The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

September 3, 2020 14 Elul 5780


For those of you who have already viewed the first version of today's newsletter, there were three minor, but important changes we would like to point out. Thank you for your understanding:
  • Plaza Jewish Community Chapel's event will begin today at 4pm, not noon.
  • Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg is the Rabbi of Young Israel of White Plains.
  • A mazal tov is being sent to Ella Cohen and Zach Goldstein for their engagement.

Each year at this time, we send out our "Welcome" newsletter to greet everyone and to welcome new professionals and volunteers as we all return to the fall routine and as we prepare for the Jewish new year. In a way, it is a funny concept to welcome everyone back because in so many ways the Council and our members organizations have not gone anywhere this summer. As a matter of fact, we feel we have never been more collaborative as a community and as its leaders since COVID-19 began. We hope to continue this great momentum of community building with even more programming, convening and connecting and to continue to share helpful information throughout the year.

We know things are a bit different, but as you will read in this edition, there are many events to partake in from the Council's Annual High Holyday Security Briefing to Israeli Cooking with Nadav Shachmon. As always, continue to check our calendar for all of the events taking place in Westchester County and beyond and post your own relevant events.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend.

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
“Faith Based Re-Opening Webinar”
September 15th, 10:30am - 11:30am
presented by CSI-the Community Security Initiative
Bill Hayes, the Westchester/Bronx Security Manager of CSI will be presenting a re-opening guide for our Westchester faith based institutions. Please see below for more detailed information for this free webinar. All welcome.
The Community Security Initiative is a joint project of UJA, JCRC-NY and in the greater Westchester area, the Westchester Jewish Council. The Community Security Initiative is a multi-year program, which covers Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and the five counties of New York City. Its goal is to enhance security by: improving the physical security of institutions, providing staff training, providing threat intelligence, assisting with assessments and grant applications, enabling connectivity with law enforcement and supplying real-time communications system that links the Jewish institutions in our region as part of an Emergency communications system.

Please contact Bill Hayes, with any questions. 
The Westchester Jewish Council invites you to attend the 4th annual Westchester Leadership Reception on Tuesday, September 15th from 8pm to 9pm. This event is for the leadership of the Council's organizations and our Westchester elected officials.

More details to follow.
On Wednesday, September 16th at noon, Nadav Shachmon (community shaliach) will be back to cook with us with some special guests.
Stay tuned for more details on this pre-High Holyday virtual free event.
"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
We are proud to share that our partners/colleagues at the CSI Initiative are presenting a webinar, today, Thursday, Sept 3 at 1:00 PM on “Keeping High Holiday Services Healthy and Secure.” Please read below for full details on the event and how to sign up. Thank you to the CSI initiative team, headed up locally by Bill Hayes. Be in touch with any questions to or Bill at

"Keeping high holiday services healthy and secure"
Synagogue leaders are struggling to identify ways to conduct services without compromising their congregants’ health or security. Take this opportunity to hear from the experts (including the NYS Health Commissioner) and to learn what other congregations are considering.
submit your questions to:

Special guest: Howard Zucker, MD JD
Commissioner of Health, State of New York

This Community Security Initiative webinar will discuss:
·       Health considerations- Planning steps-Logistical considerations
·       Coordinating with police

The Community Security Initiative is a joint program of UJA, JCRC-NY and in the greater Westchester area with the Westchester Jewish Council
Westchester Jewish Council’s
Annual Westchester High Holy Day Virtual Security Briefing
Thursday, September 10th, 10:00am - 11:15am - VIA ZOOM

This annual program is an opportunity to hear a security update from our local and federal law enforcement officers prior to the High Holy Day season. County Executive George Latimer will be speaking, as well as representatives from the Westchester Intelligence Center, the Westchester DA, local police, Community Security Initiative (A joint program of the UJA, JCRC-NY, and Westchester Jewish Council) and the Westchester Jewish Council. COVID-19 specific challenges will be addressed. 

