Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yisroel Schulman, co-founder of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law, under the auspices of Chabad of Midtown Manhattan, speaking at their 2009 Midwinter Conference which featured Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and renowned attorneys Nathan Lewin and Barry Slotnick.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Levaya and Shiva

Boruch Dayan HaEmes - We are deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of the mother of Mrs. Devorah Kroll, Mrs. Etta (Yocheved) Landy A”H.

The levaya will take place this Sunday, February 1st, at Congregation Toras Emes, 78-15 Parsons Boulevard in Queens at 10:00 AM. The kevura will follow at 11:00 AM at the Old Montifiore Cemetery near the Ohel.

The following is the shiva information for Mrs. Devorah Kroll:
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: At the Bochner home, 70-35 136th Street in Queens.
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: At the Kroll home, 7 West Fessler Drive in Monsey (845-362-3794).

Hamokom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim.

My Davening Experience Today

By Tzvi Webb

This morning’s davening was a delightful experience. Here’s why.

By hasgacha protis, I went to Cheder Chabad’s 7.45 AM minyan thinking I would participate in Chaim Dovid Elkind’s donning of tefillin for the first time. When I arrived, I found Rabbi Wolowik strolling around and talking Torah with a few bochurim. I noticed the boys were extremely well-behaved, and as the room began to populate, I slowly realized that the Elkinds were not there. It seems I miscalculated the date and was supposed to be there next week, not this week.

In any event, davening began, prefaced by a heartfelt reading of the HaYom Yom, and soon I realized I was ahead of the minyan. As I slowed down to synch with the minyan, I realized that the slower pace allowed for a much more meaningful davening experience than I usually have. I began to concentrate better on the words and meanings. I also realized that the entire room seemed into the idea of really davening with their hearts as well as their lips. After davening, I went to Rabbis Wolowik and Shusterman to thank them for having such a wonderful cheder and minyan.

Guess what? I got a homework assignment. I was asked to share the experience with the entire community.

I recommend this experience to all, but please make sure we use the Cheder’s geschmakkeit to enhance our Tzemach Tzedek and other minyanim as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seeking Ride

If you or someone you know is going from Monsey to Crown Heights this Motzai Shabbos and has room for a teenage girl please contact or 845-352-6563. Thank you.

A Grave Situation

Additional graves have been made available adjacent to the current Monsey Lubavitch Burial area in the Old Montefiore Cemetary which is in the vicinity of the Ohel. As in the past, plots will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested in purchasing burial plots, please contact Yisroel Schulman at

Never Too Young to Shine

Monsey Shidduch Group Meeting

Attention all women who know singles! On Sunday, February 8, at 8:15 PM, there will be another Monsey Shidduch Group meeting. The purpose is to provide a forum to present profiles of singles wishing to marry. ALL PROFILES ARE ANONYMOUS!! Everyone is welcome...sisters, friends, neighbors - not only mothers.

For more information, please call Rochel Sabol at 845-354-4321.

The following is a sample profile:
AR, age 24, 5’-6”, male from Monsey family. FFB of BT parents, is learning to become a CPA. Has a beautiful voice and is the chazzan in a shteibel every Shabbos. Full beard, handsome, attended Rabbinical College of Canada. Wants a mate who appreciates Torah and higher education. The reference number is 555-5555.

Mazel Tov Sabols - Shalom Zachor!

Mazel tov to Levi and Chaye Sabol on the birth of a baby boy! Mazel tov to the grandparents Gershon and Rochel Sabol!

The Shalom Zachor will take place tomorrow night at the Gershon Sabol home, 7 Woodwind Lane.

Shifra and Puah arranges homemade meals from people in the community for mothers of newborn children from our community. If you are able to cook a meal, please contact Karen Schild at 845-354-4898 or

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cheder Chabad Father-Son Learning

Beginning this Motzai Shabbos and going forward Cheder Chabad Father-Son Learning Program will begin at 7:30 PM at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek.

In addition, this Motzai Shabbos there will be a special Pre Yud Shvat Melave Malka! Learning will take place from 7:30 to 8:15 at which point there will be a Melava Malka until 9:00 PM.

No Mishmar Tonight

The Shluchim of Yeshivas Menachem Mendel Lubavitch have canceled Mishmar for tonight.

Seeking Babysitter

I am looking for a responsible babysitter for Sunday and Monday evenings. If you or someone you know is interested please call Rachel Leah Elkind at 845-517-4425.

Yud Shvat Farbrengen 2

Yud Shvat Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen with Rabbi Lesches in honor of Yud Shvat at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek on Wednesday night, February 4 at 8:30 PM. A minyan for Maariv will precede the farbrengen at 8:15 PM.

