Home / Community / Community-highlights-for-january-2024


Community Highlights for January 2024

 Daniel Keren


Flatbush Community Mourns the Petirah of Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus


The Flatbush Jewish community with great sadness mourned the recent petirah of Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus, who with great humility served as a most effective director of COJO (Council of Jewish Organizations) of Flatbush for a quarter of a century. Rabbi Pikus displayed great concern for the many thousands of Jews in our community who struggled with economic, health, and emotional issues. A visionary in his time, Rabbi Pikus pioneered important programs to help at-risk youth, those needing affordable housing, job training, and placement. He also developed a camp scholarship fund for underprivileged children. He was once praised on the floor of the United State House of Representative for making COJO Flatbush the “central address for social services, immigration services, and many forms of crucial emergency assistance.” May his memory be a blessing for all who were fortunate enough to know this righteous man.


Touro Seminar on Artificial Intelligence and Anti-Semitism


Touro Talks and the Touro Law Center’s Jewish Law Institute held a virtual seminar on the topic of artificial intelligence and anti-Semitism that featured cutting-edge efforts to combat worldwide anti-Semitism. Participants included prominent figures from the worlds of technology, diplomacy and communal leadership. The seminar was moderated by Dr. Alan Kadish, president of Touro University, and Professor Samuel J. Levine, professor of law and director of the Jewish Law Institute. Speakers who offered the views on the important topic included Michal Cotler-Wunsh, LL.B, LL.M, Israel’s Special Envoy for Combatting Anti-Semitism; Joel Finkelstein, Ph.D. Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer, Network Contagion Research Institute; and Malcolm I. Hoenlein Executive Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The seminar was co-sponsored by Robert and Arlene Rosenberg.


Rabbi Daniel Glatstein at Rabbi Yisroel Reisman’s Shul


Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, founder of Machon Maggid Harakiah, and world-renowned popular Torah lecturer and author came to Flatbush to serve as scholar-in-residence at Rav Yisroel Reisman’s shul – Agudas Yisroel of Madison during Shabbos Parshas Mikeitz. The author of numerous popular books including most recently Rabbi Meir Baal Haness and the Eternal Children of Hashem. Rabbi Glatstein received semichah  from the Rabbinical Seminary of America and Rav Noach Oelbaum. His popular lectures around the English-speaking world are heavily influenced by his fascination with classic Sephardic rabbis such as the Chida and the Ben Ish Hai.


Kingsway Jewish Center’s Crocheting Circle Helps Israel


Women who are members of Kingsway Jewish Center’s crocheting circle used their creative skills to help their brothers and sisters overseas, in a group effort organized by Esther Klein and Beth Popp. In response to the call up of hundreds of thousands of reservists to active military duty and the displacement of more than 100,000 Israelis from homes near the Gaza and Lebanon borders, the group crocheted caps, blankets, and other clothing items to our acheinu bnei Yisrael warm this winter. 


Masores Bais Yaakov Dinner to Celebrate 36 Years of Chinuch

Masores Bais Yaakov, one of the premier girl schools in Brooklyn, will be celebrating its 36th anniversary with an annual dinner at Ateres Chynka on January 23. The guests of honor will be Mr. and Mrs. Boruch Karfunkel. Other honorees include Mr. and Mrs. Zeesh Labowitz (Keser Torah Award); Mr. and Mrs. Dovi Rubinstein (Keser Shem Tov Award); Mr. and Mrs. Avromi Brown (Bonei Torah Award); Mr. and Mrs. Mordechai Jaffa (Parents of the Year); and Mr. and Mrs. Yitzchok Blumenkrantz (Chovev Torah Award).


New York State Prisons Must Offer Kosher Food 


Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation that now requires state prisons to offer inmates greater options at mealtimes for special kosher and halal meals in addition to such foods at prison commissaries and vending machines. The legislation was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Senator Jessica Ramos in the State Senate. The new law now requires that prison officials must now respect the religious dietary rights of all state residents, including those who are jailed.


U.S. Speaker of the House Promises to Support Yeshivos


Mike Johnson, the newly elected Speaker of the House, was in New York recently to help raise funds for republican candidates and had the opportunity to meet with a group of distinguished rabbis. At that gathering, he expressed his concern for the way freedom of religion has come under attack and his opinion that such religious freedoms are an important core value of our country’s Constitution, noting that it is the first of important Constitutional Bill of Rights. He firmly committed himself to opposing any New York State Education Department attempts to hinder traditional yeshivah curriculum.


