The Young Israel of Jamaica Estates highlighted the multi-generational nature of their community at their 39th Anniversary Dinner this past Motza’ei Shabbos, February 3.
Well known throughout Queens and the greater Jewish community for its friendly, family atmosphere and highlighted by chesed, youth, and community programming for nearly 40 years, the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates (YIJE) has served as an institution well beyond the services of a typical synagogue. Led for more than a quarter of a century by Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg and his wife Karen, along with multiple generations of dedicated professional and lay leaders, YIJE has served as the primary vibrant and active Jewish community center of the Jamaica Estates, Holliswood, Fresh Meadows area.
One significant aspect of YIJE is the relative frequency of multiple generations, siblings, and other relatives living within the community. On Shabbos morning, it is not uncommon to find three generations of siblings and cousins sitting together in shul. The generations also regularly participate together in the shul’s monthly family mitzvah mornings and Motza’ei Shabbos Parent-(and Grandparent)-Child Learning Program.
At this year’s dinner, YIJE highlighted three such multigenerational families. Honorees included Ruthie & Phil Fyman with their children Dina (Fyman) and Jay Lehon, Jane & Martin Schulman with their children Beata and Eylan Schulman, and Helen & Sandy Silverman with their children Lauren and Daniel Silverman. Each is a shining example of the next generation choosing to live and raise their family in their hometown of Jamaica Estates. In all three instances, the younger generation was raised in Jamaica Estates, moving from the youth department to the teen and collegiate programs and ultimately following in the footsteps of their parents, serving on the board and taking on leadership roles in the shul and community.
In each instance, a third generation of children is now active in the unparalleled and vibrant youth program that serves the entire community, well beyond membership and geographic boundaries, with Shabbos, holiday, and competitive sports programming. Each of these families contributes its time and resources to the shul’s reputation as a model of chesed not only within its own neighborhood, but also for its demonstrated commitment to larger Jewish and communal causes on a local, regional, and global level. Community-wide activities include family-oriented mitzvah projects, Scholar in Residence and Lecture series, Yachad Shabbatons, housing of the Queens JEP program for public school students, and a myriad of Israel activism and fundraising programs highlighted by the annual Memorial Day L’Chaim 5K Run for Israel. To date, YIJE has raised over a million dollars for terrorist victims and their families, as well as medical and security needs in Israel.
These families share a love for their shul as a community center in Jamaica Estates, Queens, and beyond. They have all demonstrated, through action, what it takes to successfully grow a community, and they continue to transmit this ethic from one generation to the next.
For more information about the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, visit yije.org or call 718-479-7500.