Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills recently celebrated its 38th anniversary dinner, an annual journal event. Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, mara d’asra, and his rebbetzin, Mrs. Dina Rosenberg, were recognized as Guests of Honor for their 28 years of service to Queens, at the lavish program held at the Young Israel of Hillcrest.

The Rosenbergs work together in chinuch at SAR Academy – the Rabbi in Judaic Studies and the Rebbetzin in Special Education. As noted in this publication, Rabbi Rosenberg is a beloved, best-selling author for the Unofficial Hogwarts Haggadah, which focuses on the crossover of Torah and trendy culture.

Rabbi Rosenberg has been credited with the longevity of his kehillah, having obtained the original loan to construct the current structure, a sefer Torah when the shul lacked a sacred scroll, and a vast array of educational offerings via the Rabbi Israel D. Rosenberg Educational Institute.

Additionally, Community Service Award recipient Council Member James F. Gennaro, joined by his wife Wendy, was acknowledged for his legislative track record as well as his years of dedicated service to the Jewish community, beginning with his first round as our City Council representative. “I am truly humbled to have been bestowed this honor, and vow to continue advocating for those of the Jewish faith,” Gennaro stated of the accolade. During his first installment as the area council member, Gennaro assisted in kickstarting the monthly medical community program (Navigating the Medical System Lecture Series) sponsored by the shul and often featured in this publication, where highly recommended doctors educate our community.

“It is our utmost privilege to express gratitude to our rabbi and his wife who have been our source of guidance at the helm of our k’hilah for nearly three decades. Hakaras ha’tov is the core of our Jewish pride,” was a poignant sentiment related by one longtime member, which reflected the feeling of those in attendance. “Council Member James Gennaro has been providing for our community a similar number of years. Kudos to them.”

As was noted by the shul presidium, the 28 years of service by Rabbi and Mrs. Rosenberg reflect upon their koach, strength, which in gematria equals 28, showcasing their consistent yet gentle daily input to advance the needs of their shul family and neighborhood with approachability. The esteemed couple operate as a team that gives.

“People may accept an invitation to our Shabbos table because the rabbi invited them,” often says the rabbi from his pulpit, “But they return, time after time, because of Dina.” When the rav provides guidance, his wife provides friendship; when the rav nourishes the heart and mind, his wife nourishes the soul. The brachah was given as said in Tanach (Yeshayahu 40:31), “V’koyei Hashem yachalifu koach.” Righteous people require patience as they uncover the glory of HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

May the Rosenbergs and their children Yair, Sarah Meira, Gavriel, Hudy, Bracha, Duly, Yisrael Dovid, and Rachel Rosenthal, as well as their granddaughter Eva, maintain strength and grace to continue their virtuous acts of comfort and nourishment that bring respect to our Creator.

By Shabsie Saphirstein