Colors: Blue Color

On Shabbos Pesach, Rabbi Alexander Zishe Meyer ben HaRav Chanoch Henach and Bina Rochel Blum zt”l, lovingly known to many in Kew Gardens Hills simply as Zishe, passed away from COVID-19. Throughout his professional life, Rabbi Zishe Blum wore many hats: respected Long Island rabbi, principal, teacher, and mentor to many cherished students, who all noted his unique enthusiasm. He was extremely humble, never expecting any honor or accolades.

 The animals are taking back their turf. One of the more enjoyable videos that I’ve watched during this isolated period, is the animal kingdom walking around the main streets of cities around the world. It’s now a common sight to witness a family of wild boar, with babies in tow, shopping for garbage and food in Yaffo for their family needs. Foxes are playing in front yards, sheep are strutting their stuff in Wales. Lions lay in lazy sleep on the abandoned highways of Africa and exotic big cats roam rural areas of Argentina. The common ground between all these species is that they sense that without humans, they are safe to explore their habitat once again. Since man has built over, broke down and bowled through their once lush and wild homes, they were pushed back to the edges. The natural world seems to thrive with the absence of human beings, or with them contained, like a post apocalyptic zoo, where the animals view us behind the windows of our homes. Since I am a true animal lover, I appreciate the glory and splendor of G-d’s creations. I grew up with my Zaidy’s (grandfather) wolf dog Dukey since birth in East New York, Brooklyn. Never knowing fear of my majestic beast, only unconditional love, he was my perfect playmate and a most protective nanny. My Zaidy taught me my very first Mitzvah, probably before I could talk. Every morning, he instructed me that Dukey had to be fed first, because it is a Halacha (Jewish law) to feed your animal before yourself. One day, I hope to write a book about living with my wonderful Zaidy and his Yiddish commands to his unbelievable and legendary “hoont!”

The New York City Parks Department and Council Member Rory Lancman have teamed up to bring masks to the Kew Gardens Hills community. Packs of five masks at one pack per family were handed out at the Mauro Playground on Park Drive East and 73rd Terrace between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. The line may have looked long but was fast moving. The program will resume at this location on Monday, May 11, from 10 a.m. until noon.

One Yom Tov afternoon, when Rabbi Moshe Turk (Founder and Co-Director of the Jewish Heritage Center) and his wife made a sidewalk visit to check on JHC alumnus Melissa (Maisel) Rabb, she mentioned how she had recently participated in a Zoom reunion from a program she attended several decades ago. “What a great idea,” Rabbi Turk immediately thought. “That is exactly what the JHC alumni need to have!” With that, the idea of last week’s JHC Alumni Reunion was born. Reunions have taken place in the past at hotel retreats, dinners, etc., but this first Zoom reunion would enable alumni of this highly-respected kiruv organization from throughout the country and all over the world to easily attend, “see” each other, and share together.

Those eligible will donate plasma to COVID patients

Am I an eligible recovered coronavirus patient? That was the question on the minds of Queens residents on Monday afternoon, May 4, at a mobile testing center at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills sponsored by the Refuah Health Center in Spring Valley, in conjunction with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. With the acknowledgement of the medical community that recovered COVID-19 patients’ blood plasma can save lives, and the overall knowledge that our community had many recovered individuals, COVID Plasma Initiative with the help of the Queens Jewish Link, Bukharian Jewish Link, and the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, made an effort to bring a testing site to our neighborhood and allow our friends and neighbors to join the growing community of COVID-19 survivors who have mobilized to fight the virus. Refuah Health began its testing on April 3 and has continuously worked onwards to provide relief.