News From the Hills by Chanita Teitz

Ezra Academy: A Weekend Of Chizuk In Queens

As the Yamim Noraim approach, the Queens students and alumni of Ezra Academy were treated to a special weekend of chizuk with the mashgiach ruchani of the yeshiva, Rabbi Elie Geller. Beginning with a young couple’s shiur on Thursday evening September 15 at the home of graduates Gabriel Borokhov (class of ’19) and Abigail Aronova-Borokhov (class of ’19) and continuing through Shabbos with beautiful ongim and seudot where words of Torah were shared, and singing could be heard for miles. The meals were hosted by graduates and families of Ezra Academy who wanted to help the men and women of Queens prepare spiritually for the Rosh Hashanah holiday (special thank you to the Aminov and Sofiev families). Rabbi Geller spoke at several different places in the Fresh Meadows and Jamaica Estates neighborhoods. Each lecture was met with enthusiasm as people took the messages to heart. Although this was not a typical planned and sponsored Ezra event, as mashgiach ruchani, Rabbi Elie Geller (and family) put forth tremendous efforts to reach out to and positively affect the extended Ezra family whenever possible. Ezra Academy thanks the Gellers for going above and beyond.

Shalom Task Force’s Legal Services Now at the Queens Family Justice Center

STF has been serving victims of domestic violence in the Jewish community for almost thirty years. STF is excited and proud to expand its work and partner with the Queens Family Justice Center (QFJC)! At the QFJC, survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children can connect to organizations that provide case management, housing and benefits assistance, economic empowerment, counseling, civil and criminal legal assistance. Bringing together professionals from all areas creates a collaborative approach making it easier for survivors to get help from wherever they need it and provide “one-stop” services and support to survivors. All are welcome regardless of language, income, gender identity, or immigration status.

Together with other civil legal service agencies, STF will offer remote civil legal services on divorce, custody/visitation, and child and spousal support twice monthly at the QFJC. An experienced attorney will be available to give counsel and advice, brief services, and full representation for qualified survivors of domestic and gender-based violence.

Shalom Task Force’s legal department provides free confidential legal services to victim-survivors of domestic and dating abuse, specializing in the Jewish community. Sarah’s Voice empowers victim-survivors through comprehensive, culturally responsive, compassionate, and effective legal assistance. They provide ongoing case assistance, extensive safety planning and referrals for social services, mental health, public benefits, tax support, housing, and immigration. Attorneys also assist clients through the Beit Din Jewish court system. Partnership with the QFJC allows STF to expand its reach to the Jewish community in Queens.

The NYC Family Justice Center, Queens is located at 126-02 82nd Avenue and can be reached at 718-575-4545. To reach STF legal department (aka Sarah’s Voice) directly, call or text: 212-742-1110 for an intake, or e-mail

STF is grateful to its Queens based elected officials for their ongoing support that makes STF’s services possible including AM Stacey Pfeffer Amato, AM Daniel Rosenthal, AM Nily Rozic, AM Andrew Hevesi, AM Weprin, Senator Addabbo, Senator Stavisky, and Councilmember Gennaro.

Shalom Task Force has been offering support, legal services, and preventative education to the Jewish community for almost 30 years. If you or your loved one has questions or concerns about relationships or are currently in an unhealthy or abusive relationship—we are here for you. Please call, text, or WhatsApp the confidential Shalom Task Force Hotline at 888-883-2323.

Chazaq Israel Experience For Public School Teens

For many teens, the last thing on their summer wish list is to be part of a learning program. After all, school is out so let’s enjoy some time in the sun.

However, this year, summer vacation took on a higher meaning for 17 public school students who were inspired to expand on their spiritual journey by spending time in the Holy Land of Eretz Yisroel.

After an intense and exciting semester at Chazaq’s JWave fellowship program in conjunction with Olami, Rabbis Avrohom Walkin and David Delman, renowned for their dedication in youth outreach, gave their students an experience of a lifetime.

