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Quote of the Day

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

— Brad Paisley

Year 2023 in Review

Jewish Resilience and Challenges

The year 2023 has been a tumultuous one for the Jewish Community, marked by both significant challenges and remarkable displays of resilience. From the Israeli-Hamas War, political controversies to natural disasters, tragic losses to historic events, this year has left an indelible mark on our collective memory.

2023 also marked some wonderful cultural moments in the arts, books and movies. Here is our review of 2023 highlights - see if you agree.

Historical Moments

Influential People

Famous Jews Who Have Passed

Sports Moments

Best Movies

NY News Stories

Best Books

Top 2023 Jewish Moments

Looking back on a year of challenges and resilience

Historical Moments

What a year it has been.

These moments not only defined 2023 but also offer a glimpse into the resilient spirit of our community.

  1. Judicial Israel reform controversy (January – October)
  2. Earthquake in Turkey and Syria (February)
  3. Tragic loss and strength: The Dee Family (April)
  4. Israel turns 75. (April)
  5. The summer of the Barbenheimer (July - August)
  6. Landmark court cases: Affirmative action (June - August)
  7. Hamas attacks on Israel (October - December)
  8. Escalating tensions on college campuses (October - December)
  9. March for Israel: Historic Jewish Rally (November)
  10. Hostage release and temporary ceasefire (November - December)

Learn more about these moments that defined 2023!

Additional Historical Moments in 2023

  1. The Inauguration of President-elect Benjamin Netanyahu: Netanyahu's return to power marks a significant moment in Israeli politics. His policies and stances on various issues will shape the country's future.
  2. The Rise of Antisemitism: The recent surge in antisemitic incidents worldwide has raised concerns about the safety and well-being of Jewish communities. Efforts to combat this trend are crucial.
  3. The Conflict in Ukraine and its Impact on Jewish Communities: The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has displaced many Jewish people and affected Jewish communities in the region. Support and assistance for those affected are ongoing.
  4. The Abraham Accords' Anniversary: The second anniversary of the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries, will be a time for reflection and assessing their impact on regional dynamics.
  5. Jewish Representation in Media and Arts: The increasing visibility and representation of Jewish people in various media and artistic platforms is a positive development, showcasing diverse perspectives and experiences.
  6. Jewish Innovation and Technology: Jewish contributions to science, technology, and innovation continue to make a significant impact globally, driving progress in various fields.
  7. Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Ongoing efforts to remember and educate about the Holocaust are essential to prevent such atrocities from happening again.
  8. Jewish Cultural Festivals and Celebrations: Jewish holidays and cultural events throughout the year provide opportunities for spiritual reflection, community bonding, and the preservation of traditions.
  9. Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation: Building bridges between different faiths and promoting interfaith understanding is crucial for fostering peaceful coexistence.
  10. Jewish Philanthropy and Social Impact: Jewish charitable organizations and individuals continue to make a positive impact on society, addressing various social challenges.

50 Most Influential Jews

Meet the most creative, innovative, ambitious, philanthropic and successful people.

Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State

Dr. Miriam Adelson, Philanthropist

Isaac Herzog, President of Israel

Noa Kirel, Singer, Israel

Jan Koum, Co-Founder, WhatsApp

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Chief of General Staff, IDF

and many more...

Noted Jewish People Who Have Passed

Noted Jewish People who passed in 2023

(JTA) In 2023, the Jewish world lost notable people who left legacies in politics, the arts, sports and everything in between.

Here is a selection of obituaries of 20 of the most famous Jews we lost this past year.

Top 10 Jewish Sports Moments

2023 Top 10 Jewish Sports Moments

(JTA) — For Jews around the world, this year will be remembered for Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza. The fallout has reshaped nearly every aspect of Jewish life in Israel, the United States and beyond — and the sports world is no exception. The conflict has permeated pro sports, with many teams and athletes showing public support for Israel in the process.

Here are the Jewish Sport Report’s top 10 Jewish sports moments of 2023, presented chronologically.

Best Jewish Movies

The popularity of Jewish movies has grown significantly in recent years, with many films receiving critical acclaim and commercial success.

