Community Chest

Maskeel El Dal Hesed Fund to Hold
Chinese Auction

The Hacham Baruch Kollel, in conjunction with the Maskeel El Dal Hesed Fund, will be holding its Chinese auction on Wednesday night, August 13thand Thursday, August 14th.

The Maskeel El Dal Organization was founded by Hacham Baruch Ben-Haim zt”l, the rabbinical leader of our community for over 55 years, in order to offer financial assistance to needy Jewish families both here in the community and in Israel. The Hacham Baruch Kollel, a full-day kollel, was founded in the rabbi’s memory in May, 2006, a year after his passing, by his sons, led by Hacham Yaacov Ben-Haim. The young kollel students learn toward semichah(rabbinical ordination) and take regular tests on the material, as part of their training to become teachers and rabbis in our community. Numerous guest speakers from Israel visit the kollel and deliver high level shiurimin halachah.

Hacham Yaacov Ben-Haim is seeking to expand the kollel, and is turning to the community for its generous help.

By taking part in the Chinese auction on August 13th,  you are fulfilling two mitzvotat once: supporting Torah study at a time when the Jewish people needs it more than ever, and supporting fellow Jews in need both here in the community and in Israel. Your donation will also bring elevation to the holy soul of our great rabbi, Hacham Baruch.

The Chinese auction is being graciously hosted by Paul and Lori Sutton in memory of Renee Tawil a”h. Guest speakers will include Rabbi David Ozeiri, who will address the gathering on August 13 at 8:30 pm. Rabbi Raymond Beyda will speak at 12:00 on August 14, after which the guests will be treated to a presentation by Sharon Shriqui, a life and health coach, at 1:00 pm. Sharon will run a workshop on healthy eating featuring a special food demonstration, and will also speak about stress reduction.

For more information, or for ticket packages, please call 917.704.4315.

Kids of Courage Getaway

On Sunday, June 22, Kids of Courage (K.O.C.) brought more than 50 campers along with over 150 volunteers from across the Tri-State area to the Five Towns for a Sunday Funday that they will never forget. The children were treated to a beautiful event featuring a full-blown carnival, fly-over helicopters, a visit from local police department horses, face-painting, a petting zoo, a delicious BBQ, games, prizes, music, and much more. The organization expresses its profound appreciation to Aaron and Eva Wexler and the Woodsburgh community, who graciously opened their home and hearts to Kids of Courage.

Founded in 2008, K.O.C. is a groundbreaking volunteer-based organization, dedicated to the support of sick children and their families, day and night, 365 days a year. For more information about K.O.C., or to make a donation toward its upcoming summer adventure trip to San Diego, please visit

Yeshivat Or Hatorah Elementary School Prepares for its First Eighth Grade Class

This upcoming school year marks a significant milestone for Yeshivat Or Hatorah, as it will be graduating its first eighth grade class in the spring of 2015. Ever since opening Yeshivat Or Hatorah High School in September 1997, Rabbi Yaakov S. Marcus, Rosh HaYeshiva, spoke often about opening an elementary division. After meeting Rabbi Eliezer Zeytouneh in the winter of 2006, Rabbi Marcus hired him as Principal, and thus Yeshivat Or Hatorah Elementary School was born.

The Yeshiva has grown from its humble beginnings in small quarters near Avenue J with a kindergarten and P1A class, into a flourishing Torah educational institution serving students K-8, earning its place among the community’s elite yeshivot. Rabbis, lay leaders, and of course parents have praised Or Hatorah for its especially warm environment and the first-rate Torah and general education that it provides for its students.

Currently, the 200 boys in Or Hatorah Elementary School are housed at 2959 Avenue Y, in a facility that includes nine classrooms, a library, a computer lab, a kitchen & dining room, 6000 square feet of state-of-the-art basketball courts and playgrounds, and more. Yet, due to the Yeshiva’s steady and rapid growth, the current property can no longer accommodate its current and future needs.

The plan, which is currently in progress, is to transform the building’s very large bet midrash into a smaller midrash and three additional classrooms. These urgent additions, along with other renovations, will allow Yeshivat Or Hatorah to continue its vital role in educating the youth of our community.