Click here for more on Yud Shvat.

For some learning resources pertaining to Yud Shvat please click here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monsey Chabad Community Helps Southern Israeli Town

Immediately following the plea for help from the Shliach of Ofakim, a town in the South of Israel, to Yisroel Schulman, the Monsey Chabad community raised close to $7,000 towards helping its beleaguered residents who were under a continuous barrage of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The pictures in the slideshow below were sent to us with a warm thank you note by the Head Shliach of Ofakim, Rav Yisroel Hershkowitz.

Anyone wishing to contribute to Ofkaim’s emergency activities may still do so by sending in a check made out to K’hal Tzemach Tzedek (put “Ofakim” in the memo) to our community’s Gabbai Tzedaka, Mr. Mordechai Litzman, 58 West Maple Drive, Monsey, NY 10952.

Mazel Tov Gottliebs!

Mazel tov to Mrs. Sosha Gottlieb and family on the birth of a grandson to Bina and Tzvi Weiss of Florida!

Pidyon Shevuim

The bail hearing for Sholom Rubashkin will take place tomorrow, Monday, January 26, at 9.30 AM EST. Please have Sholom Mordechai HaLevy ben Rivkah in mind in your davening tomorrow and specifically at the time of the hearing. May we hear good news.

Seeking Employment - Please Help a Member of Our Community

One of our long-time community members, Yaakov Rothstein, will be completing a two and a half year consulting assignment at The Bank of New York Mellon on Erev Shabbos this week. Yaakov's field is Information Technology, with a specialization in procurement, though he has also performed other roles. His cover letter is below and he will send you his resume upon request. Please consider if you, your friends, family, or business associates can help Yaakov to secure work. If you make such referrals, please let Yaakov know directly via cell phone at 845-558-8780 or email at so he can follow up appropriately.

In merit of your participation, may we all hear good news soon for us and for all of Klal Yisroel. A guten chodesh.

Yisroel Schulman

Cover Letter (please email me at for my resume):
I am seeking a full-time permanent position or consulting work as a Business Lead and Negotiator for the procurement of Information Technology and other products and services. For twenty years, I have held positions of increasing technical and management responsibility in strategic sourcing at leading firms such as The Bank of New York Mellon, Verizon, and Mitsubishi. My additional objectives at this time include a performance bonus and travel not to exceed 25 percent per month.

I am also open to other roles based on my experience as a Management Consultant, for which a supplement to my resume is available. My world-class contributions include: market research for the American Express Small Business Campaign, and the technical and business due diligence for EZ-Pass Traffic Toll Systems.

In Global Supply Chain Management, I touch about $73M annually on the average, impact about 72 percent, and deliver impressive savings and carefully negotiated contracts. For details of my accomplishments, please see the attached resume. Supplement, references, and publication are available upon request.

Over the course of my career, I have earned a solid reputation for excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, reliable and consistent follow-through; timely, cost-effective project management and completion of all assignments and projects. I am a graduate of Harvard and Columbia.

I look forward to hearing from you to schedule a personal meeting. Thank you for your consideration.

Yaakov Rothstein

Rosh Chodesh Shacharis at Tzemach Tzedek

Shacharis tomorrow, Monday Rosh Chodesh Shvat, at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek, will begin at 6:55 AM.

Mazel Tov Goulds!

Mazel tov to Reuven and Lea Gould on the engagement of their daughter Rochel to Chesky Wasserman of Crown Heights!

Robert Pitt Drive in Spring Valley a Minefield of Potholes

By James Walsh, The Journal News

SPRING VALLEY - It was nearly two years ago when a reader's e-mail summoned The Watcher to Melnick Drive, or more specifically, to potholes that motorists dodged down the hill and past the Monsey post office.

So last week, the Watcher was pleased to see that a subsequent repaving had held up to the freezes and thaws of ensuing winters.

Ahhhhh, there's nothing like a stretch of smooth pavement these days, a relief that's especially savored after bouncing over and swerving around the numerous holes a few blocks away, first on Maple Avenue and then on Monsey Boulevard.

The reverie was quickly jolted out of mind by a turn off Melnick and onto Robert Pitt Drive. As rough as an alligator's back, broad sections of the road challenged drivers to twist and turn around holes and uneven pavement.

Some did just that, navigating parts of Robert Pitt Drive as gingerly as a war-zone minefield.

Others, though, seemed oblivious to the spectre of front-end alignments. They pushed straight ahead, hardly slowing at all; probably battle-hardened veterans of the Maple Avenue obstacle course.

