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Friday, November 15, 2013 THE JEWISH PRESS  Page 59

Community Currents Upcoming events… On November 25, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood and Inwood Jews will host a pre-“Thanksgivukah” community event at the Y. This event, open to all ages in the Washington Heights and Inwood communities, will tie the two holidays of Thanksgiving and Chanukah together with themed art projects, book readings, and doughnut/pumpkin decorating. Fresh fall fruits and home-made latkes will be served, and the evening’s festivities will be capped off with a public pumpkin-menorah lighting. For more information, contact Ari Lewis at

In recent news…

Community Leader Joins Select Women Halachic Consultants Young Israel of Plainview has a new yoetzet halacha in its midst. Rebbetzin Avital Weissman received her official title during commencement exercises last month at The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue. As part of Nishmat’s U.S. Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program inaugural graduating class, Rebbetzin Weissman is now one of only a handful of women formally recognized to oversee issues pertaining to women’s health and family purity. Sandra Katz, president of the Young Israel of Plainview Sisterhood, was elated with Rebbetzin Weiss-

man’s accomplishment. “Historically, our community has always prided itself, among other qualities, as being inclusive, accepting and accommodating. That being said, having a dedicated yoetzet halacha in our midst will only serve to enrich what Plainview already has to offer.”

context to take forward the project of a Judaism engaged with the world in conversation with students in one of the major centers of Jewish life.”

Lord Sacks Appointed To Dual Professorship

Over 200 participants from New York to Los Angeles and from Toronto to Israel attended Ohel’s recent live and free webinar, “Enhancing the Marital Relationship.” Leading Ohel marriage and family experts Dr. Hindie M. Klein and Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R, provided both professional insights into the spousal relationship and practical steps to uplift any marriage. The “12 Transformational Tools to Defuse Marital Conflict” that were presented were based on Rabbi Feuerman’s new book Marriage 911, which he co-authored with his wife, Chaya Feuerman, LCSW-R. Some of the ideas discussed included how to properly manage anxiety and how to root out passive aggressive behavior. The presenters said spouses should never turn down an apology and should take full responsibility for their part of the problem. The entire session was recorded and is available at Ohel typically presents at least one webinar a month. Its next one will take place on November 19 and will address the needs of caregivers in the sandwich generation. Register at www.ohelfamily. org/webinar.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been appointed to a dual professorship at New York University (NYU) and Yeshiva University (YU). A world-renowned scholar, philosopher, religious leader, prolific author and a leading moral voice, Rabbi Lord Sacks served as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from September 1991 until September 2013 – only the sixth incumbent of the position since it was formalized in 1845. At YU, Rabbi Lord Sacks will serve as the Kressel and Efrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought. At NYU, he will be the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought. He will teach and be involved in academic activities in New York and elsewhere in NYU’s global network. “I am excited at the opportunity to teach at Yeshiva University, one of the world’s great institutions of higher Jewish learning and at NYU, a university of global reach and distinction,” said Rabbi Sacks. “This dual intellectual challenge is the perfect

Ohel Marriage Webinar Draws Hundreds

Author Paves The Way For Budding Teen Writers When it came to teen writer Chaya Sara Zirkind, “precocious” was an understatement. By 14, she had completed her first novel; by 18, she had been published in a leading magazine; and by 19, she had released her first children’s book with Targum Press. Encouraged by writing instructors and family members, the young teen would put pen to paper for hours on end, submitting her finished pieces to a variety of publishers and magazines – and usually getting a flat-out “no.” “A lot of my plot lines were far-fetched or one-dimensional (read: boring),” she admits, looking back at the inexperience and raw potential that characterized her rookie years. But young Chaya Sara remained determined, quickly learning to swallow hard, extract the lesson, and try again. “After my first rejection, my grandfather said, ‘That’s great! Every writer needs to get a no; now you can move on to receiving a yes.’ Those words kept me going.” The indomitable teen’s perseverance paid off. Tessler Triplets Vol. 1, the first of an engaging fourbook series about a zany set of triplets attending three different schools, was published before her 20th birthday, marking her early debut into Jewish children’s fiction publishing. Since then, Cha-

ya Sara has kept up the momentum with eight more wellreceived books for Jewish preteens. But after several years of savoring the sweet taste of success, Ms. Zirkind-Ben Shachar – now a married mother of three living in Israel – wanted more. “Because my own writing career began as a teen, I’ve always wanted to help talented teens develop their strengths,” she says. “Running a teen contest and publishing the winning stories in a book was a dream of mine for years, but I couldn’t find anyone with the vision to help me actualize it…until I discovered Torah Temimah.” Torah Temimah Publications, an enterprising Jerusalem-based publisher founded by Rabbi Eliyahu Miller, supported the project wholeheartedly, launching it with a highly-publicized shout-out to literary-inclined teens: Do you have a story to share? An untold message? A powerful essay?

The response wasn’t long in coming: Jewish teenagers worldwide answered in droves, embracing the international writing challenge. From Boro Park to Boston, Los Angeles to Jerusalem, girls from across the globe put their best works forward, forming a multi-colored mosaic of powerful, passionate teen voices. Presented in Winners – a firstof-its-kind anthology – are the most outstanding entries: a panorama of personal, articulate voices geared to young adult readers from across the religious spectrum. Though most of the featured essays are fiction, the collection is unmistakably real-life, bringing to the fore today’s burning teen issues: social angst, body image, sibling rivalry, acute loss, emotional isolation, stereotyping, and spiritual challenges. “It’s the kind of book that will make you laugh, cry, and contemplate,” says Chaya Sara, describing the experience of working on this anthology – and guiding the girls in polishing their essays – as “extremely gratifying.”

