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COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS





BQE To Finally Be Repaired

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway is an essential part of New York City traffic, transporting more than 140,000 vehicles daily. Still many drivers do all they can to avoid it, considering the potholes that line the highway and the narrow lanes that often cause accidents. At long last, these hazards are going to be repaired. The city has planned at 1.7 billion dollar project to revamp the BQE – the most expensive project ever launched by the Transportation Department of New York City. By all accounts, the money spent will be worth it. “This is one of our most vital corridors in all of New York City,” says Polly Trottenberg, the city’s Transportation Commissioner. “The city relies on it.” Construction, resulting in 21 concrete-and-steel bridges over local roads, is expected to last about 5 years. All the while, at least part of the BQE will remain open with the same number of lanes in each direction.

Ready for Winter: The Department
of Sanitation Devises A Better Way To Clean Streets After Snow Storms

This winter, The Department of Sanitation will implement a new way of clearing streets during and after winter storms. Instead of primary, secondary, and tertiary streets, your street will be classified as “critical,” “sector,” or “haulster.”

Critical routesare the highways, main travel thoroughfares and bus routes that contain emergency services and facilities such as hospitals, fire stations, police stations and schools.

Sector routesencompass all streets that are not designated as “critical” but are wide enough to accommodate a Department of Sanitation collection truck, with an attached plow.

Haulster Routeswill service dead ends and streets that cannot be cleared with a collection truck or salt spreader and plow because they are too narrow.

This new classification system will hopefully improve efficiency. Now that snowplows will operate on defined routes, they can get to your street sooner! For more information go to PlowNYC
at maps.nyc.gov/snow/.

SBH’s Autumn Marketplace

On December 8th, a committee of dedicated and creative volunteers transformed the home of Miriam and Manny Haber into a Middle
Eastern-themed shop for SBH’s annual Autumn Marketplace. Over a dozen vendors and community-owned businesses showcased their foods and cookware, with products ranging from fresh salts, spices, teas, and Syrian delicacies, to challah, maaza, olives and candy. New Jersey’s poplar vegan restaurant, Juice Theory, even opened a pop-up at the event, as did lox and truffle vendor Black Diamond Foods. 

In addition to the stunning marketplace, the event featured a Chinese Auction with highly coveted prizes. They included a trip for four to the Disney Half Marathon with Team SBH, designer accessories, a MacBook, a fur, and more. Proceeds from the Marketplace benefited the Sarah Sutton, A”H, Food Pantry at SBH, which feeds thousands of people every year.First Colon Cancer Awareness
Night Hosted By Medstar

Many people don’t know this, but colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of illness when detected early. Through routine screenings, a healthy diet, and a bit of genetic background testing, there are many steps one can take to prevent getting the disease.

On November 21st, Medstar hosted its first Colon Cancer Awareness Night to explain to the community just how important it is to stay informed and be proactive about this kind of cancer. Over
75 people filled Medstar’s headquarters at SBH to hear lectures from four speakers, all of whom were loaded with life-saving insights. Dr. Jack Braha, D.O., spoke about the latest advances in screenings, a key to early detection. Dr Josef Shehebar, MD, FACS, FASCRS, discussed the importance of knowing your genetic history and the symptoms to look for when planning a screening. Vanessa Chalme, RD, went over the foods to shy away from, such as cold cuts, which can increase the risk of colon cancer by 18%! During the evening, attendees also heard from community member and colon cancer survivor Sherry Tawil, who shared her personal journey through the disease and the importance of getting screened early. 

The event was an overall success! The evening’s moderator,
Dr. Khaski, did a wonderful job funneling questions from audience members to each of the speakers, questions that helped them better assess their individual risks for colon cancer and make a solid game plan for monitoring their health in the future.