Continue article here.
The Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Leibel Groner, and Rabbi Lesches farbrenging with a group of Yungeleit last night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bus Accident in Rockland County

By Arun Das,

Emergency responders were on the scene of a bus accident in Rockland County on Friday afternoon. The crash happened on the Garden State Parkway North at the link to the New York State Thruway/I-287 in Chestnut Ridge.

Police said one person was hurt.

Photo by Gavriel Siklos

Photo by

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rabbi Lesches making the Siyum HaRambam at the 9th Annual Monsey Siyum HaTorah.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seeking Home for Boarder

We are looking for a family where our 14 year old son, who attends Yeshiva in Monsey, can board. For more information please call Chaya at 905 886-6527.

8 Ramapo Firefighters Returning Home After Volunteering in Israel

By Ben Rubin, The Journal News

As Itamar Yeger was driving to the Be'er Sheva fire station Jan. 15 to begin his assignment there, three rockets struck the Israeli city. Yeger, 39, a Hillcrest firefighter, rerouted toward one of the impact areas and found a rocket had landed on a car, denting its roof in by more than a foot and charring the vehicle.

Israeli firefighters already were on scene putting out the blaze, and ambulance workers were tending to three or four wounded people, including a 7-year-old boy with a severe head injury and a woman constantly screaming. Yeger said he jumped in, helping out however he could.
"It's obviously very difficult. It brought home to me that this was not a vacation and the people here are going through a lot," Yeger said by phone Tuesday night while in Jerusalem visiting family.

Yeger, an executive assistant district attorney for Rockland County, was one of eight Orthodox Jewish volunteer firefighters from Ramapo who went to Israel last week to assist Israeli firefighters during the recent war.

Most of the group are to return to the United States today, and the rest are expected to come back next week.
Continue article here.

RCC Group Returns From Mayanot Taglit-Birthright Israel Trip to Israel

A large group of RCC students, led by director of the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at RCC, Rabbi Dov Oliver, just returned from an inspirational ten-day Mayanot Taglit-Birthright Israel to Israel. The trip departed during the recent Israeli operations in Gaza and although some in the group were anxious about traveling to Israel at this particular time they returned thrilled about their choice to go.

"I never could have imagined that you could spend ten such deep and rich days with a group of acquaintances and strangers and finish those ten days feeling like they are all your family, only the holiness of Israel can achieve that. It has touched me deeply and I know that from now on my Jewish identity and commitment to Judaism will stay strong despite my secular and irreligious environment." reflected Laura Cicona of Haverstraw.

Click here for an article about the trip.

Members of the group putting on Tefillin at the Western Wall.

David Carr, seated in Eliyohu's chair after his 'retroactive Bris', with the Mohel and group leader, Rabbi Dov Oliver.

Girls from the group who received their official Jewish names after a Torah reading and special celebration.

Letter of Approbation

Touger Shalom Zachor

Yossi and Sara Touger will be making a Shalom Zachor for their newborn son this Friday night at the Kagan home, 5 West Fessler Drive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chod Daled Teves at Cheder Chabad Boys

Yesterday, Chof Daled Teves, Cheder Boys School had a special Hakhel farbrengen in honor of the Yom Histalkus of the Alter Rebbe. During the farbrengen we heard some very interesting and inspiring words and stories from Rabbi Simon, the Shliach in Teaneck, NJ (and a Cheder parent). Rabbi Simon explained to us that the job of a Chossid is not try to look what I can receive but rather why was I sent to this world and what can I contribute to this world. During the farbrengen we also recited the 12 pesukim uma'amorei CHaZa"l, sang nigunnim of the Alter Rebbe, said l’chaim and enjoyed fresh cup cakes from Brills Bakery. Thank you very much Rabbi Simon for taking time out of your busy schedule to farbreng with the Cheder!

Ride Needed

If you or someone you know is traveling from Crown Heights to Monsey this Friday and has room for two bochurim please call 845-659-2388.

Rockland County Legislature Adopts Pro-Israel Resolution

By Laura Incalcaterra, The Journal News

NEW CITY - The Rockland County Legislature voted 15-0 last night to approve a resolution that drew opposition from those calling it biased in favor of Israel.

The resolution recognizes Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups operating in Gaza.

Before the vote, residents in support and in opposition of the measure spoke during the public portion of the Legislature's meeting. It took nearly 90 minutes to hear all the comments and bring about a vote. Legislators Jay Hood, D-Haverstraw, and Patrick Moroney, R-Pearl River, were absent.

"If you vote yes on this resolution, you're voting yes on what has happened, what Israel has done," said Alan Levin of Nyack.

Levin had posted a petition online to request the Legislature vote down the resolution or delay it until a public hearing could be held and all issues could be discussed.

The primary sponsor, Legislator Alden Wolfe, D-Suffern, said the purpose was to express the Legislature's support of Israel and to call upon state and federal officials who had not yet publicly backed Israel.

