The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

January 20, 2022 18 Shevat 5782


"Music is the universal language ... it brings people closer together." - Ella Fitzgerald

We are so pleased that we have finalized the arrangement for the Council's Gala that will be held in person AND virtually (your choice) on Saturday night, February 5th. We cannot be more excited and look forward to gathering together to celebrate our honorees and community. For more details about our Gala, the honorees and registration, please scroll down below.

And announcing, our entertainment...

It is our honor to welcome the world-renowned a cappella group Six13 as our featured entertainment. Six13 is a groundbreaking, a cappella vocal band that is bringing an unprecedented style and energy to Jewish music. Please join us as we sing along to some of their greatest hits.

While the joy of the Gala awaits us, we would like to express our gratitude to our law enforcement professionals who brought a resolution to last week's hostage situation.

Special gratitude to the Westchester Jewish Council's Security Committee and our CSI Security Professional, William Hayes who monitored and communicated with the leadership of the Westchester community throughout the incident as well as conducted a special security review for our security liaisons yesterday in preparation for this upcoming Shabbat. Special thanks to our local law enforcement and elected officials who were in close contact with us and continue to work hard, day in and day out, to protect our community.

Since 2001, security awareness and training has been a priority for the Westchester Jewish Council in working with our 129 member organizations. Please be in touch with any questions to
Wishing you a peaceful Shabbat!
William H. Schrag, President
Elliot Forchheimer, CEO
Lori Kurlander, Communications Manager


(The Council is financially supported by donations from individuals,
dues from 130 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.

Our 46th Anniversary Gala will take place on
Saturday evening, February 5th at 7:15pm
in person at Cong. Kol Ami and available via zoom.

We are pleased to honor our community leaders Marc Klee and Jennifer Sokol and our Westchester Business honoree, RPW Group (Robert P. Weisz and Andrew Weisz).

Serving for the first time as master of ceremonies will be Westchester Jewish Council Board Member Aaron Fleishaker. And Westchester Jewish Council past president Ronald E. Burton, as per our tradition, will warmly welcome and introduce, one by one, the many elected officials who are scheduled to attend.

To register, and/or to make donations and view the journal for this event, please click here. If you have already donated we THANK YOU!

Please view the 2022 Gala Tribute Committee here.

If you have any Gala questions, please contact
**The online auction will go live on February 1st. More details to follow.**
Juxtaposing the traditional and the contemporary, Six13 is anchored by a strong Jewish identity, fueled by soulful harmonies, intricate arrangements and their signature dynamic, full-band-like sound, and driven by a mission to connect Jews around the world with their heritage through music. The band is uniquely comprised of members from varied Jewish denominations and upbringings, creating an entertainment experience that has been universally acclaimed across the globe by Jewish organizations and individuals from equally varied backgrounds and generations. Visit their website to learn more.
Israeli Culture & Identity Reflected in Music
Wednesday, January 26th
from noon to 1pm
Our next Israel Connection Series will take place on Wednesday, January 26th.
featuring Abby Pitkowsky, Director, Westchester Region and Israel Education of The Jewish Education Project

Music in Israel is a central part of the culture and also integral to building national identity. Join our good friend Abby Pitkowsky, Director of Israel Education at The Jewish Education Project, to explore samples of music that offer insights to Israel’s vibrant contemporary culture and how artists use their music to address issues, topics and events.

Please register here. A zoom link will be sent after registration.

This event is free and open to all.
For more information, please contact or 914-328-7001
ext. 106
"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
In light of the recent event in Colleyville, Texas, we remind you to review your security protocols, develop and maintain strong relationships with local law enforcement, and to be in touch with us with any questions. And we hope each Council member organization will be represented at our upcoming Westchester Jewish Council Virtual Security Roundtable on the evening of February 10th where the agenda will include a full debrief on Colleyville.

As a reminder, the Westchester Jewish Council devotes significant work on community security and awareness:

  • We work closely with security professional William Hayes, who is part of the Community Security Initiative (a joint program of UJA, JCRC-NY and in Westchester with the Westchester Jewish Council).
  • We host the "Emergency Communication System" to alert our member organizations and their trained professionals of an emergency situation
  • Security audits are available by CSI for all of our member organizations. Contact us for more information.
  • We host security roundtables to update members on the latest news, techniques and training in security.
  • We develop relationships with other faith-based organizations to combat hate.
  • We work closely with County wide law enforcement as needed.
  • We work in close coordination with our member organizations such as CSS and ADL as well as JCRC, UJA and SCN, etc. (You may not know all these organizations but these are all world class wonderful partners and resources for the Council and community.

