Teens Tackle World Affairs at Model UN Conference

Written by Ezra Troy on . Posted in Community News

On Sunday February 12, 16 kids from Berman Hebrew Academy, four kids from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS), and 16 kids from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School got on a bus and drove five hours to the Hilton Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut, for YUNMUN, the two-day Yeshiva University National Model UN conference.

Model UN is an activity where a student delegates are assigned to represent different countries. Each school is also assigned one or two countries and each delegate is assigned one of these countries based on their committee. Each delegate then writes two position papers, or papers outlining their country’s position on each of their issues. The delegates discuss a variety of world issues, from nuclear disarmament to the Syrian civil war, in an effort to find a solution best suited to their country’s needs while still incorporating the ideas of others.

Stand Back… I’m Going to Try Science

Written by Sara Levi on . Posted in Community News

The Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts (LBJA) might not have Miss Frizzle and her magic school bus, but it has one better— Mrs. Turpie and her wide world of science. She engages her students every day with live insects, wild weather, and more. “Stand Back… I’m Going to Try Science,” read Mrs. Turpie’s special shirt (she has one for every occasion) as she made the rounds at LJBA’s science fair on February 26.

Mrs. Turpie converted LBJA into a hands-on discovery center for the whole community. This science fair was a site to see. You might say “try[ing] science” was what this event is all about.

Older students displayed and shared their personal science experiments projects they developed throughout the year. “They get a phone call in August, before school starts,” Mrs. Terpie said. Each student received a science process packet with all the how-tos, from hypothesizing to making it happen.

Yeshiva of Greater Washington Banquet

Written by Rabbi Scott Hillman on . Posted in Community News

SILVER SPRING (Md.) –– The Yeshiva of Greater Washington-Tiferes Gedaliah (YGW) held its 53rd Annual Banquet Sunday February 12, which focused on community leadership past and present and celebrated YGW’s achievements. The honorees, as spoken of by Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky, the Rosh HaYeshiva, and Rabbi Yitzchok Merkin, Headmaster, are people who carry the mission of Torah with them wherever they go.

Chabad Women Gather from Around the World for Kinus Hashluchos

Written by Kami Troy on . Posted in Community News

The year 1998 was an auspicious one for me. It was the year that I met two of the people who would most shape my adult life. One was my husband, Tevi Troy, whom I met via shidduch (matchmaking) by his (and now my) sister-in-law, Cheryl Troy. The second, Nechama Shemtov, was introduced to me by Tevi just a few months after I met him. Nechama is the senior Chabad shlucha, or emissary, to Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, were sent as shluchim in 1992 by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (known as “the Rebbe”), to establish a permanent presence in Washington, D.C. This entity, American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), would bring Yiddishkeit to the unique community of Washington, D.C.

To provide a little background: Chabad-Lubavitch was founded in 1775 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. In 1951, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson became the seventh Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, and transformed it from a small Chassidic sect into a worldwide movement. Although the Rebbe passed away in 1994, the movement continues to grow and expand, with new Chabad houses established continually. In the past year, a major milestone was reached by Chabad, when shluchim were sent to the last state without a Chabad house, South Dakota. Almost any Orthodox person travelling in the US and abroad today will research the proximity of the nearest Chabad house to their destination, knowing that the rabbi and rebbetzin there will be able to guide them in their quest to daven, eat kosher food and keep Shabbat.

Behind the Scenes of the Bais Yaakov Exhibit

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

After hearing so much about the Bais Yaakov of Baltimore exhibit from friends and family in all different area, it was particularly compelling to be treated to a spontaneous behind the scenes tour with Rabbi Nissel, Chief Operating Officer, after the exhibit was already complete. An innocuous visit to Bais Yaakov to discuss Kol HaBirah was enhanced by the enthusiasm and energy of Rabbi Nissel, who proudly explained how the girls spent countless hours completing various magnificent works of art with the most basic resources. For example, one of the most special pieces, which they decided to keep on their wall after the exhibit (most of the others they are either dismantle or sell), was crafted using only crayons and crayon shavings. One could not tell that crayons are the “secret sauce” until moving up close to the artwork. Another piece of art, two large shabbos candles that are still on a classroom wall, are made entirely of, well, little candles. Rabbi Nissel explained that the entire hallway was filled with artwork during the exhibit and that schools from all over the country came to visit to appreciate the magnificent art. It was great to be provided with the opportunity to appreciate it as well and walk away enamored at the creativity of those who made such amazing pieces with such basic resources.

