The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

February 11, 2021 29 Shevat 5781


If you have read enough about the impending winter snow storms or vaccination issues you have come to the right place. We are here to share some upcoming Council happenings for you to enjoy in the convenience of your home. The next program in our Israel Connection Series will take place on Tuesday, February 23rd with Rani Jaeger of the Shalom Hartman Institute for an exploration and conversation about what is truly at stake in Israeli politics. We are also preparing for the annual Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards honoring 26 remarkable volunteers on March 16th. In observance of Black History Month, NY State Assembly Member Carl E. Heastie and NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will speak today at noon. This event is co-sponsored by JCRC-NY and the Council and details can be found below.

As always, be sure to visit our website calendar for more upcoming events. There are so many amazing programs sponsored by our 132 Westchester Jewish Council member organizations.

Wishing you a happy Presidents weekend and the joyous Jewish month of Adar that arrives on Friday. For those counting, this Shabbat is very special in that traditionally one reads from 3 Sefer Torahs.

Shabbat Shalom!

Lisa Roberts, President
Lori Kurlander, Communications Manager
Elliot Forchheimer, CEO

(The Council is financially supported by donations from individuals,
dues from 132 member organizations and generous grant support from UJA-Federation)
Please support the work of the Westchester Jewish Council. Your donation makes a difference each and every day. Click here to donate.

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The 26th Annual Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony
March 16, 2021, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ever year, the Westchester Jewish Council honors deserving member organizations and their leaders with the Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award (DSA). Julian was a WJC board member, and a visionary communal leader. Julian believed that doing tzedakah was just as important as giving tzedakah. In tribute to his passion and devotion to the Jewish community, we honor those who follow in his footsteps. 

To view the complete invitation and list of honorees, please click on the image. See how many honorees and organizations you know!

To register and/or make a donation in honor of one of this year’s honorees,
please click HERE.
Resources regarding the COVID 19 vaccine from
211 Hudson Valley Region

If you are age 65 to 75 or are eligible under another category in Phase 1a or Phase 1b, you can sign up for the Health Department’s Alert system, which will alert you when more vaccine doses become available.
-         To be clear, this will not sign you up for an appointment, this will only sign you up to be alerted when there are appointments available. The Department cannot set up the appointment system until we have confirmation of receiving the vaccine.
-         If you do not fall under Phase 1a or Phase 1b, you will not be able to sign up.
-         Going forward, this link will be updated to accommodate further phases as those become better defined. 
And a couple of FYI's about vaccine scams:

"Scammers cash in on COVID-19 vaccination confusion"

"BBB Scam Alert: As COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, scammers cash in"
Tuesday, February 23rd @ noon
"THE Question of the Coming Israeli Election-
An Unexpected Answer."
Join Rani Jaeger of the Shalom Hartman Institute (Council member organization) for an exploration and conversation about what is truly at stake in Israeli politics and how Jewish identity has been transformed in Israel amidst political polarization and partisanship.

Register in advance for this event. Please click here.


"Israel Connection", a monthly virtual series of the Westchester Jewish Council, offers presentations and discussions on diverse topics of interest regarding the culture, politics and society of Israel presented by our member organizations. All welcome.
JCRC of NY Community Relations Corner
Black History Month: Black Power and Politics with NY State Assembly Member Carl E. Heastie and NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Join JCRC and the Westchester Jewish Council TODAY, February 11th at noon.

Register for zoom HERE or watch LIVE @
 Senate Majority Leader the Hon. Andrea Stewart-Cousins'
Statement on Black History Month
"Black History Month is American History that sadly went untold. Now, we have the opportunity to shine a light on African Americans who fought for equality and justice, opened doors unfairly closed, and made our world a better place. Today, we have blood banks and blood transfusions because of Dr. Charles R. Drew's work on plasma and blood storage. Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light and an early gas mask, Frederick Jones invented refrigerated trucks, and nurse Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the home security system. Alice Dunnigan was the first Black woman to be a White House correspondent in 1948. Althea Gibson opened doors for countless Black athletes, competing at Wimbledon in 1951 and winning in 1957 and 1958. We must never forget the oppression and injustices African-Americans faced and continue to overcome to achieve such accomplishments. Without these struggles, it wouldn't be possible for people like me to make history. Black accomplishment is rooted in perseverance, strength, and resilience. And this month, we can all commit to learning about Black History through initiatives and events in New York State and Westchester County, and recommit ourselves in the effort to break down barriers and fight for justice, equality, and inclusion for all."