The resolution condemns Hamas, the governing body in Gaza that is regarded as a terrorist organization by nations including Israel and the United States.

Wolfe said last night that Hamas places its members among the Palestinian people, putting civilians in danger when Israel hunts down those firing rockets onto its citizens.

Levin had previously said that some information was omitted in Wolfe's resolution, including the occupation of Palestinian territory, prisoners held without trial, assassinations during cease-fire periods, home demolitions, increased numbers of settlements, and the blockade of food, medicine and fuel.

Another speaker last night, Robert Prol, questioned why the Legislature was involving itself in foreign affairs.

"How does it satisfy your responsibility as county legislators?" Prol said.

Daniel Friedman spoke in support of the resolution, saying he could not understand the opposition.

"To stand here and accuse Israel of aggression is an act of delusion," Friedman said.

Legislator Phil Soskin, D-Monsey, questioned how a coherent peace discussion could be held with Hamas when the organization did not recognize Israel and when its stated goal was Israel's destruction.

He also placed the blame for civilian casualties on Hamas, not Israel.

"The other side doesn't seem to value life," Soskin said. "They use women and children as human shields. They put their weapons right in the middle of a populated area."

Soskin, Wolfe and Legislator Ilan Schoenberger asked those speaking in opposition where they were in the past when terrorists sent rockets into Israel and when they killed Israeli civilians.

Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell, D-West Nyack, said legislators had a long commitment to addressing issues brought forward by constituents, even if they extended beyond the county's borders.

"Whatever concerns the people of Rockland concerns us," Cornell said.

Hamas governs Gaza, where fighting began Dec. 27 after Israel launched an air attack and followed with a land invasion. A cease-fire was agreed upon by the two sides Sunday. Israel said it attacked Gaza to get at Hamas terrorists, which have been firing rockets into Israel.

Mazel Tov Spaeths!

Mazel tov to Yaakov and Julie Spaeth on the birth of a baby girl! Mazel tov to the grandparents Eliezer and Sofia Spaeth and Tom and Devorah O’Brien!

Shifra and Puah arranges homemade meals from people in the community for mothers of newborn children from our community. If you are able to cook a meal, please contact Karen Schild at 845-354-4898 or

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beis Chaya Mushka Dinner

Residents Oppose Rockland Legislature's Pro-Israel Resolution

By Laura Incalcaterra, The Journal News

NEW CITY - Rockland County Legislator Alden Wolfe, D-Suffern, wants to pass a resolution tonight that recognizes Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas.

But residents opposed to the measure want it voted down until "fairer language" can be included, or postponed altogether until a public forum can be held to discuss the region's complex issues. Click here to continue article.

Eat at The Purple Pear Today and Help Cheder Chabad

Click here for details.

Monday, January 19, 2009

N'shei Chabad Rosh Chodesh Shvat Event

Mesivta Beth Shraga Plan Gets Favorable Review by Ramapo Planning Board

By James Walsh, The Journal News

RAMAPO - A proposed yeshiva with dormitories for 100 students on the site of a historic house near the Pomona border has received a favorable review from the Planning Board.

Mesifta Beth Shraga's project was deemed to have no significant environmental impact. The Planning Board also looked favorably upon zoning variances for the project.

Monsey Hosts HAMC Shabbaton

Last Shabbos, parshas Vayechi, the Monsey community hosted a Shabbaton for Rabbi Gil Hami’s 8th grade class from the Hebrew Academy of Morris County in New Jersey, who experienced a beautiful Chassidishe Shabbos.

Among the activities of the Shabbos the boys learned about the Parsha on which they prepared a Dvar Torah for the Shabbos table. On Friday night they enjoyed the davening at K’hal Tzemach Tzedek, especially the dancing of Lecha Dodi, and the warm welcome they received from many individuals. This was followed by a Friday night Seudah where they enjoyed delicious food, meaningful discussions, niggunim, and farbrenged with Rabbi Soble and several baal batim. One boy commented that it was “exhilarating” and that he wished he could have this every week. On Motzai Shabbos Reb Dovid Kaplan farbrenged with the boys at a beautiful Melaveh Malkah.

Overall, the group had a wonderful Shabbos, and even asked if they can come again. Yashar koach to the community for making them feel so welcome. A number of the parents have already asked for a Shabbaton for their families which is being planned for later in the year. If anyone is interested in hosting one of the families please email Details will be forthcoming.

Mazel Tov Tougers!

Mazel tov to Yossi and Sara Touger on the birth of a baby boy! Mazel tov to the grandparents Rabbi Chaim Dovid and Miriam Kagan!

