WEEKLY NEWS
Parshat Vaetchanan
August 1, 2020 / 11 Av 5780
THIS SHABBAT
What to Expect When You Are Zooming - Shabbat Morning
Saturday, August 1 at 9:45am  Via Zoom  

When will you sign in?  We have set this up so that people can log in to the Zoom session as early as 8PM Friday, before Shabbat begins. Then, if you disable your computer's sleep function, the call will still be there the next morning. We will begin tefillah itself promptly at 9:45am.
 
This Shabbat morning, and in the weeks ahead, we will recite prayers for healing during our morning services. Since most participants will be muted, you won't get to call out the name of those you have in mind.  If you'd like to give Rabbi Kalmanofsky the name of an ailing friend or loved one, please email the names to him  at  RJK@AnscheChesed.org   and include your relationship to the person you are praying for. When/if the person you've been praying for is doing better, please let us know, so we can joyfully remove them from this list!
 
The webinar format we are using for our services allows only a limited number of participants to be visible to attendees. However, we have the capacity to invite everyone attending to join us for a Virtual Kiddush at the end of the service, at which point our technical assistant, Mike Thurlow, will manually change everyone's status from "attendee" to "participant." It can only be done one screen at a time, so if you can, please be patient with us - we'd love to see your faces and say hello, just like we would in shul!
 
We are grateful to the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) for making  Siddur Lev Shalem and   Vaetchanan  (Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11; Isaiah 40:1 - 26) from the  Etz Hayim Chumash  available to us as PDF's. During our Zoom services, we will typically read a smaller quantity of Torah than we do in person. At Ansche Chesed we usually read the Torah in an annual cycle, covering about 2 percent of the whole Torah each week. Many Conservative synagogues read a "triennial" cycle, completing the cycle every three years, reading one-third of each parasha each week. This shorter reading is not our first choice, but what is nowadays? To keep services shorter we will usually adopt the triennial division. The weekly announcement will inform you of just what we're reading.
 
If you prefer, you can buy your own hard copy of Siddur Lev Shalem through the  RA website, linked here . We will also try to announce the pages from  Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat  which some of you may have at home. You can also follow along with the Torah reading from home with a  Chumash  or  Tanakh , like the ones linked here.
 
If downloading the PDF's or buying your own siddur or Bible presents a difficulty for you, please  email Rabbi Kalmanofsky  and we will do our best to assist you.  
 
We hope that everyone will be able to fully participate with us!

Not Shabbat Morning Study:   Friday, 9:30am  Via Zoom
Mishpacha Service: Friday, 9:30am   Via Zoom
Kabbalat Shabbat :   Et Dodim /The Time of Love Friday, 6:30pm  Via Zoom
Sanctuary Services: Saturday, 9:45am  Via Zoom
TeleTefila Services:  Saturday, 10am  Via Zoom
TeleTefila Havdallah: Service Saturday, 9pm  Via Zoom
Candle Lighting: 7:54pm
Torah Reading: Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11)
Haftara: Isaiah 40:1 -26
Shabbat Ends: 8:57pm
THIS WEEK
The Un-Distancing Hour: WILL NOT TAKE PLACE THIS THURSDAY, JULY 30
Meditation Monday: Monday, 3pm  Via Zoom
Summer Stories: Monday, 8pm  Via Zoom
Ki Anu Amercha Project Q&A : Tuesday, 7:00pm  Via Zoom
The Un-Distancing Hour : Thursday, 5:30pm  Via Zoom
Hard Conversations About Zionism (Part 1) Thursday, 7pm  Via Zoom
PRAYER
Weekday Morning Minyan
Monday-Friday at 7:30am 
Sunday at 8:30am
or call: 929 205 6099
meeting ID: 933 006 171
Kabbalat Shabbat: Et Dodim The Time Of Love
Friday, 6:30pm Via Zoom
After the 9th of Av (which falls Thursday), our national day of mourning, comes the 15th of Av, a kind of "Valentine's Day" (this upcoming Tuesday night), in which ancient Jews made matches and celebrated weddings. This Shabbat, we will devote our Friday night services to the love lyrics of the Song of Songs and the theological themes of mystical eros, which pervade Friday night liturgy. Please join us on Friday for sacred love songs. 

