The Young Israel of Jamaica Estates has been organizing a monthly Family Mitzvah Morning for more than seven years now. Originally conceived of by Rabbi Emeritus and Rebbetzin Shlomo and Karen Hochberg, and now continued under the leadership of the current rav, Rabbi Dov Lerner and his wife Miriam, families, including kids, parents, and grandparents come together each month for a fun activity or project to support an organization or chesed program in need. The monthly program is coordinated by volunteer Yael Schreiber and YIJE’s Youth Director, Jacob Herskowitz.

This year, the program kicked off during Aseres Y’mei T’shuvah, when the kids worked with their parents to create 40 special Sukkah gift packages and decorations, which were then delivered to Ohel Family Children’s home. The packages were sponsored by Moreen and Zach Lockerman.

The chesed continued in October when families came together to decorate 50 baseballs to be sent to American troops on their military bases around the world. For Billy Cook’s bar mitzvah project, he decided to collect and decorate baseballs with personal messages to troops to put a smile on their faces! Years after his bar mitzvah, he still organizes collections, and the kids and the families in Jamaica Estates decided to help with this chesed!

Each month, Rabbi Lerner reviews the importance of chesed and taking time out to help those in need. YIJE is well known for their many youth programs and events, but during the Family Mitzvah Morning, the fun is directed outward as Kids and their families return each month to help another group in need!

On Sunday, November 21, the Mitzvah Morning team will be back in action as coordinator Yael Schreiber has arranged for the group to create centerpieces for the Queens Commonpoint Thanksgiving packages.

For more information about the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates and upcoming programs for kids and adults, visit