December 6, 2019
New shul, New City
Rabbi’s story of exclusion leads to mission of inclusion

Rabbi Shais Rishon has some disturbing Chanukah stories.
Rabbi Rishon is a founder and leader of the New City Minyan, a two-year-old Orthodox congregation that meets in members’ houses in New City, and has between 20 and 30 participating families.
The subtitle of his first book, “Thoughts from a Unicorn,” tells his story: “100 percent black. 100 percent Jewish. 0 percent safe.”
New City Minyan gets boost from Israeli government

New City Minyan is getting an assist in its dreams of growing up from the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. It has been accepted into a program called Hakhel: The Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator in the diaspora. Hakhel is a collaboration between Hazon, the American Jewish environmental organization, and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. Hakhel offers advice and networking for representatives of the communities.

“More and more millennials and young people are moving away from traditional institutions,” Aharon Ariel Lavi, Hahkel’s founder, said. “On the other hand, communities are the most important component for developing Jewish identity.”
Celebrate Rockland’s heroes

Rockland Jewish Family Service will hold its “Unsung Heroes” brunch on Sunday, December 15, at 10 a.m., at the Rockleigh, 26 Paris Ave., Rockleigh. Honorees include RJFS board member Rabbi David Berkman; social worker Susan Conry of the older adult program; food pantry volunteers Kevin, Braden, and Thomas Czerwinski; Outreach Committee member Brenda Greenberg; and musician and entertainer Mara Lewin.
Rockland shuls mark Mitzvah Day

Every day is Mitzvah Day at the Orangetown Jewish Center in Orangeburg, but the shul finds it important to keep one day reserved every year, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to remind everyone about what really matters. More than 200 people came to OJC to volunteer on Mitzvah Day this year. Activities included family bowling to raise awareness and funds for Jawonio, which helps people with special needs and their families. 
Clergy care … or the very essence of a sabbatical

I care.

If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have been in this line of work for the last 25 years. I care about teaching a Torah that is alive, relevant, and instructive; about creating moments of meaningful connection for people with their Jewish identities; about our shared past and our shared future; about empowering people to use Judaism as a perspective by which they can view, understand, and influence the world around them.
Friday, Dec 6, 6PM-8PM
Temple Beth Sholom, New City
Saturday, Dec 14, 6:30PM - 8:00PM
JCC Rockland, West Nyack
Saturday, Dec 14, 7:30PM - 10:00PM
Montebello Jewish Center, Montebello
Sunday, Dec 15, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
The Rockleigh, Rockleigh
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