Please click in at 6:15pm for some time to sc hmooze and greet each other first, the ritual gathering will start at 6:30pm.


or call
929 205 6099, 
meeting ID 
160 486 214
Mishpacha Services
Friday, 9:30am Via Zoom
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school kids and their families are invited to join Sam for our Mishpacha Service, this Friday afternoon. Get ready for Shabbat with songs, puppets, movement -- and your friends from Ansche Chesed.
Note the special time for Mishpacha Services This Week

PROGRAMS
Hard Conversations About Zionism with Rabbi Kalmanofsky
Thursday, August 6 and Monday, August 10 at 7pm Via Zoom
For many American Jews, Zionism is indispensable to the thriving of the Jewish people, exemplifying the ingathering of the exiles, a revived modern Jewish culture and Hebrew language. For others, the value of those achievements cannot obscure the Israel-Palestine conflict and a 53-year-long occupation over millions of people who lack political rights none of us would forego.

Recently the writer Peter Beinart (our neighborhood resident)  wrote a lengthy piece  on his personal evolution from espousing a “two-state solution” towards a “bi-national state,” from a Zionism focused on a “Jewish state” to one focused on a “Jewish home.” No surprise, the article provoked vigorous debate: praise, condemnation and everything in between.

There is much in Beinart’s article to agree with, much to challenge, and all of it worth thinking about. Please  read the article  – and perhaps some of his critics — and join Rabbi Kalmanofsky for an honest, respectful, two-part Zoom-based discussion on how we think about Israel and Zionsim today, how our views might have changed and how they might continue to change.

In our first session ( Thursday, August 6 ) we will delve into Beinarts argument and think about how it (and the current reality in Israel) might impact our own thoughts on Israel.

In the second session ( Monday, August 10 ) we will focus on responses to his piece from left and right, and further explore our own reactions and Jewish commitments.


 WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE  /  Ki Anu Amecha  Project
We hope that you will take part in creating a virtual tefilah recording, so when we join together online during the High Holidays, from wherever we find ourselves, we will still be able to see and hear each other sing with a full heart, and join with a full voice. 

We ask you to record a video of yourself (or your whole family!) singing one of our beloved High Holiday melodies, Ki Anu Amecha, from the comfort and safety of your own home. You'll be singing along with Natasha's voice on the  guide track . (You'll notice that the guide track has a piano accompaniment. That is just to help us stay together during the recording process; it won't be heard on the final video).


Q&A for the Ki Anu Amecha Project with Cantor Natasha
Tuesday, August 4, 7pm Via Zoom
  • Are you interested in participating in the Ki Anu Amecha project, but feel unsure how to get started?
  • Do you need a little tutorial on Hebrew or melody? 
  • Have you watched the instructional videos but still have questions?

Please join Cantor Natasha on zoom to address all of these concerns and more.

Need help but can't make this time on zoom? Email your questions to  WeAreYourPeople@anschechesed.org

Looking forward to seeing you and getting you started on the recording project!
Meditation Monday
Monday, 3pm Via Zoom
Join us at 3pm for virtual mindfulness meditation and contemplative practices to help us keep centered in these unpredictable times. A number of our fellow congregants are experienced meditation leaders and will act as facilitators. Through the wonders of technology, we can enjoy the power of meditating together as a community. 

No prior meditation experience is necessary. 
Summer Stories
Mondays, 8pm Via Zoom
This summer, when we cannot hold our popular literary series "Scribblers on the Roof" as usual, we are excited to present our first virtual reading series, "Summer Stories: AC Authors and Journalists." AC members will read from and discuss their work in fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and other genres, from 8-9pm.

If you haven't joined us yes, please consider jumping on to share our "Summer Stories"; conversation and community. Even when our guest writers are sheltering in place from upstate to South Dakota to Vienna."

August 3: JOURNALISM
Jeremy Kaplan: Entrepreneurial Journalism— A New Landscape for News
Journalist  Jeremy Caplan , Director of Education for  Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism /Teacher of digital journalism at CUNY, will bring us up to speed on advances in the brave new world of digital technology and journalism.  



Dan Friedman: The Challenges of Jewish Journalism
Journalist  Dan Friedman , Director of Content and Communications for Shalom Hartman Institute of North America , previously served as e xecutive editor of the  Forward , where he won numerous awards for writing and editing including a 2018 Rockower award for editorial writing for his response to the events in Charlottesville, VA. 
 

