The eighth day of Cheshvan was the one-year anniversary of the Sephardic Congregation of Hewlett. Under the leadership of Rabbi Rafael Ribacoff, one year has passed since the minyan was formed. On Shabbat Lech-Lecha, the congregation–or rather a growing community that calls itself family–sat together in song and enjoyed recollecting the memories formed along the journey of this new but thriving Sephardic community. As always, the rabbi prepared a plethora of information tailored around the weekly parashah and how it relates to us in our daily lives.

The rabbi recalled how he was approached by the founding members, with their eager plan to open up a minyan in a trailer along the side of a private house. As plans moved forward, one unfortunate circumstance after another proved that the time, effort, and thousands of dollars may have been all wasted, as the trailer was not approved for congregational use. The idea of the minyan seemed unattainable. The rabbi continued by reminding us that when you reach rock-bottom, you can only move up and improve. With the help of Hashem and the warm hearts of the Koren family, the minyan was saved. The Korens opened their doors to house the minyan for as long as necessary.

In the beginning months, gathering the 10 necessary congregants was not easy. But almost always there were enough people for a minyan. With time, people heard of the warmth and strict Sephardic minhagim of the new growing congregation, which hosted over 100 people over the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays. Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews alike from all backgrounds spoke about the deep and meaningful experience they had over the High Holidays, which was truly a family event for Jews of all backgrounds united together in front of Hashem.

On November 19, the Sephardic Congregation of Hewlett is proud to announce their first annual formal dinner event. The congregation is officially announcing the building fund and its commitment to the growing community within Hewlett and neighboring areas. If you know someone who is looking to become a part of this growing community or you want to participate in the building fund, please call 516-531-7212 for more information.


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