Colors: Blue Color

On the evening of Tuesday, August 3, two coach buses loaded with roughly 90 campers from Camp Acheinu were returning from a day trip. The bus drivers, being unfamiliar with the Kew Gardens Interchange, the continued construction, and the complexities of the infamous overpass of Austin Street above the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Union Turnpike, were left unable to travel forward as the buses were above the height limit. In the past, this crossing point has seen disasters of flipped trucks and tractor-trailers with terrible injuries. Luckily, the fast-thinking drivers understood their predicament and came to a halt.

Almost exactly two months to the day after the Alaska Jewish Museum was desecrated with swastika stickers, the Anchorage community dedicated a new Torah at the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska. The dedication was kicked off by a moving Shabbos program attended by hundreds of visitors who traveled from all over Alaska and from as far as Israel, Florida, New York, and New Jersey to join the festivities. The Torah was dedicated by Avi and Debra Naider to honor the memory of Debra’s mother Arline Hirsch Klein z”l. Rabbi Yosef Greenberg and his Rebbetzin Esty presided over the celebration and enthralled the attendees with meaningful stories, moving divrei Torah, and mouth-watering challahs, cholent and home-made desserts. The latter were devoured by participants from Camp Seneca and Camp Kanfei, two traveling camps that came to Alaska to experience Nature and the special spirituality that Chabad provides to its many visitors. They were accompanied by Rabbis Fredman, Jensen, and Sheinfeld who afterwards stated that the Torah dedication was the highlight of their touring camps. Rabbi Greenberg was especially welcoming to these 75 or so campers who he said represented the future of the Jewish Nation. The singing went on past midnight on both Friday and Saturday night as the long Alaskan summer day extended the hours available for schmoozing and making new friends.

Assembly Member David I. Weprin reopened his Fresh Meadows district office last Wednesday afternoon. As the COVID pandemic continues its roller coaster course of evolution and vaccination rates continue to rise, it seemed timely for this widely-used elected official office to resume a measure of normal operations. With plexiglass partitions in place and other safety precautions available, the Weprin staff appeared ready to meet constituents in-person once again at 185-06 Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows.