Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fun, Learning at Bat-Mitzvah Camp

30 girls are experiencing fun and learning at CGI B-ME Bat Mitzvah Camp in Philadelphia, directed by Gershon and Debbie Sandler.

On a serene, sprawling campsite in Philadelphia, 30 girls lit Shabbos candles. For most, it was their first time.

CGI B-ME began last Tuesday. Four days filled with recreational fun - swimming, canoeing, hiking and basketball- left them tired and ready for a relaxing Shabbos. Organized by Gershon and Debbie Sandler, B-ME is an overnight camp where not-yet frum girls learn and live Yiddishkeit.

After learning basic concepts of Judaism, including G-d and Shabbos, the girls got a brief overview of Shabbos: we become closer to Hashem, leaving behind the rush of life and connecting to what's real in life. We don't turn lights on and off, don't play music and don't write. We don't use anything electrical. After clarifying that turning on a tap is not considered electrical, they were ready to roll.

The first Shabbos at camp flew by, beginning with a rocking Friday Night meal, with lively singing, stories and new friendships.

"Shabbos at camp is amazing! It is full of learning, songs, unity, and spiritual growth. We get to bond and become friends like sisters with one another," said Alisa S., from San Antonio, Texas.

The 30 tea-lights danced away as the girls they represented continued their journey of self-development and growth: learning to be proud to Be Me - confident young Jewish women.

CGI B-ME has a few spots still available for second session, (July 23rd- August 12). See or contact Gershon Sandler at 845-425-0903 for more details.

2nd Annual Jewish Women's Symposium This Sunday

Pre Ellul Sofer Discount

Raffle Supporting the "Zevi Silver Caring Fund & Linking Hearts" Ends Tonight

The $100,000 Mega Raffle supporting the Zevi Silver Caring Fund & Linking Hearts ends tonight!

At the Chabad JEC Inaugural Gala last month, a new fund and initiative at Chabad Jewish Enrichment Center was announced. What follows is a part of a speech by Shlucha, Mrs. Chaya Ehrenreich:

Tonight is bittersweet for me as it is only a week since the passing of my dearest brother, Zevi, who would have turned 32 this week. Zevi valiantly fought to prolong his life and have more time with his young children throughout his ordeal with a terrible illness.

For as long as I can remember my little brother Zevi was a most positive upbeat person, this continued to be his motto: full of faith and full of optimism until his very last day. Zevi was an extremely caring son, brother, husband and father who always had a kind word for another and showed his appreciation to all those around him.

Tonight it is my honor to dedicate The Zevi Silver Caring Fund, at Chabad Jewish Enrichment Center in memory of Zevi – Binyamin Zev A”H ben R’ Avraham Yosef Sheyichye.

This will fund Chabad’s new program, Linking Hearts. Linking Hearts brings warmth, companionship, love and smiles to the faces and hearts of senior citizens who live alone or in assisted living facilities. This program partners local teens with seniors allowing both to benefit from this ongoing relationship. Linking hearts also includes hospital visitation, sharing hope, optimism and courage which will allow for all members of the community to be a part of it.

Zevi was the Chaplain at a senior assisted residence in his hometown of Mequon, WI. More recently, during his lengthy hospital stays, Zevi always went to great lengths to show and express his appreciation to all who cared for him and all of those who took the time to visit with him. In his final months, he planned a blood drive in his community to give back to the community that gave so much to him. The Linking Hearts program is something Zevi would be proud to have his name on.

Thank you to all have already participated in this meaningful endeavor.

Click here to donate and purchase a raffle ticket with a chance to win $100,000. Ticket packages range from $100 - $1,800. Please respond generously in memory of Zevi.

Additionally, YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED 50% by a generous benefactor, i.e. your $100 donation translates to $150 donated to Chabad, your $1,000 = $1,500 to Chabad, etc.!

For more information, please call 845-356-6686.

Seeking Hebrew School Teachers

Hebrew School in Tenafly, NJ is hiring Hebrew School teachers for the upcoming school year.

35 minute drive from Monsey.
Sundays 10:00 – 12:30 and Wednesdays 4:00 – 5:30 pm.
Great pay and excellent working conditions.

Email your resume with two references to

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman, Dean, Cheder Chabad of Monsey
This  Shabbat is the Shabbat prior to Tisha B'Av, (9th of Av - this forthcoming Monday eve -Tuesday, July 15-16, 2013) the Jewish national day of mourning, On Tishah B'Av itself, we will recall the destruction of our Holy Temples – approximately 2,000 years ago - by fasting and mourning and the other observances of the day.

They say that Napoleon was once passing through the Jewish ghetto in Paris and heard sounds of crying and wailing emanating from a synagogue. He stopped to ask what the lament was about. He was told that the Jews were remembering the destruction of their Temple. "When did it happen?" asked the Emperor. "Some 1700 years ago," was the answer he received. Whereupon Napoleon stated with conviction that a people who never forgets its past would be destined to forever have a future.

In the beginning of our Torah portion (Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:1-3:22) Moses recalls how G-d had said to the Children of Israel, "You have surrounded this mountain long enough. Turn away, and take your journey..." (Deuteronomy 1:6). The mountain is Sinai, scene of the revelation of G-d’s wisdom and will to man. Yet G-d tells us, "You've been here long enough. Move on!"

We must always be prepared to move forward, to carry on to the next stage. How are we to navigate a clear path, through the confusion that is everyday life? How do we reconcile this with our past? How do we utilize our life experience, both individual and collective?

A young boy was traveling from Jerusalem to the Galilee.

He arrived at a four-way crossroads and discovered, to his horror, that the crossroads sign, with its arrows pointing the way to the cities lying in the four directions, had fallen down.

Which road should he take to reach his destination?

But he knew where he was coming from - Jerusalem. By arranging the sign so that Jerusalem pointed to the path he had just come from, he was able to figure out which way to go.

This is the key. Moving forward is essential but in order to do so we must remember and understand where we are coming from. The Torah is our collective life experience. Our heritage and our history are our signposts. Using this as our starting point, knowing where we are coming from, we are able to get to where we are going, on the correct path, without straying or getting lost.

Yes, progress is an inevitable (and even good) thing. Nonetheless, it must be tempered with a clear understanding and appreciation of where we started out from and how Torah is our frame of reference. In this way, we will be able to chart a clear and bright future, dealing with the challenges of the modern world head on, using progress in a positive manner and to reach our final destination, the rebuilding of the third and ultimate Temple in Jerusalem. May it happen NOW!

(Excerpts from

May  you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!

Dinner with Levana