By Chanita Teitz

What a tragic week.

The news started with the Fort Lauderdale shooting, in which five were killed and approximately six others were wounded.

There were the fires on Vleigh Place causing 14 families to lose their livelihoods for now.

Then I heard about the truck ramming in Yerushalayim in which four brave young soldiers were killed and around 17 others injured.

And just this past Monday morning, our community lost an esteemed and regal woman, Rebbetzin Ruth Schonfeld, wife of rabbi emeritus Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld and mother of Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, mara d’asra of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. Rabbi and Mrs. Schonfeld have served the Young Israel for over 50 years.

It was a big shock to me and others because until Sunday I didn’t know that she was ill. On Sunday I received an e‑mail from Midreshet Adina to say Tehillim for the Rebbetzin, and on Monday morning my son called from Israel to tell me she had died.

Rebbetzin Schonfeld was my daughter-in-law’s great-aunt. Just a few short months ago I sat with her at a wedding, and now she is gone. She will be missed by her family, her shul, and the community at large. Yehi zichra baruch.

When I returned to my office after the levayah, one of my agents told me that every day for the past week he has heard of a levayah. And last night we heard of another levayah–for Mr. Inslicht, the father of Dr. David Inslicht.

As we continue through the dark and cold winter, we should daven that these tragedies end and that the sun should shine on Klal Yisrael. Umacha Hashem dima mei’al kol panim.

Upcoming Events

Cinematek Forest Hills presents Joachim Prinz: ‘I Shall Not Be Silent,’ a film by Rachel Fischer and Rachel Pasternak. Saturday night, January 14, 8:00 p.m. Forest Hills Jewish Center, 106-06 Queens Blvd. Tickets: $10.00. In 1930s Berlin, the civil rights of Jews were systematically stripped away. A young rabbi named Joachim Prinz refused to be silent. Knowing the Nazis were monitoring his every word, and despite repeated arrests, Prinz continued to preach about the value of Judaism. Expelled from Germany in 1937, Prinz arrived in the United States. Here he witnessed racism against African-Americans, realized the American ideal was not a reality, and became active in the civil-rights movement. At the 1963 March on Washington, Rabbi Prinz spoke just before the Reverend Martin Luther King and said these words: “When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful, and the most tragic problem is silence.”

Shabbos of inspiration with Mrs. Shira Smiles. Mrs. Smiles will be here from Israel the Shabbos of January 14, speaking about “Wonderful Words” at 3:00 p.m. at Cong. Ahavas Yisroel. Oneg Shabbos on Friday night at 7:45 p.m. for women and high-school and post-high-school girls. RSVP to MidreshetAdina@gmail.com if you will be attending.

Yeshiva Kesser Torah 32nd annual melaveh malkah. Motzaei Shabbos, January 14, at 8:15 p.m. at YI of KGH. Guests of Honor: Dr. Paul and Drora Brody and Yaniv and Leora Meirov. Guest speaker: Rabbi Shmuel Marcus. Men and women welcome. Suggested admission: $100. RSVP: 718-793-2890.

Bnos of KGH annual melaveh malkah. Motzaei Shabbos, January 14, 7:30—9:30 p.m. at Shevach High School. Girls in grades pre-1A—5 are invited. Crafts and dancing provided by Thrive Studio. Admission $12 at the door or $9 when you preregister. E-mail bnoskgh@gmail.com to preregister or for more information.

Day of Torah at Citi Field. January 15. Sponsored by the Orthodox Union. Register at OU.org/citi.

Congregation Ahavas Yisroel presents Mrs. Rachel Goldbaum. “Back to the Honeymoon.” Wednesday, January 18 at 8:00 p.m. sharp.

Queens Kollel Boker every morning at 6:55 a.m. at Rabbi Friedman’s shul, 139-19 72nd Road, KGH. For more information about the kollel or to sponsor a day of learning, please e-mail Rabbi Elan Segelman at rabbisegelman@gmail.com.

Creative-writing class for women with Mrs. Susie Garber. Sunday mornings, February 5—March 5 (weekly sessions) 9:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m., 147-37 70th Avenue, Kew Gardens Hills. For more information, call 917 696-2433 or e-mail garbersusie@gmail.com. Bring projects you are working on or come to get inspired with writing ideas. Bring a writer’s notebook and imagination! Susie Garber is the author of Memorable Characters . . . Magnificent Stories (Scholastic, 2002); Denver Dreams (Jerusalem Publications, 2009); Befriend (Menucha, 2013); and The Road Less Traveled (Feldheim, 2015). She writes for Hamodia and Queens Jewish Link, and she has taught writing classes at Hofstra University and the Queensborough continuing education program.

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 chanita@astorbrokerage.com.

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