Are King Charles and Prince William or Prince Harry visiting our neighborhood? No, but our community is filled with royalty. We left Mitzrayim to be free so we could serve the true Master, Hashem, as His royal servants. We can see this so clearly in Queens, where there is so much chesed that Hashem has to be smiling.
Below are just some examples of the incredible royal chesed in our community, and there is much more going on that we don’t know about.
On Shabbos, our guest brought a medically fragile baby that she and her husband are taking care of. She quit her job to be home with this ill baby.
In our neighborhood, there is someone who, during the Covid pandemic, bought tons of equipment and games, and this provided all the children on the block with fun activities when there was no in-person school. That same person volunteers for organizations that save lives with suicide hotlines.
There are people who offer their homes to tz’dakah organizations on a regular basis. There are organizations formed to help orphans and widows and to save babies and to help needy kallahs. There are organizations that provide Jewish learning for public school children, like JEP and Chazaq, and organizations that help fund public school children to be able to transfer into yeshivah, like Our Jewish Children.
There is someone who donates a beautiful room in her house for simchos, shiurim, and chesed events.
There is Tomchei Shabbos, which helps those in need to have food for Shabbos, and Masbia, which helps people in need to have food daily in a dignified restaurant-type setting.
There are volunteers who drive around keeping the neighborhood safe in Shmira cars. There are Hatzalah members available 24/7 to aid Jews in need. There is Chaverim to help with car trouble.
There are food pantries run by Chazaq and the Queens Jewish Community Council. QJCC helps people get SSI insurance and provides so much more assistance to the community. Chazaq brings shiurim and does so much more to help the community, especially bringing programs to public school children and helping to transfer them to yeshivah. JEP runs Jewish education programs and Shabbatonim for public school children.
Emet Outreach helps so many young Jews to be proud of their heritage, and it does a myriad of other wonderful things for klal Yisrael. There is TorahAnytime, started by two Queens residents, which enables Jews all over the world to hear shiurim.
There’s a person who created and runs an email list that advertises jobs, chesed opportunities, and shiurim. There are people learning with beginners in Judaism, one on one, as volunteers on a regular basis through Emet Outreach and Chazaq.
There are kiruv yeshivos in Queens that offer an outstanding education and enable students to go on to mainstream yeshivos. One such yeshivah is Yeshivah Primary.
There are rabbis, moros, and teachers who dedicate hours and hours of time to create and teach powerful lessons to their students in all of our local yeshivos.
There are people who work hard to help others with shidduchim. There are gemachs for gowns, for tablecloths, for chairs, and for other items for simchos.
There are young people who devote their Shabbos afternoons to giving parents of disabled children a respite in the Menucha v’Simcha program.
There are many people who lovingly care for young children and babies in various daycare and babysitting settings, so that Jewish mothers can go to work without worry.
There is the Vaad Harabonim of Queens (VHQ), which makes sure that we have proper hashgachah on food, on stores, and on restaurants. There are rabbis who tirelessly work for the community by delivering shiurim, by helping families in time of need, and by celebrating with them during simchos.
There’s a free weekly community newspaper, which takes a tremendous amount of work and energy, and kudos to the QJL publishers and copy editor. It brings our community together with positive news, divrei Torah, a dating column for chizuk, community news, a column to help people have the right frame of mind, a platform for people to voice their opinions, and more.
There are men who volunteer to give the Daf Yomi shiur every day so working men can learn on a regular basis.
There are mothers who take on the heavy burden of childcare and working so their husbands can learn Torah, and the husbands and other men learning Torah who are keeping the world going.
There is so much more to include that it’s overflowing from the page. How fitting that our neighborhood is called Queens.
So, when you walk by another Jew in our neighborhood or community, know you are seeing crowned royalty, and greet them accordingly. We should always see the royalty and good in each other, in our community, and in ourselves; and in that z’chus, Hashem should bring us the Melech HaMashiach b’karov.
By Susie Garber