Page 46 THE JEWISH PRESS Friday, November 16, 2012
Community Currents Upcoming events…
On Sunday, December 2, New York City’s Center for Anxiety – located on the 59th Floor of the Empire State Building (350 Fifth Avenue) – will offer a half-day clinical workshop on how to integrate spirituality into cognitive behavioral therapy. Attendees will learn about the evidence base for spiritually-integrated psychotherapy, ways to determine appropriate candidates for such treatment, and, most importantly, how to do so within an evidence-based framework. More information can be found at www. centerforanxiety.org.
OU Kosher will hold a live webcast on Tuesday, December 4, at 2 p.m. on “Facing Illness: The Torah Approach” featuring OU Kosher authorities and senior halachic consultants Rabbi Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Hershel Schachter. The program will take place at www.ou.org/webcast_kosher/. Topics will include: “What issues in Shabbat and kashrut arise when facing illness?” “What kashrut issues are involved with chewable pills?” “I am a kohen: Can I ever visit someone in the hospital?” “Can I break Shabbat to treat the flu?” “A broken ﬁnger?”
Met Council Responds To Hurricane Sandy Early last week Met Council unfolded its comprehensive crisis response plan to Hurricane Sandy. It began distributing emergency food, water, and supplies and provided essential services to the affected neighborhoods in the Rockaways, Southern Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan. Among its activities: • Thousands of pounds of food were distributed from its warehouse with the help of the Food Bank of New York and City Harvest • 5,000 hot meals, water, and fresh fruit were hand-delivered by more than 100 volunteers. • A $30,000 matching fund was set up at Brachs Supermarket for victims in the Rockaways, offering over $45,000 in support. • 106 of its residents in Seagate were evacuated, given emergency shelter, and then options for temporary housing at its Canarsie residence. • Supplemental security was provided in the Rockaways over Shabbat, and generators were
made available for several synagogues. • Dozens of seniors received emergency home repairs through its Metropair program. • Countless clients were assisted by its Benefits Access program to apply for emergency benefits and funds; they were also given information on the status of their current benefits. To maintain these critical services for its vulnerable communities, Met Council is asking the public for help. Its food reserves will be depleted shortly, and distribution to all those in need is critical and costly. In addition, it needs volunteers and supplies. Drop off centers are open for item collection at 171 Lexington Avenue and 315 West 61st Street in Manhattan. It also has a location in Staten Island at 460 N. Brielle Avenue on the grounds of Seaview Hospital. Items that are most needed at this time include kosher food, water, toiletries, new towels, new coats, paper towels, gloves, garbage bags, and cleaning supplies.
‘5K To Recover’ JRunners and Mordechai Ben David urge all members of the Jewish community to register for the “5K to Recover” on December 2 to raise funds for the storm-battered community of Sea Gate. All proceeds beneﬁt the Sea Gate Hurricane Emergency Fund. Participants can register at www.5ktorecover.org. “This is an opportunity to do a tremendous mitzvah,” international music superstar and longtime Sea Gate resident Mordechai Ben David explained. “You will be supporting families who literally do not have food to eat or a home to live in. As chairman of the ‘5K to Recover,’ I personally encourage you to join me on December 2 as we take the critical ﬁrst steps to recover.” JRunners President Matt Katz added, “If you’ve been sitting around wondering what you can do to help the victims of hurricane Sandy, this is your opportunity. Lace up your sneakers, call your friends, and register for the ‘5K to Recover.’ Whether you
run, walk, or even crawl, you’ll be helping to raise critical recovery funds and awareness for the plight of fellow Jews.” Tax-deductible contributions will immediately assist Sea Gate residents with emergency daily necessities including: temporary housing, clothing, medical expenses, temporary transportation to/from work and meals for families and recovery volunteers. All participants who register by November 22 will receive a long sleeve cotton event tshirt, and all ﬁnishers will receive a commemorative ribbon evidencing their support for the Sea Gate community. The race is speciﬁcally tailored to encourage full community participation from the most seasoned of runners to ﬁrst-time walkers. There will be separate start times for men and women. Each participant commits to raising $180 to support the Sea Gate Hurricane Emergency Fund.
Viewers of the webcast should send in questions before the session starts to Rabbi Safran at Safrane@ou.org or Rabbi Eliyahu W. Ferrell at Ferrelle@ou.org. Questions may only be submitted prior to the webcast. *** On Sunday, December 2, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center will host a conversation with Estelle Laughlin, child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Warsaw Ghetto uprising, as well as Majdanek and Czestochowa concentration camps. The event will take place from 1:303:00 p.m. at 9603 Woods Drive in Skokie. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-967-4889. *** The November 11 Inner Self/Outer Self Seminar for women has been postponed to December 16 due to Hurricane Sandy. This seminar is designed for seriously marriage-minded Jewish women and will feature make up-artists, hair stylists, a nutritional therapist, personal trainer, spiritual & dating life coach, image consultant/stylist, and ZUMBA (bring sneakers). The event will take place at Congregation Talmud Torah Adereth El, 133 E 29th Street, NYC (between Lexington & 3rd Ave.) from 2:00-6:30 p.m. Reservations are required; e-mail email@example.com or call 973-851-9070.