A building fund to raise $350,000 for the expansion project has been set up, and dedications are available. For more information about how you can become a partner with Yeshivat Or Hatorah in building our community’s future, please contact the Yeshiva at 718-645-4645 or

Safe Foundation Discusses
Pressures on Teens

Everyone wants to be accepted, but teens face immense pressure to fit in at a time in their lives when they still haven’t figured out what kind of person they want to be. Fitting in might mean having the best and most expensive car, clothing or cell phone, and acting in accordance with whatever that day’s definition of “cool” is. In some circles this can mean joining a group to smoke,drink, use drugs, or gamble.

Here’s how you can empower your child to stand up to
undesirable pressures:

• Verbalize your recognition of how different their world is from when you were a teen. Understand that kids today live in a world where drugs and alcohol are ever-present.

• Clearly and confidently convey your views on smoking, alcohol, drugs, and gambling, so that they can form their own strong standpoints as well. If you don’t have an opinion, do your research. In a study of 285 11th graders,those who considered their parents lax about drugs and alcohol got drunk or used drugs much more often.

• Challenge your teen to be a leader, not a follower. Provide opportunities for debate and independent decision-making. Emphasize the importance of being honest and having integrity.

• Develop, model, and encourage good stress management skills. Allow your child to express negative emotions. Practice healthy listening skills.

• Be involved and invite other adults, such as team coaches, rabbis, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, etc., to take an active, positive role in your teen’s life.

• The media has a huge influence on teens when it comes to substance use, gender roles, body-image, and overall behavior. Encourage thoughtful conversation about what he or she is viewing.

• Focus on your child’s positive traits instead of criticizing; praise special talents, and nurture his or her interests. Avoid commenting on appearance, and focus on health, instead.

• When you hear of somebody who got into trouble for substance abuse, gambling, or other vices, don’t sweep the story under the rug. Rather, use it as a springboard to teach your children what not to do.

• Try your best to monitor your teen’s friends and what they are doing. Encourage wholesome activities. Work with your spouse and teen to set reasonable curfews.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Safe Foundation’s confidential toll-free hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-569-SAFE (1-866-569-7233).

Chayim Aruchim Helps Patients
in Hospitals Obtain Medical Treatment

Mental health professionals gathered at The SAFE Foundation on Chayim Aruchim, a division of Agudath Israel of America, has been very active in helping patients receive needed medical treatment in cases in which hospitals were opposed to continuing treatment. The organization, dedicated to culturally sensitive end-of-life counseling and treatment, regularly receives urgent calls from family members of incapacitated patients in need
of assistance.

In onecase, the hospital was preparing to conduct a test for brain death, with the plan of disconnecting the patient from the ventilator that was enabling him to breathe if the results were positive. The family called Chayim Aruchim, which, through its legal counsel, Rabbi Mordechai Biser, immediately contacted the hospital’s legal counsel. Rabbi Biser explained that New York State health care regulations, drafted with the assistance of Agudath Israel, require the hospital to reasonably accommodate a patient or family’s objection to brain death as a determination of death. The hospital agreed to hold off on the testing and to transfer the patient to a long-term acute care facility in Lakewood, New Jersey rather than disconnect the patient from life support.

Rabbi Biser notes that many people are unaware of their legal rights with respect to such matters. “We urge those in conflict with either hospital officials or other family members to call Chayim Aruchim when a patient’s life is at stake. In most cases, we can help.”

In addition to legal assistance, Chayim Aruchim also has trained staff available to provide advice and counseling to families of seriously ill patients. Their advisors will help patients and families clarify the medical facts, formulate their questions for rabbinic guidance, get timely guidance from expert rabbis in this field, and convey this information to the family and the hospital officials. Chayim Aruchim’s Care Navigator can also help the family choose the next stage in care, whether it be another hospital, a skilled nursing facility, a long-term acute care facility, or a home care plan.

The halachic advisor to Chayim Aruchim is Rabbi Zvi Ausch; the director of the Machon Refuah V’Halacha is Rabbi Ben Zion Leser; the Patient and FamilyRepresentative is Rabbi Aron Wajsfeld; the New York State Project Director is Rabbi Berish Fried.

Chayim Aruchim can be reached at its 24-hour hotline,
718-301-9800. Callers can also call Agudath Israel of America directly at 212-797-9000 and ask for extension 335.

