פרשת ויחי

Shabbat Parshat Vayechi

14th of Tevet, 5780

January 10th-11th, 2020

Candle lighting: 4:28 PM     Havdalah: 5:30 PM




14th of Tevet, 5780 / January 11th, 2020

The Society for Ethical Culture
4450 Fieldston Road,
Riverdale, NY 10471

Davening begins at 9:00 a.m.
KEHILAH KIDS will be meeting with 
Kiddush generously sponsored by Maura & Leonard Shaykin and family -
- In loving memory of Maura’s father, Yaakov ben Gershon, z”l.  
May Maura’s father have an aliyah and continue to be a mailitz yosher for the entire family.

- In celebration and Yasher Koach to
Rosh Kehilah Najman, The Kehilah Board and  The Kehilah community’s informed, bold and exciting decision to expand participation for women in an Orthodox shul.  

May they all go m’chayil l’chayil in good health.



After a series of shiurim and, as a result, an overwhelming communal interest, we are pleased to announce that participation for women during Tefilah will now expand. 
Women, as well as men, will now be called to the Torah for aliyot and will now participate in reading from the Torah. 

We look forward to your collective attendance and participation!
If you would like to read from the Torah on any given Shabbat, please contact Rosh Kehilah Najman directly at: 

The Kehilah will be meeting roughly every other week from January through June at the Society for Ethical Culture.
Below is a calendar of dates for the first half of 2020 when the Kehilah will be meeting: 

  • January 11
  • January 25
  • February 8
  • February 22
  • March 7
  • March 28
  • April 4
  • April 25
  • May 9
  • May 30
  • June 13
  • June 20
  • June 27

Please mark your calendars and join us early and often!

Finally, we also ask that you to consider renewing your membership for 2020 soon. 
Now more than ever we need your support.
In addition to our basic membership of $500, we are introducing a new Chai Membership of $1,800
If you believe in the mission of the Kehilah, if you are excited about the dynamic programming changes, we encourage you to support us. 

Thank you for your generous past support and we look forward to seeing you THIS SHABBAT, January 11, 2020!

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman
President Jonathan Konovitch



January 11

January 25

February 8

February 22

March 7 (Shabbat Zachor)

March 9 (Purim Night)

March 28

April 4 (Shabbat HaGadol Luncheon)

April 25

May 9

May 28th-29th (Tikkun Leil Shavuot)

May 30 (Shabbat/Shavuot)

June 13

June 20

June 27


Wishes a Happy Birthday to...

Seth Haberman

January 11th

Joanne Kipust Siegel
January 9th

Dan Levy
January 9th

Ruth Licht
January 10th

We wish them good health, fulfillment and joy,
ad me'ah v'esrim shana

Have a birthday, anniversary, mazal tov, announcement...let us know!!!
Sunday-Thursday night
7:00 - 10:00pm

Friday night   
40 minutes after candle lighting.
No appointment necessary

Saturday night 
7:00 - 10:00pm

Keilim Mikveh open during daylight hours only

The Religious Revolution in Israeli Cinema and Television 

How did the world of Israeli cinema and television transition from a male-dominant, secular, Tel Aviv- based scene to the lively multicultural landscape captivating audiences around the world today? Israeli cinema and TV currently represents a mosaic of cultures and attitudes. Viewers have been introduced to new voices and faces that reflect the reality of a complex society —Russians, Ethiopians, Sephardim, Arabs, haredi, newly traditional, and more. Hedva and Gilad Goldschmidt, a husband-wife team deeply immersed in this world as producers and distributers of some of the best work now being created in Israel, will take us through this exciting transformation, sharing clips of some of our favorite series and answering your questions. In particular, they’ll focus on the evolution in the depiction of religious life on the Israeli screen and the emergence of sympathetic, three-dimensional religious characters, including those on the beloved Srugim, The new Black and more. 

The Riverdale Minyan 4545 Independence Ave. Bronx, NY 10463 Sunday, January 12, 7:30 PM 

An Environmental Message

Don’t Pre-Rinse the Dishes

If you can’t live without your dishwasher, then at least cut the pre-rinse. With a decent detergent, your dishes will be just as clean and you can save an average of twenty gallons of water per load.

For more information, go to:

A Short Vort for Shabbos:
In Parshat Vayechi, we read the well known passage HaMalach HaGoel, which we recite each evening in the Kriyat Shema Al HaMitah, right before one lies down to go to sleep.
In perek 48, pasuk 16 we read:


הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגֹּאֵל אֹתִי מִכָּל-רָע, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-הַנְּעָרִים, וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי, וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק;.וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב, בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ

the angel who redeemed me from all evil, should bless the youths; and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the land.

This timeless bracha Yaakov bestowed on Yosef's sons, Ephraim and Menashe, concludes with the phrase:  "v'yidu laRov b'Kerev haAretz." 
The verb ve-yidgu comes from the word dag, "fish." Often, this phrase is translated as "they should grow abundantly (like fish) in the midst of the land.  and hence this phrase is commonly translated as, "they shall propagate abundantly like fish in the midst of the land."  
The Chachamim in the Midrash Bereishit Rabba explains this pasuk differently:
 Just as these fish grow up in water, and when a single drop falls from above they greet it thirstily as if they had never in their lives tasted the taste of water, so do Israel grow up in water, in Torah, and when they hear a new idea from the Torah they greet it thirstily as if they had never in their lives heard a Torah idea.
According to the Midrash, Yaakov blesses his grandchildren that they should be like fish, loving Torah enthusiastically, welcoming each drop of water, each and every word of Torah that they hear.  It does not matter how much time engrossed in Torah they are, each new moment of learning should be approached with a sense of newness, of thirst.   
We can consider many areas where this message would facilitate a successful future for the Jewish people.  Here, the Midrash will emphasize learning Torah.  Like a fish who consistently leaps for each drop of water, the Jewish people must commit to continuing to re-energize themselves in learning.   All too often, intensive Torah study has the precise opposite effect: a student who devotes a significant amount of time to learning will at times respond with less enthusiasm to a devar Torah than the Jew who invests little time in Torah study.  The Midrash likely seeks to impress upon the Torah student that his or her involvement in Torah learning should increase, rather than dull, his or her excitement over Torah knowledge.  Even after a student has looked deeply into every pasuk in Tanacha, has delved into the depths of complex sugyot in the Talmud, he or she must still be able to exult upon hearing a relatively simple, straightforward Torah thought, and appreciate its value and beauty. 
The Midrash emphasizes that Yaakov is expressing to his grandchildren that they should develop a desire and love of their personal learning.  This message to continue to be thirsty, continue to strive puts into place the necessary coping mechanisms for a person to be Amail baTorah and to continue in this path throughout his or her life. 

Shabbat Shalom 


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