Senator Schumer on Senate Floor Declares Anti-Semitism a Major Crisis

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D.NY) who is also the Senate Majority Leader and the highest ranking elected Jewish politician in American history recently delivered an unprecedented major address on the Senate floor declaring that he has witnessed a great divide when it comes to anti-Semitism and he spoke about the very real fears and anxieties that has unfortunately become the new reality for all American Jews in the aftermath of the horrendous October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks. Mass demonstrations supporting Hamas have left Jews feeling further isolated. He pointed out, “To us, the Jewish people, the rise of anti-Semitism is a crisis – a five-alarm fire that must be extinguished.”


NYS Dept. of Education Criticized for Hypocrisy on Bi-Lingual Teaching


The New York Post has written about an apparent double standard being applied by the New York State’s Education Department against the yeshivos when compared to requirements for the public schools in New York City. While the NYSED has given its approval to 200 NYC public school to be “dual-language schools,” yeshivos on the other hand have been told by the same NYSED that they cannot provide secular similar studies in Hebrew or perhaps also in Yiddish.


JCC Happenings


Motzoei Shabbos Girls Program a Weekly Hit!


Every week, approximately 125 girls in grades five to eight show up at the JCCMP ready for an exciting lineup of activities. On December 16, the girls had a chance to release some energy by dancing with Raizy Pavlov. On December 23, the girls produced painted masterpieces with Rivkie Devor. The following week, they put their cooking talents to use with a Chopped competition hosted by Esther Mendelevich. After each activity, the girls are treated to pizza and soda, and they have a chance to mingle with their peers and make new friends.  


Strumming Along

Winter is not slowing us down!  We are having a great time at the JCC library. Our first round of boys guitar classes ended, and it’s remarkable how much the boys learned in just six short weeks! Our professional instructors Richie and Jonathan showed them cool tricks of the trade. First, they learned how to read sheet music, then strumming, and finally chords. Baruch Hashem, there is so much interest in guitar lessons that we are soon going to be offering a second advanced class of classes and another beginner class for boys and girls!  Stay tuned!

On the topic of music, our professional music recording studio is up and running!  Available by appointment, budding singers and musicians can record their songs and tracks at a soundproof venue right here at home.  We have hundreds of tracks available and the ability to customize new ones, too!

Chanukah Festivities

We had an exciting Chanukah here at the JCCMP! Kids had the chance to customize their own sweets at our Donut Decorating night!  Over 100 boys and girls came to the library to participate in the delectable activity. The tables were laid out with toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, icing, fruit, nuts, and cereals, and the kids had a blast designing their own donuts.  Each child took home their creation in an individual donut box.  The donut decorators did an incredible job!

Tribeworks Networking Event a Huge Success

400 people met at the Staten Island Hilton on December 6 to network with fellow entrepreneurs at the annual Tribeworks event.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn from industry leaders in the business world while engaging in mentoring, workshops, and VIP meetings with speakers. 20 booths were set up allowing participants to learn about loans, investing, accounting, and financial planning. Gershon Margulis from Legacy & Leading Edge spoke about optimizing your business, while Brian Wallace, Barry Schwartz, and William Harris educated the crowd about the importance of digital marketing. The crowd enjoyed a scrumptious dairy lunch by Sushi Spot of Crown Heights while listening to Noam Wasserman, president of Yeshiva University, who was the keynote speaker.  The highly successful event was coordinated by The Jewish Entrepreneur and partially sponsored by Hebrew Free Loan, JCCGCI, PCS, and EPI.  

Supporting Israel

We are still writing letters to our chayalim in Eretz Yisrael. Kids and adults alike can come by during library hours and write an inspirational message to the IDF.  We mail out these cards weekly and it really makes a difference. 

Do you follow us on Instagram? Go check out #jccmplibrary and #jccmp to see our photos and content first! We’re looking forward to some great winter events and activities for yeshiva week! Stay tuned!

Do you follow us on Instagram? Go check out #jccmplibrary and #jccmp to see our photos and content first! We’re looking forward to some great winter events and activities for yeshiva week! Stay tuned!


Other author's posts
Leave a Reply
Stay With Us