As anyone can join in on  Zoom , invite your far-flung friends and family. 
 To Schmooze or not to Schmooze: The Un-Distancing Hour
Thursday, 5:30pm Via Zoom
Next Session, Thursday August 6 (No Session on July 30 for 9Av)
We'd like to announce the rebranding and re-imagining of the Thursday afternoon Kiddush cocktail hour, which has been a lovely way for people to connect during this crazy time. But we thought it needed a transformation into something a bit more specific.

Before the pandemic, Kiddush has traditionally been a way for people at Ansche Chesed to connect with one another, to share milestones, to kvetch and moan a bit, to express support to friends who are going through one of life's many struggles, or even to share a joke. It's informal, unstructured, and enables people to check in and out as they please. The Pre-Shabbat Un-Distancing Hour is a way to enable people to get together and continue doing that with one another, for one another.

So join us with your paper cup of seltzer or beverage of your choice. Looking forward to schmoozing.

 Not Shabbat Morning Study
Friday, 9:30am Via Zoom
While we will not be together on Shabbat morning, that doesn't mean that we can not study together. Join Rabbi Kalmanofsky on Friday mornings at 9:30 (just a day before we usually meet) to delve into the weekly portion through the eyes of favorite commentators-ancient, medieval, and modern; midrashic, mystical, and academic.

During the Summer months, this program will be led by members of our community. Contact  Deb Mowshowitz  with any questions.

 Did You Miss A Program?
Were you hoping to join us for a program, but life just got in the way? Did you attend a program, but feel like if you are every really going to be able to make challah, you need to see it again?

Don't worry, throughout these strange times, we have recorded a variety of our classes, and they are all available for you to enjoy and share. Visit our website to see which classes are available.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Membership Renewal
We hope you will renew your membership with Congregation Ansche Chesed.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will not be mailing out membership renewal forms this year and prefer that you renew your membership online. Please click  HERE  to renew your membership and security fees.

 
If you wish to pay by check, please email  Martin  and request a paper application be emailed to you. On the paper application, please remember to mark your membership dues pledge and security fee and mail the application and check to Congregation Ansche Chesed.

We are so grateful that over 200 members have already rejoined, and affirmed their commitment to our community.

While their are no seats for the High Holidays this year, if you renew by August 31st this year, and renew on time next year, we promise to save your seats for next year!

Please see the list of those who have already renewed in our Tuesday email, and follow their lead so that you too can be included next week.

Congregation Ansche Chesed
Revisit Our Tribute
We had such a wonderful tribute event on Sunday evening June 28th. Filled with appreciation for the old and the new, for where we as a community came from and where we are now. The program included amazing  reflections from long-term members , as well as wonderful  videos and slide shows . Please visit the site and enjoy the  videos , scroll through the  Ad Journal , and  read and watch the reflections  from our long-term members. 

Do you have a reflection that you would like to share? eMail  President@anschechesed.org  to discuss submitting your written or video reflection.
AC Membership Directory
In these times, many members are reaching out to contact other members. Ansche Chesed does have an online directory for members. You will need your password to access the directory or to update your own information.  You may click on the membership directory here.  

On the membership directory page, click on "edit my account info" to setup your directory listing.

Members need to voluntarily opt-in to the membership directory as we want to protect everyone's privacy. Those that do not wish to be placed in the directory will not be.

If you never setup or can't remember your password, email  Martin Sivorinovsky and he will email you a link to setup a new password.
AC Professional Skills Directory
Our members possess a multitude of different skills and areas of expertise. With that in mind, we have  compiled a directory  of congregants who are willing and able to help each other with issues that have arisen because of the pandemic.  It is available here

Our directory is being update on a rolling basis, so if you have a useful service you would like to offer (such as landlord/tenant law, financial advice, IT support, etc) , please contact AC member Nicole Grunfeld at  nicole.grunfeld@gmail.com with your name, contact info, a short description of the service you can provide, and a note about your fees (including whether you can offer any complimentary support and/or an AC discount). 

We Want To Meet Your Needs
A community like ours is often closely linked through prayer and study, and by celebrating Shabbat, holidays and weekdays. In these terribly difficult times, we can feel cut off from the resources that keep us going. 

We at Ansche Chesed want to provide our members with sources of strength, hope, and resilience.  Please let us know what you need : What will help you? What is AC doing now that is a valuable resource for you, connecting you to others and to faith? What is missing for you? What can we do to help you meet this challenge?