Shifra and Puah arranges homemade meals from people in the community for mothers of newborn children from our community. If you are able to cook a meal, please contact Karen Schild at 845-354-4898 or

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spring Valley Detour Puzzles Resident

By James Walsh, The Journal News

SPRING VALLEY - It was in July 2004 when The Watcher visited folks on Morris Road, Francis Place and Stonehouse Drive.

They were upset over caravans of cars, trucks and buses racing through their development to bypass a closed bridge on Union Road.

Now, 4 1/2 years later, it appears that not much has changed.

The 20-foot-long bridge was closed again - a temporary structure had been installed for about three years - and traffic was still an issue.

Pedestrians were seen one afternoon this week dodging a near-constant stream of traffic, mostly school buses snaking around the Union Road barricade.

Whenever a break in the vehicular Conga line appeared, horns honked as other residents attempted to exit their driveways.

The word "harried" might best describe life there today.

A new feature, or at least one different from 2004, was a second detour posted at Union Road's intersection with Maple Avenue.

It directed motorists away from the closed bridge and onto Route 45.

From there, drivers were sent north to Eckerson Road, where signs pointed them west to Union Road.

The circle from one side of the closed bridge to the other encompassed about 2 1/2 miles.

Resident Steven White contacted The Watcher recently to inquire about the additional detour route.

"I just thought it was very odd," White said. "It seemed strange that when there's a shorter way available, that they'd send people all the way around."

From White's perspective, the detour contributed to heavier traffic on Route 45, which on the best of days is often bumper-to-bumper between Spring Valley and Hillcrest.

Charles "Skip" Vezzetti, the county's commissioner of highways, said the intent was to get more commercial traffic onto the main road.

"It was my understanding that the idea was to not have all of this traffic going through the residential area," he said yesterday.

Whether that was accomplished might be debated on the three blocks straddling the closed bridge.

But whether the detour was long or short, a question remained: how long will these detours persist?

A bit of background: The houses were built in the 1960s upon what was a swamp, now fashionably called a wetland.

Long and heavy rains drenched yards, driveways and basements with water that appeared to come from the Pascack Brook.

The county traced the flooding to the village's clogged storm drains and pipes running between the streets and the creek.

When the creek rose, water backed up in the pipes and caused the flooding, Vezzetti said.

It was also found that the bridge obstructed the flow of the Pascack, a county waterway.

Rockland is spending about $1.2 million to replace the bridge, which has been closed since August. It's to be done by summer.

Spring Valley will then spend about $800,000 to install new piping to direct rainwater eastward to the creek.

"The water will then flow with the natural grade of the land," Vezzetti said.

In part, the project has been delayed by the two-year process of the village's securing easements for the bridge replacement, and performing an environmental review of the project.

A third portion of the plan - enclosing part of the Pascack - has been put on hold. The county wants to see if only the new pipes and bridge relieve the flooding.

There's a new threat, though, that worries Mayor George Darden. It's Ramapo's plan to build affordable housing on property, including wetlands, a block south of the flood zone.

"We have to work with the town of Ramapo," Darden said. "I'm going to insist that this project has to be zero runoff."

Today's HaYom Yom

My father proclaimed at a farbrengen: Just as wearing tefillin every day is a Mitzva commanded by the Torah to every individual regardless of his standing in Torah, whether deeply learned or simple, so too is it an absolute duty for every person to spend a half hour every day thinking about the Torah-education of children, and to do everything in his power - and beyond his power - to inspire children to follow the path along which they are being guided.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hatzalah volunteers assisting passengers that were on the plane that emergency landed in the Hudson River today.

Chof Daled Teves Farbrengen

There will be a farbrengen with Rabbi Lesches this Tuesday night, January 20, in honor of Chof Daled Teves, following maariv at 9:30 PM.

Chof Daled Teves is the day in 1812 that the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi was niftar. The Rebbe was in the village of Peyena, fleeing Napoleon's armies, which had swept through the Rebbe's hometown of Liadi three months earlier in their advance towards Moscow. He was in his 68th year at the time of his passing, and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.

Cheder Chabad Seeks Temporary Secretary

Cheder Chabad of Monsey is seeking a temporary secretary for this Monday, January 19. If you or someone you know is interested please call Miss Kirshner at 845-521-0448.

MBCM Third Annual Production

Save the date! Monsey Beis Chaya Muska's third Annual Production will take place on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at the East Ramapo Freshmen Center. More details will follow soon.

Purple Pear Restaurant & Cheder Chabad Team Up for Fundraising Event

Cheder Chabad of Monsey would like to take this opportunity to invite you and your family to participate in a unique fundraising opportunity that will increase school spirit and community involvement, while also raising money for the Cheder. This is a great opportunity to generate funding for us while you’re dining out.

