The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

February 18, 2021 6 Adar 5781


Purim is around the corner and we have some fun events to share below including a hamantaschen tasting event this evening organized by the JCRC of NY and co-sponsored by the Council in which NYS Assembly Members will rank their favorites. Details here.

It is not too late to register for our next Israel Connection Lunch Time Series event which will take place this Tuesday, February 23rd featuring Rani Jaeger of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Please save the date for the UJA and Westchester Jewish Council's Annual Government Relations Briefing which will be held virtually from 8-9am on April 7th. More details about this event and the speakers will be available soon.

We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Rabbi Emeritus Nahum Shargel of the Jewish Community Center of Harrison on the passing of his wife Baila, z"l. Condolences as well to his children Rabbi Dina Shargel (of Temple Israel Center of White Plains), Raphael Shargel and Rebecca Shargel and all family members and friends.

We would like to extend our condolences to our new representative to Congress, Congressman Jamaal Bowman on the loss of his loving mother, Pauline Bowman. We wish the Bowman family comfort. If you would like to share condolences with him, please click this link -

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!
Lisa Roberts, President
Lori Kurlander, Communications Manager
Elliot Forchheimer, CEO

(The Council is financially supported by donations from individuals,
dues from 132 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.

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The 26th Annual Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony
March 16, 2021, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Ever year, the Westchester Jewish Council honors deserving member organizations and their leaders with the Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Award (DSA). Julian Y. Bernstein was a former Westchester Jewish Council board member, who was a visionary communal leader. Julian believed that doing tzedakah was just as important as giving tzedakah. In tribute to his passion and devotion to the Jewish community, we honor those who follow in his footsteps. 

To view the complete invitation and list of honorees, please click on the image.

To register and/or make a donation in honor of one of this year’s honorees, please click HERE. The event is free and open to all.
The Westchester Jewish Council's 
Greening Roundtable 
invites you and your community to
The Promise of the Land: 
Greening Our Passover Seder
with Rabbi Ellen Bernstein
 Artwork by Galia Goodman 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 6:00pm - 7:00pm 

Our tradition has a profound respect for the whole natural world. We need to live in a reciprocal relationship with the land and earth and be respectful and caring. It is an essential part of our Jewish identity and our role in the world. Our Seders can reflect those vital connections with our rituals and our Passover narratives. 
Rabbi Bernstein is helping seed and support family, congregational and community wide, ecologically rooted Passover Seders around the country and across the globe through her thoughtful teachings and suggestions.
Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, the author of The Promise of the Land: A Passover Haggadah, has been called "the birth mother of the Jewish environmental movement." She founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization, in 1988. Her books include The Splendor of Creation, Ecology & the Jewish Spirit, and Let the Earth Teach You Torah. 
For more information email: or visit
Resources regarding the COVID 19 vaccine from
211 Hudson Valley Region

List of specific sites (hospitals, pharmacies, NYS vaccine sites) in Westchester where eligible persons can go to receive the vaccine after making an appointment.

Town of Greenburgh’s program where community members are matched with elderly residents to help them navigate the online NYS system for making vaccination appointments.

If you are age 65 to 75 or are eligible under another category in Phase 1a or Phase 1b, you can sign up for the Health Department’s Alert system, which will alert you when more vaccine doses become available.
-         To be clear, this will not sign you up for an appointment, this will only sign you up to be alerted when there are appointments available. The Department cannot set up the appointment system until we have confirmation of receiving the vaccine.
-         If you do not fall under Phase 1a or Phase 1b, you will not be able to sign up.
-         Going forward, this link will be updated to accommodate further phases as those become better defined. 
Tuesday, February 23rd @ Noon-1:pm
"THE Question of the Coming Israeli Election-
An Unexpected Answer."
Join Rani Jaeger of the Shalom Hartman Institute (Council member organization) for an exploration and conversation about what is truly at stake in Israeli politics and how Jewish identity has been transformed in Israel amidst political polarization and partisanship.

Register in advance for this meeting. Please click here.

"Israel Connection", a monthly virtual series of the Westchester Jewish Council, offers presentations and discussions on diverse topics of interest regarding the culture, politics and society of Israel presented by our member organizations. All welcome.
"The International Criminal Court’s dangerous decision: Israel is under threat from the world body"
By Israel Nitzan
New York Daily News
Feb 11, 2021

Last Friday, The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague had asserted that it has jurisdiction in relation to issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While it is only a pre-trial decision it is deeply flawed, troublesome and confirms Israel’s long-standing concerns that the court is susceptible to politicization.

The ICC was established following the horrors of the Holocaust, to deal with the worst cases of mass atrocities that shock the conscience of humanity, and with cases that could not be addressed within any other framework. It only has authority over cases where states choose to delegate their own criminal jurisdiction to the court.

