From time to time, various neighborhoods are featured in The Jewish Week. This week we are covering the Upper East Side. Future neighborhood sections will be Forest Hills on November 2 and Flushing on November 30
Chabad of the Upper East Side
“I’m so glad its Monday. There’s Hebrew school today!” shouted Samson.
All you have to do is walk into the beautiful Schneerson Center for Jewish life on Seventy Seventh Street to feel the vibrant energy of Chabad of the Upper East Side.
“When I walk into the building I feel this powerful light; it extends to the whole neighborhood”, said Joseph Aronow, a founding member.
To see it is to believe it. The classrooms are bustling with happy children. The synagogue is full of animated study groups. Visitors drop in to ask about mezuzahs, koshering their homes or any other number of questions.
The Upper East Side, the most affluent Jewish community in the world, boasts a Jewish population of 70,000 Jews and theChabad Center aims to offer something for everyone.
Anytime, day or night, something is going on; They have a kollel, Preschool, Hebrew school, Friendship circle for families with special needs, a vessel mikvah, and adult education classes. The Simchat Torah Street Festivals and public Menorah lightings done in conjunction with Kehilath Jeshurun Beginners Program have become an icon of pride and unity. Thousands view “Kabbalah and the Psychology of the Soul”, a weekly cable show. Their Tanya web site, lessonsintanya.com draws a worldwide audience in the tens of thousands. The Jacques and Hanna Schwalbe Mikvah, arguably the most beautiful Mikvah in the world, services 400 women per month.
“Chabad changed my life, I am so grateful”, a young father stated at Chabad’s recent parent’s night.
What is it about Chabad of the Upper East Side that draws such powerful sentiments?
“Chabad encompasses a deep intellectual approach to Torah coupled with a fiery, passionate, love for all Jews. A Jew, is a Jew, is a Jew,” says Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski, executive director of Chabad Upper East Side. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ob”m wanted to personally be there for every Jew so he inspired us to inspire others.”
This week marks twenty years since Rabbi Ben Tzion and Chanie Krasniasnki moved their young family to the Upper East Side to establish the Chabad Center. Chabad will mark this milestone with a Dinner Concert and Auction starring Avraham Fried, March 10th, 2013 at Guastavino’s, 409 E. 59th Street. Visit ChabadUpperEastSide.com for more information.
Park East Synagogue
Is a historic landmark serving the Jewish community of New York for 123 years. This eclectic congregation is known for being an inclusive friendly, close-knit family for Jews of all ages and religious backgrounds.
In the words of Rabbi Arthur Schneier, its internationally renowned spiritual leader, the congregation is “A tent that embraces all—Ahavat Yisrael, love of all Jews and love for humanity.”
Pope Benedict XVI visited Park East Synagogue, the first papal visit to a synagogue in the United States. With sister congregations in Moscow, Rome, Shanghai, and Beijing, as well as congregants representing a wide range of countries and cultures, Park East Synagogue has been the scene for many international and communal actions and initiatives.
On Shabbat and holidays, congregants are treated to world class cantorial selections by our cantors Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, who has awed people across the globe with his magnificent, soulful voice, and Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, whose davening inspires the congregation with wonderful melodies, accompanied by the Park East Synagogue choir led by Maestro Russell Ger.
Each month, the synagogue hosts a Friday night dinner lecture series that has featured the Chief Rabbis of Israel, England, Italy, and Russia, as well as best-selling authors and ambassadors of many countries. Park East’s adult education programming also enriches the congregation through classes that explore the Torah and its application to our daily lives, including Daf Yomi, the daily learning of the Talmud.
The Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School (Toddlers—8th grade) represents Rabbi Schneier’s vision to “concentrate on the education of our youth to ensure our future from generation to generation.” The school features a much sought-after Early Childhood program, with Taste of School for toddlers and hands-on learning for children through age 4. With award-winning math and science programs led by first-rate faculty, the school’s rigorous academic curriculum seamlessly integrates with Judaic studies as its philosophy of building proud Jewish leaders is taught through the lens of a global society.
In addition to the Day School, Park East Synagogue offers a Youth Enrichment Center to provide youngsters (ages 5 and up) who attend the finest private and public schools in New York City an in-depth Jewish learning experience, leading to Bar and Bat Mitzvah milestones and beyond. Park East also provides educational Children Services led by Toby Einsidler which are enjoyed by children and their parents, as well as Junior Congregation led by Tamar Schwarzbard, who delves into Torah with older children in a meaningful way.
Park East Synagogue has developed special Jewish educational programming and events for Russian-speaking children and adults, most prominently the Sunday Shkola, which features Russian and English-speaking faculty and is headed by Assistant Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt.
The Synagogue has also been building a vibrant new community of Park East Young Professionals that welcomes professionals in their 20s and 30s to exciting onegs, career panels, Torah and skill classes, and volunteer activities.
While reaching out to young couples and singles, Park East is the home to a large group of Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren. In advance of the annual United Nations Holocaust Commemoration, a Holocaust Commemoration Shabbat service is attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Diplomatic Corps.
