The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

October 1, 2020 13 Tishrei 5781


The Jewish holiday of Sukkot has many wonderful traditions, one being the building of a sukkah/outdoor tent. These temporary dwellings remind us to be grateful for the shelter of our homes. For many this year, our homes have become vital places to connect and gather with neighbors, family and friends in a safe manner, whether in the backyard, in an open garage or through a window. Our homes have also provided us with a place to participate in the many online programs being offered in the community and beyond. There are many interesting programs next week from a virtual wine tasting to a program for newly registered voters, so read below for more details and as always, be sure to visit our calendar for the latest events.

We are grateful to Stuart P. Skolnick, Chair of the Westchester Jewish Council's Synagogue Executive Directors Roundtable and Executive Director at Temple Beth Abraham for sharing a holiday message with the community.

Whether you dwell in an elaborate booth on a mountaintop or one that is simply designed in your backyard, we wish you a Chag Sameach/Happy Holiday!

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
Dear Westchester Community,

As the Chair of the Westchester Synagogue Executive Directors Roundtable, I bring you best wishes from my colleagues for a Shana Tovah and a beautiful holiday season! You can think of Executive Directors, Temple Administrators, Office Managers, and Operations Directors as modern day Levites. We all work tirelessly behind the scenes tending to the daily business of making sure that our congregations run smoothly. Although our names may appear on synagogue sign boards and letterheads, our work supports the more visible members of the Staff – The Clergy, Educators, and Pre-School/ECC directors – and more -who form the backbone of synagogue life. With colleagues from a wide array of backgrounds from our previous careers, we are the generalists who have expertise in areas such as facility management, insurance, human resources and labor practices, scheduling, and finance just to name a few. We make sure that all of a synagogue’s programs are supported, that they have clean, safe, and comfortable spaces in which to operate, that monies are collected and disbursed as needed, and that everything comes off without a hitch. And we are all fortunate to have each other as a support system, educational resource, and endless source of forms, practices, and human relations knowledge.
You might also think of us as carrying the mantle of Joshua and Caleb – the Israelites who brought back a favorable report about the Promised Land. We are the scouts who go into the field to learn about current conditions in a variety of areas and disciplines, do the research to bring back facts to our professional staff members and lay leaders, and who are always looking for creative ways to solve problems so that what at first might seem too daunting a challenge becomes an everyday occurrence. This year, like no other before, has challenged all of us to work in different ways, to create new models, and to adapt rapidly to changing conditions and health and safety guidelines. The success of this year’s High Holyday services and offerings in many different forms has demonstrated our abilities to work with our Clergy, Staff, and lay leaders to the benefit of the community at large.

It's my honor to chair this group of dedicated professionals and help support their mission to improve synagogue life and to bring all of you their best wishes for a New Year filled with good health, fulfillment and peace.

Stuart P. Skolnick
Temple Beth Abraham
Chair, Westchester Executive Directors Roundtable

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 to come soon.

If you would like to make a donation towards this free and wonderful community event, please click the button below.
"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 for follow up. Stay alert, prepared and safe.

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

Nonprofit Leadership Summit 2020

United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s Nonprofit Leadership Summit 2020 will be held virtually Monday, October 5th through Friday, October 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each day will have a 1:1 speed networking session followed by a keynote presentation and ending with a Q&A session. The event is $25 for a weeklong pass thanks to the generous underwriting of TD Bank. Continuing education credits and certificates of completion are available to those who attend all of the keynote presentations. Learn more here.