There will be Q&A during the briefing. Please feel free to submit questions in advance to

From a community security perspective, we ask that each synagogue and Jewish organization with a facility in Westchester continue to be represented at these briefings to stay updated and continue to strengthen relationships with our partners in law enforcement. We appreciate your ongoing support.

Please register in advance for this webinar:
As always and per protocol, please report any security concerns immediately to your local Police Department and then to the Council for follow up.

Please send any security questions/concerns to
visit the full Community Calendar at

A Different Yizkor: Dealing with Abrupt Loss

Join this program today, September 3rd at 4pm which is presented by the New York Board of Rabbis and Plaza Jewish Community Chapel (Council member). It is open to the community as well as to clergy. Please register here.
Join Nadav Shachmon, Community Shaliach on September 4th as he takes you on a virtual tour of Jerusalem.

Click here for the zoom link.

For more information, email Nadav Shachmon
Emotional Challenges and Emotional Wellbeing for Grandparents and Family Members During the Covid19 Pandemic

 The Covid19 pandemic has fostered emotional challenges for the young and old. Parents and grandparents face their own fears and concerns and worry about the emotional wellbeing of their children and grandchildren.

The Jewish Grandparents Network and the Blue Dove Foundation are pleased to present a two-part series to help guide grandparents and family members in identifying and addressing emotional problems and exploring approaches to promoting emotional well-being in ourselves and our grandchildren.
Each session will encourage questions and, additionally, participants will be invited to join small group discussions following the presentations.

Sign up here for the presentations.

Israel Bonds Evening with Renowned Chef Michael Solomonov
Israel Bonds (Council member) is hosting an event with renowned Israel Chef and Entrepreneur on Thursday, September 10, 2020. For more information, please email

Please register here.
Thank you to our member organizations that shared their organizational updates with us.


  • Beth El Synagogue Center welcomes Rabbi Jessica Fisher and Cantor Gabriela Schvarts to our team. We are thrilled they have joined us and look forward to their many contributions to our community.
  • Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester has a new president, Rhonda Regan. She began her term in June 2020.
  • Westchester Reform Temple is happy to announce that Danielle Rodnizki, Cantorial Intern at Central Synagogue in New York City for the past two years, will join WRT’s Clergy team as Assistant Cantor as of July 1, 2020. Danielle will be ordained as Cantor by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York this spring..
  • Jewish Deaf (and Hard-of-Hearing) Resource Center, Inc. (JDRC) in partnership with the wider Jewish Deaf community has formed a national ASL online Havurah. Information about services and workshops can be sent to People studying ASL are welcome to join as all services are voice interpreted and captioned.  
  • Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El welcome our new president, Michael Luskin. 
  • Westchester Jewish Center welcomes Assistant Rabbi Cornelia Dalton
  • Hillels of Westchester (HOW) is thrilled to welcome two energetic, local professionals to our team! Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, HOW was able to grow our staff! Our dynamic team will be engaging college students from our campuses and the Westchester community. If you have a college student in your life, please connect him/her/them with our team. We are here to support Jewish life for every student in our midst.
Gal Elimelech (she/hers), Program and Engagement Coordinator, comes to HOW after beginning her career at Baruch College Hillel. An Israeli-American living in New Rochelle, Gal brings her passion for Israeli life, culture and Hebrew into every aspect of her work. 
Say shalom to Gal at
Hannah Stein (she/hers), Springboard Social Justice Fellow, comes to HOW as our first Springboard Fellow. Hannah is part of a cohort of young professionals elevating social justice, Jewish education and innovation on more than 40 campuses nationwide. Hannah's passion for healthy, equitable society is based in her commitment to tikkun olam. Hannah grew up at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains and currently lives in Hastings-on-Hudson. Say shalom to Hannah at

  • After a thorough, nationwide search, Temple Emanu-El has found the ideal leader for their religious school: Naomi Fabes. Naomi is thrilled to join the team at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester as their Director of Education. She is passionate about crafting meaningful experiences that allow families of all ages to find their connection to Judaism in a personal and authentic way. To read more about Naomi, please click here.