Please write to  Rabbi Kalmanofsky Rabbi Hammerman  or  Hazzan Hirschhorn  to let us know what you most need from Ansche Chesed.
Payments to Ansche Chesed
As our offices are closed during the Covid19 epidemic please make all payments and donate via  our website  rather than write checks.  

If you must write a check, please wait until you hear from us that the offices are open again.

Thanks,

Ansche Chesed
REACH OUT
Programming Ideas
We are working hard to create program and connection during these complicated times. We hope to increase our programming options, and would love to hear from you with ideas for programming. 

Do you have an idea for something that you would like to learn, or something you could teach, or a resource that might be great for our community? If you do, please email  druskay@anschechesed.org  to share your idea.

Share What You've Found
If you are like us, you have seen lots of exciting programs online these days. Some of them may be Jewish, some cultural, and some just for fun. Please visit our facebook page and share what you have found with us and our community.
AC Kavod 2020
During this difficult time, there may be members of our community who could use some extra support -- someone to help buy groceries, or even just someone to talk to. If you need anything, please send an email to  ackavod2020@gmail.com  and one of our Ansche Chesed volunteers will get in touch with you. If you are interested in joining our volunteer force, please email  ackavod2020@gmail.com

Bikkur Cholim
As we are all concerned over the coronavirus, the Ansche Chesed community is here for you. If you feel you might be getting sick -- especially if you are older or alone, or you know people who are -- please let   Rabbi Kalmanofsky  and  Rabbi Hammerman know. They, and other members of the bikkur cholim committee will be in touch, and make sure you are not alone.
SOCIAL ACTION/COMMUNITY SERVICE
The COVID Rent Relief Program
The COVID Rent Relief Program  will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. The Covid Rent Relief Program is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period. HCR will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.

The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the household is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance. 

For more information, and to apply, visit  https://hcr.ny.gov/hcr-program-notices-covid-19
More Opportunities With Reclaim Our Vote
The Reclaim Our Vote Campaign is a nonpartisan phonebanking, postcarding, and textbanking effort created by the Center for Common Ground that focuses on contacting voters of color in voter-suppression states to help them register, vote, and troubleshoot/address possible voter disenfranchisement.

Thank you to the Ansche Chesed community for writing and sending over 1000 postcards to voters in North Carolina!

Now we need you to make phone calls!

Why Phone Bank?
Phone Banking is second only to canvassing for Getting Out the Vote (GOTV). Live phone-banking works – especially at scale. It might not seem you’re making much headway with all the unanswered, out-of-service calls, but at scale – when we’ve made thousands of dials, the effect is substantial.

Due to the pandemic, polling sites will be closed or switched, Board of Elections Offices will be unable to respond to all their calls, and disinformation will explode.

ROV’s phone banks give the voter reliable information about voting locations and ways to vote during the pandemic.

Join ROV and members of the community to phone bank at a zoom gathering. We begin with training, then we phonebank, then we come back to share our stories.

Upcoming Phone Banking Sessions
What Matters
Ansche Chesed is pleased to announce it has joined with other New York synagogues and communal organizations in an initiative called What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life. This effort aims to heighten awareness around the importance of completing advance care directives, and enable individuals to thoughtfully consider and document their end of life preferences, with opportunities to engage Jewish values as part of the process. Confidential conversations are conducted by trained and certified Ansche Chesed facilitators, who are available to answer important questions and help walk you through the process, clarifying your goals and wishes for future healthcare and related choices in case you are unable to speak for yourself.
 
We look forward to working with you on this important initiative. Should you wish to schedule a conversation, please eMail,  whatmatters@anschechesed.org , or leave a message at (212)865.0600 x201, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
The Men's Homeless Shelter Needs Volunteers
The Ansche Chesed Shelter is closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We fully plan on re-opening when it is deemed safe for all to do so. Please keep an eye out for how you can volunteer when we reopen.
Do you know someone who is ill or in need of temporary support? The Bikkur Cholim Committee is here to help.
If you know someone who is ill and in need of a visit or a meal, or other assistance, please contact the Bikkur Cholim committee. The Bikkur Cholim committee helps care for Ansche Chesed members who are ill or have been hospitalized. We visit them; telephone and send cards; provide meals, especially for Shabbat; shop for them; and escort them to doctors' appointments.

