News From the Hills by Chanita Teitz


We are back at work, in and out of the office, and I feel that a chunk of time has disappeared from the calendar. Three and a half months gone, stopped, suspended, on hold. Remember “Stop the world, I want to get off” about the rat race of daily living? Well, our lives have been hanging in mid-air for these three and a half months. The rat race changed to lack of structure and a lot of boredom. A lot of family togetherness and maybe too much togetherness at times. Being in isolation at home had us wanting to get out, so we sat on the deck, or went for a ride around the neighborhood to visit our kids who came out on their porches or sidewalks while we stayed in the car behind our masks. Has normalcy begun to return or are we facing a new normal of lunatics who want to change the world?

Some things that haven’t changed are family milestones, like birthdays and anniversaries. Tuesday, June 30 is our anniversary and my husband’s birthday. On his birthday we try to go to Beach 84th Street in Rockaway, where he was born, and remember the summers of his youth. We had other birthdays and anniversaries in June and more to come in July and August, iy’H. So, the summer will be memorable, and we can go out to celebrate al fresco, eating outdoors under the summer sky.

We are waiting now for flights to Israel to open. Ben Gurion airport is not accepting international flights except in special cases, for Israelis or people with special visas or for Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flights. We haven’t been there since last June, so though my son was here before Purim, we haven’t seen our daughter-in-law or grandchildren, except for video calls, in a year. Video calls are great but it’s not the same as seeing the family in person, giving them hugs and taking them out for ice cream to Katzefet. We were scheduled to go in April for our twin grandsons’ bar mitzvahs, but that trip had to be canceled, and we also weren’t able to go in June for our mothers’ yahrzeits. Now we’re looking towards Rosh Hashanah and hoping that the airport opens. It is eerie to be cut off from travel, which we had taken for granted.

This Shabbos is July 4; I hope that we don’t get rioters shouting to abolish the holiday commemorating the independence and freedom that has meant so much to the American people for hundreds of years. The tide is turning, not just for Jews, but for all Americans. Stay safe.

Upcoming Events

Creative writing classes, Wednesday nights. Next session July 8 at 7 p.m. for teens, and 8 p.m. for women. You can join on a session-by-session basis. It’s a fundraiser for our tzedakah, Our Jewish Children. For information call 917-696-2433 or email

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 email


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