The Purple Pear restaurant is teaming with Cheder Chabad on the third Tuesday of every month starting with this coming Tuesday, January 20, thru June 16, 2009 by hosting a Purple Pear Family & Friends Day Out. This special program gives you the opportunity to raise money and put the fun back in FUNdraising.

How does it work? While your family and friends enjoy dining out on the days specified above, The Purple Pear will donate 15% of all pre-taxes sales generated the day of the events, to Cheder Chabad. It’s just that simple; there is nothing to sell, and you are helping to raise money while you’re dining out!

All you have to do is remember to mention that you are with Cheder Chabad on the day of the event to either the server or the cashier if taking out.

If you have any questions about this program please call Gershon Sandler at 845-356-1213 or email

Thank you for supporting Cheder Chabad of Monsey!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chinuch Class for Women

The third class in Rabbi Markowitz's Chinuch Lecture Series for women will take place this Monday night, January 19th, at 8:00 PM at the home of Rashi Kaplan, 4 Fawn Lane.

Please email any chinuch questions you may have, in advance of the class, to

Monsey Volunteers Fly to Israel to Relieve Firefighters Involved in Gaza Fighting

By Rob Ryser, The Journal News

MONSEY - Nine volunteers from three Rockland County firehouses left for Israel last night to relieve firefighters there who are involved in the fighting with Hamas militants in Gaza.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment thing," Monsey Fire Chief Douglas Perry said of the way the local response was organized. "It is a good gesture."

It was not immediately clear how long the volunteers will help out in Israel. They hope is to relieve those who left last night with a second wave of Rockland volunteers should the conflict carry into the coming weeks, Perry said.

Already the fighting is in its 19th day.

Five of the volunteers come from the Monsey Fire Department. Two others each are from the Hillcrest and Spring Valley companies, Perry said.

The volunteers had a brief send-off last night at the Monsey firehouse before leaving for the airport.

A contingent of Rockland firefighters went to Israel on a similar relief mission in 2006 when Israel was warring with Hezbollah.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jewish Group Holds New City Rally for Israel

By Ben Rubin, The Journal News

At the foot of the Rockland County Courthouse steps, several hundred people came out yesterday morning in the biting cold, waving small Israeli flags and singing prayers for peace during an Israel solidarity rally.

Despite a snowstorm the night before, they arrived in large numbers, bundled for the weather, wearing stickers that read "I love Israel" on their coats. People in the crowd held up signs, among them were "Disarm Hamas!" and "Rockland stands with Sderot" - an Israeli town commonly targeted for rocket attacks.

Yesterday's rally, organized by the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, included prayers for the state of Israel and its soldiers, and a prayer for peace.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Israel Rally in Rockland on Sunday

Rabbi Yosef Muchnik, Shliach in Old Town Camarillo, CA, being interviewed about a hate crime at the Jewish Pre-School he administers.

A Few Good Men Needed

The morning minyan at Cheder Chabad needs your help with completing our minyan. Even if you can not make it every day, your participation will be very helpful. The davening times are:
Monday through Friday: Hodu at 7:45 AM
Sunday: Hodu at 8:20 AM

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ruvi Litzman doing Mivtzoim at the Rally in Manhattan in support of Israel.

Choosing a Thesis

East Ramapo Superintendent Wants 2 Schools Closed

By Randi Weiner and Jenna Carlesso, The Journal News

East Ramapo may close two schools next year and lease them under a proposal made last night by Schools Superintendent Ira Oustatcher.

At a board meeting that drew dozens of people to the district's administration building, Oustatcher modified his Dec. 4 proposal to close Lime Kiln school and use the savings to fund several educational initiatives, including full-day kindergarten.

He said he now recommends that the district close two schools - Lime Kiln and Hempstead elementary schools - and lease them to save the district between $1.2 million and $1.4 million.

"This is going to be a near-impossible budget year," Oustatcher said. "It's with a heavy heart that I do this, but we do think it's doable.

"This is something going on in the state and the nation that impacts our financial issues," he said.

The Board of Education still needs to decide whether to approve Oustatcher's recommendations as part of the district's long-range plans, making that choice at the board's first meeting in February. Click here to continue article.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Matzo Baking

A group will be baking matzo with Rabbi Yisroel Fried on Sunday, January 25 (29 Teves) from 8:00 AM until about 12:00 Noon.

The utensils and keilim will be all new and every chumrah done in Chabad for Matzah baking will be implemented.

If you are interested in baking matzos with this group, or purchasing matzos that we bake, please contact Rabbi Fried at

Baking is at the matzo bakery on Albany Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Even if you can only come and bake for part of the time, or even if you can only order your matzos from us, any help is appreciated.