A Balanced Approach to the OU Ruling

Written by Miriam Gross on . Posted in Community News

As a former congregational rebbetzin and a current student of Yeshivat Maharat, I expected the OU’s statement on female clergy would touch a nerve, one way or another. I was hoping for a definitive position on the issues that would push the discussion forward or clarify the points of departure between the two sides of this conversation. Unfortunately, the lack of authoritative initiative left me unsatisfied. Understandably, they did not presume to have the answers. There is clearly a tension in our community over how to address the issue of female leadership, and nobody has come up with a solution that satisfies the needs of some without infringing on the needs of others. While the OU statement did demonstrate an impressive level of empathy––something that they were not given credit for–– it failed to resolve and managed to exacerbate a few contentious issues, namely professional titles for women of Torah stature, women’s smicha (ordination), and the exploration of women serving in congregational clerical roles. I propose that a reasonable and achievable solution to both are in plain sight, and somehow has been overlooked in all of the controversy.

Purim Time at Shomrai Nursery

Written by Ruthie Cohen on . Posted in Community News

“Megillah, Megillah, Who’s Coming Out of the Megillah?” These are the words of one of the songs that the Pre-K is preparing to sing in honor of Purim at the Senior Luncheon on March 1 at Young Israel Shomrai Emunah. The children sang for the seniors before Chanukah as well. Each year, the children sing and eat lunch with the seniors. Bringing joy and having an intergenerational connection is a core value at Shomrai Nursery.

With this in mind, the teachers and children have engaged in conversations during their meeting time (a time in which the class discusses their upcoming events and reflects on past experiences), excitedly planning for their important visit.

Paint Nite at Young Israel Shomrai Emunah

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

The Young Israel Shomrai Emunah Social Committee hosted its first Paint Nite last week, led by the very talented Talya Weinberg. Over 50 people participated in a great night of painting, food, and fun in the Silver Spring, Maryland, synagogue’s social hall. Each person left with a beautiful painting of a DC springtime cherry blossom scene. Follow the Young Israel Shomrai Emunah Facebook page for information on upcoming events.

 

Leisure World Participates in Good Deed Day – April 2nd

Written by Fred Shapiro, Center for Lifelong Learning on . Posted in Community News

Leisure World Joins the Greater Washington community, along with hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world, in a day of service on April 2nd.   Two projects will be observed here in Leisure World. The first is the annual collection of food for the needy and homeless in Clubhouse I. The Second is a return of the Jewish Day School students to coach our seniors about current communication and computer technology in Clubhouse II.

Sponsored by Na’Amat, volunteers will be manning a table in Clubhouse I to collect containers of food for donation to MANNA. Residents are urged to take a few cans, jars or cartons of food or a monetary donation to the Clubhouse during the hours starting at 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Chair of the event is Gladys Blank, Na’Amat.

DC Couple Honored by Israel Bonds

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

WASHINGTON –– Melanie and René Moreno were honoredwith Israel Bonds’ Israel69 Award last month, presented in recognition of exceptional support for Israel and perpetuating Jewish heritage.

“Israel Bonds are both a financial instrument and a fraternal instrument, a bond of brotherhood and sisterhood with the Jewish state, for Jews and non-Jews alike,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video message shared with supporters at Israel Bonds’ annual International Prime Minister’s Club Dinner at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on February 12.

Though the Morenos began their lives far apart geographically–– Melanie is a native Washingtonian, and René is originally from Curaçao–– their two families had a shared connection with Israel Bonds. “His family bought bonds in Curaçao and my family bought them here,” said Melanie in a phone interview last week. “We’ve been buying Israel Bonds for a long time.”

Consider Adopting a Child

Written by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld on . Posted in Community News

The Torah calls us a mamlechet kohanim and an am segulah (Shemtov 19:4-6), a nation of priests and a chosen nation. What this means is that just like the kohanim had a responsibility to serve the Jewish people by teaching us the Torah and helping us worship Hashem, so too we Jews have a responsibility to teach the message of the Torah to the entire world.

We Jewish people must carry a message of the Torah. This message has meaning only if it is a message that attempts to impact the entire world for good. If the message is just about our own tribe, then it is too limiting and we are losing our charge as a mamlekhet kohanim. Mamlechet kohanim means we need to be the priests to the world; we serve G-d by serving the world.

In this context, I want to invite families and individuals within our community to explore with me the idea of each of us adopting a child—not an infant, but a child.