Residents of Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation filled the common room of the facility on Thursday afternoon, November 10, for a memorable ceremony paying tribute to service members within its resident population. The program included an array of energetic tunes, including the American and Israeli national anthems, starring the The Melodians, an all-senior chorus which performs at venues throughout Queens. The veteran residents, who each had the opportunity to announce where they served, sat in a reserved section at the front of the program. Of note was Chana Pfeifen, a Holocaust survivor who spent time in the Israel Air Force. “You did a marvelous job,” the able-bodied resident publicly declared to the staff, adding on behalf of her friends, “There are no words to describe our appreciation for making an event like this possible for us. Thank you from the bottom of all our hearts.” Others served in the British Army, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Army. Each received a commemorative flag and a New York City Hall Citation presented by Adam Suionov, District Director, on behalf of Council Member James F. Gennaro who recently announced his candidacy for reelection in 2023.

Late this past Thursday afternoon, at roughly 3:10 p.m., Main Street was thrown into pandemonium at the corner of 77th Road when a string of gunshots rang out, taking the life Mark Greene, 18, a student from just across the street at P.S. 792 North Queens Community High School, a program that boasts just over 100 students. Formed for the 2007/8 school year, taking the location of Queens of Peace, the school offers an alternative grade system, forgoing the traditional grade levels for a four-house system unique to the school. Originally pledged to be operated solely for pregnant teens, the student body has since evolved and now comprises children with problems who seek a quick and effective way of graduating on-time or faster. Neighbors have complained of fights, car break-ins, and other petty crimes over the years, but nothing as dramatic as the events of this past week.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams made a surprise visit to the 9th annual Jewish Food Media Conference, a gathering of food critics and Jewish media influencers, where he declared, “Food is powerful.” The mayor noted how individuals often define themselves by their foods, like the Jewish community’s pride in a vast array of kosher offerings. The mayor himself is on a plant-based diet that he has claimed has saved his life. He has stated, “I aspire to be plant-based 100 percent of the time,” noting that he has occasionally dabbled in fish delicacies. At the event, the mayor signed copies of his work, Healthy At Last: A Plant-Based Approach To Preventing And Reversing Diabetes.

Commonpoint Queens Resilience Program for Holocaust Survivors commemorated Kristallnacht on Wednesday, November 9, with the opening of their photo exhibition “Resilience,” featuring the portraits – and words of resilience – of Holocaust survivors at their Sam Field Center in Little Neck, Queens. Over 150 guests participated in the unique reception that was highlighted by dozens of Holocaust survivors, sitting amongst their family, friends, staff, and community members.

I spent this past Shabbos, Parshas Lech-L’cha, in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania, together with the Torah Umesorah family at their 66th Annual National Leadership Convention, held in memory of its pioneering formative director, Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky zt”l. I participated as a volunteer for TorahAnytime, which was privileged to provide video recordings of panels and lectures, a first for the organization that represents 760 schools, 20,000 educators, and 260,000 children. I urge every rebbe, teacher, or Yid who cares about upholding our values to take a moment to view the convention recordings, as they hold a vast array of groundbreaking tools to improve classroom life, as well as sh’eilos u’t’shuvos with the roshei ha’yeshivos.