By Phyllis J. Lubin

Lubin - candles burningWhat an amazing stretch of time for the Lubin family! As I sit viewing the living room after our Chanukah party, with the remnants of wrapping paper and melted candles, I can’t help but reflect on the past few weeks.

Going from Lea’s bat mitzvah celebrations straight to the Chabad dinner was exhausting yet exhilarating. We were bursting with pride in Lea and then further invigorated by our pride in the Chabad of the Five Towns. Hundreds came out to celebrate the Chabad Center and to pay homage to our amazing Rabbi Zalman and Rebbetzin Chanie Wolowik, who are the very definition of caring for our community. We were also able to give thanks for the wonderful work of Rabbi Meir and Rebbetzin Hadassah Geisinsky, who run the remarkable youth program and Hebrew school. Finally, we were able to lend our support to Mrs. Batsheva Borenstein for her efficient and caring direction of the Friendship Circle.

The video presentations at the dinner began with testimony by many members of the Chabad family about what Chabad has meant to them. The first testimonial was given by Jeff Neckonoff, who had just brought spirit to Lea’s bat mitzvah party as the Azamra DJ. Jeff, along with one of his assistants, made sure that Lea and her friends had a wonderful time. Jeff’s stirring words, as well as those of many others from our community, can be viewed at the Chabad website.

Chabad of the Five Towns is more than our shul–it’s an institution that gives so much to the Five Towns community with so many activities running on a weekly basis: Torah classes, Hebrew school, Smile on Seniors, and much more. Of course, our family has been directly enhanced by the various Friendship Circle activities–Judaica Circle, Moms Night Out, father—child activities, Sibs Circle, Friends at Home, and Sunday Circle.

The dinner was spectacular–from the food to the warm feelings of all who attended, I could not have hoped for a better evening. Our family was very gratified by the outpouring of love we felt from the hundreds who were at the dinner and touched by the outpouring of so many people who supported the dinner despite being unable to attend in person.

A couple of days after the dinner we were further touched by the lights of the Chanukah menorah. Today many family members gathered at the Lubin home to light candles and share some Chanukah spirit. I’m so glad that we were able to rejoice together under one roof and enjoy some holiday cheer. And as always happens this time of year, we were able to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. May we always celebrate these happy occasions every year, and may the lights of the menorah instill within us all a sense of warmth and happiness throughout the entire year!

Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children–Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea–and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at


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