In my ongoing research on the ancestry of my family, certain cities and individuals inspire days of reading before I return to the main focus of my genealogy. Between the Russian Revolution and the outbreak of World War II, the Kadinsky family lived in Gomel, Belarus, known in Yiddish and Belarusian as Homel. During this period, religious observance in my family had gradually lapsed, but in this city there were two notable rabbis who stared down the communists, and I’ve wondered whether my ancestors had any interactions with them.

Building a Brighter Future” is the slogan of Chazaq, the multifaceted communal nonprofit based in Queens. At first glance, this means promoting Jewish education through enrollment in yeshivos, summer camps, and after-school programs, but so much of the success behind these efforts is the result of political action.

The Internet never forgets. That’s the slogan that online sleuths say when they find old tweets that are out of step with contemporary values or politically acceptable views. With less than two weeks remaining before the February 2 nonpartisan special election for the 24th Council District, an old tweet by Moumita Ahmed that disparages Israel could energize the Jewish vote in this crowded contest.

The Jewish world lost a bright light, a man who was accessible to anyone who called for his guidance – in his immediate community and far beyond. Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, 74, died on Friday and expressions of sorrow poured in quickly. He defined West Hempstead as it welcomed thousands of new residents. Common questions of kashrus in the kitchen were answered with a personal visit by Rabbi Kelemer, which in turn developed into meaningful relationships that fostered spiritual and personal growth.

The border of West Hempstead and Franklin Square is marked by Dogwood Avenue, but it is certainly not the limit of the growing membership at Congregation Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park, which is undergoing an expansion campaign that will give this house-turned-shul a grand entrance with a lobby, classrooms, and a social hall. “There has been a lot of growth with more families moving into this part of town,” said Eric Bienenfeld, a member of Eitz Chayim’s expansion committee. “There is a need for the building to keep up with the growth.”

Following a Charidy fundraiser that earned more than $150,000 for the Queens Shmira volunteer patrol, the results were on display last Tuesday. “It is like having an additional member in our family,” coordinator Solomon Pinkhasov said of the Ford Taurus that was unveiled outside the Od Yosef Chai synagogue in Kew Gardens Hills. “People used to ask us why our vehicles were not marked with the Shmira name. With this patrol car, you can flag us down. It gives us a more official look.” This patrol car will be used in addition to members using their personal vehicles to keep our neighborhoods safe.