Some notable Jewish movies released in 2023 include:

  1. The Fabelmans: A semi-autobiographical drama directed by Steven Spielberg, exploring the childhood and adolescence of a young Jewish boy who discovers his passion for filmmaking.
  2. Armageddon Time: A coming-of-age drama set in 1980s Queens, New York, focusing on the friendship between a Jewish boy and an African-American boy, and the challenges they face in a racially divided society.
  3. The Swimmer: A documentary about the life of Jewish-American swimmer Diana Nyad, who made headlines in 2013 when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
  4. Golda: A biographical drama about the life of Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, and her role in shaping the nation's history.
  5. Here We Are: A drama about a Jewish family living in New York City, exploring themes of identity, assimilation, and the challenges of raising children in a modern world.
  6. Exodus 91: The true harrowing and untold story of Operation Solomon - the journey of 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel

These are just a few examples of the many Jewish movies that have been released in 2023. Each film offers a unique perspective on Jewish culture and experience, providing audiences with an opportunity to learn about and engage with Jewish history and identity.

9 classic Jewish New York movies you can stream right now

(New York Jewish Week) — Jewish people have made New York City home for centuries now, often finding opportunity and acceptance where it elsewhere had been denied. So when Jews began to tell their stories of their lives on film, it only makes sense that they would feature New York City front and center. From the tenements of the Lower East Side to the present-day Diamond District, New York City has shaped the lives of millions of Jews, and in turn we’ve reflected the city back to itself — the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly.

Here are nine classic films created by Jews, starring Jews and featuring the unique foibles of being a Jewish person in New York City that are all available to stream now.

Best New York News Stories

The New York Jewish Week’s 10 most-read stories of 2023

(JTA) We’ve made it to the last week of 2023, and before we start the new year, we’re looking back on all the stories that you engaged with most over the past 12 months.

This year, Jewish New Yorkers showed us what meant the most to them — from getting excited about best bites around the city to standing up in solidarity with Israel and against antisemitism to celebrating nearly lost pockets of New York Jewish history.

Click here to read the article!

Best Books

The best Jewish books of 2023

(Forward) — If you thought books belonged in reviews, on shelves and nowhere else, 2023 should have changed your mind — because literature is at the heart of so many stories this year. Listed here are some of our favorite Jewish and Jewish-adjacent books — a mix of fiction and memoir, reporting and illustration, cookbooks and kids’ books, stories illuminating long-ago eras and our own fraught moment. Grab one (or several) before you say goodbye to 2023.

Click here to read the article!

Advertise in GESHER

Reaching over 25,000 Families

New York Metro Region Newsletter

We are now accepting ads beginning January 2024.

For further information and rates, email Lisa Pollack at

Around The Region

Plainview JC

95 Floral Drive West

Plainview, NY 11803

Phone: (516) 938-8610

Pay at the door or in advance via

PayPal at or Venmo @lever11

or Zelle at

Plainview JC

95 Floral Drive West

Plainview, NY 11803

Phone: (516) 938-8610


(remember to send to family and friends)


Check or cash to PJC Men's Club

Park Avenue Synagogue

50 E 87th Street

New York, NY 10128

Phone: (212) 369-2600


Friday - Saturday, January 26-27, 2024

This year’s Shabbaton will focus on the situation in Israel, as we respond to the latest updates and developments. Featuring guest scholar Matti Friedman, an Israeli journalist and author, the Shabbaton will include a community Shabbat dinner, programs throughout the weekend with our guest scholar, a musical community havdalah, and more.

REGISTER NOW for Community Dinner with Matti Friedman, Friday Jan 26 at 7:30 pm.

Temple Israel of Great Neck

108 Old Mill Road

Great Neck, NY 11023

Phone: (516) 482-7800

Waxman Youth House Midnight Run

Sunday, January 14, 2024

at 7pm

On our annual Midnight Run, our teens have conversations and meaningful interactions with homeless folks in NYC. We also offer food, coffee, clothing, and toiletries. 

Click here for further info and to sign up.

Midway Jewish Center

330 S. Oyster Bay Road

Syosset, NY 11791

Phone: (516) 938-8390

RSVP here for Shabbat Together Dinner!

Forest Hills JC

106-06 Queens Blvd

Forest Hills, NY 11375

Phone: (718) 263-7000

The Jews of Spain:

A History of the Sephardic Experience

Thursday, January 4, 2024

at 8:00PM on Zoom

The history of the Jews of Spain is a remarkable story that begins in the remote past and continues today. For more than a thousand years, Sepharad (the Hebrew word for Spain) was home to a large Jewish community noted for its richness and virtuosity.

