On Sunday, December 18, the Young Israel of Hillcrest opened its doors to the Queens Jewish community with a phenomenal addition to its youth programming: a Pre-Chanukah Extravaganza. Renowned entertainer Jester Jim performed for a standing-room-only crowd in the YIH social hall. Children of all ages, together with their parents and grandparents, filled the shul with a spirit of excitement and laughter, as they were amazed by Jester Jim’s juggling tricks and non-stop humor.

As children arrived, they were entered into a raffle to earn dozens of games and prizes, including free pizza pies, sponsored by Shimon’s Pizza. Jelly doughnuts were distributed to all participants, as well as cotton candy and snack bags. The Chanukah Extravaganza was a project of the YIH Sisterhood, co-sponsored by Sesil Lissberger, and Howard and Miriam Shatz. Thanks is extended to Rabbi Etan and Rebbetzin Dr. Rebecca Schnall for their efforts. Afterwards, in an awe-inspiring moment of reflection on the many accomplishments of the Young Israel, the kehilah joined the mara d’asra for the meaningful lighting of the first menorah candle.

We extend appreciation to local photographer Yankee Goldstein for allowing us to publish these winning shots.

The Young Israel of Hillcrest has expanded its youth offerings in recent months. Shabbos afternoon Bnos groups for girls recently commenced at the shul, and other programming is in the works. YIH looks forward to opening its programming to the broader Queens Jewish community at future youth events. For more information on future events, e-mail the shul office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By QJL Staff