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JCC Happenings

JCCMP Annual Pesach Food Distribution 


For families who are struggling to make ends meet under normal circumstances, Pesach presents an even more challenging time. For the past 15 years, the JCCMP has helped over 125 families have necessary provisions to celebrate Yom Tov. This year’s Pesach distribution will be held at the Met Council Warehouse on April 14, when volunteers will pack more than 1300 boxes of grape juice, matzah, fresh produce, and other staples. The JCC of Marine Park also provides families with vouchers to local supermarkets and gift cards for other food essentials. A new and welcome addition is the distribution of gift cards to Gents on Coney Island Avenue, a men’s clothing store. The entire project is possible thanks to the JCCMP’s partnership with the Met Council. We greatly appreciate the dedicated work of our volunteers and express a special thank you to JCCMP Director of Social Services Menucha Worcman for her tireless help in assuring that this event will be the success that it is every year. 

Mommy and Me Merriment

The JCCMP marched into March with an array of exciting events! Our Mommy and Me program, run by the incredible Shaindy Weichbrod, is growing as we welcomed a bunch of new mothers and babies. We have recently incorporated some sensory play into the routine with our new bubble machine. Our youngest tots were able to decorate their own Purim project that they proudly displayed on their doors during the chag! For Pesach, toddlers created their very own Pesach placemats, which displayed colorful clipart of a matzah, sheep, and marror. 

Our JCCMP Moms program is open! New mothers looking for support can receive a brand-new swag bag delivered to them free of charge and filled with essential baby products, self-care items, coupons, and advice on the transition into motherhood! 

Purim Pastimes 

The JCCMP collaborated with Chabad of Manhattan Beach for a Family Hamantash Bake event. Parents and children rolled and filled their homemade hamantashen with artisan fillings while raising money for tzedakah at the same time. There was also the opportunity to help pack boxes for the IDF soldiers in time for Yom Tov!

The JCC Kids Club customized their own adorable Purim masks! Kids of all ages used pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and other craft supplies to create all kinds of festive designs! The pictures of them sporting their JCC masks on Purim were incredible to see! We love observing how much the kids are growing each month as they learn to stretch their creative and artistic skills with our monthly projects and activities.

Makkos Finger Puppets

On April 14, preschool and young elementary-aged children visited the JCC library and had fun making their very own makkos finger puppets! Each finger was adorned by an artistic representation of one of the ten plagues. It was a blast watching the children channel their creative energy into bringing the makkos to life! 

Raving with Robots

Introducing… Robotics! Special for pre-Pesach, the JCCMP offered an exciting and innovative introduction to robotics geared especially towards younger, budding engineers! Sessions were separated by age and the kids learned all about circuits and motors by building and wiring their very own robot! Looking forward to more robotics clinics and courses in the future!


JCCMP Single Event


On Sunday, March 17, the JCCMP held a pre-Purim singles bash at the elegant Rooftop Bar in central Manhattan. The event provided a chance for like-minded adults ages 24 – 38 to meet and mingle while taking in majestic views of New York’s skyline and enjoying appetizers and sushi.  The program included speed dating and networking sessions for all participants. The event was a success thanks to the hard work and organizing of Baila Sebrow. 


Community Highlights 


Daniel Keren


Schumer Voices Anti-Israel Stance

In one of the most shocking and distressing speeches ever delivered by a Jewish politician regarding the State of Israel, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) declared, “My last name is Schumer, which derives from the Hebrew word ‘shomer’ or ‘guardian.’ Of course, my first responsibility is to America and New York, but as the first Jewish majority leader of the United States Senate, and the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in America ever, I also feel very keenly my responsibility as a shomer Yisroel, a guardian of the People of Israel.” While admitting that the State of Israel is surrounded by vicious enemies, he declared, “If Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current coalition remains in power after the war begins to wind down, and continues to pursue dangerous and inflammatory policies that test existing US standards for assistance, then the United States will have no choice but to play a more active role in shaping Israeli policy by using our leverage to change the present course.” His speech has emboldened Israel’s enemies and anti-Semites around the world and brought a smile to Schumer’s colleague Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


Helene Weinstein to Leave New York State Assembly


Helene Weinstein, the longest serving woman in the history of the Assembly, has announced that she will retire at the conclusion of her current term. No stranger to breaking barriers, she became the first woman to chair the Assembly Judiciary Committee. She was, and continues to be, a tireless advocate for children and families, sponsoring legislation for domestic violence shelters, outlawing discrimination in private clubs, protecting crime victims, and mandating seatbelts on school buses. Flatbush Jewish Community Council Josh Mehlman said, “Thank you for your dedication and partnership in representing our community and district for decades. Your friendship and integrity will not be forgotten.”


