By Chanita Teitz

Growing up in Chicago, we were used to below-zero temperatures and lots of snow that didn’t melt until spring. Let’s say that I’ve gotten spoiled by New York winters: cold for a few days, then warming up, with the snow and ice melting after a few days. When bad weather lasts a little longer, we don’t know how to handle it. But talk about crazy–by Shabbos it’s going to be in the 50s again.

Here on Main Street, making the news (besides the cold) are some new stores opening. I mentioned some last time, but I forgot to mention Sushi Fusion. And Berrylicious has added soup to the menu.

It seems that Astor Brokerage is surrounded by food–supermarkets, groceries, bagel shops, bakeries, and restaurants. I prefer running out for a coffee without having to bundle up in coat, gloves, and scarf–and still freezing.

During the recent snow in Israel, I felt bad for all those people who were stranded on the roads or stuck in their freezing apartments without heat or electricity.

Keep warm, everyone. This too shall pass.

z5Assisting Yesha

Mishmeret Yesha is a grassroots organization dedicated to the needs of the residents of Judea and Samaria. At this difficult time, when our enemies and even our supposed friends are trying to destroy us, we need to stand up and do whatever we can to help Israel be strong.

The needs that Mishmeret Yesha assists with include construction of infrastructure and homes in towns in our Biblical heartland. They also provide vocational training, particularly for young men who are not cut out for yeshiva studies. In addition, Mishmeret Yesha supplies medical equipment to Efrat Medical Center, an urgent-care center that is extremely busy because the closest hospitals are a distance away. Mishmeret Yesha is also closely connected with the safety of the residents of Yesha, helping train residents in self-defense.

Many of these programs will need to be cut if funds are not forthcoming. To make matters worse, the harsh winter storm left much destruction in its wake and Yesha communities were especially hard-hit.

The people of Yesha need our assistance as they remain resolute on the front lines of our heartland. Show them that you understand that they represent all of Klal Yisrael, that their struggle is our struggle, and that we stand with them. Please make checks payable to Mishmeret Yesha for amounts under $250 and to The Kadam Fund for amounts of $250 and above. Mail the check to: Mishmeret Yesha, c/o Gila Rollhaus, 147-24 75th Ave, Flushing, NY 11367.

School News

Bais Yaakov of Queens Preschool’s Pen Pal Experience. One of the highlights of the pre-1A year is the “Pen Pal Experience.” Each pre-1A class writes to a pre-1A class in a school outside the Queens area. First, the class collaborates to write a group letter. The children enjoy describing their classroom and their schedule. They include some questions for the other class to answer, as well as a group picture of themselves. The highlight of this first pen-pal experience is signing their names on the large chart-paper letter. Then they wait with bated breath for an answer.

After a number of letters are sent back and forth, each child is paired with a child from the other school. They concentrate intently as they describe themselves, their likes and dislikes, and their families, all using phonetic spelling (writing words the way they sound). Noticeable improvement occurs in the girls’ writing skills and spelling abilities as the girls write to their pen pals and develop relationships with them. At the end of the year, the girls have a much-anticipated “meet and greet” trip with their pen pals.

This year, one of the classes was fascinated when they found out that their pen pals don’t have hollow blocks and don’t even know what they are. Seizing the teachable moment, the morah asked the children how they would like to describe hollow blocks. The children then wrote their description, and they came up with the idea of taking pictures of some of their constructions that used hollow blocks, so that their pen pals would have a very good idea of what they look like. What a wonderful literacy experience!

Judy’s Nursery Visited by Hatzalah. Queens Hatzalah gave a presentation this week for the entire Judy’s Nursery program, teaching the importance of many safety issues. After the presentation, each child was treated to a visit onto an ambulance. The two members who presented were Avi Lloyd and Avi Stern.