Vicki Prunofsky is now in her second term as congregation president at Hebrew Congregation of Somers.
Yasher koach to Marisa Fernandez (they/them), of Hillels of Westchester who was promoted to the position of Jewish Life Coordinator. Wish Marisa mazel tov at
Kudos to Award-Winning Leaders at United Hebrew

United Hebrew of New Rochelle (Council member) is proud to announce that Rita Mabli, President and CEO, has received the prestigious McKnight’s Woman of Distinction, which recognizes her extraordinary leadership and contributions to the long-term care industry. In addition, we are pleased to note the appointment of Christine Sanders as Administrator of United Hebrew’s skilled nursing facility, and Pam Peterkin-White as Vice President of Human Resources. 

Plaza Jewish Community Chapel (Council member) is happy to announce it's Phase III reopening. As we are always looking to ensure the safety of our community, staff, and clergy, let us share with you some precautions we have taken to provide you peace of mind during this time. Please click here to learn more.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns that you may have.
Thank you and be well - The Plaza Staff.

UJA Volunteer Opportunities - Help from Home
 We created a new way to connect with those in need in our local community through our Help from Home initiative. You can also 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. 
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 Roundtables:

Synagogue Executive Directors - weekly
Youth Professionals: Tuesday September 8
Marketing Roundtable - coming in the fall

Contact the Council office at (914) 328-7001 or for information on these and other Roundtables--a key offering of the Westchester Jewish Council.
Plaza Jewish Community Chapel (Council member) is happy to send calendars to those who request.

Simply email and in the subject put “calendar”.
Send us your home address and we will happily mail you a calendar. 
This year, to protect the health of our community, rather than visiting older adults in person to share companionship and a package of treats for Rosh Hashanah, Dorot (Council member) is asking volunteers to create handmade cards to show we care. Click on the image above for cardmaking instructions.

For more information, contact our Westchester Director Cippi Harte • 914-573-8906
Click here to learn about Westchester Jewish Community Services (Council member) new virtual programming to support the community during challenging times.
Sessions marked CLOSED are no longer open to additional participants.
Foremost Caterers is available to cater your Rosh Hashanah meals.

Click here for their menu.

We're all about making Israel your first destination once travel is back. For 18-32 year olds, Birthright Israel is something that shouldn't be missed & is the way to get there.

For more information, please click here.
Free Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Services
(ages 18-30)

Your Global Passport to a 1000 Synagogues - (London, Budapest, New York, and More)  - Across the Globe or Around the Corner. 
Visit website: “If you know someone, tell someone
Mazal Tov to:

Ella Cohen daughter of Emily & Richard Cohen and
Zach Goldstein son of Tara Slone-Goldstein and Wayne Goldstein (former Council board member) on their engagement.

Condolences to:

Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg, Rabbi of Young Israel of White Plains, on the passing of his father, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg.
The JCC of Mid-Westchester is looking for an On-Site Learning Pod Leader.
The primary goal of a Pod Leader is to support a small group of children (K-8th) as they navigate their online learning platforms (from the school in which they are currently enrolled) onsite at the JCC of Mid-Westchester. Paired with another staff member, the Pod Leader will be responsible for maintaining the classroom schedule, providing individual assistance to students in accessing their remote learning, and helping provide a nurturing environment to students. The Pod Leader will also be responsible for implementing Covid-19 safety protocols and safe/age appropriate recreational activities to program participates.

For more information, please click here.

HOW TO APPLY: If interested in the position, please reply with your resume. NO PHONE CALLS.
The JCC of Mid-Westchester is looking for a Director of Facilities which is part of the Senior Management Team. The Director of Facilities supervises the daily maintenance of the 75,000 square foot building. This role supervises Maintenance and Housekeeping staff and outside consultants and service providers.

For more details, please click here.
Westchester Jewish Council Teen Organizations include:
Thank you to the Jewish Education Project for working so closely with our Teen professionals and volunteers!
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 September 17, 2020