Colors: Blue Color

A citywide mainstream media headline that shook Queens was first reported in the Queens Jewish Link’s WhatsApp groups. This past Wednesday afternoon, shortly after 3:30 p.m., a pedestrian noticed despicable graffiti scrawled on public-facing signage alongside the entranceway to the Rego Park Jewish Center at 97-30 Queens Boulevard. Outraged, the individual found confidence in calling Avi Cyperstein, Chaverim of Queens’ co-founder and a City Council candidate in the district of the hate crime. Cyperstein wasted no time in jumping into action, first alerting Queens Borough Safety Patrol-Shmira of the incident and arriving on-scene shortly thereafter.

This past week, Shalom Task Force began beating a new path in the world of dating and relationship education. In partnership with YU Connects and JLIC Connects, STF launched the “Dating with Purpose” group for men in shidduchim. This unique group, a combination of education workshop and discussion group, gives young men “in the parshah” the opportunity to come together with their peers, learn about relationship dynamics, the psychology of the dating process, and what they can do to make the most of their experience in this often confusing and challenging time of life.

In the spirit of Purim, celebrated this year on Friday, February 26, the BACH Jewish Center in Long Beach will be delivering 100 holiday-themed care packages to the residents of the local Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The group chose the number 100 to symbolize its growing membership, which has jumped by more than ten percent amid the pandemic. As part of the project, each synagogue member family will connect to the holiday traditions of sending food packages to neighbors (Mishloach Manos) and giving charity (Matanos LaEvyonim).

For the past 19 years, Purim has marked a unique milestone for the North Shore Hebrew Academy (NSHA) Middle School in Great Neck. It would have been two full decades that more than 325 seventh and eighth graders, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, have chanted Megillas Esther in a student-led service for their schoolmates, faculty, and families - had it not been for COVID-19. Dr. Paul Brody, a dermatologist by profession, introduced the program in 2002 after realized that none of the young men had any knowledge of how to chant Megillas Esther. It has since become integral in NSHA’s curriculum. Students are enabled to read the Megillah at various synagogues, hospitals, nursing homes, and private homes, for those unable to attend public readings - especially relevant for this year’s pandemic.