Please contact with any questions and concerns.
Please be aware of the DA’s Tips Hotline (914-995-TIPS) to help combat hate and bias in Westchester.

If anyone requires help with security grants, please contact
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.
January 15, 2022
Statement by President Biden on the Hostage Situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas
Thanks to the courageous work of state, local and federal law enforcement, four Americans who were held hostage at a Texas synagogue will soon be home with their families. I am grateful to the tireless work of law enforcement at all levels who acted cooperatively and fearlessly to rescue the hostages. We are sending love and strength to the members of Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, and the Jewish community.
There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker. But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate—we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country. That is who we are, and tonight, the men and women of law enforcement made us all proud.

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)

Israel Connection - Wednesday, January 26th
Greening - Wednesday, February 9th at 10am
Combating Racism - Wednesday, February 9th at 7pm
Security - Thursday, February 10th
Mosaic - Wednesday, February 16th at 7:30pm

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


Please contact me if you have any questions or follow Westchester Mishlachat on Facebook or Instagram

For more information or queries please contact me anytime!
Shachar Liran-Hanan, Westchester Senior Shlicha (Emissary)-
 Health & Winter Wellness- - Thursday, Jan. 27 7:30pm
Join us to hear from experts who will offer their insight into how you can maximize your overall well-being during the winter months. From yoga to nutrition, self-compassion, and essential oils, you'll discover a holistic approach to help you take care of yourself this winter.

visit the full Community Calendar at

Art History Talk: NYC Street Art
Thursday, January 27, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM 
Starting as the way for inner city youth to make their presence felt and their voices heard, street art soon developed clear artistic styles and entered the realms of fine art and high end design. While illegal tagging is still being practiced, some neighborhoods are inviting street artists to paint their walls to push gentrification and murals are taking on the important functions of instantaneous community memorials, protest and celebration. Together we will look at early historic street artists, important NY neighborhoods and projects, giants in the contemporary field, dominant themes and a sampling of some striking projects, including responses to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. Led by Art Historian & Educator Sylvia Laudien-Meo 
To register and receive the link, please click: Sylvia Meo
From our Business Partner Givat Haviva:

I'm so happy to share with you that this summer, 2022, we are scheduled to have our second HORIZONS summer program.
We Have an open day scheduled for January 3oth. We would love for you to join!

Horizons is different than any other program, and will give a unique opportunity for promising young leaders:
·  25% of the Horizons participants will be local Jews, 25% local Arabs and the other 50% - international. Students will build lifelong friendships and learn about the Israeli cultures.
· Trips and tours will cover many parts of Israel and will be full of local experiences
· The program will include volunteering days (which, in principle, can go towards their volunteering requirements)
· Participants will get leadership experiences
I hope you can help us find some teenagers from your community who would be interested.

What Grandparents Need to Know About Teens and
Mental Health
Tuesday, February 15 7:00 EST
Join teen experts Dr. Betsy Stone and Erica Hruby for a sensitive and frank look at teens and mental health. In this live session, we will explore the most common mental health disorders in teens and the impact on teens’ mental health of living with Covid for two years, the pressures of social media, and, for some, grappling with issues of gender identity.
Stone and Hruby will specifically address what grandparents can do to support their teen grandchildren and the teens’ parents. For example: how to use productive language to let adult children know you have observed something concerning and specific questions you can ask your teen grandchildren to better understand their struggles. 
Jewish Grandparents Network is proud to partner with Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative to present this important topic.
Order your free at home Covid-19 tests.

 Please be aware that every household is entitled to four free at home COVID tests. If you are interested in ordering please use the following link:
Governor Hochul has announced that SUNY Purchase will be operational as a COVID testing site at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase. There will be both appointment and walk-in testing availability. You can book an appointment online at

Testing and Vaccines in Westchester
For testing and vaccine information for all ages, please click here -

LIsa Goldberg, the new Executive Director of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue.

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 -
Watch JBS Jewish Broadcasting Service on Optimum 138, Fios 798,
Spectrum 219 and 830, DirecTV 388,
Roku under “educational”, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and streamed on  
For a complete and timely schedule and other television providers, go to 

The Hudson Valley 211 Helpline is Here
Call 211//Text 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 January 27, 2022