By Chanita Teitz

Somehow being that it’s only the end of February, it’s hard to believe that Purim is over and the Pesach rush has officially begun. How can we get ourselves into a springtime mood when it’s still cold outside?

I try to imagine the sunny spring weather, the warm breezes, and the smell of freshly cut grass. As the weather warms, Kew Gardens Hills becomes a colorful garden with flowers blossoming on every block.

As spring arrives so does the spring real-estate season. If you are thinking of selling your house, now is the time while you are cleaning for Pesach to get your house showcase ready to sell. Get rid of clutter, paint, make repairs if needed, and make sure the outside is also clean, trim, and inviting.

Upcoming Events

The Joys of Judaism Study Groups are delighted to present “In Our Mothers’ Tongues: An evening of music by women, for women” on motzaei Shabbos, March 2. At Congregation Aderes Eliyahu, 144-49 72nd Drive, Kew Gardens Hills, 11367. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Performance begins promptly at 8:30 p.m. With the musical accompaniment of Rena Greenberg and featuring the talents of Meira Atik, Yocheved Cohen, Tiffany Fichtenbaum, Susan Kahn & Chaya Miriam Weisman, with special appearances by Miriam BenEzra & Faige Lloyd. The MC is Malkah Cohen. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. Donations to Achiezer and its Hurricane Relief Campaign will be welcomed. For more information, call Malkah at 718-575-9319, Rena at 347-453-2539, or Yocheved at 917-854-0787.

You are invited to join the Havurat Yisrael Sisterhood for a spectacular evening of wine and friends at their third annual wine sale and tasting. Hakerem Wines will give us an interesting presentation and we will have an opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines, all kosher for Pesach! Make your wine purchases through the shul and you will help support Havurat Yisrael. Delivery is available. No tax on purchases. Buy your wines for the holiday and for all occasions throughout the year! If you can’t make it in person there will be a wine list available and you can still place your orders through the shul. The event is Saturday night, March 2, at 8:00 p.m. at Havurat Yisrael, 68-60 Austin Street. Contribution: $7.00 Light refreshments. Bring your friends!

All are encouraged to attend the Big Chazaq Event. As explained by Rabbi Ilan Meirov and Rabbi Yitzchak Oelbaum:

There are thousands of Jewish teenagers that have no Jewish education. They never experienced the beauty of Shabbos. They don’t know what tefillah is all about. They never heard a shiur on the parashah, let alone a shiur in Gemara. To them, life is about now; there is no awareness of Olam HaBa.

Who are these boys and girls? Where do they live? Minnesota? Haifa? Tel Aviv? Unfortunately, they are in our very own backyards. Thousands of them are here in Queens, losing their Jewish identity before our very own eyes. What are we doing to save our fellow Jews? What if one of them was your relative–a brother, sister, or even your own child? Would you want him or her to be forgotten? Wouldn’t you go the extra mile to bring them back to Hashem and guide them to a life of purpose?

As is well known, Chazaq has had the siyata d’Shmaya in inspiring thousands of members of the Queens community (and beyond) via their year-round shiurim benefiting men and women of all ages and backgrounds. What is not known, however, is the tireless work the young men and women from the Chazaq staff dedicate to guiding Jewish boys and girls that attend local public schools. Thanks to their dedication, hundreds of teenagers have been given the opportunity to learn about their rich Jewish heritage. They have been given the chance to experience the beauty of Shabbos. They are learning about tefillah. They get to hear a shmuz on the parashah. They are delving into the depths of Gemara. They now realize that life is not just about now. There is an Olam HaBa.

All this is great, but we are not nearly done. There are still thousands of Jewish boys and girls that are left behind . . . right here in our own backyards. Now, you too can help bring them back home. On Sunday night, March 3, Chazaq will host a communitywide event featuring leading rabbanim together with world-renowned speakers, who will tackle the major issues that face the Jewish community today: the shidduch crisis, shalom bayis problems, dangers of the Internet, and more.

