Last week was extremely busy at the office so I already knew that I might not have enough time to get last week’s column finished. And then on Motzaei Shabbos we got the phone call we had been anticipating. Our daughter in law gave birth to a boy! So now I was also busy arranging a flight for my husband to go to the b’ris, shopping, of course, and helping pack.
When Akiva arrived in Israel, he was greeted with the snow. He said that the drive to Yerushalayim was beautiful. The mountains were covered in powdery, pure white and kids from all over the country, many of whom never saw snow before, were romping in the snow. There was no school, there were no buses, and except for the main highways and some major streets, the side streets were treacherous. But everyone was out having a great time. There was even a video on Arutz Sheva of the prime minister and his family having a snowball fight.
So now, let me do some catching up. Two weeks ago we had the Friday night seudah at our daughter and son in law’s home, which we always enjoy, but this time in addition to us, they were hosting a guest from Israel which I wrote about that week. Rabbi Yedidya Atlas told us about the special projects that he heads for the IDF Rabbinate and all that they do for the soldiers. Even though the army is not in the kiruv business, they have a perfect opportunity to introduce otherwise unaffiliated soldiers to our history, heritage, and Torah.
After the seudah, Deedee and David hosted an oneg for friends and neighbors to meet and hear Rabbi Atlas speak. I think I can speak for all of us who were there that we were uplifted and inspired. Besides overseeing the kashrus of the army base kitchens; building, maintaining, and supplying the base shuls; building huge sukkahs; supplying arba minim and other necessities for daily religious life, the IDF Rabbinate sees to the manufacturing and distribution of thousands of pairs of army regulation olive green tzitzis. They are in high demand even from the non religious soldiers who realize and believe in their protective quality. In addition, a paper-thin siddur is published that the soldiers can take with them easily in their pocket.
The Jewish nation is unlike any other nation and our army is unlike any other army. The Rabbinate looks out for each soldier and creates a Kiddush Hashem by teaching these young soldiers what they are fighting for.
Speaking of Kiddush Hashem, there was an excellent article in this past week’s Mishpacha about the HEART Team. Remember reading about them here, our Queens Hatzalah members who went to Israel to help Magen David Adom during Operation Amud Anan? The Mishpacha article elaborated on how many casualties there actually were but which were kept out of the media at that time. A Kiddush Hashem was made when the non-religious soldiers, the non-religious MDA personnel, and hospital personnel saw the caring and professionalism of the religious members of the HEART Team. We can all be proud when we see true achdus among us!
Of Queens Happenings
CIJE Sponsors Math Olympiad for Yeshiva Girls. This past Sunday, January 6, CIJE, the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education, a division of Gruss Life, coordinated an all girls inter-yeshiva Math Olympiad. The Math Olympiad, coordinated by Linda Goldberg, CIJE math and science coordinator, and CIJE, ensure our next generation of Jewish leaders experience the best opportunities to think, reason, explore, calculate, and discover. Bais Yaakov of Queens (BYQ), Bnos Bais Yaakov (BBY), Bnot Shulamith of Long Island, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB), and Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) competed on the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade level. The program comprised of an individual test where students worked by themselves, and a team test where each school’s team worked together by grade. Students were treated to an exciting and educational experience. Bnos Bais Yaakov graciously provided the space and snacks for all of the participants.
Congratulations to everyone who participated. In truth, everyone shares in the honor for their outstanding performances. Special congratulations to the schools who won first place. Bais Yaakov of Queens participated in the sixth and seventh grade divisions. Their sixth grade team championed first place. The seventh grade first place winner was Bnos Bais Yaakov and Bnot Shulamith was the eighth grade winner. Mrs. Sarah Bergman, general studies principal of Bais Yaakov of Queens, expressed her pride in her students, “They portrayed confidence in their desire to be a part of the CIJE Math Olympiad. This risk taking attitude is that which makes all of our students true winners. They are always willing to try their best at all challenges.” Mrs. Semmel, the Bais Yaakov of Queens’s coach, said, “I love math and I tried to inspire the students with the love for mathematical reasoning and love of the game.” Mrs. Lindell, the sixth grade math teacher, and Miss Mandell, the seventh grade teacher, agreed with Mrs. Semmel and added, “These students love math, and think math!”
New Sports Leagues for Eighth Grade Gym Fun. The new season of eighth grade leagues began this week! Sports at BYQ has risen to a new level as the G.O. prepared a game called “Name That Game.” “Name-of-the-Game League” was initiated thanks to the creative thinking of Mrs. Sarah Bergman, the general studies principal, the continued generosity of the parents association, and the energy of Chaviva Pfeiffer. At the ‘break out,’ Mrs. Pfeiffer explained to the girls that the “name of the game” is not merely playing machanayim or basketball, it is sportsmanship, achdus, middos, self-confidence, and interdependence. The girls then proceeded to the gym. Teams and captains were announced in time for game one.
