Thirty years ago, I handed the Rabbi the keys to the shul and his office, not knowing then how the Rabbi and Karen would impact the lives of the people in the community. Over the years, his guidance and spiritual leadership has raised the k’dushah of everyone that he and Karen touched. Thirty years ago, barely knowing my father, he would visit him in the hospital after he had an operation, and the bond between my parents and the Rabbi grew closer, and my father had said to me, “Always turn to Rabbi Hochberg for guidance and always follow his words.” This past year, we honored the Rabbi and Karen at the shul dinner for their 30 years of selfless devotion to the community, but my dear Rabbi and Karen, it is you who have honored us with your leadership and devotion and, most of all, your presence in our lives. We will love you always. – Hilton Blachman


Rabbi and Karen Hochberg moved into Jamaica Estates at the end of my junior year of high school. With my brother, Sam Herskowitz, being the Youth Director at the time, I was also very involved in the shul, which allowed for me to build a warm relationship with the Rabbi and Karen from the get-go. Three years later, Rabbi Hochberg married my husband Moshe and me. The Hochbergs are not only close with my parents, but they were close with all of my grandparents, and supported our family as three of them were sick and later passed on. Rabbi Hochberg and Karen were there at the brisim of our boys and as we celebrated the milestones of our children’s bar and bat mitzvahs as we moved back into Jamaica Estates. Every milestone was marked with the Hochbergs there as part of the family. And then this past June, Rabbi Hochberg was under the chupah as we married off our daughter Mimi. What makes someone family? The people you spend time with in times of sorrow and in times of celebration. That is what makes someone family. It has nothing to do with the physical distance between you. Rabbi Hochberg and Karen, you are family and that will surely continue. – Tzipporah Boim


The moving truck had just pulled up to our new home. As the crew began to unload boxes and furniture, I was schlepping a box of toys into the house – I wasn’t upstairs but a minute, and as I came down the stairs to grab my next box, there Rabbi Hochberg was – standing in the doorway to welcome us. He greeted us with the traditional welcome basket of goodies: salt, sugar, challah, and Karen’s famous apple cake. After I got over the surprise, I often wondered how did he know? I didn’t know more than one or two people in the community – who even knew we were moving in that day? – Let alone that specific hour? Perfect timing was an understatement. Was it luck? After years of watching and participating, Rabbi Hochberg and Karen are always in the right place at the right time. After 20 years, I can say: careful planning, not luck, it was. They make a great effort for everyone to feel welcome and to belong. They have worked tirelessly to truly create a community to which we are family. We will be forever grateful. – Fran Gross


When Rabbi Hochberg was sitting shiv’ah for his father z”l, he had only been in the community a few years. At the shiv’ah, he mentioned how grateful he was that he became the Rabbi in Jamaica Estates, because it gave him the opportunity to see his father more often and spend more time with him. Had he remained in Lowell, he would not have had the same opportunity. – Avram Blumenthal


Rabbi Hochberg stood under the chupah with us 25 years ago and united us into a family. He stood at the hospital bed as our newborn underwent surgery, and was by our side as we celebrated simchah after simchah; and when we fell, he was there to help us pick ourselves up and pushed us to move forward. He has made an impact on our immediate family and our community family. We are so proud to live in Jamaica Estates, the community that the Hochbergs molded and where they taught us our responsibility towards am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and ahavas Yisrael. We can never thank them enough. We love them and know that they will always be a part of our lives. – Janna Herskowitz


Throughout the years, I was personally encouraged by Rabbi Hochberg’s Shabbos messages. One specific drashah was about the importance of keeping family traditions – traditions that went way, way back to prior generations – therefore, closer to the times of Matan Torah. For me, your talk reinforced the importance of adhering to one’s family’s minhagim, despite what current trends in the mainstream may be. – Helen Silverman