Colors: Blue Color

Hashevaynu Opens Its Doors For Mass Vaccination Drive

The road to recovery for Kew Gardens Hills took a welcome turn this past Monday evening in the Simchah Room of the former home of Khal Aderes Eliyahu – Rabbi Teitz’s shul. The story to my Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) is credited to Rabbi Yehuda Zakutinsky and his Rebbetzin Adina of Hashevaynu, as well as Zev Nirenberg, a registered pharmacist and resident of Kew Gardens Hills. Hashevaynu lived true to its mission of making “all Jews who pass through its doors feel like cherished members of the family who know that their problems are our problems and their joys are our joys.”

The Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) family is eagerly looking forward to Sunday, May 2, when the Yeshiva will celebrate its 80th anniversary as one of the premier yeshivos in Queens, it was announced by YCQ President Joel Wein. The theme of the event will be “Ben Sh’monim LiGvurah” (Pirkei Avos 5:21), which is so apropos to the Yeshiva’s dynamic and proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congregation Bais Yosef D’Ulem, under the leadership of Rav Yakov Yitzchok Friedman, has been a mainstay of Kew Gardens Hills, highlighted by its open-door policy of nonstop Shacharis minyanim that service the greater Queens community. The shul generally holds an annual melava malkah, but the pandemic has unfortunately removed that fundraising option. Still, the lights, heat, and air conditioning in the bais medrash must run, and the bills ultimately become due. The shul’s gabbaim have opted to dedicate the campaign in memory of two beloved neighbors. Dr. Shmuel Eli Landau, z”l, was devoted chaver and longtime mispalel whose petirah this past yud aleph Nisan left the community deeply pained. The loss of Mrs. Ann Kuppermann, a”h, on chaf zayin Kislev, also left a void that reverberated throughout the Jewish world. During the time of the melava malkah, the shul is reminded of Mrs. Kuppermann’s generosity as a recurring evening sponsor.

The Torah commands us to count the days from Pesach to Shavuos in order to connect the Exodus on Pesach with the Giving of the Torah on Shavuos. The days of S’firas HaOmer are a time to rectify character attributes. Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that the name Shavuos, literally Weeks, so beautifully conveys this idea, since the holiday of Shavuos is an outcome of the weeks that precede it. For this very reason, the date of the holiday of Shavuos is determined by the 49 days of S’firas HaOmer, and not the date, because the 49 days prior, which are used to prepare, are essential to the holiday, and are required in full (see Shem MiShmuel, BaMidbar 5675).

The days before Pesach coincide with first yartzeit of HaGaon Harav Aharon Walkin, ztk”l. Over the past year, much has been shared of Rebbe’s life, as his legacy has been established. A weekly Torah pamphlet, a dedicated portal for Torah thoughts and inspiration, and a food pantry are just a couple measures taken to date. This past Monday evening, March 22, the Rav’s sons, talmidim, and those closest to the Rosh HaYeshiva gathered at Simcha Palace for a Siyum HaShas of monumental significance.