OU Delivers Relief Through Shul Rabbis Contributions to the Orthodox Union’s Hurricane Relief Fund are being channeled directly to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in OU shuls in stricken areas so that needed assistance will be distributed on the ground, at the point of impact, by the rabbis who are dealing with the situation day by day. “Who knows better than the rabbis the suffering in their own communities?” said Dr. Simcha Katz, president of OU. “Likewise, they know the damage inflicted on local Jewish institutions, the synagogues, and yeshivot, including their own shul. That is why this unique means of delivering aid has been chosen by the OU for its Fund.” Dr. Katz noted that the OU has established a committee to allocate Hurricane Relief Funds to the affected communities. “Some will be outright gifts, and some will establish non-interest loan funds so that when people are reimbursed by their insurance company or by FEMA, those funds can be used by someone else in an effort that is certain to go on for years.” Contributions may be made to the fund at www.ou.org. Those with hurricane-related problems, community requests, or alerts can e-mail the Orthodox Union at firstname.lastname@example.org. com.
A Letter From The National Council Of Young Israel Our community has been hurt and very badly. You have certainly seen the news, videos on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter posts, heard the reports or spoken and been in touch with friends and relatives on the Northeast coast. Perhaps you are even hosting some family, friends or ‘new’ friends for a few days or a weekend as the community begins to cleanup and heal. Individuals, families and communities alike have, in many cases, lost everything they had from clothing to homes to shuls. Some 20 feet from where I write this my neighbor is having the foundation of his home inspected and overhauled. On the ground many wonderful and inspiring people and families have provided living space,
clothing, food, water and gas for those who are in need. Many local organizations, including local Young Israels and not-so-local Young Israels have mobilized crews to cleanup or provide heat and generators for those who are in need. One set of examples is the Young Israels of Woodmere, Long Beach, Wavecrest & Bayswater, among many others in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut that have been severely damaged by the storm that have nonetheless become storm shelters and resource centers, as they gather food and clothing, provide heat, light, phone chargers, meals and some respite from the damage and devastation. Hundreds of people each day are coming in through their
doors to partake of the generosity and benevolence both from the community and from other faith communities as well. The needs are massive and are growing. We are asking that you send donations to our Young Israel Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund through our website, www.young israel.org. The funds will be distributed directly to shul leadership who have the best knowledge of the needs of their shuls and members. Thank you in advance. Rabbi Bini Maryles Associate Executive Director Senior Director of Branch Services; Young Israel
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Election Day in Boro Park.
The Toldos Aharon Rebbe offering divrei chizuk to the Beis Medrash of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. (Photo credit: Shulem Goldring) The Kalever Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Taub, visited Yeshiva University on November 7 to offer blessings, guidance, and words of encouragement to students.
(Photo Credit: Heshy Rubinstein/Dee Voch)
The first snow of the season – a little early this year! (Photo credit: Dee Voch; Chuppah courtesy of ChanaBlumPhotography)
Oorah’s Learn n’ ChillZone program in Rockville, Maryland, continued despite Hurricane Sandy.
Page 48 THE JEWISH PRESS Friday, November 16, 2012
Community Currents Belle Harbor: Hope In The Face Of Despair By Rabbi Dr. Boaz Tomsky Although this is another story about the horrific events that befell a community due to Hurricane Sandy, something quite positive and uplifting resulted in the process. It was 1963, some 50 years ago, that a yeshiva in rural Belle Harbor opened its doors to provide a Jewish education for the greater community. Located just one block from the beach, we have incorporated the environment as part of our curriculum including going to Tashlich during Rosh Hashanah time and having special school gatherings on Lag Ba’Omer. The Yeshiva of Belle Harbor (YBH) is the world to so many children, past and present.
