The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

October 8, 2020 20 Tishrei 5781


Here we are at Shemini/Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a joyous Jewish holiday celebrating the completion of the annual cycle of weekly Torah reading and the beginning of a new one.

This holiday is traditionally celebrated by removing all the Torah scrolls from the ark in the synagogue and spending the evening dancing, singing, and rejoicing. We applaud everyone for their creative efforts in making the holiday traditions work in the current environment. May the resiliency of our community continue as we finish the holiday season and continue our program year.

We have so many interesting events and news from member organizations to share this week. Read on to welcome a new member organization to the Council family. In addition, you will find details within about how to virtually attend the State of the County Address offered by our County Executive, the Hon. George Latimer this evening/Thursday. Also learn about the "211" help line available to help with so many issues. "211" is a service of our partners at the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.

We are also pleased to announce that we are now accepting nominations from our member organizations for the prestigious Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award which will be held virtually in March 2021. Details for this and other events can be found below.

Wishing everyone a final Chag Sameach/Happy Holiday and Shabbat Shalom.
Lisa Roberts, President
Lori Kurlander, Communications Manager
Elliot Forchheimer, CEO


(The Council is financially supported by donations from individuals,
dues from 136 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

The Biennial Night of Music & Joy
Virtual Celebration
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 7:30pm
presented by Kol Hazzanim and
The Westchester Jewish Council
More details coming soon.

The Westchester Jewish Council is now accepting nominations from its member organizations for the prestigious Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award.
This year’s award celebration will be held virtually on Tuesday evening March 16, 2021.

Each year the Council honors approximately 18 volunteers for their exceptional and dedicated volunteer efforts. You may have volunteers who have worked tirelessly for years. Now is your chance to honor them! This year you may also want to consider nominating organizational heroes who have distinguished themselves by stepping up to the challenges of the pandemic.  

Nominations are due by Monday, November 9, 2020 and must be submitted using this form. One nomination per Council member. A decision by the Award Committee will be made by mid-December.

If you have any questions, please contact Donna Bartell at

The Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award Committee thanks you in advance for your participation!

"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
THANK YOU. The Westchester Jewish Council successfully conducted its semi-annual test of its Westchester Jewish Community Emergency Notification system this week. We had an over 99% completion rate. 

Thank you to our Security Co-Chairs, Jeff Kapelus and Dan Reingold, and to Bill Hayes, Westchester/Bronx Security Manager, CSI and all of the security liaisons of our member organizations for all of their work to make our community safer. Special thanks as always to UJA and JCRC for their ongoing partnership in community security and more.

As always and per protocol, please report any security concerns immediately to your local Police Department and then to the Council for follow up. Stay alert, prepared and safe.

Please send any security questions/concerns to
State of the County Address - TONIGHT/Thursday
Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7pm
This event will be livestreamed on the Westchester County Government Facebook Page.
This Facebook page is public. You do not need to have a Facebook account to be able to view the livestream.
You can use the DMV Electronic Voter Registration Application to register to vote or to update the information you have on file with the New York State Board of Elections.
The last day to register to vote in the upcoming General Election is tomorrow, October 9, 2020.
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.
Click on the image for details.
It is our pleasure to welcome Chabad of Larchmont and Mamaroneck to the Council family. Established in 2006 by our friends Rabbi Mendel and Chana Silberstein, Chabad of Larchmont and Mamaroneck serves as a center for Jewish life and education in the area. Chabad is dedicated to making the beauty of Jewish heritage accessible to all Jews, regardless of background or affiliation. They have many programs to offer including Adult Education classes, a Jewish Women's Circle, Shabbat for kids and a Jewish Teen Club.

Please visit their website or call 914-834-8000 for more information. 

(Stay tuned for the next newsletter to learn about another new organization
that has joined the Council!)
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)
We will be hosting our roundtables via Zoom until further notice.

Some Upcoming Council and Community Roundtables:

Synagogue Executive Directors - Weekly
Westchester Board of Rabbis - Thursday, October 15th at 10:00am 
Security - Tuesday, October 20 (tentative)
Mosaic LGBTQ Roundtable - Wednesday, October 21st at 7:30pm
Synagogue Presidents+1 - Tuesday, November 10th at 8pm
Greening Roundtable - coming soon
Marketing Roundtable - coming in November/December

Contact the Council office at (914) 328-7001 or for information on these and other Roundtables--a key offering of the Westchester Jewish Council.


