News From the Hills by Chanita Teitz

My granddaughter Sarah asked me a few weeks ago if I have any artifacts in my house. Bais Yaakov of Queens has a museum day where the girls display family artifacts with stories about their history, so I showed her several things around the house that she could use and then she asked me about some of my furniture. When I told her about some pieces I have that used to be in my grandparents’ home and then my parents’ home, she was amazed. This furniture is at least 100 years old. When I said I might sell them someday, she said, “No, Bubbie. Don’t sell it. I want it. I want to keep it in the family.”

How often do you hear an 11½-year-old want something so old? Today “cancel culture” is big — get rid of the old and bring in the new — not just artifacts but values. We’ll have to wait and see if she’ll still want it when she’s 20, but I was very moved that she cares so much for our family history.

There is a young man in our neighborhood who has come up with something new but with a purpose and mission. His name is Tovia Paris and his mission is to get people off their phones and iPads and other screen-time technology and relate to friends and family the old-fashioned way — by actually talking to each other!

He has developed a card game over the past two years with his friend Shlomo Baruch Greenberg called “Punsanity” and he is in the process of marketing it. I’m thinking of buying several sets for my grandchildren. Food Fighters vs. Party Animals is the starter set and I still must study to learn how it’s played, but it seems to be ingenious, using different puns for the names of the cards.

So there still are some people who do new things but with good, old-fashioned values. Good luck to you, Tovia!

We Want Our Library Back!

Citizens of Kew Gardens Hills want the Vleigh Place library reopened for library purposes. Since before Election Day, the library has been used as a COVID testing center, and all other activity is closed to the public. On a daily basis you can see lines snaking down Vleigh Place and 72nd Drive, with people waiting to get inside to be tested. While testing is important, there must be an alternative site available. There are empty storefronts that could be used or possibly other city properties that can be accommodated for use.

So many other libraries are open for “to-go” services, while our library remains closed except for the COVID testing. Write a letter to get our library reopened. A sample letter appears here:

I am writing regarding our local branch of the Queens Library, the Kew Gardens Hills branch. This branch, our local library, has been and currently remains, a COVID testing center, and is not available for to-go service. Please, we need our local library back! Our children need books to read and we are feeling the loss of our library greatly. We are aware that there are other branches of the QPL that are open, but that doesn’t help us. Those branches require a car, parking, and logistics. Many of us have small children, or are home with our children without access to a car, or even with a car the process of requesting books, working out the timing to drive to pick up the books and return the books we have at home, adds a layer of stress to our already-stressful lives in the current environment. Please be responsive to our community’s needs, and please reopen our library.

Thank you.

The “Aussie Gourmet” Comes to Shevach High School

With Chanukah fast approaching, the Shevach G.O welcomed Kislev with a bang. Under the direction of Shevach educational administrator, Mrs. Devorah Kovitz, the G.O. heads, Elana Adler, Chaya Shalva Boiangu, Hadassah Gottesman, Chaya Prager, and Miriam Romm, invited Mrs. Naomi Nachman, a.k.a. “The Aussie Gourmet,” to present a cooking demo.

On Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, smells of bread baking and simmering soup wafted through the halls of Shevach. These tantalizing aromas kept all the students eagerly anticipating their turn at preparing these mouthwatering appetizers with Naomi Nachman. Each grade had its own time slot with The Aussie Gourmet, during which she taught the girls many skills, from techniques for cutting onions to how not to kill yeast. Mrs. Nachman’s engaging personality, combined with her delightful accent from “Down Under,” added to the atmosphere, keeping everyone captivated.

After learning how to make creamy roasted garlic and broccoli soup, while it was cooking, each student made and shaped her own whole-wheat crescent roll. The excitement culminated with all the students enjoying a warm and delicious bowl of soup on a chilly day.

The girls left with their rolls ready to be baked and enjoyed in their own homes, where their families were also able to enjoy the scent of bread baking. In the words of one senior, “It was so much fun to learn all we did today, because one day we will, im yirtzeh Hashem, be married, and will definitely be using these skills.” The Rosh Chodesh Kislev program at Shevach High School was clearly a resounding success!

Food Pantries

Special thanks to everyone who helped the food pantry feed over 120 families in need at Kehilat Food Pantry. Your help is always appreciated by the community. Please help by donating; every donation matters! Visit

Chazaq and Met Council have also opened a food pantry on 72nd Avenue. More information about it coming soon.

In Memoriam

In memory of Efrat Haimoff, granddaughter of Rabbi and Mrs. Haimoff of Kew Gardens Hills, a fund has been established to continue her legacy of spreading Torah by creating a Women’s Initiative Torah Learning Center for our community. They are also writing a sefer Torah in her memory, which was a dream of hers. To contribute, visit For more information, email or call 917-921-5039.

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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