Thursday evening, January 5, was the first of a series of Zoom lectures on hate crimes hosted by the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. Rabbi Stuart Verstandig, president of the shul, welcomed everyone to the program. He shared that the idea for this Thursday evening program was initiated by Rabbi Emeritus Yoel Schonfeld, who is now the president of the Coalition for Jewish Values. Rabbi Verstandig introduced the featured speaker, Assistant District Attorney Michael Brovner, Chief of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau.

On Sunday evening, January 8, Let’s Get Real With Coach Menachem featured Rabbi Sholom Dovber Lipskar, the founder and rav of The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida, and of the Aleph Institute (in 1981). He spoke about why anti-Semitism is overrated. He explained that it is overrated in terms of how it affects us as Jews. Haters have to be addressed in sharp, straightforward ways, but we need to make sure it doesn’t affect how we view our own identity as Jews. Anti-Semitism is the longest existing irrational hatred. It has led to holocausts, exploitation, expulsions, etc.

A breath of holiness from Eretz Yisrael elevated Kew Gardens Hills as community women poured into the Simchah Room of Mrs. Golda Fried to hear a shiur by Mrs. Shira Smiles, well-known speaker, on the subject of wonderful words.

On Tuesday evening, January 10, the Navigating the Medical System Lecture Series, hosted by Congregation Etz Chaim, shared an informative virtual lecture on safe use and disposal of medication. Dr. Mel Breite, Founder and Director of the series, welcomed everyone and introduced the guest speaker, Wing Fun Leo-to, PharmD, BCPSN, Pharmacy Manager at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital,

“She was a woman of valor – a woman of yesteryear. Mrs. Brunhilde Dreyfuss made sure that beds in Kew Gardens Hills were tahor and kadosh for future generations.” Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, Rabbi Emeritus of the Young Israel of Queens Valley, spoke at the l’vayah of Mrs. Dreyfuss, 96, who was the mikvah lady for the Kew Gardens Hills Mikvah for 35-plus years. “She made every woman who came to the mikvah feel like a bas melech. She made them feel important. She made sure that every kallah or convert had a positive mikvah experience,” he said.