Click here to register and receive the zoom link.

Congregation L'Dor V'Dor

49-10 Little Neck Pkwy

Little Neck, NY 11362

Phone: (718) 224-0404

Let us know you will be joining us for Pilates!

Temple Beth El of Cedarhurst

46 Locust Avenue

Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Phone: (516) 569-2700

Invites you to a presentation on Zoom

Better Sleep For Better Health

Sunday, January 21, 2024 at 11am

Collaborative Program with 8 Partners

Lead: Milton Lipitz, President, Men's Club

Temple Beth El of Cedarhurst

Thank You

Thank You

for your participation and support of the Israel Film

Exodus 91: The Untold Story of Operation Solomon

  • At our December 11th presentation, we had an audience of 100 people at Temple Emanu-El, NYC.
  • 500 people streamed the movie at home.

Attention All Men's Club

Submit Your Man/Youth of the Year Honorees

Please submit your Man of the Year

and Youth of the Year Honorees with

Stuart Haimes

Please include:

  • Honoree Name
  • Synagogue/Kehillah
  • Headshot
  • Bio

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2024.

Join us in June 2024

The New York Metropolitan Region Honors 

Les Agisim

New York Metro Regional Man

of the Year 2024


Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month

JDAIM mission statement:


“Unite Jewish Communities worldwide to raise awareness and champion the rights of all Jews to be accepted and included in all aspects of Jewish life like everyone else.”


“Do not separate yourself

from the community”.

Pirkei Avot 25


Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is an annual observance held in February to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by Jewish people with disabilities and to promote their full inclusion in Jewish communities. The month was first established in 2009 by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and has since been adopted by Jewish communities around the world.

During JDAIM, Jewish communities host a variety of events and programs to educate people about disability awareness and inclusion, and to celebrate the contributions of Jewish people with disabilities. These events may include workshops, lectures, panel discussions, art exhibits, and social gatherings. JDAIM is also a time for Jewish organizations to reflect on their own practices and policies to ensure that they are inclusive of people with disabilities.

JDAIM is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by Jewish people with disabilities and to promote their full inclusion in Jewish communities. By working together, we can create a more welcoming and inclusive world for all Jews.

Click here to find out what you can do to help make a difference!

Save The Date!

FJMC Quad Region Retreat

SAVE THE DATE: June 7-9, 2024

Registration Opens Soon!

Please Join us at our Quad Region Retreat as we Celebrate our Brotherhood with the Hudson Valley, Northern New Jersey

and Middle Atlantic Regions!

Camp Zeke 31 Barry Watson Way, Lakewood, PA 18439

Cost to Attend: $400 pp., Dbl. Occ.

Stipends Awarded by NYM Region: $250 pp.

Total Out of Pocket Cost: ONLY $150

Open to all NY Metro affiliated and paid club members!

For more information: JAY STEINMETZ

Cell: 516-435-5278 or

Men's Health

Can Dry January Actually Improve Your Health? Experts Explain.

(Men's Health) VOWING TO LIVE a healthier lifestyle is a common New Year’s resolution. And, many people start by giving up alcohol and doing Dry January. The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess your drinking habits. You may have partied a little too hard over the holidays and had one too many hangovers. January can also just leave you feeling blah—it’s cold, and all the celebrations are over. So, dialing back the drinking might feel like the right thing to do to re-set and get some energy back.

Click here to read the article.

What is Antisemitism?

What is antisemitism?

At a Jewish studies conference, scholars use the archives as a guide — and a warning

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Did a New York City coffee shop’s workers quit over the owner’s pro-Israel stance? Was the library at Cooper Union barricaded to protect Jewish students inside from an angry pro-Palestinian mob?

Ten weeks into the Israel-Hamas war, these are the kinds of stories fueling angry debate on social media, with Jews charging bigotry and critics of Israel saying antisemitism is being weaponized to silence them.

These weren’t the kinds of events being debated — at least formally — at the 55th annual convention of the Association for Jewish Studies, held this week in San Francisco. Some 1,000 scholars gathered to network and share their latest research, which in the case of historians, Bible scholars and philosophers tends to look backwards, sometimes by centuries.

Click here to read the article and study!

Around the World

Marilyn Flitterman poses in her apartment with her daughter Dara. (Shira Li Bartov)

The new Jews of Porto: How the Portuguese city built a Jewish community from scratch

PORTO, Portugal (JTA) — In an apartment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, 95-year-old Marilyn Flitterman habitually sits at her piano to play tunes by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin — long ago committed to memory — while looking back at the past 50 years of her life in Porto.

