By Larry Gordon

Rabbi Heshy Blumstein is a dynamic rabbinical leader and personality who understands the inner workings of a community and what its needs are. Over the last 18 years, he led the Young Israel of Hewlett which under his direction grew into an important center of Torah learning and scholarship in the greater community.

A few months ago, he decided that it was time for a change and a move in a new and innovative direction. “It was all siyata d’shmaya,” the rabbi says. “The new Premier Center for Rehabilitation was opening its doors in the community and it was clear that there was an important need that would serve the neighboring community as well as the residents,” the rabbi said.

The new Premier structure that was built over the last several years at a cost of over $100 million is becoming the focal point and centerpiece of the Woodmere community. And its new shul, located on the ground floor of the freshly built facility, is a large room with an attractive outdoor area that when the weather warms up will be used for the Shabbos Kiddushim and other community events.

“I cannot adequately describe what it means to residents of the nursing home and those here for rehabilitation services to have minyanim three times a day and of course on Shabbos and yom tov,” Rabbi Blumstein says. “It’s an exciting addition to the community.”

Rabbi Blumstein and his assistant rabbi, Hershel Reiss, who ran the minyan in the old Woodmere Rehab facility, start their day by assisting residents to attend the morning minyan which is then followed by a brief Torah lecture and breakfast. There is then a minyan for Minchah in the afternoon and then one for Ma’ariv later in the evening. You can consult the listing in this week’s paper for the daily regular shul schedule.

More than anything, when you sit and talk to Rabbi Blumstein about his vision for the shul, one cannot help but notice his great energy and determination to establish what is already becoming a very busy shul. “You have to see for yourself what it means exactly for residents in Premier to be looking forward to minyan two or three times a day,” he says.

Rabbi Blumstein and Rabbi Reiss both agree that the chesed quotient is something off the charts. And it is a beautiful spanking brand new area of the facility that has been set apart for the new Congregation Yismach Moshe. The room can also be converted into a magnificent and spacious simcha room suitable for a variety of events.

The new shul is only a few weeks old but it is busy welcoming new people from around the community, those visiting residents over Shabbos as well as visitors during the weekdays. Rabbi Blumstein is the force behind making this happen and interestingly enough he is one of the few people capable of turning a vision like this into a reality.

The new Premier facility and Yismach Moshe Shul is located at 1050 Central Avenue in Woodmere.

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