By Chanita Teitz

Approximately 400 missiles rained down on Israel from Gaza. Social network posts and Jewish media thought that war was imminent. Schools in the communities near the Gaza border have been closed. A huge gathering took place on Monday night at the Kotel, davening for an end to the bombardment and for Hashem’s protection. Several posts have asked for tefillos for Israeli soldiers. I read yesterday of a miracle when a bus was hit by a missile just minutes after about 50 soldiers got off the bus. One other person was still on the bus as well as the Arab-Israeli bus driver. I don’t know what their conditions are.

Last night my son told his children that we must daven for everyone in Eretz Yisrael because they are in danger. My eight-year-old granddaughter asked innocently, why? She wanted to know why it was so important to us. We don’t live there. He explained to them that all Jews are brothers and sisters. Then he called me to see if I could add anything.

I started by telling them that Eretz Yisrael is important to all Jews because Hashem promised it to Avraham Avinu for his descendants forever. And we are those descendants. Whenever I am in Israel I look at people walking in the streets or at the Kotel and I am in awe. We are the descendants of all the Jews who came before us.

I continued to say that all Jews are connected and responsible for each other. We come from the shevatim who were brothers, so we are all cousins. Imagine, I told them, that if your siblings were in danger, you would feel that danger and worry about them. You would certainly daven for them. That is how we feel for the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

Unfortunately, some young children think that the parashah stories they hear each week, or even the Chumash that they learn, are just stories. Did they really happen? Perhaps we must teach kids about archaeology and some of the amazing things that have been discovered, so the children relate to the past. Now, before Chanukah, showing kids pictures of coins minted by the Maccabees, would amaze them. As adults who hopefully have full emunah, we don’t need proof, but I am blown away every time they find something from long ago. It helps me relate. It helps me imagine thriving Jewish life in Israel 2,000 years ago.

Yesterday I read about an Ethiopian woman who was a young girl when she came with her family to Israel. They trekked through the Sudan to reach Eretz Yisrael. The Ethiopians believed that the Beis HaMikdash was still standing. She described how she was taught that the Beis HaMikdash was built from actual gold and that they were zocheh to finally be able to go to Eretz Yisrael to see it. This deep-seated belief is what kept her going in the blazing sun in hunger and thirst. Of course, it was a disappointment to find that the Beis HaMikdash had been destroyed, but they still felt grateful to be in Eretz Yisrael.

Emunah is what kept us going throughout history. It is the thing that connects us to each other.

As I was saying some Tehillim last night, I was struck by the words of David HaMelech which are as poignant and relevant today as in his time. He begs Hashem to protect him from his enemies, who chase him, who surround him. We too are surrounded by enemies both in Israel and throughout the world.

And so, I say to my grandchildren and to all grandchildren; we daven for all our brothers and sisters. We daven to Hashem to protect all Jews, bring an end to hate and war, and bring the geulah quickly.

YCQ Preschool Open House Great Success

By: Ben Kochman (grade 6)

On Sunday, November 11, YCQ teachers and students volunteered at the annual preschool open house. The administration and Parent Teacher Organization president spoke to the visiting parents about the school curriculum, programing, and the many ways to get involved through the PTO. Following the introduction, parents were given a tour of the classrooms followed by presentations by teachers throughout the school.

Several students assisted teacher Mrs. Jennifer Jaffe in the science lab, where they did an egg in the bottle experiment for the visiting parents to introduce them to the early science curriculum. Other kids assisted teachers from kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, gym, and computers.

The first and second graders presented a song in Hebrew with Morah Leah Greenwald, first grade morah. Rabbi Shmuel Soffer, fourth grade rebbe, did a presentation using the Smart Board. Chrome Books were introduced in the computer lab as part of the YCQ technology program. Several of the kids that volunteered this year had volunteered in previous years. At the end of the open house the school provided lunch for all visiting parents and volunteers while the administration was available to answer questions.

Mrs. Sharon Korn, the preschool director, said, “Our open house this year was very successful, we had many amazing families, both new and returning, that were interested in sending their kids to YCQ.” The administration looks forward to welcoming the children in September.

Chazaq Organizes Challah Baking Event For YCQ Students

Bais Yaakov of Queens Third Grade STEM

As always, BYQ incorporates the most innovative learning into its curriculum. The new STEM initiative promotes excitement and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math. Last week, the third grade was introduced to its opening unit and the young scientists were mesmerized. The girls discussed chemical reactions between an acid and base. The student-centered activity began with measurement as the girls identified the bottle held 16 ounces and then measured specified proportions of oil to see what would happen. Then, what would happen if they added drops of food coloring? The excitement continued as they dropped Alka Seltzer tablets in the bottles. The water and Alka Seltzer combined and formed carbon dioxide. The gas bubbles rose, carrying the color upwards. They were fascinated by the amazing and colorful explosion going on inside the bottle. Each girl proudly took home her lava bottle! They already anticipate their next STEM activity.