Click here to read the article!

One of Mauricio Avayu's 40 murals depicting key moments in the Torah is displayed at the Jeffrey D. Schwartz & Na Tang Jewish Taiwan Cultural Association center in Taipei. (Courtesy of Avayu)

A Chilean-Jewish artist strives to capture the entire Torah in massive murals

(JTA) — As a child, Mauricio Avayu wasn’t allowed to pursue art — his father thought he should study something more practical, like math or engineering. Avayu grew up in the conservative Jewish community of Santiago, Chile, the capital city home to most of the country’s 18,000 Jews.

Click here to read the article!

World Wide Wrap 2024

WWW2024 will soon be here!

Sunday, February 11, 2024!

Club Registration is now open!

Hoping the WORLD WIDE WRAP will be in-person for many of you. Of course, it can be done virtually if needed, and whether virtual or in person, you need to register!

Please visit for registration and programming ideas!

Register on the website! Be one of the top 50 and register now!


Be a part of Build-A-Pair Program!

Order your kits now!

Your children will learn about

Tefillin, Mitzvot, and Traditions!

New York Nosh

New York Rabbi Deborah Prinz holds a copy of her book, "On the Chocolate Trail." (Courtesy Rabbi Mark Hurwitz and Olena Ruban/Getty Images)

A Manhattan synagogue explores the rich, surprising history of Jews and chocolate

(New York Jewish Week) — In 2006, Rabbi Deborah Prinz was on a trip to Europe with her husband, Rabbi Mark Hurvitz, when they wandered into a chocolate shop in Paris. While meandering about the store, Prinz picked up a brochure and read a line that, given her rudimentary French, she was sure she misunderstood: It claimed that Jews had brought the art of chocolate-making to France...

Click here to read the article!

Delicious Cities tour participants enjoy dessert, some swag and each other's company at downtown Israeli restaurant Port Sa'id. (Shai Hansav, courtesy Delicious Israel)

A new walking tour of NYC Israeli restaurants becomes an exercise in togetherness

(New York Jewish Week) — It was a damp, dreary Tuesday evening in Manhattan, but inside the Greenwich Village outpost of Caffe Aronne, the vibe was warm and friendly as a group of 10 people, nearly all of them women, shook off their umbrellas and introduced themselves to one another... 

Click here to read the article!

Advertise in GESHER

Reaching over 25,000 Families

New York Metro Region Newsletter

We are now accepting ads beginning January 2024.

We are now accepting ads beginning January 2024.

  • Control Circulation of over 25,000
  • Covers entire NY Metro Region Area - LI & NYC
  • 26X Issues
  • Very Competitive Rates

For further information and rates, email Lisa Pollack at

Affinity Groups & Webinars

FJMC Affinity Groups & Webinars are open to all.

Join us for Torah Talks!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

7:30pm ET | 6:30pm CT | 4:30pm PT

With Norm Kurtz and Benny Sommerfeld

Click here to register!

Join us for Yiddish Alive!

Advanced Yiddish Group

Monday, January 8, 2024

at 8pm ET

Hosted by Jeffrey Newton, Joe Rotstein,

Esther Scheer and Barry Wagner

Click here to register!

Join us for Yiddish Lite!

Beginner's Yiddish Group

Alternate Tuesday Evenings

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

at 8pm ET

Hosted by Al Davis

Click here to register!

Join us for Sports Affinity!

with Jeff Agrest

Tuesday, January 17, 2024

8pm ET

Affinity Group Leaders:

David Kravitz and Danny Mandeau

Click here to register!

Without the FJMC, valuable Jewish programming might never occur. FJMC needs your financial support to in order to continue to create the important programs which keeps your Men’s Club vibrant. You can help preserve the significant impact the FJMC and its members have made on behalf of the Jewish men and their families around the world by making a pledge. Our movement depends on you!

Donate: Become a Friend of the FJMC!

We invite you to check out our

new NY Metro website

Reminder: If your New York FJMC Men's Club would like an event published in the newsletter or on our website, please email it to Lisa Pollack at

New York Metro Region Newsletter edited by Lisa Pollack.

Reaching over 25,000 Families

New York Metro Region Newsletter

We are now accepting ads beginning January 2024.

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