Beads of Love:
The Charitable Project
Of An MDY Third Grader

In October, 8-year-old Jacqueline Dana brought a Chai Lifeline pamphlet home from school. Students who sought out sponsorships and collected money for the organization could choose from a variety of prizes. Alas, the prize Jacqueline wanted cost $400 in charity money. Rather than telling her the amount was unfeasible, her parents encouraged Jacqueline to collect the money herself – to do something to earn that prize.

One night, Jacqueline’s father came home with a tub of beads, and inspiration struck. What if she made bracelets and sold each for a dollar in order to raise the money she needed? Jacqueline began at once and her mother Vicky, of YoursTrulyByVicky, announced the project on her Instagram page. The feedback was incredible! Everyone loved Jacqueline’s bracelets!

A project that initially only benefitted Chai Lifeline branched out to involve the Mitzvah Man, who distributed 200 of her bracelets to the children of Monmouth Medical Center. SBH became a beneficiary, too, when Jacqueline donated hundreds of her bracelets to an auction of theirs. This project has had a boomerang effect and through it all Jacqueline keeps on giving. Making the bracelets gives her a sense of purpose and she is so inspired by the motivation she gets from others. “She’s very creative,” Vicky Dana says of her daughter. “She’s a perfectionist, she’s artsy and she loves designing things with her hands. She’s really making all of these bracelets out of love.”

Only months later, Beads of Love has grown to such an extent that the “model” of it has changed. Now every $400 raised via these $1 bracelets will go to a different charitable organization. The number is apropos – remember, 400 was the dollar amount for the material prize that Jacqueline initially wanted. But since then she has discovered the real “prize” – how good it feels to make people happy and give back using her talents.

Follow Jacqueline on Instagram at beads_of _love_by_J or place an order for bracelets with her mother, Vicky Dana, at 917-916-9087.

Mark Your Calendars!
Beth Medrash Govoha-Shivti
Yarchei Kallah – Jan 14th-16th 2017

Beth Medrash Govoha-Shivti, a Lakewood yeshivah, would like the community to know about a two-day learning program they are hosting from January 14th-16 in Princeton, NJ. This Yarchei Kallah covers the topic Work Responsibilities and Dispute Resolution: Hiring, Firing, Cancelling and Quitting. Participants will delve into when it is allowed and who is responsible during law suits. Under the cost of the program, learning materials, the hotel stay and food are provided for. The price is $425 for single room at the Hyatt Regency Princeton and $325 for a double room shared with a roommate. Those interested can visit www.shivtiyk.com to gather source material and more information.

Hearts Ignited, Minds Empowered: Peninim Sephardic Seminary Open House

Peninim Sephardic Seminary’s open house amounted to a nonstop expression of gratitude from its students. Each of Peninim’s seminarians related what sustained growth they now enjoy in all areas of Jewish observance. Can students feel that seminary high without going to Israel? Indeed they can! Check out their website at Sephardicpeninim.org for a gallery of pictures and more information.

New Bnai Yosef Late Arbit Guarantee

The Bnai Yosef Synagogue, on the corner of Avenue P and Ocean Parkway, is one of the busiest synagogues in our community. Still, although there are nonstop minyanim during the day finding an Arbit minyan used to be difficult, as most congregants preferred to pray minha and arbit back to back in the late afternoon. In May of 2012 that all changed when Bnai Yosef instituted the Arbit Guarantee, ensuring evening minyanim every half hour between the hours of 8 and 10 PM with minimal wait time. Now, Bnai Yosef has extended the availability of these minyanim with their late arbit guarantee. “Find an arbit minyan at 10:30 and 11:00 PM
Sunday-Thursday,” the guarantee reads, “or instantly receive a $10 gift certificate to Dougies!” The partnership with Dougies on Ave. J should prove an effective incentive. Congregants won’t arrive at the shul only to wait around for a minyan indefinitely; Bnai Yosef prides themselves on these minyanim routinely occurring. Now, night owls won’t have to despair over finding an after-hours minyan – they can turn to Bnai Yosef Synagogue as late as 11 PM!