Westchester Jewish Council
Upcoming Community Roundtables
(The Council thanks the hundreds of people that dedicate time to attend our Roundtables -
a signature initiative of the Council often sponsored with wonderful partners from among our member organizations)

Some Upcoming Virtual Council Roundtables:

Synagogue Executive Directors - Wednesday February 17th
Synagogue Presidents - Tuesday Feb 23rd
Greening Roundtable - Tuesday March 2nd
Security Roundtable - Week of March 8th
Marketing Roundtable - coming soon. (really)
Contact the Council office at (914) 328-7001 or for information on these and other Roundtables--a key offering of the Westchester Jewish Council.
visit the full Community Calendar at

Pearls of Wisdom Performance 
Tuesday, February 16, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Join us when Juliette Holmes and Luther Gales, members of DOROT’s Pearls of Wisdom ensemble of elder storytellers perform in honor of Black History Month, sharing stories from their lived experiences. Juliette is a grandmother who grew up in the Gullah Culture of the Low Country in Savannah, Georgia, and now resides in Queens; Luther is a retired Housing Authority policeman and former Marine now living in Harlem. Don't miss this special Pearls appearance at DOROT.  Bring your stories and experiences to share, too! 
To register and receive the link, please click: Storytelling 
Umasking Purim with Pardes!
Bible - Mishnah - Jewish Thought
February 15th to 26th

Join the JCRC of NY in celebrating
The New York State Assembly's
Favorite Hamantaschen

January 18, 2021 at 8pm

NYS Assembly Members will sample a variety of hamantaschen flavors and rank their favorites.

Please register here to join the fun!

To celebrate Purim this year, Friends of the IDF (FIDF) has kicked off its Mask Parade competition, an awesome opportunity to come together and finally make the most of the COVID mask by designing it into something happy-making and positive – a part of our Purim costumes! Submitted masks will be entered into a competition, and winning designs will be produced and distributed to IDF Soldiers! What an amazing opportunity for recognition, expression, and friendship!

This is the zetz of JOY we all need this year! People from around the country will submit their entries at and will watch the Mask Parade on FIDF’s Facebook and Instagram social media accounts. Meanwhile, celebrity judges (yet to be announced) will be commenting on the passion for mask fashion!
UJA-Keshet Leadership Project 
Thursday, March 4 and March 18, 2021
Deepen your synagogue's commitment to LGBTQ equality in Jewish life through the UJA-Keshet Leadership Project. This program includes training for two to four professionals or lay leaders, creation of a customized action plan, and a year of coaching.
To apply, click here. For information about cost or other questions, visit or contact Dubbs Weinblatt.
Join a new summer program of learning and discovery this July.

2021 sees the launch of Horizons - an exciting month-long summer program at the beautiful Givat Haviva campus (a new Council business partner), located 40 minutes north of Tel Aviv.  

Horizons has been designed for curious, motivated and passionate teens, aged 14 to 16, wanting to make the most out of their summer. It is absolutely not your standard Israel trip! Participants will learn the foundations of Arabic and Hebrew, along with mediation and conflict resolution skills. Horizons offers unique opportunities to meet and befriend local youth in Israel, with whom they can practice their new language skills. And, of course, the “must sees”of any Israel program will be incorporated - The Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Masada, Tel Aviv and more.

Interactive language studies are under the auspices of the internationally recognized Givat Haviva Language Institute. Activities have been planned with the goal that participants will return home, not only with the basics of two languages, but life skills which will help them successfully navigate their future in a diverse world. They will be more knowledgeable, independent and confident, having had the experience of a lifetime!

There are a few places still available. Register for the launch of Horizons 2021 or join us for our Open House on March 7th. 