From daily learning at Yeshiva Ohr Somayach to visiting all the historic and holy sites of Jerusalem and Chevron, to camel back riding and hiking in the Judean desert, the trip truly was one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences for all the attendees.

For one student, however, the trip was extra special. Daniel Yusupov’s mother tragically passed away several years ago and he had not yet merited visiting her gravesite in Jerusalem. Although he is only 16 years old and didn’t officially qualify for the Chazaq trip, Chazaq Director Rabbi Ilan Meirov made an exception and granted him permission to join due to his dedication in attending daily Chazaq Jwave programs.

At a visit to the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem, the Chazaq staff were able to track down his mother’s grave and Daniel prayed fervently by her resting place, a moment he will cherish forever. He then spoke to his peers and implored them to honor their parents while they have the opportunity and to never take them for granted. Everyone was truly moved by this special moment of connection.

As the boys returned from their Israel trip, Daniel transferred from public school to Yeshiva Ezra Academy, as he now embarked on a new journey in his young life.

On the girls’ end, 15 Chazaq fellowship students enjoyed trips to upstate New York and Miami, Florida. Mrs. Amit Yaghoubi, head of the girls’ fellowship program, built a special connection with all her students and helped introduce them to many new concepts in Judaism while enjoying many beautiful attractions. As the summer came to a close, 7 of the Chazaq fellowship students completed their senior year in public school and transferred to seminary in Eretz Yisrael. These 7 students join the over 1,200 public school students of all ages who have transferred from public school to yeshiva since Chazaq started their “No child left behind” initiative prior to the 2017 school year.

“We are blessed to have a staff that is fully dedicated to our after-school programs,” says Chazaq CEO Rabbi Yaniv Meirov. “And they work tirelessly to guide these students and their families to explore the option of yeshiva education.”

“Baruch Hashem we have had tremendous success but it’s only the beginning,” he says with a smile.

To register to one of Chazaq’s 13 Sunday school locations for children, or daily programs for teens, please contact Chazaq or visit .

Chazaq Hosts 5 Events In 24 hours


Chazaq is known for organizing hundreds of inspirational shiurim that inspire tens of thousands throughout the calendar year, but with the lead-up to Rosh Hashanah, the increase in quantity is noticeable.

On September 11 and 12, Chazaq organized 5 special shiurim throughout the New York area.

Rabbi Lazer Brody was the headliner for two events. Coming in from Eretz Yisrael, people couldn’t wait for their opportunity to see and hear the well-known “Emunah” rabbi in person. The first night, September 11, he gave a special shiur on the power of emunah at the Briarwood Jewish Congregation. While on the second night, he spoke in Brooklyn for the BJX center, helping the community prepare for Rosh Hashanah with a shmuz on forgiveness.

On September 11, Rabbi Duvi Bensoussan spoke at Shaare Emunah in Cedarhurst, continuing Chazaq’s 4-part “Elevate Your Elul” Series, that had Rabbi Paysach Krohn speak the prior week. On Thursday, September 22, Rabbi Eli Mansour headlines part 3, and the final part of the series will be on Sunday, October 2, with Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.

Also speaking on September 11 was Rebbetzin Slovie Jungreis Wolff at the Beth Gavriel Center in Forest Hills, as she gave an inspiring lecture at a women’s only event. Rebbetzin Wolff encouraged the community to elevate their Rosh Hashanah davening and shared touching stories on the amazing power of prayer.

On September 12, another special lecture took place at Beth Gavriel with Rabbi Ilan Meirov as the speaker. This event was dedicated to the loving memory of Yosef ben Angela who tragically passed away this month. You can tell from the large crowd, how special of a young man Yosef was and his positive impact on those around him. May his neshama have an aliyah.

To keep up to date with Chazaq’s amazing work and become a part of the revolution, please visit, email, or call 718-285-9132.

Previous Chazaq shiurim can be found on


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 Read more of Chanita Teitz’s articles at


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