Listen To The People

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., (Democrat) arrived at Shevach High School on Monday, November 5 while election fever was at its peak. The senator represents the 15th senatorial district, which encompasses, in whole or in part, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, the Rockaways, Ozone Park, and many other areas. The eleventh and twelfth grades were privileged to hear Senator Addabbo describe why he is passionate about his job in government. “To be an elected official is an honor. It is an honor to help people.” He explained that his father, who served 26 years in Congress, is his inspiration. He taught the younger Addabbo that when someone comes to us with a problem, we should not see it through our own eyes, but rather through their eyes. Whether it was while helping an older woman gain respite from the incessant jingles of an ice cream truck on her block, or in listening, but really listening, to the local children hoping for a good skateboard park, Senator Addabbo demonstrated the importance of helping his constituents with the issues that matter to them.

As the discussion moved to legislation, Senator Addabbo explained the dynamics between the city council and the state legislature. He highlighted issues of safety and revenue, and emphasized that party politics should not get in the way of putting the people first. He described the new license plate designed to raise awareness of Down Syndrome, and how the fees for the new plate will help fund new research, as well as post-Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts, and the expansion of programs for veterans. He spoke about the designated bus lane on Main Street as well as his opposition to the proposed plans to close Rikers’ Island and open local prisons, even in Kew Gardens.

In the question and answer segment of the program, the Shevach students posed several key questions to the Senator. Tehila Ginian asked about changes in Common Core, Esti Ecker brought up the topic of tuition vouchers, and Chavi Ribowsky inquired about the possible plans to landmark the general Richmond Hills/Kew Gardens area. In response to Esti Levant’s question about N.Y. State’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism especially in the wake of the shootings in Pittsburgh, Senator Addabbo spoke of the great diversity in New York, as well as the importance of school safety. He exclaimed how glad he was to see that the first person to meet him as he walked in the door was our very professional security guard, and that school safety needs to be improved in the public school system.

The program concluded with Senator Addabbo encouraging the students to realize that while most of them are not yet eligible to vote, by voicing their ideas they too can yield many positive changes. Thank you to Mrs. Nechama Mirsky, associate principal, general studies, and Mr. Barry Grossman, instructor, American Politics, for arranging Senator Addabbo’s visit to Shevach High School.

The following day’s midterm elections brought Senator Addabbo a win over his Republican challenger, Tom Sullivan. Senator Addabbo, who served seven years in the city council and was elected to the state senate in 2008, will now go on to serve a fifth term in Albany. Shevach High School thanks Senator Addabbo for his visit to Shevach and they offer their congratulations on his victory.

Upcoming Events

Shiur led by Rabbi Henoch Savitsky covering Mikraos Gedolos on Parashas Toldos, Shabbos night, November 16, 8:45 p.m. at Congregation Machzekei Hadaas, 147-30 73rd Avenue on the main floor. This is one of a series of shiurim. Hot potato kugel, assorted cakes, and drinks will be served.

Shlock Rock Chanukah Concert, Saturday night, November 17, 8:30 p.m. at Congregation Etz Chaim, 147-19 73rd Avenue, Kew Gardens Hills. Tickets $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For tickets, visit

Lecture by Rabbi Jonathan Rietti on “Greatness is Given or Achieved” Saturday night, November 24, 8:00 p.m., sushi and Chinese food at 8:30 p.m. at Congregation Beit Eliyahu, 71-52 172nd Street, Fresh Meadows. Presented by Chazaq and Congregation Beit Eliyahu. Admission free; men and women welcome. Dedicated in memory of Eliyahu ben Sonya Tova. For more information call 718-285-9132, e-mail, or visit

Shiur Hachodesh for Women by Women, November 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills. Miriam Krupka Berger will be speaking. Suggested donations are $5, shul members; $6, non-members.

4th Annual Yahrzeit Lecture in memory of Rav Joseph Grunblatt, zt’l, Sunday, December 2 at 9:00 a.m. at The Queens Jewish Center, 66-05 108th Street, Forest Hills. The speaker is Rabbi Akiva Grunblatt, rosh yeshiva, Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Kew Gardens Hills, and son of Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt. Topic: “A Secret Silent Source of Strength.” There will be an elaborate breakfast. Reservations are $25 for members and $30 for not-yet-members. Sponsorships are $50 (includes one reservation) and $100 (includes two reservations). RSVP deadline is Wednesday, November 21; by phone: 718-459-8432, e-mail:, or online:


Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail Read more of Chanita Teitz’s articles at


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