Colors: Blue Color

It was the Jewish heritage trip of a lifetime when 37 Emet Outreach students visited Poland and Prague this summer. To be eligible for the experience, students attended at least one semester of the Emet Leaders Fellowship, an eight-week college program that provides an introduction to Judaism with inspiring classes and uplifting Shabbatons. The emphasis of the multi-faceted itinerary was to appreciate Jewish survival from the midst of destruction. A quote by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the cover of the schedule set the tone for the week-long visit: “Jews were commanded to become the people who never forget. And they never did.”

There are a total of 36 psalms that are introduced with the word “Mizmor.” The simple meaning of the word “mizmor” is “musical accompaniment,” but the root word zameir also means “pruning,” as in “tizmor karmecha – prune your vineyard” (Sefer VayikraParshas B’Har). A tree cannot flourish if its vitality is sapped by damaged bark and diseased branches. Cutting away the undesirable portions assures the continued growth of a thriving tree. Without regular pruning, a tree will fail to produce fruit. The same concept of pruning a plant to increase growth also applies to spiritual development. Proper pruning involves identifying and ridding ourselves of undesirable traits and modes of action that sap our energy. Such inner work is difficult, but its rewards are unequaled.

With rising inflation persistently rearing its ugly head, the need for pantries for the food-insecure around Queens and citywide is growing. Locals are relying more on organizations like Ohr Natan and their partner Met Council to supply much-needed food and other services to help get them through these very tough times. On Tuesday, August 30, Rabbi Nachum Kaziev, rabbi at Ohr Natan, welcomed elected officials for this special distribution. In attendance were State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, and Council Member Lynn Schulman. Much appreciation is extended to Aaron Cyperstein, Managing Director, Legal & External Affairs for Met Council, and Benjamin Zaientz, Agency Relations Manager for Met Council, for overseeing the impactful distribution.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) Healthcare Council called Tuesday for the Children’s National Hospital of Washington, DC, to release data regarding minor girls who have received “gender-affirming” treatments as part of its Gender Development Program. The Healthcare Council said this was necessary in the interests of full transparency, and to restore public confidence in the hospital as a provider of pediatric care.