For more information, please visit us at:
Welcome to our new business partner,
Givat Haviva International School.
Givat Haviva International School seeks to transform the Middle East and beyond by developing a powerful network of leaders who will work together to achieve shared society and a sustainable, just future.

Givat Haviva is a non-profit organization founded in 1949 as the National Education Center of the Kibbutz Federation. It has since emerged as a pivotal educational center for social justice, dedicated to promoting civic equality, cooperation and social inclusion in Israel and internationally.

Givat Haviva ‘Center for a Shared Society’ serves as an activist agency for cross-community interactions and cooperation. We offer programs in five key areas: municipal and regional partnerships, leadership training and education, public engagement, cultural studies, language immersion, equality and minority rights.

See the programming section above to learn more about an upcoming summer program through GHIS.
To learn more about GHIS, please click here:
"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
As always and per protocol, please report any security concerns immediately to your local Police Department and then to the Council and to CSI/Bill Hayes for follow up.
Stay alert, prepared and safe.

Please send any security questions/concerns to

Westchester Women's Symposium 2021: From Inspiration to Impact

Join other dynamic women at the Westchester Women's Symposium 2021. Hear from visionary social innovators — Westchester women — who turn their inspiration for change into actions that create impact.
Our opening speaker will inspire, and our panelists at the sessions, “Building Bridges and Fighting Hate” and “Advocating for the Vulnerable” will have a lively exchange of innovative ideas that will leave you feeling invigorated and empowered.

Zoom-Mitzvah 101: A Moving Traditions Guide to Thinking Creatively about Pandemic B’nai Mitzvah.
Tips include how to use the invitation to set up expectations with your guests, ways to turn your home into a sacred space and methods for fostering community online. Authors Rabbi Daniel Brenner and Pamela Barkley, CSW, created this guide after talking to clergy and educators around the country as part of the Moving Traditions B'nai Mitzvah Family Education Program. There are currently more than 80 synagogues across the country working with Moving Traditions to help families find meaning in the coming-of-age rituals and manage the tensions that arise as Jewish youth enter the teen years. 
Kindness should be thoughtful, deliberate and built into one’s life daily. Download Areyvut’s (Member organization) 2021 A Kindness a Day Calendar to your calendar for free at and you will get a daily action item that you can easily incorporate into your work and life to actively educate, engage, motivate and inspire others to action while you grow in the process.
Yes, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are internships in Israel this year.
Here is the latest list of internships in Israel for 2021, including success stories, advice and resources.

You can find the new list here:
We share with you two recent articles from The Forward that we thought might be of interest:
"Enough For A Minyan: A Jewish Who’s Who of Biden’s Cabinet-To-Be" By Jacob Kornbluh | January 18th | The Forward
Registration is open for the 2021 Fairfield County Connecticut Jewish Baseball League (FCCJBL) and we warmly invite children in grades Pre-K through 6 living in lower Fairfield and Westchester Counties to play ball! All games are played on Sundays in Stamford. Registration includes all gear - sign up by February 28 on to receive a FCCJBL water bottle! Please consider an individual or company sponsorship to support our operating expenses and make the FCCJBL extraordinary. Email for more information.

Condolences to:

Michele Gregson, Council board member, on the loss of her beloved father Jack Wohl, z"l.
We invite teens in the community to represent their agencies and synagogues at our WJC Youth Volunteer Roundtable. We ask our Youth Professionals to recommend a teen(s) to join us at the table. Please send the name and contact and any questions to Donna Bartell - 

Westchester Jewish Council Teen Organizations include:

Thank you to the Jewish Education Project for working so closely with our Teen professionals and volunteers!

The Youth Volunteer Roundtable created a facebook page for an exchange of information which can be accessed here -
For a complete and timely schedule and other television providers, go to 

The Hudson Valley 211 Helpline is Here
Call 211/Visit your zipcode to 898211
This is a service of United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

Westchester Jewish Council
925 Westchester Avenue, Suite 200, White Plains, NY 10604
914-328-7001 | |
For information regarding submissions, please contact Lori Kurlander
The next Community Connection will be published on or about February 18, 2021