Upcoming Events

CHAZAQ presents a Special Melaveh Malkah. This Saturday night, January 11. For men only. Pizza, sushi, french fries, and drinks! Special kumsitz with Kol Acheinu. Admission is free! Beth Gavriel Center, 66-35 108th Street in Forest Hills. For more information, call 917-617-3636, e-mail, or visit

Halachic Health-Care Proxy/Living Will Presentation. In New York, if you do not have a health-care proxy/living will, the hospital has the authority to make the decisions regarding your emergency care; your spouse and next of kin have absolutely no authority to make any decisions regarding your care, in the event you are unable to do so.

Come to a free Emes Card event in Queens on January 12, 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m., at Congregation Degel Israel, 144-02 68th Drive (entrance on Main St), or on January 19, 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m., at Congregation Nachlas Yitzchok, 141-39 73rd Avenue.

Presenters will help you fill out a halachic health-care proxy/living will, complete an emergency medical instructions (EMES) card that attaches to your driver’s license, and register your documents at the U.S. Living Will Registry.

(Note: They will not ask for or retain any of your personal information. They will only assist you in completing the forms mentioned above. You will keep and take with you the completed forms to mail a copy, on your own, to the Living Will Registry.)

Presented by NASCK, National Association of Chevra Kadisha, 85-18 117th Street, Richmond Hill, NY 11418, 718-847-6280, or fax 718-847-2989.

Agudath Israel ‘Parenting Perplexities’ Workshop at YCQ. Following up on the highly successful parenting workshops at its 92nd National Convention, Agudath Israel of America will be sponsoring a workshop for parents on Tuesday, January 14, at 8:00 p.m. The event will be held in the auditorium of the Yeshiva of Central Queens.

Entitled “Parenting Perplexities: Your Questions Answered,” the workshop will focus on the challenges of parenting in the modern world. Featured panel members will be Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, dean, Yeshiva Toras Chaim South Shore; Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin, clinical psychologist; and Rabbi Yosef Viener, rav, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Monsey.

The discussion will focus on a range of issues that are universal and encompass the daily dilemmas that confront parents as they strive to raise healthy, responsible children committed to a Torah lifestyle. Specific topics include “Overcoming the Fear of Saying ‘No,’” “Sibling Rivalry,” and “Fostering Independence,” among others. Many questions have already been received from parents, but members of the audience will be invited to submit their queries as well. Some of the topics that have been suggested include encouraging fiscal responsibility, nurturing sensitivity to the needs of others, and maximizing family time to develop Torah values and a love of Yiddishkeit. Questions can be e-mailed in advance to or texted to 732-641-0643.

“Both the question-and-answer format and the subject matter of the parenting workshop at the convention were extremely well received,” says Nechemiah Hoch, member of the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative, Queens Committee. “We are excited to be able to bring this to our local community and continue the conversation.”

Young Israel of Forest Hills Blood Drive. Sunday, January 19, 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. at the YIFH Senior Center, 68-07 Burns Street (at 68th Avenue). The blood drive will help local hospitals to maintain a safe blood supply during the winter months when the blood supply typically goes down to dangerously low levels. Each donation will save up to three lives.

Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 lb., and be between the ages of 16 and 75 (16-year-olds must have parental permission). Bring ID with signature or photo. Eat well (low-fat) and drink fluids before donating. Pre-registration is suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. Parking is available.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact: Yisroel Grabie, Chairman, 310-663-4746 or, Saul Holcman, 347-239-1137 or, or sign up at https://drm.nybloodcenter.


Past Events

Inspiring Chazaq Event with Charlie Harary. Charlie Harary is a powerful speaker who has traveled all over the country and abroad, speaking at schools, universities, and other organizations on a variety of topics.

On Sunday night, January 5, men and women of all backgrounds showed up to the Beth Gavriel Community Center in Forest Hills for a special lecture, presented by the Chazaq organization. Charlie spoke about “the secrets to getting your prayers answered,” and the event had a great impact on all those who attended.

The lecture was dedicated to the refuah sheleimah for all sick people and was sponsored by an anonymous donor. For more information about upcoming Chazaq events and programs, please call 718-285-9132 or visit v

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


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