In eighth grade leagues, two games have been played so far, machanayim and basketball. The captains of the Energetic Racers are Elisheva Marcus and Rivka Davidov. The captains of the Red Bulls are Rina Rambod and Batya Russek. The captains of the Super Men are Sara Tropper and Chana Miriam Fuzailov. The captains of the Golden Stars are Golda Taub and Shira Greenberg. All the captains are doing a great job leading their teams and making sure everyone is involved. From the cheering, running, throwing, and celebrating, it is clear that the girls are enjoying this exciting part of their week.
Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe News
Melaveh Malkah. Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe held its annual parent appreciation and grand raffle melaveh malkah this past Saturday night at the Utopia Jewish Center. All members of the YTM family enjoyed the delightful buffet, entertaining magic show, and wine tasting by Hakerem Wine and Liquor. Congratulations to the winners of a trip to anywhere in the U.S., diamond ring, dinner for two, Seasons, Gap, and Macy’s gift certificates, spirits, and silver. Special congratulations to the winner of the $10,000 raffle! Thank you to all who participated, supporting the Torah and general studies education at YTM.
Achiezer’s special visit. YTM’s fifth grade students welcomed the Achiezer organization to their school, located in Kew Gardens, on Thursday afternoon. One by one the students took the stage to read letters which they had written in the previous weeks to comfort those affected by Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Most students described how they banded together as a class to raise money for the Far Rockaway, Bayswater, and Five Towns communities by organizing fairs, drives, and sales to supply much needed funds for Achiezer’s relief efforts. Following each speech, every letter was presented to Rabbi Boruch Ber Bender on behalf of Achiezer to be shared with the community and in particular fifth grade students themselves. In closing, Rabbi Bender spoke to the children about how what they have done is a tremendous chizuk to everyone back on the “home front” and he imparted the boys with a message to give a call to any fellow boys they knew in the affected areas to offer words of encouragement and friendship. Most importantly, the impressive chesed of the students and faculty at Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe left Achiezer and our community with a beautiful impression of support which will enable them to continue with the still ongoing recovery effort!
Shalom Bayit: Peace in the Home. Presented by Rebbetzin Devorah Kigal. Partnered with EMET in conjunction with Beth Gavriel. Monday, January 21, 8:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Ladies only. Location: Beth Gavriel Center 66-35 108th St., Forest Hills, NY 11375. For more information, call 347-551-1665 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
Extra Ordinary Acts by Ordinary People. A fascinating event for the entire community featuring renowned lecturer and author R’ Dovid Goldwasser. Partnered with Mesivta Tiferet Torah. Saturday night, January 26, 8:00 p.m. Location: Young Israel of KGH 150-05 70th Rd. KGH 11367. Men and women are welcome. Admission is free. Sponsors: RC Law and Caring Professionals. The event will culminate with the grand drawing of Mesivta Tiferet Torah’s sweepstakes. For more information, call 718-285-9132 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
Anger. Presented by R’ Fischel Shacter. Refreshments will be served. Sunday, January 27, 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Lecture scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Men and women are welcome. Admission is free. Location: Beth Gavriel Community Center 66-35 108th St. Forest Hills NY 11375. For more information, call or text 917-617-3636 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
Annual Tu B’Shevat Yahrzeit Shiur
Join an evening of learning and tzedakah and remembering the women in our lives at the annual Tu B’Shevat yahrzeit shiur on Motzaei Shabbos, January 26, 8:00 p.m. at Congregation Degel Israel, Main St. and 68th Drive in Kew Gardens Hills. Guest speaker will be the noted educator Mrs. Shoshana Schechter, professor of Tanach and director of Mechina at Stern College, and Jewish studies teacher at Ateres Bais Yaakov. Her topic will be “Ezer Kenegdo: Lessons learned from Adam to Avraham.” The shiur is sponsored by Rivkie Leiman, Pearl Markovitz, and Evelyn Ocken in memory of their mothers Sarah bas Harav Avraham, a’h, Tzivia bas Eliezer, a’h, and Devorah bas Mordechai, a’h. If you would like to cosponsor this event in memory of your mother, grandmother, or any female relative, please call Evelyn Ocken at 718-268-0439, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Pearl Markovitz at 201-836-4309. All proceeds will go the Orthodox Union special fund for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
To the family of Mr. Alex Lowinger of Kew Gardens Hills.
To the family of Mr. Dovid Kuppermann of Kew Gardens Hills.
To Judy Hahn and family on the petirah of her mother, Mrs. Simon.
Hamakom yinachem eschem b’soch sha’ar avlei Tziyon v’Yerushalayim.
To Rabbi and Mrs. Yehudah Shmidman on the marriage of their son Yitzchok to Hindy Max. Mazal tov to all the grandparents and entire mishpachah.
To Mr. and Mrs. Zev Kops on the marriage of their son Meyer to Elke Stern. v
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage, with offices in Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows. For all your real-estate needs in Queens, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail email@example.com.