Elliot Forchheimer represented the Council on the planning committee for this event.
Lets bring in Simchat Torah with a L'Chaim!
Hosted by The Blue Card (Council member) and 3GNY

Swirl, smell, and taste three high quality wines in our virtual Wine Tasting Event on Thursday, October 8th from 7pm to 8pm!
Profits will be donated to Blue Card and 3GNY so make sure to tell everyone!
Voting with a Feminist Lens: A Workshop Created by and for Teens
Featuring Danielle Gruber, Kol Koleinu Fellow

The purpose of Voting with a Feminist Lens is to educate soon-to-be voters and newly registered voters on the importance of not only voting but also making their votes meaningful. Over the course of three hour-long sessions, we cover the importance of voting (with emphasis on the history of the women’s suffrage movement); the logistics of voting and voter registration; how women’s rights relate to social, political, and economic issues; and choosing a candidate that represents your values. This workshop is non-partisan and welcomes diverse perspectives.
The sessions will be offered virtually over three Thursdays (October 8, 15, and 22) from 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST, in partnership with Union for Reform Judaism and United Synagogue Youth. We welcome teens of all genders to join, learn and be inspired.
For more information, please click here.
Pardes, a Council member, will be holding a learning seminar from December 27th to December 31st. The twice-yearly Pardes Learning Seminar brings together community leaders, professionals and lifelong learners, who wish to study classical Jewish sources within the landscape of Israel. Participants grapple with ancient texts and current issues, visit historical sites and learn from the best educators in Israel. This year's topic of discussion will be "Who Am I? The Complexity of Identity in the 21st Century." Click here for more details.
Areyvut, a Council member, shared a resource for Sukkot which includes questions to engage family members and friends. Click here to access the complete packet.
Know someone who is struggling financially? - HFLS can help.

The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) (Council member) provides no-fee, interest-free loans to low- and moderate-income residents of Westchester, Long Island, and NYC. For more than 128 years, HFLS has served people of all backgrounds, regardless of religion, immigration status, or credit history.

Our goal is to help borrowers achieve financial stability and access opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Whether it's medical bills, overdue rent, moving costs, college or vocational school tuition, legal fees, small business expenses, high-interest debt payments, or other financial needs, HFLS can help.

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

Now more than ever, we all need to be connected virtually -- especially seniors who are isolated at home or children who are unable to afford a device and need to connect to their classrooms. Without a device, these vital connections are impossible.
So we're stepping in to help. Our goal is to provide devices that will be a lifeline for seniors and children in this unprecedented moment. Seniors will be able to connect to family members, friends, cultural and social programs, and telehealth. Children will be able to fully connect to their classrooms for optimal learning.
If you have an extra device or would even like to purchase a new one, please do a mitzvah and donate it to someone in need. Just click here to find out how.
Questions? Contact Tali Strom at or 914.385.2118.
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:

Mosaic LGBTQ Roundtable - October 21st at 7:30pm
Synagogue Executive Directors - weekly
Synagogue Presidents+1-in October
Security - in October
Greening Roundtable - coming soon
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.
The Jewish Agency for Israel is looking for Israeli teens to help with a leadership group in Westchester

The first meeting will be held on October 18th. For more information, please email
Nominations Are Open for the
38th Senior Hall of Fame
that will be held on Dec. 4, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer invites you to submit a nomination to the Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, now in its 38th year. Deadline for submission is October 16th. Please click here for more details.
Refuah Shelemah to:

Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg of the Young Israel of White Plains. His Hebrew name is Shmuel Ben Chava Leah.

Condolences to:

the family of Moshe Avital, who passed away at age 92.
Jewish National Fund seeks to recruit a Director for fundraising and community building activities throughout Westchester County & Southern Connecticut. This hire will be responsible for cultivating donors, maintaining existing relationships, and supporting the Tri State Campaign Team in all of its efforts. Please have at least 4 years of relative experience in fundraising/sales. This position is based in Westchester and candidates must have knowledge of the Jewish community in Westchester County/Southern Connecticut

About Jewish National Fund-USA:
Unparalleled in the Jewish philanthropic world, Jewish National Fund-USA’s strategic vision has been and always will be, to ensure a strong, secure, and prosperous future for the land and people of Israel. 

For more information, please contact Michael Feinman @Mfeinman@JNF.ORG
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 8, 2020