Students met with Senator Martin J. Golden and staff members of Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, and spoke on the Senate chamber ﬂoor with Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, himself an OT. Pictured are Touro College students with Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder.
*** On Wednesday, May 15, Chabad of MerrickBellmore-Wantagh will host an “Ice Cream Party” for children and adults along with the reading of the Ten Commandments in honor of Shavuot. There will also be a dairy dinner buffet, children’s program and an ice cream bar. It’s all happening at 5:30 p.m. off Sunrise Highway in Merrick. For more information, contact the Chabad Center for Jewish Life at 516-8333057 or visit www.ChabadJewishLife.org/icecream.
In recent news…
N’shei C.A.R.E.S. Sefirah Event As sefirah is a time for spiritual growth, N’shei C.A.R.E.S./Agudah Women of America, in conjunction with Maimonides Medical Center, promoted an evening of divrei chizuk and hisorerus for women on April 15. Over 1,000 women crowded the Ateres Chynka Hall to be inspired by two world-renowned speakers, Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi Paysach Krohn on the topic “Endangered Language: Please, Thank You, Excuse Me and I’m Sorry.” Rabbi Mansour explained that the yetzer hara is the epitome of a mechutzaf, whose inﬂuence has permeated our environment and infiltrated every aspect of our speech. He eloquently wove in various commentaries to elaborate on examples of chutzpah – disregarding ancestral traditions, lacking respect for parents and elders, etc. He also offered various examples of boldness that sanctify God’s name and will ultimately bring the final redemption. Rabbi Krohn, in his inimitable style, presented various anecdotes and vignettes to highlight the importance of saying thank you and apologizing to others. He noted the significance of Rabbi Akiva’s act in sending out five of his talmidim throughout Eretz Yisrael to re-establish Torah despite the tragic loss of 24,000 of his own talmidim, and impressed upon the audience the importance of not becoming despondent about the generation’s unmitigated chutzpah. Rabbi Krohn also observed that arrogance and disdain for others often precludes the ability to say “I’m sorry” or “thank you,” and stressed the need for people to recognize, validate, and respect every person that Hashem has placed in this world. A packet of two CDs can be obtained from the offices of Agudah Women (for $13 including shipping and handling) by calling 212-363-8940.
YU Alumni Visit Star-K Rabbinic alumni from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary visited StarK Kosher Certification’s offices during their Yarchei Kallah, held in Baltimore, Maryland, April 2224. Participants traveled from as far away as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Oakland, California.
Rabbis Support Salgado for Mayor Several leading Brooklyn rabbanim came to AhiEzer on Ocean Parkway to show their support for Erick Salgado, a candidate in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor. The theme that ﬂowed through the rabbis’ talks was that Salgado was the only candidate in the Democratic primary who will protect the values that the Orthodox Jewish community holds dear. Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Nelkenbaum, rosh yeshiva of Mir, told the gathering, “I’m excited for Mr. Salgado’s candidacy. He’s dedicated and committed to safeguard our freedom to observe our religious practices and Torah values. In recent times, there were attempts to outlaw certain mitzvahs of the Torah. The Gemara says (Shabbos 54b), ‘Kol mi sheyesh beyado limchos, ve’eino moche, nitfas be’oso avon – If someone has it in his power to protest and prevent someone from doing a transgression and he doesn’t, he’s also punished for that transgression because he’s allowing it to happen and that way he’s aiding.’ So we have the ability to put someone in office who will hopefully be able to stem the tide and maybe even reverse it. That goes into the category of kol mi sheyesh beyado limchos… and therefore it’s incumbent on everyone to see that Salgado is elected mayor.” Rabbi Auziel Admony of B’nai Yosef highlighted the importance of Salgado’s campaign for the Orthodox Jewish community stating, “This is not considered a political event. It’s a religion issue. It’s a religious obligation to be here tonight and support the campaign of Mr. Salgado.” Rabbi Romi Cohen, a mohel, expressed his concerns about city government interfering with religious practice. He told the gathering that he is a
Holocaust survivor who came to this country because of our First Amendment which protects religious freedom. Now, he said, Mayor Bloomberg is interfering with the manner in which we practice Orthodox Judaism. Also addressing the gathering were State Senator Ruben Diaz, who has endorsed Salgado’s candidacy and brought a Hispanic delegation from the Bronx, and Gregory Davidzon, a leader in the Russian community. Senator Diaz, the only Democrat in the State Senate who voted against gay marriage, said that voting for Salgado will send a message to the Democratic Party not to ignore the religious vote. “I am honored by the rabbis’ strong support and thank them on behalf of all New Yorkers who are concerned about protecting traditional family values. We have a tough fight ahead of us, but I am confident that together we will be victorious,” Salgado stated.
(L-R) Erick Salgado and Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Nelkenbaum, Mir rosh yeshiva.
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Community Currents On Monday, April 29, some 300 members and friends of the Park Slope Jewish community in Brooklyn gathered to celebrate the opening of the William and Betty Katz Center for Jewish Life. The three-story center boasts mikvaot for both men and women, as well as a visitors center and guest rooms. The Mei Sarah Park Slope Mikvah, a gift of the Drizin family named for Sarah Drizin, the family’s matriarch, is the neighborhood’s first women’s mikveh. The Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht guest suites will service people visiting friends and family in the nearby Methodist Hospital.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes visited the offices of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council (BPJCC) last week, meeting with staff and learning firsthand about the important services JCC offers the community. In a wide-ranging discussion, the DA spoke about some of the many programs his office is involved in to help reduce crime in Brooklyn. He repeatedly reminded the group how rampant crime was at one time and forcefully stressed that “we are not going back there.”
Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser and members of Otsar’s Chevra. The Yeshiva University High School for Boys Chorus won the 2013 V’ata Banim Shiru Chorus Competition held at Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, NY on Sunday, April 28.
A group of approximately 50 demonstrators congregated in front of The Great Neck Record’s offices on Cutter Mill Road in Great Neck on April 28 to protest what they claimed was the paper’s decades of slanted coverage and dissemination of left-wing propaganda. The Record published a close-up of photo of the seating area for Pamela Geller’s speech at Chabad of Great Neck – before the event started – with a caption stating: “Basically No Crowds at Chabad of Great Neck, as Pamela Geller spoke.” (Photo Credit: Committee for Fair Reporting)
(L-R) Ari Mandelbaum, Jason Blatt, Gabriel Kesten, Coach David Ross, Josh Birnbaum, CJ Glicksman, Benjy Lamm, Gabi Rosenthal, Akiva Schiff, Ari Massias, and Devir Kahan. Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) recently welcomed and paid tribute to men and women from the United States Military Academy at West Point at a reception on April 24 as part of the 61st Annual “West Point Day” held at the New York State Capitol in Albany. The event was hosted by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-onHudson), a retired lieutenant colonel who served 23 years on active duty in the United States Army. Both the Senate and the Assembly adopted legislative resolutions to commemorate the Academy’s visit and to honor the establishment of the United States Military Academy at West Point. (L-R) Senator Bill Larkin, Brigadier General Timothy Trainor, Senator Simcha Felder, and Senator Marty Golden.