(Photo credit: JDN) Then the hurricane came and changed everything. Our school, housed primarily on the bottom ﬂoor, was completely filled with storm water. Everything was destroyed. From books to desks, computers to office equipment – nothing is salvageable. Everything we built during our 50 years of existence was stripped away in the matter of a few hours. All seemed hopeless. In an initial meeting with the parent body we thought to call it a day. But this was not to be. Nor was merging with another school or being absorbed an option. “We send our children to YBH for a reason!” exclaimed a parent at the meeting. “There is nothing like it out there and we are not letting go!” Without hesitation, things began to move at lightning speed. A new board and subcommittees were organized. But where could one find a school in the middle of November that is “move in ready”? Amaz-
ingly there is such a place. The very next day, the board and other key members toured a beautiful facility in the heart of Brooklyn. It was love at first sight. “This is a step up from where we were before,” commented a board member. With such unprecedented speed, YBH has now found its new home at Eitz Chaim of Flatbush on East 13th Street in Brooklyn. Things are looking bright in the aftermath of a horrible event. The whole community is coming together with a common focus, a common goal, namely to get its beloved school up and running as fast as possible. Many other local yeshivas are donating materials and doing what they can to help. Other organizations are assisting with their expertise and manpower to get our school the very basics to reopen its doors. We now ask each and every one of you to assist our yeshiva in this most crucial time of need in any
Havoc In Brighton Beach The Seabreeze Jewish Center, a leading synagogue and community center in the Brighton Beach area, has been severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The synagogue and rabbi’s residence are in proximity of the boardwalk and suffered the brunt of the storm. The hurricane surge and high tide carried the waters of the Atlantic Ocean into the beth medrash, catering hall, commercial kitchen, and rabbi’s study, filling them with 14 feet of water and demolishing everything. The rabbi, Rabbi Zushe Winner, lost over 1,000 sefarim in his home, as well as furniture and appliances that were in the basement.
The night that Hurricane Sandy hit, Rabbi Winner and two sons remained at home like most residents of the neighborhood, believing there wouldn’t be any real danger or damage. The rabbi wanted to be available to assist residents who might be stranded in high rise buildings in case of a power outage. However, as the tide waters rose, eventually reaching five feet above street level, it was apparent that they couldn’t remain at home, so they moved next door, to the more secure synagogue building, walking chest high in water. Arriving at the syna-
way that you can. The need is great and our time of need is right now. It is imperative that we turn to our community to assist us at this time. Please make your tax deductible donations to “YBH.” Our new mailing address is1649 E. 13th St. Brooklyn, NY 11229. Our phone number is 347-688-YBH8 (9248). YBH is truly grateful to all of our benefactors. It is your generosity and commitment that will help advance the mission of our community yeshiva. One can learn more about the school and all of its programs and its mission by going to www.yeshivaofbelleharbor.org One more thing, we will remain YBH. But our name has been transformed into Yeshivat BitacHon – a yeshiva with faith. A yeshiva with a bright future because of you and all of your support. gogue, the rabbi’s sons rushed downstairs to rescue the Torah scrolls from the waters that started ﬂooding the beth medrash. The Seabreeze Jewish Center, under the leadership of Rabbi Winner, has been a leading outreach center touching the lives of hundreds of families in the Brighton Beach area. Presently it needs emergency assistance, estimated at $400,000, to rebuild its facility and enable it to continue its exemplary work in the neighborhood. A Hurricane Relief Fund has been started for all those who want to assist. Contributions can be sent to Seabreeze Jewish Center, 311 Seabreeze Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11224. For more information, call 646-296-9021.
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Community Currents Bayswater Community Gears Into Action By Shelley Zeitlin Even before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, the Bayswater community was transforming itself into a mammoth community relief center. Moments after the winds and water receded, a rescue effort spearheaded by community leaders was launched that brought life-saving relief to hundreds of flooded and devastated households. Now, a fully orchestrated relief operation is providing shelter, food, and clothing to hundreds of families in Bayswater and beyond. Additionally, a local neighborhood group watch has blossomed into a multi-neighborhood security patrol, an anti-looting protection group combining local patrol cars, security companies, and local police. LIPA might be out in the Bayswater Community but the power emanating is palpable, powered not by electricity (and even the hundreds of generators) but by perseverance and dedication – all, so far, without funding.
People working and receiving services at 2716 Healy Avenue portray an atmosphere of vibrancy and a beehive of creative support. Servicing hundreds of families that seek assistance during this desperate time, this new center is offering a myriad of on-site services including hot meals, a food pantry, clothing distribution, laundry services, crisis intervention, and security patrol services. An all-volunteer army, people are running emergency hotlines dispatching rescue and repair crews to assist with pumping floodwater, removing debris, and hooking up generators. Heated shelters have been created for people to sleep at night. Crews have been sent out for rescue and recovery efforts in the surrounding neighborhoods of Long Beach and Belle Harbor as well. Without electric power, security is also a major concern. A neighborhood watch team of over 75 volunteer patrolmen as well as hired off-duty police
The annual Kinus HaShiluchim took place this weekend in Crown Heights. These photos were taken by Don Holloway, who has been immortalizing Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries at their annual conference for more than 20 years.
ofﬁcers have been keeping Bayswater and beyond safe. To continue this truly life sustaining work, funds are badly needed. All donations for The Hurricane Sandy Re-
lief Fund made through www.yiwb.org will be used to help others. Donations can also be called into 718-327-8606 or mailed to 2716 Healy Avenue, Far Rockaway, NY 11691.