PASSOVER 2014 AT BETH SHIFRA: A Festival to Remember
We have passed over the festival of matzos once again and with the help of Beth Shifra and the generous contributors and dedicated staff, hundreds of people who otherwise would have had no Seder and no holiday have great pesach memories – some for the first time in their whole lives. Since 1970, Beth Shifra, Brooklyn-based organization have made it our mission help those of the New York Jewish community, who need help the most: poor people (and there are many), new immigrants, elderly people, shut-ins and just plain, ordinary people who otherwise might have little or unfortunately no connection more than we often realize with Yiddishkeit. “It was absolutely unbelievable,” marveled Rabbi Chaim Prussman who founded the organization 45 years ago and who has led it ever since. “We were able to serve hot meals and give food packages to very person that came everyone was served with a smile, and at no cost to them. We turned away no one!” with a great many people showing up for the sedars each night at Beth Shifra’s new Pesach headquarters, 6222 23rd ave, in Brooklyn.
Rabbi Prussman said a long list of people deserve a big hakoras hatov for making Beth Shifra’s 2014 Pesach as successful as it was. Certainly, right near the top of the list is the management of the Jewish Center-Rabbi Goldstein and his congregants get a big yasher koach” , said Rabbi Prussman. We thank the following lecturers: Rabbi’s Alexander Guth, Rav Berkowitz, Rav Berkstein, Rabbi Tannenbaum, Rabbi Seidman, Mr. & Mrs. Goodstein, Rav Dov Kaplan and Shmuel Gershbind Esq. who embraced our participants with their inspired insights.. We are grateful to the Jewish Press, TV Views,Faigy at the Algemeiner, Zev Brenner, Country Yossi and Dcd Interactive Marketing for helping to publicize our work. We also want to thank our volunteers that helped package and disseminated them as well as Gregory, Faigie, Sandra, Frankie, Daniel, Howie and Mendel. The Sorcer family helped tremendously in distributing the food, and Simone was a right-hand-man from beginning to end. We also thank, Mitnadvim (718-636-2384) donations of appliances, and our suppliers: Manishevitz, Kedem Wines, Gold’s, Streit’s Matzah Co, Rabbi Lebovic of GoKosher, Rabbi Hettelman, Benny – Globex Kosher Foods, BaTampte, Klein’s Ice Cream, Redi Record, RiteLite Toys, Gefen foods, Pomegranate, Quality Frozen Foods, Paperific on 38th and Met Council.
The preparations were complicated by the fact that we couldn’t take over the premises of the place until four days before the holiday—but with everyone pulling together, the job got done. With Rabbi Lebovic of GoKosher overseeing the actual koshering process, along with Beth Shifra’s own mashgiach, Rabbi Hettelman, “everything was so clean, every inch of the refrigerator and the ovens were immaculate.”
Once the kitchen was prepared and the food was in place, the cook cooked all of the food, supervised by Rabbi Hettelman. “They started sunday and didn’t finish till late Sunday evening , and continued Monday before pesach till erev pesach.
While the kitchen at the Jewish Center was being kashered and food and wine was being brought in to prepare for the holiday, other preparations were under way as well. A major task was getting the word out to New Yorks’ large and diverse Jewish community that there was a place where they could come and eat for the holiday – and it wouldn’t cost them a dime. Rabi Prussman sent out notices and paid advertisements about the upcoming Sedars and food distribution in Russian, Yiddish and English newspapers. Editor Ari Kagan from the Russian – language newspaper covered the Russian front and had it sent to a number of other Russian papers.; four Yiddish newspapers – Rabbi and Rebbitzen Friedman’s papers. The Title as well as Der Yid, The Blatt and the Algeimeiner Jouranal; six English newspapers – Country Yossi Family Magazine, TV Views, The Connections, Jewish Press, Twenties and Thirties and Hamodia. Colonial Records who cooperated with us in modifying our many different flyers designated for our different audiences: singles program, kiruv, families, various languages and kids programming. 10,000 Beth Shifra Russian/ English flyers were distributed in Boro Park and Bensonhurst were distributed by Dcd Interactive Marketing-Reuven. Two radio shows: Country Yossi and Zev Brenner.
While all of this was going on at the Jewish Center, Beth Shifra, as usual, was also running Sedorim and festive meals on yom tov at Rabbi Mordechai and Sorya Sorcher at 2102 Avenue T. “It was a packed crowed for the Sedarim over a 100 each night and 60 at each meal” said Rabbi Sorcher.
Please DO YOUR PART to help Beth Shifra pay for Passover and continue to serve our community year round, with a tax-deductible contribution: Beth Shifra, c/o 1719 Avenue P, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11229. Beth Shifra, P.O. Box 700, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11229 FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT BETH SHIFRA at (718) 449-1397 , or visit its website: www.bethshifra.org. We are pleased to announce that this year we had 36,474 hits in March and 29,283 hits in April! Beth Shifra’s activities on behalf of New York’s Jewish community have been endorsed by many gedolim, other prominent rabbis and numerous community leaders. All these good times, kindness and mitzvas don’t happen by themselves. In addition to the inspiring donations of supplies and manpower, many expenses accrue on the way to the promised land. We cannot continue our indispensible services without your generous contribution. Please Contact Us Now with your support and in these merits may we be blessed to have Pesach 2015/5775 in Jerusalem!