Tickets for this special CHAZAQ event begin at $25. However, your entrance fee isn’t just to attend these wonderful shiurim. Rather, it makes you a partner in Chazaq’s tremendous work in bringing Jewish teenagers back home.

Tickets can be purchased by phone 917-617-3636, e‑mail, or

Discover Holliswood shabbaton. From the Young Israel of Holliswood: You are invited to come visit and spend a Shabbos, March 8—9, with us in out lovely community. Be our guests! Experience our warm, welcoming community, and our inspiring rabbi, Rabbi Marc Penner. Bring your kids! Enjoy Shabbos morning children’s groups (infants to age 10). Stay with families in the community and meet our friends.

Our beautiful community offers a wonderful mix of Jewish city living and the pleasures of an undiscovered, suburban neighborhood; easy access to Manhattan and Brooklyn and to Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland counties; public transportation, including express buses to Manhattan; a huge variety of schools, institutions, restaurants and supermarkets of the larger Queens community; and an exciting and wonderfully innovative Youth Department.

For more information or to sign up, contact Rachel Klein and Ronit Farber at

Cinema Utopia presents: David and Kamal, a film by Kikuo Kawaski. Kamal (Abdalla El Akal) is a nine-year old Arab boy who lives in Jerusalem with his grandfather, mother, and sisters. His family is poor, and so every day he goes to the Old City and tries to sell postcards: “3 for $1!” His attempts are thwarted by bullies, and he is constantly discouraged by his strict grandfather, making him desperate for money. . . . David (Yoni Rosenzweig) is a nine-year-old Jewish boy who lives in America with his divorced mother. He is in Jerusalem to visit his father, whom he hasn’t seen in years. They have a difficult time understanding each other; David is hurt that his father is too busy with work to spend time with him, and his father doesn’t understand why David is so shy and obsessed with his coin collection. . . . One day, in the Old City, David is spotted and subsequently followed by Kamal, who thinks that he is carrying a large amount of money. Kamal steals David’s pouch, resulting in a chase in which Kamal escapes. David is brokenhearted, lost, and alone and runs into the same bullies that have been targeting Kamal. Ironically, Kamal rescues him, and another chase begins. Rooftop chases, secret passageways, and police cars and soldiers bring action to David and Kamal’s adventure of a lifetime. Together, they must learn the true meanings of friendship, trust, and sacrifice in order to conquer whatever awaits them around the next corner. Saturday, March 9, 9:00 p.m. at Utopia Jewish Center 64-41 Utopia Parkway, Flushing, 11365. Reservations: 718-461-8347. Admission: $10.00. Sponsorships available.

Bais Yaakov News

Pre-school scholars and Hilchos Shabbos. The best educators know meaningful learning happens when students are able to make real-life connections. An example of this type of learning is always evident at Bais Yaakov. However, this time, the example we share involves their young preschoolers. Morah Ora Love’s students sewed Purim hats with bells. One child questioned if the hat was allowed to be worn on Shabbos because of the bells. Rabbi Mordechai Gewirtz, the dean, was invited to discuss the she’eileh with the class. A conversation took place between Rabbi Gewirtz and the students. The discussion included the use of bells on Shabbos on the crowns of the sifrei Torah as well as the use of bells on the clothing of the Kohen Gadol. The children shared their ideas with one another, and their level of engagement on the topic was fantastic, especially for preschoolers! Rabbi Gewirtz said, “I am absolutely amazed at the students’ depth of understanding. Their questions were of those who were far beyond preschool years.” Rabbi Gewirtz added, “I cannot convey the nachas I felt when I was in the class, and I must credit Morah Ora, as well as all the moros at Bais Yaakov, as their teaching is outstanding.” Esther Kirschbaum, the preschool director, was filled with pride, but not surprised. “Our students are deep thinkers, and our teachers encourage children to think critically when they take their questions seriously and help children find answers to their inquiries.”

Mazal Tov . . .

To Sharon and Moshe Abeaziz on the bar mitzvah of their son Mordechai Simcha. May they have much Yiddishe nachas from him and their other children and their darling grandson. 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

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