The Westchester Jewish Council's
Community Connection

February 4, 2021 22 Shevat 5781


Thank you one final time for the wonderful community support that made our 45th Anniversary Gala a tremendous success!
Full details may be found within, but the AUCTION SITE is open until Monday morning February 8th. CLICK HERE for the final chance to bid on items in the auction.

In other news, the next program in our monthly Israel Connection Series will take place on February 23rd featuring our esteemed member organization and presenter, the Shalom Hartman Institute's Rani Jaeger. Details are outlined below.

We are starting to plan for the 26th Annual Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony which will take place on Tuesday, March 16th. We will be honoring 26 devoted community leaders and hope you will join us that evening. Registration and honoree details can be found within.

From our elected officials, this month we celebrate Black History Month. See a statement below from our County Executive, the Hon. George Latimer. In addition, see an Op-Ed from our new Westchester County District Attorney, the Hon. Mimi Rocah.

Finally, a fun fact for those that do not consider winter their favorite season - according to the 2021 Farmers Almanac, yesterday was the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Spring is nearer than yesterday!

And for those who watch (even if only commercials), happy Superbowl Sunday!

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.
Thank you for celebrating with us at the 45th Anniversary Gala!

We would like to give a special thanks to Lisa Roberts, Harriet Kaplan Suvall and Marc Suvall for allowing us to honor them. We would also like to thank meteorologist Lee Goldberg, and Bruce Sabath and Dan Micciche for providing the musical entertainment throughout the evening and of course, we could not have done this without our dedicated Gala Team - Melissa Baer, Elizabeth Lampert, Debra Abrahams Weiner, William Schrag, Nancy Zaro, Aaron Fleishaker, Michael Mittelman, Gigi Zeller, Jeremy Abramson, Michelle Gregson, Bonnie Hagen, Jeff Kohn and Arlene Kleinberg. Now the planning can begin for next year!

If you missed the festivities or would like to watch the program again, please click here.

To view the Journal click here.

And thanks for the super feedback. Here are two excerpts below.

" I thought the pacing was perfect, I enjoyed the musical interludes, and most significantly it was wonderful to be reminded of the broader Jewish community with which we have largely lost touch in this pandemic. I look forward to the day we can once again gather in person, but last night was lovely."


"I just want you to know that I thought tonight’s event was absolutely perfect. It was the right combination of entertainment and speeches, the speeches were the right length, tone was wonderful. Kol Hakavod. Eight years ago this was my very first event in Westchester. I recall saying then and I continue to say now that the Westchester Jewish Council is one of the best things about the Westchester Jewish community. Thank you all for your work on behalf of the community."

Honoree Lisa Roberts
Honoree Harriet Kaplan Suvall
Honoree Marc Suvall
Bruce Sabath and Dan Micciche
Visit our brand new first ever auction site which is filled with
exciting items for everyone including sports experiences and memorabilia,
travel, whimsy, food and more.
Visit and have fun bidding!  
This website will stay open until February 8, 2021 at 11 AM.  
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
"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.

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)

Some Upcoming Virtual Council Roundtables:

Greening Roundtable - Tuesday February 9th
Israel Roundtable-Tuesday February 23rd, noon
Synagogue Presidents - Tuesday Feb 23rd
Marketing Roundtable - coming soon.
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

Eldridge Street Synagogue Virtual Tour 
Friday, February 12, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Travel back to a time when the Statue of Liberty greeted new Americans and pushcarts crowded the streets. Join us to explore the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first sacred site built by Eastern European Jewish immigrants. This magnificent National Historic Landmark has been beautifully restored and today is a touchstone to the Lower East Side immigrant experience. 
To register and receive the link, please click: Eldridge Street 
Lasting Impressions: DOROT’s Legacy Project is generously supported by a grant from the Keller-Shatanoff Foundation. 

Meet the New JTS Chancellor, Shuly Rubin Schwartz

NEW DATE - Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Chancellor Shuly Schwartz will discuss building Jewish community and inspiring Jewish life. How do we nurture Jewish community that is deep and lasting? How do Jewish text and tradition offer meaning to modern Jews? She will be in dialogue with Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement.

Please register at Please note, one sign up registers you for all of the sessions.
What Makes MeTic: Comedy, Disability and the Inclusive Community
Join Beth El Synagogue Center (Member synagogue) on March 13th from 7:30 to 8:45pm. It’s sure to be good: laughter and learning about inclusion from a very funny young woman with Tourette Syndrome. 

"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 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.
How to Raise an Anti-Racist Child 
Sunday February 7, 11am for Families 
Wednesday February 10, 8 pm for Parents 
Join UJA Westchester Young Families and UJA grantee Repair the World for a two-part workshop designed to guide parents in pro-actively raising children to understand racism and discrimination, modeling kindness and tolerance, and helping our children be a force for anti-racist change in the world.  
·        Sunday's family event will set the stage for these conversations, allowing families to engage in an interactive program and lay the groundwork for promoting racial equity and inclusion, all through the lens of community service. 
·        Wednesday's follow-up session for parents will provide tools and insight on how to talk to your kids about racial justice and provide support as we learn how to navigate these issues and difficult conversations.  

County Executive George Latimer Statement on
Black History Month 2021
“Each year we designate this month to recognize, celebrate and honor the extraordinary history and accomplishments of African-American culture. This month is also a time to reflect on the injustices faced by African-Americans in our nation’s history. Injustices that this past year shined an incomparable light on. We must commit to take further action. We must honor the memories of those tragically taken from us by fixing these injustices. A path forward together does not come without righting what was wrong. It is on all of us to find that path and take it.”
Here is a link to a recent USA Today Op-Ed from our new Westchester DA Mimi Rocah

Mazal Tov to:

William (Council officer) and Deborah Schrag on the engagement of their daughter Suzanne to Josh Epstein, son of Eli Epstein and Laurie Bilger Epstein of New Rochelle.  

Condolences to:

the family of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Freilich, Rabbi of the former Congregation Brothers of Israel in Mt. Vernon, NY on his passing.

Guy Shmuel (Westchester/Riverdale chair of CSS) and family on the passing of Guy’s mother, Rebecca.
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 11, 2021