Please contact Maron Waxman or Bettyrose Nelson at  BikkurCholim@AnscheChesed.org  if you need help or to join the Bikkur Cholim volunteer corps.

Click here  for more information on life cycle support at Ansche Chesed.
AC is Collecting Eyeglasses
More than two billion people globally need glasses but lack access due to income, distance, or disaster. Seeing clearly provides the opportunity for adults and children to succeed at school or work, and care for their families. Eye Make A Difference, a VSP Global Eyes of Hope program, is a no-cost way for companies, individuals, and organizations to donate glasses to help those in need. Please drop off your eyeglasses to the office! 
ICE Know Your Rights
If you or anyone you know may be at risk of deportation, please review these Know Your Rights flyers provided by Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Immigrant Defense Project.

Click here  to view, download, and share all the information you need.
COMMUNITY
Student Poll Worker Program
The NYC Board of Elections (BOE) is preparing for the upcoming elections in September and November of this year. The BOE is accepting applications for the 17 year old Student Poll Worker Program, which is the a program that allows students to become civically involved in the community and also prepares them to learn about politics, current issues facing the community, and educates them about the election process while they serve as a poll worker on Election Day.
Requirements for Student Poll Workers:
  • Be 17 years old by Election Day with permission from school officials and parents/guardians
  • Be a US citizen
  • Bilingual students fluent in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, and Bengali

Spaces are limited so apply early! You can call 718-797-8800 to get an application.
Give Blood
Before COVID-19, The New York Blood Center came to you. Now we need you to come to us! Congregation Ansche Chesed invites you to donate blood at an NYBC donor center or local community blood drive near you! Visit nybc.org/donate to find a location near you or Contact Elaine Peralta 646.300.5051 or eperalta@nybc.org for an appointment. 

Donate between July 20 and August 31. Use group code 10122 to be a part of this special lifesaving “virtual” event.
Ansche Chesed CSA
The Ansche Chesed CSA WILL be continuing this year, with socially distanced weekly pick-ups on Wednesdays from 12-1pm on the sidewalk outside of Ansche Chesed.

Please visit their website for information on how to register to get farm fresh fruits and veggies. First pickup is scheduled for June 10, so don't delay.

Visit the  AnscheChesed CSA website  for more information or email them at  anschechesedcsa@gmail.com
DOROT Onsite at Home (previously On-site programs)
Dorot has made changes and moved all of our on-site programs onto a digital platform - these are now Zoom-based classes. 

To register and receive a weekly email of the upcoming classes, please send an email that includes your name and phone number to  dorotprograms@dorotusa.org . For those seniors who don't have computers or technology (smartphone/tablet/cell) with cameras, you are welcome to participate in the Zoom programming by dialing in over the phone.

If someone would like to participate in DOROT programs but doesn't know how to use Zoom, please email  technologyhelp@dorotusa.org . They will be happy to connect them to one of DOROT's volunteer Tech Coaches by phone, who will be able to assist.
Chef's Table Kosher Catering has prepared gourmet foods, delivered to customers in New York City. These are be pre-cooked, delicious kosher meals delivered right to your door.

Contact Bruce at (917)-868-7964 or his  website  for more information.
SHUK
Caretaker and Housekeeper Available
Experienced and wonderful caring caretaker and housekeeper seeking employment. She took care of my mother and truly enhanced my mother's quality of life before she passed in April.

For additional information please feel free to e mail me, Corinne Boren or call 212 864 8163 and leave a message.
If you are a member, you may send "shuk" postings to  shuk@anschechesed.org . All postings must have a member's contact info, and received by Tuesday at 3pm.
Postings run for only two weeks.
STAFF DIRECTORY
212.865.0600
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky
ext. 21


Rabbi Yael Hammerman
Associate Rabbi
ext. 208

Mark Paul
President

Martin Sivorinovsky
Administrative Director
ext. 216
Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn
Music Director
ext. 242

Joshua Hanft
Executive Director
ext. 209

Darone Ruskay
Programming Director
Despite our best efforts and extensive proof-reading, we apologize for any errors or omissions. Please note: If you wish to be included in the Community or Shuk sections of the Weekly Newsletter (which is sent out on Thursday), please email  druskay@anschechesed.org  with a Word or plain text version of your title, date/time, brief blurb, and relevant link/contact info by end of business on Tuesday.