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Hatzalah EMS of the Jersey Shore

to Hold Fundraiser

Hatzalah EMS of the Jersey Shore provides the Jersey Shore community with the best possible first-aid care and the quickest response times. Their average response time is less than three minutes, day or night. Hatzalah’s team of dedicated dispatchers and EMT members constantly keep up with the latest first-aid policies and procedures by taking continuing education courses on a monthly basis.

In an effort to enlist the community’s support for its vital work, Hatzalah is pleased to announce the Hatzalah EMS Annual Golf Classic, which will take place on Wednesday, August 13, at the Trump National Golf Course in Colts Neck, NJ. There will be a 10:00 AM shotgun start. The fee of $500 per player includes: driving range, breakfast, golf and more. All proceeds go towards Hatzalah EMS of the Jersey Shore, which provides emergency medical assistance to our community.

If you would like to play at this event, please contact Mitchell Gemal at To donate a sponsorship towards this event, please contact Steven Sitt at

Dirshu Siyum on Seder Moed in Silver Spring

A special siyumwas held on Sunday, June 1, by the Dirshu Baalei Batim Kollel in Silver Spring, Maryland, which completed the Mo’edsection of the Talmud. The inspiring event demonstrated how even those who spend most of their day working to support their families can enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of intensiveTorah learning.

Silver Spring’s Dirshu Baalei Batim Kollel is one of the most remarkable and successful Torah study programs for laymen. The program, which now boasts over 40 participants, was established 12 years ago, and has since completed 17 Masechtot. The kollel runs early morning and evening programs in two different locations, and hundreds of people have participated in the programs over the last 12 years.

The cornerstone of Kollel Dirshu Silver Spring is Rav Eliyahu Reingold, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, who delivers the morning shiurat the yeshiva, writes the tests and gives the review shiurim. The deeply devoted administrative and spiritual driving force behind the kollel is Dr. Hirsh Komarow, who, together with Rav Reingold, has ensured the program’s phenomenal success.

Members of the Silver Spring community packed the hall to be inspired by a special address by Rav Yissocher Frand, one of the preeminent speakers in the Jewish world. Appropriately enough, the event was held during the Sheloshet Yeme Hagbalah, the three days before Shavuot, as the Jewish nation prepared for the acceptance of the Torah.

The Silver Spring kollel is just one small part of the Torah revolution brought by the Dirshu organization, which runsa wide variety of incentive programs through which thousands of men study and master complete Masechtotand other Torah texts. Participants of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program, which began six years ago, are currently studying the final section of Mishnah Berurah, marching towards the historic siyumwhich is scheduled for April 2015.

Hacham Yitzhak Yosef Welcomed

at Yeshivat Or Hatorah

To the tune of Yahid Kail Dagul Mervavah, a pizmoncommonly sung to herald the arrival of a Torah giant, the students and rabbis of Yeshivat Or Hatorah welcomed Hacham Yitzhak Yosef. Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, to the yeshiva. The Chief Rabbi was greeted by Rav Yaakov Marcus, Rosh Yeshivah and Menahal at the high school, Rabbi Eliezer Zeytouneh Principal of the Elementary Division, and all the other rabbis of Yeshivat Or Hatorah, and slowly made his way slowly to the front of the
bet midrash.

Rabbi Marcus introduced the hacham to the student body, noting that although he was meeting Hacham Yitzhak Yosef for the first time, he considers himself his student. Since the founding of the yeshiva
17 years ago, Rabbi Marcus explained, he has been regularly learning from various works of halachah authored by Hacham Yitzhak and using them in his classes. Rabbi Marcus thus referred to Hacham Yitzchak as “mori verabbi– my master and teacher.”

Hacham Yitzchak spoke to the students for 20 minutes, encouraging them to strive to become Torah scholars. He urged the boys to aspire to gadlut(greatness), to complete Masechtot(Talmudic tractates), to use Shabbat as a time for additional learning, to study with havrutot (partners) rather than learn alone, and not to waste time. He also told several stories of his illustrious father, Hacham Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, that exemplify his love for Torah and the enjoyment he received from learning.

The hacham concluded his address by offering a blessing to the Rosh Yeshivah and all the rabbis, wishing them success in their sacred work. He expressed privately to Rav Marcus how impressed he was with the boys, whom he saw were true bene Torah. As he left, Hacham Yitzhak offered personal blessings to numerous boys.