Simply put, the ICC does not possess universal jurisdiction. In fact, the court wholly lacks jurisdiction over the so-called “situation in Palestine.” The Rome Statute clearly stipulates that the court only has jurisdiction in cases brought before it by sovereign states; a sovereign Palestinian State does not exist, and never has.

To read the article in full, please click here -


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)

Upcoming Virtual Council Roundtables:
Synagogue Presidents - Tuesday February 23rd
Virtual Gala Roundtable - Wednesday February 24
Greening Roundtable - Tuesday March 2nd
Security Roundtable - Thursday, March 11th
Greening Roundtable - Tuesday, April 6th
Youth Professional Roundtable - Tuesday, April 6th
Mosaic Roundtable - Wednesday, April 21st
Marketing Roundtable - coming soon
Seniors - coming in March
Contact the Council office at (914) 328-7001 or for information on these and other Roundtables--a key offering of the Westchester Jewish Council.
visit the full Community Calendar at

Join our friends at the JCRC of NY in celebrating
The New York State Assembly's
Favorite Hamantaschen

Today, February 18, 2021 at 8pm

NYS Assembly Members will sample a variety of hamantaschen flavors and rank their favorites.

Please register here to join the fun!
Umasking Purim with Pardes!
Bible - Mishnah - Jewish Thought
February 15th to 26th

Help your neighbors in need! Personal Product Pouches for Purim
Registration is open; kit pick-up begins February 22

Join the Shames JCC on the Hudson in collaboration with the Rivertowns Jewish Consortium to fill pouches with personal care products and distribute to those in need. Kits will be picked up here and will include: a pouch, a list of care products for those in need, a kid’s Purim activity book, and educational material. Pouches will be distributed to the following organizations: The Coachman Family Center (White Plains), The Oasis Shelter (New Rochelle), and Midnight Run (Dobbs Ferry). Then use Zoom and/or Facebook live to join Rabbi Ben Newman and others for a community event on February 28; 2:00 PM.

Click here for more information and to register.
Hillels of Westchester is sponsoring a virtual program on Feb 23rd at 7:00 PM. It's a virtual photography tour of Israel through Artists 4 Israel. It will be touring through Israel and looking at its many communities and minorities as well as some of the more popular spots. 
Here is the link to register for the event: 
Making a Megillah of the Megillah?
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud Rabbinics

The story of Purim, contained in the Scroll of Esther, is entertaining and dramatic. Jews have, through the ages, found ways to illustrate and dramatize the Purim story in the margins of the Megillah itself. Examine decorated Megillot from the collection of the library of JTS, considering how artists of the past used their skills to instruct and entertain us.

Please register at  
Shabbat @Home
Friday, February 26, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Join us for a musical Shabbat experience that's appropriate for absolutely everyone. Carla will lead us in songs, nigunim and the opportunity to reflect on our weeks. Led by Tkiya's Carla Friend, Musical Director of Kol DOROT. 
To register and receive the link, please click: Shabbat @Home 
Greenburgh Hebrew Center Green Team & Religious School PTA Present:
A 2-Part Series

JANUARY 24, 11:00 AM


For more information, contact
11th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert (Online)
Saturday, March 6 at 8:00 pm

Woodlands Community Temple's concert this year will include entertainment from Elaa Arian, Deborah Sacks Mintz and Chava Mirel,

If you have any questions, please email
CAJAC (Community Alliance for Jewish-Affiliated Cemeteries) a Council member is holding a gala event (virtual) on March 10th

To RSVP, please click here by March 5th. 

To learn more about CAJAC, please visit
 Do you know a bright, curious high school student
who cares about Israel and fighting antisemitism? 
Application for the 2021–2022 StandWithUs
Kenneth Leventhal High School Internship is OPEN! 
The StandWithUs Kenneth Leventhal High School Internship is a college-accredited, yearlong internship for high school juniors and seniors. The goal of the program is to prepare students who are already passionate about Israel to be leaders for Israel in their current communities and on their future college campuses. 
When the pandemic is behind us, the student interns will attend training conferences in Los Angeles, where they will hear from experts in Israel education. They will be mentored throughout the year in Israel education and leadership tools as they plan and run Israel educational programs for their peers via different social and academic outlets. They will become part of a national network of teens, all committed to Israel education and fighting antisemitism. For more information about the program, check out our website at
If you know a highly qualified student who would be perfect for the program, please fill out THIS nomination form by 11:59 PM PST on March 12. 
If you have any questions about the program,
please email, 
and watch THIS video to learn more.
HFLS (Hebrew Free Loan Society) recently made some pretty significant changes to the HFLS loan process and programs (some as recent as last week), with the overarching goal of making HFLS loans more accessible and helpful to people who need them.