Chasdei Lev to Provide for Hundreds of Rebbeim and Moros in Brooklyn

Chasdei Lev provides a service where our rebbeim can order large quantities of food and household necessities at a quarter of the standard price. Distribution took place on Sunday, April 7 with similar distributions in Lakewood, Monsey, Far Rockaway, and many other communities within the United States and Canada. Large numbers of volunteers turned in a demonstration of support and hakaras hatov for the mechanchim and mechanchos who work tirelessly with our children throughout the entire year. 


Misaskim/Yedid Brings Purim Joy to 750 Almanos 


One of the happiest days in the Jewish calendar is Purim. But what about those families where a parent is missing and the children are young? Stepping in to increase simchas Purim, is Yedid, a division of Misaskim. Yedid contacted 750 almanos and 3,700 yesomim and asked them which foods they preferred for their Purim meals. Weeks in advance the families received an elegant menu with an array of choices, allowing them to choose from special shechitas and dietary specifications. The project was made possible through generous donations by those who recognized that such a venture by Yedid is the ultimate form of matanos l’ evyonim.


Boro Park JCC Security Grant Application Summit  


The Boro Park JCC organized a two-hour event in partnership with the Community Security Initiative to help shuls, schools, and other mosdos in the Jewish community apply for state and federal grants for security programs. Successful applications can qualify for up to $200,000 in New York State funds and $150,000 from the federal government for religious non-profits that are potential hate crime targets. With almost 300 shuls in Boro Park, Avi Greenstein, the CEO of the BPJCC declared that “We are on a mission to ensure that every shul in Boro Park has the ability to receive funding.”


Jewish Community Mourns Petirah of Senator Joseph Lieberman

Klal Yisrael mourns the recent petirah of independent four-term U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman following a fall in his home in Riverdale. The frum Connecticut native became the first Jew to run on a national ticket when Al Gore chose him as his running mate in the 2000 presidential election. After George W. Bush and Dick Cheney won the election, Lieberman joked that his wife said he would always be vice president in their house. Senator Lieberman was a walking kiddush Hashem, gaining the respect of his non-Jewish colleagues and constituents who appreciated his loyalty to his religious obligations. May his memory be a blessing.


Disagreement Over the Cancellation of

Israeli Real Estate Event in Flatbush

In the aftermath of the Hamas massacre of more than a thousand Jews being massacred by Hamas terrorists on October 7th, Jews in America have tried to demonstrate their support for our brethren in Eretz Yisroel. Unfortunately, these special events have been targeted by Hamas supporters across North America. One such event was a Real Estate Program to be held in a Flatbush shul located on Avenue N and East 27th Street. Apparently members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) advised well-known askanim that they were aware of threats to those participating in the Flatbush Event that was aimed at encouraging members of our community to demonstrate their support by buying real estate property in Israel. The rabbi of the shul where the Event was supposed to take place on the advice of these prominent askonim decided to cancel the Event on the chance that even one Yid in the community might be injured by the Hamas supporters who were promising to disrupt the Event. Not everyone felt that the cancelation was justified. Councilwoman Inna Vernikov in a statement argued that “Of course, safety is  priority and certainly if there is a real and imminent danger to our families, that is not a risk we should take recklessly.” The councilwoman said that in her talks to NYPD officials, they told her that if the Israeli Real Estate Event had not been cancelled, they were confident that they had the force to protect those desiring to participate in the Event.


Jeff and Meredith Cohen Close

Top Liquors for Shabbos After 83 Years

The iconic Avenue U liquor store Top  Liquors has delighted Shabbos/Shabbat observers in Flatbush and the entire Jewish world by their recent decision to close their store for Shabbos and Jewish Yomim Tovim. Top Liquors has always been a family business since it opening in Marine Park in 1941. When Jeff and his wife Meredith Cohen joined the family business helping his parents to expand the store, the success came at a price of a grueling schedule that cut into family priorities that simultaneously left them yearning for a greater meaning in their lives. Meredith was the first to suggest closing on Shabbos, but Jeff was afraid that the family business might collapse financially. However, after the shock of October 7th was inspired by how his customers were running to Israel to help a devastated country. His Jewish pride was demonstrated by his decision to use a portion of his sales to support pro-Israel organizations. Finally in January the Cohens took the plunge and made the bold decision to close Top Liquors on Shabbos for the first time in 83 years. The response of their customers to support them in their decision has made Jeff and Meredition confident that they made the right decision.

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