Lottie’s Kitchen: A Circle of Giving

Shira* was an ordinary mother in Israel until one day her life became very far from ordinary, becoming entirely focused on eight-year-old Mimi*, who was diagnosed with cancer. Even on the rare occasions when Shira had the time to plan meals for her family, she lacked thephysical and emotional energy to do so. A neighbor contacted the Ezer Mizion organization, and the very next day, a warm, friendly volunteer from Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen rang her bell, her arms bearing an attractively arranged hot meal for the family. Speechless, Shira motioned for her to come in. The arms, now empty of the trays, enveloped Shira in a silent hug. Someone cared. Someone understood.  Day after day, the meals arrived both at home and in the hospital.

Then Shira’s worst fears came true. Her life no longer centered around Mimi because Mimi was no longer in this world.

The Lottie’s Kitchen volunteers rallied around the family, offering their support in this newest chapter of the family’s painful journey. Slowly but surely, Shira recovered from her devastating loss. Then it was her turn. As a source of merit for her daughter, Shira joined Lottie’s Kitchen. Now it was she who stood and peeled and sliced, who lovingly wrapped and who appeared at the doorstep of a family, bringing them nutrition for the body and food for the soul.

Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen is made up of thousands of people who devote hours to helping others. It also consists of those who, unfortunately, find themselves in need of help, and who then, when this need no longer exists, join the warmth and camaraderie of the Kitchen to pay back and be on the giving side.

But in addition, Lottie’s Kitchen includes all of you, whose financial support, year after year, hasenabled the organization to provide desperately-needed assistance for so many families. Founded in memory of Lottie and Haim Chalom by their four daughters, Lottie’s Kitchen provides hot meals, food baskets, sandwiches, cakes and drinks to family members and companions of patients.

This year’s Lottie’s Kitchen fundraiser will be held on Thursday, July 10th at the magnificent home of Betty and Joseph Sitt, and promises to be the highlight of the summer and an event not to be missed. For more information, please call 718 853 8400 or email

* Fictitious names have been used

SAFE & SOUND Training Institute
Educates Mental Health Professionals about Addiction

Mental health professionals gathered at The SAFE Foundation on May 19th toattend a SAFE & SOUND training session entitled, “Integration of Psychotherapy & the 12 Steps.”

Miriam Turk, LCSW, Director of the SAFE & SOUND Training Institute and Executive Director of Nefesh International, said, “We wish to provide trainings to help create a mental health force that is at the top of its game.” The training, co-sponsored by The SAFE Foundation and Nefesh, was masterfully presented by Roy Tellis, CASAC-G, CTC, RC, and David Kohn, LCSW, CASAC, both on staff at SAFE and each a star in the field of addiction treatment.

Roy reviewed the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, explaining how recovery groups have evolved into the success they are today. He noted that prior to 1957, alcoholism was not considered a disease, but rather a crime or sin, and was therefore undertreated, with most cases dismissed as hopeless. With the new classification by The American Medical Association, treatment began to emerge as a viable option. Roy offered considerable insight into addiction, and recommended Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski’s book, TheTruth about Chemical Dependency and Jews. Roy also quoted from the Talmud, Proverbs, and the Shulhan Aruch, showing how these sources touch upon the nature of addiction.

David then stepped up to address integrating psychotherapy within the 12-Step Program. He explained that AA believes that addiction involves having a spiritual deficit, and the 12-Step Program offers a roadmap to establishing a connection to a Higher Power, living with more meaning, purpose and correction, making amends for past grievances, and passing on the lessons learned. Roy further noted that while other services exist to assist the recovering addict, 12-step groups are generally the most effective for most clients. “The worst fate for an addict is not suffering; it’s suffering alone,” he asserted. He then offered points on how to “sell” the program, emphasizing, “You are selling health; sell it any way you can.”

David addressed other avenues which protect anonymity, such as phones and online meetings.

One attendee said, “It was a three-day training packed into half a day. I was awed by the clinical insights, level of knowledge, and obvious caring demonstrated by the presenters.”

Another participant said, “The presenters are highly qualified andrespected professionals, who had a lot to teach about a topic that is becoming more and more relevant to my practice.”

For more information about the SAFE Foundation, please call 866-569-7233.


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