It was wonderful to hear the news that the soccer team and coach in Thailand have all been rescued. I can only imagine what they went through during past two weeks and the responsibility on the shoulders of their coach to keep the boys safe and mentally alert and calm. It had to be very frightening sitting there in a dark and wet cave.

I am reminded of the most recent case in Israel of a school trip that ended in some students drowning in a flash flood, and, also of the three boys who were kidnapped and murdered. Everyone rallied in tefillah and in rescue efforts. Unfortunately, some rescues don’t end happily.

So many volunteers worked nonstop to get those boys and their coach out of the cave. Israel gave the rescuers the technology that helped with communication. As I write this, all the boys are in the hospital being checked for malnutrition and will slowly be put back on a solid diet. I hope that they will be able to see their parents soon and will return to their homes and to playing soccer.

We are entering the Nine Days — the most catastrophic time in Jewish history. Let us hope everyone stays safe here, in camps, on vacations, in Israel and around the world. As we enter the month of Menachem Av, let us realize that the name says it all. Hashem, our Father, will comfort us from the loss of the Beis HaMikdash and our long galus.

Past Events

Chazaq Hosts Yet Another Successful Seniors Event

On June 12, Chazaq held yet another successful seniors event. The event, held at the Young Israel of Queens Valley, featured speakers discussing Aging in Place, the concept that seniors should spend their golden years in the same homes they lived in and worked for their entire lives, instead of moving to a retirement community or an old age home. Also on the agenda were presentations on resources available for seniors from New York City, and an open mic for talented seniors. A delicious BBQ meal was served, and afterwards a celebratory cake was cut to thank Councilman Rory Lancman for his generous support of the Chazaq Senior Program.

Chazaq’s 17th Of Tammuz Program Unites The Community

The three weeks between the seventeenth of Tammuz and Tishah B’Av are days when Jews worldwide begin a mourning period over the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. This solemn time on the Jewish calendar begins and ends with communal fasts.

Many of our great Sages have warned that people should not allow the fasts to go by with simply not eating and drinking. Rather one must spend time doing some introspection to see how he or she can improve their character traits, relationships, and connection to Hashem.

As such, for years Chazaq has been at the forefront of uniting all segments of the community for all-day lectures on Tishah B’Av at the Beth Gavriel Center in Queens. This year, with the fast of 17 Tammuz falling on a Sunday, Chazaq organized an all-day lecture series at the Agudah of KGH (located in YCQ) attracting men and women of all ages and backgrounds throughout the day along with many more viewing live on Torahanytime.com.

“The purpose of this event was to promote unity,” said Yaniv Meirov, operations manager of Chazaq. “Instead of wasting their time on this day of mourning, we had people of all backgrounds joining together to hear rabbanim from various communities speak about loving one another, preventing lashon ha’ra, and bringing the geulah … truly the greatest way to spend the fast.”

For more information about Chazaq’s fabulous work please visit Chazaq.org.

Upcoming Events

Free Weekly Summer Shiur for Women for eight consecutive Tuesdays, July 3–August 21 at 8:15 p.m. at Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills, 147-19 73rd Avenue. Rabbi Zvi Lew, popular limudei kodesh educator, will deliver a weekly summer shiur for women on Interesting Personalities in Tanach. This free lecture series is open to all women. For more information call 718-575-0594.

Rosh Chodesh Av meeting of our wonderful Amen group. Sisterhood of the Young Israel of Hillcrest invites all the women of our extended Jewish community to join on Friday, July 13, at 8 a.m. at the Young Israel, Jewel Avenue at 170th Street (Rabbi Sholem B. Kowalsky Way). Event is in memory of shul founder, Pearl Beylus, Penina bat Yehoshua Yosef. Rena Perkal Greenberg will, iy’h, honor attendees with her beautiful Hallel. Berachah refreshments will be served. Come and bring a friend — she will thank you — and you will both come away inspired and ready to take on the new month.

Shidduch Meeting. L’Chaim Shidduch Organization invites women on Sunday, July 15, 2 p.m. at the home of Anita Kerper, 147-13 77 Road, 718-591-4338. Co-Hosts Chana Sandler and Zehava Deitsch. Present your single friends and family, ages 30+. Please bring four copies of each résumé (if possible with a picture) for each single you wish to present. Refreshments will be served. For a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Mindel bas Feiga.

The Big Chazaq Event VI, A Night of Unity and Inspiration, Sunday, July 15. Doors open 6:30 p.m., event begins 7:30 p.m. at Elite Palace 69-02 Garfield Avenue, Woodside. Featuring: Charlie Harary, Rabbi YY Jacobson, Rabbi Eli Mansour, Rav David Yosef (Special Guest From Israel). Free valet parking concession station on premises, sushi, snacks, and drinks. Tickets: $18, $36, VIP. Group rates available. For information and tickets, visit BigChazaqEvent.com, call 718-285-9132, or e-mail Events@Chazaq.org.

Queens Hatzolah Premier Men’s Event, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Queens Museum featuring Ohad, Yedidim Choir, and the Aaron Teitelbaum Orchestra. Grand BBQ, raffles, wine tasting, and more. RSVP 917-717-2131 or QueensHatzolah.org/BBQ.

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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