Here's a quick summary of the key changes we've made;

· Fewer guarantors, more money - General Needs Loans and Coronavirus Loans, both of which can be used for any need or purpose, now provide up to $7,500 with just ONE guarantor.
· Online applications - we have new and improved online applications for both programs above; links are at the bottom of each program page. 
· A three-month grace period before repayments begin - this is across all loan programs. 
· MUCH faster loan process - getting an HFLS loan is quicker and easier than it's ever been:
o All loan interviews are conducted by phone (instead of in person), saving applicants a lot of schlepping time and eliminating a big barrier for many Westchester residents.
o Loan closing paperwork is now signed electronically (through DocuSign or email) with no original signed documents required. 
o Loan funds are deposited directly into borrowers checking accounts, giving them access to the funds weeks before they would if we were still sending checks. (Of course, if someone prefers to receive a check by mail, we can accommodate them.)

For more information, please click here.

I am Mary Lee, owner and founder of Innovative Microsystems Consulting, Inc. We have been in business for over 2 decades providing technology solutions for non-profit organizations in the NYC Metro area and Westchester. Most of our clients have always been non-profits and we love helping organizations come up with new ideas about using their technology or creating new technology to help them fulfill their missions. Our expertise are with computer networks, telephone systems, A/V for events and conference rooms and security. We are also very familiar with many different software packages that are useful to non-profits. Please see our website for more information about what we do, Please read our Blog – How to increase your productivity by 44% for less than $125!
"By failing to prepareyou are preparing to fail" B. Franklin
We share a February 11th article regarding security which appeared in the algemeiner - Jews ‘Taking Ownership of Their Own Security’ Is Key to Countering Antisemitic Threat in US, Top Community Official Argues, by Ben Cohen. Please click here to read the article.


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.

Please send any security questions/concerns to

At times, it feels like the whole world has moved online – and we know that most of us can use a little help navigating the online world at times. Now, more than ever, a bit of technical assistance could make all the difference . 
GOOD NEWS! Help is just a phone call away 
Tech Helpline is a great way to get personalized, 1:1 support over the phone for help with things like: 
How do I open an attachment? What happened to my WIFI? How does someone see me on a Zoom call? Or, what’s Zoom? And how do I get it? I touched something, and now the screen is blank 
Tech Helpline is free, easy to call, and available in English, Russian and Spanish. So, call your family when you want a good schmooze, and call us to get the 1:1 help you need to feel comfortable and confident online. 
For more information, please click here.
Registration is now open for a very important program of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Isabel Wilkerson and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl discuss Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,
a #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club pick. 

Join Wilkerson and Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi at New York’s Central Synagogue and the first Asian-American person to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America, for a conversation about Caste, the legacy of the Holocaust, and what lies under the surface of American life today. 
This program is made possible by the Marcia Horowitz Education Fund for Cross-Cultural Awareness.
Registration is free but the Museum suggests a $10 donation to enable it to present programs like this one.
Westchester Reform Temple has the following job openings:

Accounting & Payroll Manager
Westchester Reform Temple Position Summary: The Accounting & Payroll Manager supervises the financial and payroll operations of the temple consistent with generally accepted accounting principles, implementing sound internal controls and financial management practices. Reporting to the Executive Director, this professional will work with staff and volunteer leadership in managing the General Ledger and Balance Sheet resources of the temple, including preparing the annual budget, recording financial transactions, reporting financial results, tracking cash and investment accounts, expertise with the financial database, as well as being primary liaison with external auditors. This professional is also the lead staff person responsible for all payroll, retirement, insurance and benefits items, including employee enrollment, adjustment and termination within these programs. Please click here for more information.

Development Director
Development Director is a part-time position responsible for coordinating and facilitating fundraising efforts. The Development Director will report to the Executive Director and will work in collaboration with the Board and the Executive Director to set annual fundraising goals. The Development Director will engage select board members, other lay leaders and the clergy in pursuing and achieving annual fundraising goals. This position will have a flexible schedule and the ability to work remotely, in part, but will require working some evenings. Please click here for more details.

Full-time Custodian for Building and Grounds
WRT is an active religious organization with programs, classes and Services running 7 days a week. The Campus consists of two buildings and extensive grounds. WRT is looking for a hard working custodian with strong English language skills, who has the ability to provide basic but thorough cleaning, and program set-ups. Please click here for more details.
Condolences to:

The entire Shargel family (including Rabbi Nahum Shargel, Rabbi Emeritus of the Jewish Community Center of Harrison, and Rabbi Dina Shargel former Ritual Director at Temple Israel Center of White Plains), on the passing of Baila Shargel (z"l)

Congressman Jamal Bowman on the passing of his mother, Pauline.

Special thank you to:

Gary Wartell of SKYVIEW WINES AND SPIRITS for their Gala donation. Skyview Wines can be reached at skyviewwine or 1-888-759-8466.
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 -
For a complete and timely schedule and other television providers, go to 

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.

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 February 25, 2021