For information about eligibility, loan options, and how to apply, click here.
Please email us at with any questions.

visit the full Community Calendar at

Shared Roots, Divergent Paths Series
Faith and the Voting Booth: The Influence of Religion on Voting
Sponsored by AJC Westchester/Fairfield (Council member) and the Driscoll Professorship in Jewish-Catholic Studies at Iona College Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 7:30pm

As we prepare to cast our votes in this year’s Presidential election, please join us for the next program in an ongoing interreligious series between AJC Westchester/Fairfield and Iona College, as we explore the timely issue of the influence of religion on voting. The program will feature John Gehring, Catholic Program Director, Faith in Public Life; and Nadine Epstein, Editor-in-chief and CEO of Moment Magazine. The program will address such questions as: What are the values of each religious tradition that factor into people’s prudential judgments about voting and the democratic process? Is there a religious responsibility for voting and in protecting another’s right to vote?
For two weeks leading up to the U.S. elections, as we kick-off our Hartman@Home fall programming, Hartman scholars will bring calm and reason — along with passion and insight — to the key civic issues facing the Jewish community today. This 2-week symposium will present experts on religion and law, politics and morality, and Jewish political thought, including perspectives on how Israelis are viewing this U.S. election season. 
Hartman scholars will offer their keen insights into key civic issues facing the Jewish community through dozens of sessions including salons, panels, book talks, and multi-part deeper learning opportunities, plus 25-minute daily lunch-time learning on the role of citizens in a democracy.

Hartman@Home programming is offered free of charge to all who wish to attend. Learn more and register today! If you have any questions about this programming or other opportunities to learn with Hartman online, please contact Talia Graff,

Join Hadar (Council member) and the Westchester community for a deeply important and timely webinar series on our responsibilities towards the broader world and our fellow human beings.
The series will feature an opening lecture on Oct 22 from Eric Ward followed by two lectures on Oct 29 and Nov 5 from Rabbi Avi Killip. All are invited to workshop these paradigms and think through how they might be useful to our current national moment, and where their application is limited or maybe even damaging. 

The Israel Ride has gone virtual!
Join Hazon (Council member) for the 2020 Virtual Israel Ride (October 25 - November 1) which includes a series of programming, riding, and community building activities designed to bring the community together and support the crucial sustainability and peace-building work of the Ride's two amazing beneficiaries, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) and Hazon. The Israel Ride is more than “just a ride,” and we hope to share meaningful ‘off-the-bike’ experiences of the Israel Ride in a new way. Join us!
UJA Volunteer Opportunities
You can serve our broader community through these service opportunities.
UJA Community Webinars and Events
Join us for free webinars (including a warm, pre-Shabbat community gathering every Friday) and virtual events, for both personal and professional use. 
Dark Web Monitoring – We Identify, Monitor & Report to Keep You Safe.
Thank you to our business partner Right Click Solutions, Inc. For more information about their services, please click here.
New York State has launched COVID Alert NY – the official Exposure Notification App created by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. Now you can use your phone in the fight against COVID-19 and get exposure alerts, without compromising your privacy or personal information.
Click here for more information.
Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), a network of 125 local Jewish community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies, advocates for a just and pluralistic America, Israel's quest for peace and security, and global human rights. 
They have shared with us their 2016 Statement on Civility Around Elections, as well as excerpts from their 2018 Resolution on White Supremacy. JCPA calls on all candidates to clearly and publicly reject and condemn white supremacy, and to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the United States, in both speech and in deed. 
Please click here to read both the full statement and resolution.
Condolences to:

the family of former WJC honorary board member and treasurer Norman Goodfarb.

Westchester Jewish Council Teen Organizations include:
Thank you to the Jewish Education Project for working so closely with our Teen professionals and volunteers!

The Teen roundtable created a facebook page for an exchange of information which can be accessed here -
JBS can be seen live 24/7 on Cablevision (channel 138), Verizon FIOS (channel 798), ROKU and on

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 October 15, 2020