If you have not done this before, it's a lot of fun, and it's very special to know at your Pesach seder that you are eating matzo that you yourself helped to bake. If you have done this before, but don't yet have a set group with whom to bake, now is your chance to chop arien.

Tehillim Campaign or Eretz Yisroel

Mrs. Ilanit Borbely is organizing a campaign to complete the entire Sefer Tehillim once a week in the merit of the Israeli soldiers fighting in Gaza and Jews living in Southern Israel. If you would like to participate please call Ilanit at 845-300-0999 and let her know how many perakim you can say. Any amount you can say is appreciated.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rally In Support of Israel Today

Please Say Extra Tehillim for Chayalei Tzahal

In light of the war in Israel, the Chabad Beis Din of Israel sent out a letter which calls for everyone to add Tehillim chapters 20, 22, 69, and 150 every day after Shacharis and Mincha. This is in the merit of the army's success in their mission and for their safe return.

15-Foot Swastika Carved into Suffern Pond

By Jenna Carlesso and Steve Lieberman, The Journal News

SUFFERN - Residents discovered a roughly 15-foot by 15-foot swastika carved into the ice at the Foxwood Pond on the Suffern/Mahwah, N.J., border this morning.

Police say someone apparently took a snow shovel and etched it and two other small swastikas into the ice on a pond frequented by local ice-skaters.

Warmer temperatures had all but diminished the symbol by midday today.

"At this point, it is not a permanent scar," said Detective Craig Long of the Suffern Police Department. "You have to look from the shore, and know what you are looking for."

Police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at 845-357-2300.

Local Lubavitcher Receives "Forty Under Forty" Award

Rabbi Dov Oliver (center) accepts the Forty Under Forty award certificate from Dr. Cliff L. Wood, president, SUNY Rockland, and Sr. Mary Eileen O'Brien, president, Dominican College.

The "Forty Under Forty" awards were given to forty individuals from Rockland County who are under the age of forty and are having a positive impact on the community.

Community Unites to Remember Those Murdered Mumbai

This is an article about the Chabad of Rockland event that was held on December 7th.

By Hannah Harper Beerman, Rockland Jewish Reporter

Jews of all ages and denominations gathered in the Chabad Lubavitch of Rockland County in New City to memorialize the loss of Chabad emissaries, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who were killed in a terrorist attack in Mumbai.

"The attack in Mumbai is not against the people of India, people of Jewish faith, or citizens of America," said S. Ram Nagubandi Rockland's human right's commissioner, one of several speakers that evening. "This is attack is against humanity."

More than 200 people filled row upon row of folding chairs. Many wept during the ceremony.. Candles were lit as speakers shared words of mourning, loss, speaking to a desire overcome the tragedy and continue, as Jews are commanded to do, bring light into this world.

The Mumbai attacks began on Nov. 26 as a coordinated terrorist plot at 10 different sights in the bustling, metropolitan city. In addition to taking hold of the Chabad house, terrorists laid siege to hotels, hospitals, cafes and other well-trafficked sights, killing 171 people and injuring another 293.

Among the dead were Rabbi Gavreil, aged 29 and Rivkah Holtzberg aged 28, a couple living as Jewish educators in Mumbai. The Hotzbergs guests, Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum a kosher supervisor aged 38, Bentzion Chroman, 28, and Yocheved Orpaz, 60, also lost their lives.

The Holtzberg's Nanny, Sandra Samuel, emerged from hiding after the attacks, following the screams of the Hotlzberg's two year old son, Moshe. She found him crying and screaming, his clothes stained with blood.

"Can there be a greater contrast of ultimate good and the lowest of evil, then what we've experienced here?" asked Rabbi Chaim Zvi Ehrenreich of the Chabad Jewish Edcucation Center of Chestnut Ridge. "On the one hand individuals who spent long hours and days weeks months planning to fulfill a mission of hate and destruction, and a couple who devoted their lives to a mission of love, of giving, a mission to help others."

The evening opened with the responsive reading of Psalms, Chapter 20, led by Rabbi Shmuel Z. Gancz of the Chabad Jewish Center of Suffern, and included words from Robert Matofsky, the vice president of Jewish Federation of Rockland County and from Rabbi Avremel Kotlarsky, the regionaldDirector of Chabad Lubavitch of Rockland.

People spoke of the Holtzberg's kindness and generosity and how they were there for so many foreign travelers who found themselves in India.

"The Holtzbergs had a unique ability to share true friendship with everyone. It was just amazing," said Yeruchum Cohen, a Vice President at Citibank, who often found himself in India on business. "I would hop on a plane on Friday morning just to fly to Mumbai so I could spend Shabbos with the Holtzbergs because it was like a home away from home. We all knew we could go to the Holtzbergs. We all knew there were people there who would treat us with love and respect and make a home for us."

