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Message From Our Rabbi

Message From Our Rabbi

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5IDK_Menorah3_12_5.JPG Dear Friends: 

 

It seems like wherever we look, there’s a new use for the word ‘vision’. There’s NYC vision zero (to cut down on auto fatalities), vision 2020 - a plan for rebuilding the New York city waterfront, there’s vision 2040 - for the reconstruction of JFK airport. Not to be out done, even some nations have gotten on the bandwagon -Jamaica for example has a vision 2030.

Where am I going with all this? Well, we have a ‘vision’ of our own. You see, this year will mark the 20th anniversary since the founding of Chabad of Rego Park. The original, and current, vision was to reach out to as many Jews living in the Rego Park/Forest Hills area, regardless of age, background or affiliation, and fan the flame of their soul into a fire. We do this through myriad of events, programs and classes, in different languages. In our vision, informed and guide by the love and wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, no Jew is unimportant, no Mitzvah they do, too small. Boruch Hashem, with patience, G-Ds boundless blessings and community encouragement and support, much has been accomplished. Under the guidance and directorship of Rabbi Shlomo and Leora Nadtochcyy, the Chabad Hebrew School had one of the most amazing years ever. Over 50 boys and girls, ages 4-12, learned to live, love and experience Judaism, hands on. Where else does a group seventh graders get to visit local synagogues, of different cultural backgrounds, to learn about Jewish communities from around the world?

On Sunday, May 14th of this year, Lag Baomer, hundreds of Jewish men women and children, for the first time in the neighborhoods history, marched up Yellowstone Boulevard in an incredible sign of Jewish pride and unity.

As part of that unique vision, a special effort is made to reach out to Russian speaking seniors, many of them veterans of WWII, before major Jewish holidays. Is there an age limit for feeling part of the Jewish community? Not in Chabad. Here, they feel welcome, wanted and honored.

This year, we expanded that vision to include Teenagers. These young men and women, ages 13-18, are the future leaders of the Jewish community. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of learning, and adjusting to do. As many of the residents of Rego Park/Forest Hills who came before them, they are first, or second, generation Americans. The future is before them but it can be at the expense of their past. At Chabad, we understand and are up to the challenge. Almost a year, we welcomed Rabbi Mendel and Freidy Jacobson to take on the challenge. And they have, tremendously. Currently there are close to fifty teens enrolled, most participate on a weekly basis. There are group discussions, trips to sports events, classes on making healthy suppers, a lecture by a holocaust survivor and one on one mentoring. Our vision? A youth center. A place where young people can come to explore their heritage and connect with other young people-an attentive ear and a caring heart.

Thank you for being an integral part of our mission. May us soon have the fulfillment of the ‘ultimate vision’

  “… And all   flesh   will see   it together;   For the mouth   of the Hashem   has spoken."

 

 

Rabbi Eli Blokh 

 

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