For inquiries into Park East Synagogue, school registration, and other featured programs, please contact us:
Park East Synagogue, 163 East 67th Street, 212-737-6900, i…@pesyn.org, www.parkeastsynagogue.org.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School:
Focus on Early Childhood
It is a joy to visit the Early Childhood Center of Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School. Our youngest students, toddlers through pre-kindergartners, feel secure and loved, nurtured in a warm atmosphere that develops trust, social skills, problem solving, risk taking, and higher order thinking skills. The needs of each “whole child”- the social, emotional, behavioral and cognitive, are met by a licensed, professional, experienced staff which recognizes and develops the individual gifts and talents of our children.
Academic excellence begins in preschool with a curriculum devoted to language development, processing, and the development of reasoning and creativity. Learning is experiential and interdisciplinary, centered around the Jewish holidays, Shabbat, the Torah, Israel, and the calendar.
Our children learn Hebrew language and Jewish culture. They celebrate the Shabbat and holidays with music, art, cooking, baking, dramatic play, and dance. Early literacy skills in reading, writing, math and science are fully integrated into each day’s adventures. Curiosity and experimentation are encouraged as our children learn how to learn and develop a love of learning. Additionally, socialization is of primary importance as preschoolers learn through play which promotes social skills, self advocacy and self expression.
The kindergarten experience at Park East combines the best of early childhood with a seamless transition to the primary grades. Periods of exploration through structured and free play are punctuated with Smart Board technology, Pearson’s Success Maker, Singapore Math and Balanced Literacy as well as thematic units in science and social studies, the humanities and arts. Small group learning, hands on experiences, and fun activities and programs camouflage increasingly sophisticated academics in general and Judaic studies. Listening skills, following multi-step directions and organizational skills help turn our children into students who can learn both independently and in a school community. They become ready for first grade in a twenty first century classroom.
Primary grades, one through five, and middle school, grades six through eight, build upon this foundation of excellence with an enriched New York State curriculum which emphasizes interdisciplinary research, writing skills, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and engineering.
We are an award winning math and science school with outstanding art and drama departments as well as music and dance. Judaic Studies incorporates a traditional Day School approach of the textual learning of Torah, Prophets, and Talmud, Hebrew language, and Jewish history. A love of the State of Israel, the land and the people, becomes ingrained through our activities and curriculum.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s vision and presence permeate his school. His is a global approach to building Jewish leaders: excellence in a chosen field, strong moral character and ethics, and involvement in community and world affairs. Our acclaimed International Visitors Program encourages these principles as our older students gain sophistication, awareness, and encouragement.
Please call to schedule a personalized tour. We look forward to meeting you.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School, 212-737-7330, www.raspeds.org, Barbara T. Etra, Principal, Debbie Rochlin, Director of Early Childhood & Admissions
“I was so uplifted by the Shabbat LIVE service I attended recently at Temple Israel of the City of New York and can’t wait for the next one on Nov 2nd. It was awesome! My husband and I came, not knowing what to expect, and we were blown away by the music and spirit of the whole service. It was the most intense Shabbat experience ever! There was so much joy in the singing and they had a full band & back up singers that filled the sanctuary with an incredible sound. It was really exciting! I was able to sing along and enjoyed the variety of music. A few songs into the service, they invited kids to go downstairs for some fun programming called, “Shabbat LIVELY” for little ones and I had wished that I had brought my own children. I definitely will next time. I felt so inspired by the whole night and it is an experience not to be missed. It is so important to me to connect with my faith through prayer and music, so I am grateful for this special Shabbat service that comes at 6:00pm on the first Friday of every month. It is a great way to start a peaceful, happy weekend and a great way to start each month. I’m marking my calendar and will be bringing friends and family with me for future ones to come. They call this service a “musical awakening” and it sure was!!” Dana S.
“I recently moved to the Upper East Side and I found myself alone and without a support system. For years I was an active member of our local Reform congregation and I just couldn’t imagine I would ever find a spiritual home that would rival the congregation I left behind. After acclimating to New York City, and continually lamenting the loss of my family’s synagogue, the parents at my daughter’s new school urged me to call Rabbi Melissa Buyer, Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Israel, “just drop by and meet her” they insisted, and I’m grateful they did. From start to finish my experience at Temple Israel as both a member and parent of a Religious school student has been nothing short of remarkable and frankly, unexpected! Rabbi Buyer took the time to meet with me, listen and respond to my needs and she really seemed to understand the busy and frenetic life of a 21st century family! She assured me Temple Israel of the City of New York could be our new touch stone in the midst of the busy city – and boy was she right! The congregants are grounded, warm and inviting, the clergy are approachable but incredibly talented, the programming multifaceted and dynamic and the education is innovative. My 4th grade daughter is taking an online class! She studies Hebrew and meets her peers and teacher in a virtual classroom – she actually giggles with delight while studying our tradition! And when she’s on-sight, Rabbi Buyer and the new musical artist-in-residence, Sheldon Low create a spiritual and engaging home for my child. You can actually hear a pin drop in one of the Religious School services! We have found our new home and we could not be more satisfied with our choice!” Jennifer S.
For more info www.tinyc.org or 212.249.5002