Organizers played video tribute of the Holtzbergs, and heard from Devorah Gancz of the Chabad Jewish Center of Rockland. Gancz, an emissary like Rivkah Holtzberg said, "From the moment we heard we all sat glued to the news. We said pslams and watched the screens, never believing that this would never be the outcome.

"We all feel so connected to her," said Gancs, who like Rivkah Holtzberg, is a Chabad emissary. "We do the same work as her. Growing up we know that we can end up anywhere and she was the one that was in Mumbai.the amount of good that was going on at the time, the amount of charity that was being given, they prayers that were being said, there was just no way that this could be."

"When I heard that Jews were tortured and killed, and about the Hotlzberg's son, the two year old, the least I could do was come out on a Sunday night and show my support" said Gil Israel, a freshman at Suffern High School who attended the service. "It made me feel really sad when I found out about the two-year-old alone on the floor, with blood on his clothes, asking where his mom and dad were. That's a disturbing image."

His mother, Elise Israel, was inspired by the Holtzberg's legacy.

"I was very moved by the extent of the work that the Holtzbergs did," she said. "Even though I had read a fair amount, I had no idea of the extent of their hospitality, their selflessness, the classes they provided for their community. I was awe struck."

Jeff Dinetz, a member of the Chabad congregation in New City said "Tonight was a chance to mourn with other members of the community. It's been a tough two weeks."

Mincha & Maariv Today

Mincha at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek for today, Asara B'Teves, will take place at 4:25 PM followed by Maariv at 5:15 PM. The fast ends at 5:17 PM.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mumbai Shloshim at Cheder Chabad Boys

On Daled Teves the Cheder Chabad of Monsey Boys Division held a special assembly in honor the Shloshim of the kedoshim who were tragically killed in Mumbai, India. The program began with a short video about the Shluchim and was followed by Divrei Chizuk delivered by Rabbi Wolowick. The program concluded with the recital of the Tehillim that were suggested by the Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch.

3 Bedroom Apartment for Rent

A 3 bedroom apartment that is only 2 blocks from K'hal Tzemach Tzedek is currently available for rent. Please call Mrs. Bracha Meschaninov for more information at 917-821-0694.

Monsey Shidduch Group First Meeting

The Monsey Shidduch Group will hold its first meeting tomorrow, Monday, January 5, at 7:15 PM sharp at the home of Rochel Sabol, 7 Woodwind Lane in New Hempstead.
Whether mother, sister, aunt or friend, anyone with the name of a single boy or girl is welcome. For more information call Rochel Sabol at 354-4321.

Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka First Annual Dinner

Save the date! Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka High School for Girls is proud to announce that its first annual dinner will take place on Monday evening, February 16th, Chof Beis Shevat, in the grand ballroom of Chabad of New City.

The honorees of the dinner are:
Parents of the Year :
Our beloved Rav and Rebbitzin Rabbi & Rebbetzin Boruch Dov Lesches
Avodas HaKodesh Award:
Mr. & Mrs. Mordechai Litzman

MBCM Virtual Pushka Club

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Help a Community in Southern Israel

Dear Friends,

I received the below letter from the Head Shliach of the poorest city in Israel. If you are capable of helping, checks earmarked for Ofakim may be given to Mordechai Litzman, payable to Tzemach Tzedek and 100% of the funds will be immediately transmitted to Ofakim.


Yisroel Schulman, Esq.
-----Original Message-----
From: Rav Yisroel Hershkowitz
Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 9:34 AM
To: Yisroel Schulman
Cc: Chabad Ofakim

To our dear friend, Rav Yisroel Schulman,

Greetings and blessings!

As you have heard, we spend most of the daytime hours in the bomb shelters, because of the missile attacks on Ofakim and the southern region from Gaza.

Chabad Ofakim have been involved in helping many of Ofakim's residents, particularly the needy families. We are in desperate need of 40 heaters for the shelters, and similarly need money so that we can continue to distribute food, candies, and drinks to those families who are in need. Every space heater costs $160, total: 40 x $160=$6,400. For food products we need at least $5,000 immediately.

I am asking if you would please turn to a few of your friends who may be concerned with the current situation in Israel, and see if you can raise $11,400 to cover the cost of the heaters and food items for the needy families.

We are trying to remain strong and to encourage the residents in the name of the Rebbe. Please try to help find ways to help us with this request.

I would be very happy to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.


Rav Yisrael Hershkowitz

Daily Mincha

Beginning this Sunday the daily Mincha minyan at K'hal Tzemach Tzedek will be at 4:30PM.