Ezer Mizion – A Hand In The Dark They Didn’t Mix Up The Text Tubes Anat, whose mother Jenny received a bone marrow donation from Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry, relates: “There is a 20-year difference between my mother and me. We have an agreement – she “retires” at age 100, and I, at age 80. In this way we won’t miss our regular daily chat. “Two years ago, she almost broke our agreement. “She was hospitalized because of… well, first they thought it was the flu with complications, or maybe an infection, perhaps arthritis or cancer. Mom got to the hospital in the eleventh hour. ‘If you would have come four days later, she would have died,’ the medical staff informed us.

We were shocked. I cannot begin to describe the terror a person feels when someone close to him is sick. The test results came in bit by bit. Then they said the word. The word that I didn’t want to hear. For us, the word leukemia was a death sentence. “I asked Mom if she was sure they didn’t mix up the test tubes, and she, who worked as a nurse in Beilinson Hospital for over thirty years, smiled sadly and said, ‘That’s what every patient hopes.’ But here, to our great distress, there was no mistake. “Our entire family rallied for the battle. And it was really a fierce battle. “Chemotherapy: Round One. The leukemia seemed to be mocking us. ‘I’m still here…’ Round two. Remission

seemed like an elusive dream. There was just one last chance. A bone marrow transplant. Would a genetic match be available? In time? We applied to Ezer Mizion, the world’s largest Jewish bone marrow registry. Then we waited. We would be notified, we knew, but would it be good news or the ominous words: No Match Found? “My mother is here with us today because Yisrael, who joined Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry in the course of his induction to the IDF, was a perfect match and donated bone marrow to her, thus saving her life. “We met Yisrael for the first time in April. About a month ago, we all attended his wedding with great joy and emotion. “He and Ezer Mizion gave us our mother as a gift. May we someday be able to repay, even in some small way, the tremendous debt of appreciation we feel towards him and towards the organization.”

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Community Currents A large crowd of ladies and teenage girls filled the elegant Rushmore Estate Ballroom of Highland Mills, NY last week to enjoy a beautiful evening and benefit Chabad of Orange County’s Youth Scholarship Fund.

The Anti-Defamation league held its Annual Meeting in New York last week. Among those addressing the meeting was U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chair (left), and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director (right), presented the ADL Jan Karski Courage to Care Award in honor of Ukrainian Metropolitan Archbishop Andrei Sheptytsky to Professor Jerzy Weyman (center), who accepted the honor on behalf of his family. (Photo credit: David Karp/ADL)

Beth Israel Medical Center colleagues were on hand to applaud Chaim Bernstein, MD, at the recent Wholeness of Life Award ceremony. (L-R) Doctors David Bernard, Hosam Sayed, Maurice Alwaya, Philip Schmidt, Ilya Bilik, Bernstein, Harris M. Nagler, Rhona Hetsrony, Merab Krikhely, Harinath Pillalamarri, and Paul Wein. The Brooklyn Region of Emunah of America hosted a gala event on October 13. The night featured boutiques, a lavish dinner, and a dessert buffet, plus humor from Joel Chasnoff. All funds raised were earmarked for the Charlotte Dachs Mechina Program in Israel which enables high school students who face extreme personal challenges to graduate and further pursue their educational goals.

Barbara Hirsch, chairperson, and Joel Chasnoff.

Friday, November 15, 2013 THE JEWISH PRESS  Page 61

Community Currents On Sunday, October 27, the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula (JCCRP) held a Legislative Breakfast honoring government officials, community leaders, and “Heroes of Hurricane Sandy.” The event took place in The White Shul Ballroom on the one-year anniversary of Sandy.

(L-R) Nathan Krasnovsky, executive director JCCRP; Yanky Brach receiving the Community Builder Award; Rav Eytan Feiner of the White Shul; and Richard Altabe, chairman of JCCRP.

(L-R) Melinda Katz, Queens Borough president; Nathan Krasnovsky; Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder receiving the State Legislative Leadership Award; and Richard Altabe.

(L-R): Roberta Leiner, Senior Vice President Agency Relations UJA Federation of NY; Nathan Krasnovsky; and Richard Altabe. Touro College of Pharmacy has appointed Dr. Zvi Loewy, professor and chair of its Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, as its interim dean, succeeding Dr. Stuart Feldman, who stepped down two weeks ago. In October, Councillor James Pasternak joined representatives from Associação Cultural 25 de Abril, Leo Baeck Day School, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and elected officials to unveil the newly designed Sousa Mendes Playground and plaque. He then joined the local community to celebrate the Village Shul’s 25th Anniversary. The event, held at the Village Shul, featured former United States Senator Joseph Lieberman. At the shul with Senator Lieberman.

Hatzolah of Boro Park held an Appreciation Event last week for the NYPD. Project Nivneh

(L-R) MPP Jonah Schein; MP Andrew Cash; Councillor Joe Mihevc; Ligia Nobrega, president of Associação Cultural 25 de Abril; Councillor Ana Bailao; and Councillor James Pasternak.

(Photo credit: JDN)

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