פרשת בהר - בחוקותי
Parshat Behar - Bechukotai
Shabbat Evening will be the 37th Day of the Omer

22nd of Iyar, 5780
May 15th - 16th, 2020

Candle lighting:  7:48 PM
Havdalah:  8:50 PM




It's a Wonderful Opportunity to say hi to friends
and wish them a Good Shabbos!


-BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage)

-BYOS (Bring Your Own Salami



TIME: 6:45 pm


Password:  113089
...For Mincha Erev Shabbos:
TIME:  7:35 pm

Join Us on Zoom:
Password:  113089

Join The Kehilah of Riverdale as we will recite Mincha together followed by a Communal Mourner's Kaddish.
Mincha/Maariv Schedule for May 17th - 22nd:

Davening at 7:50 pm

We will daven privately and then have a minyan for those who are saying Kaddish.

            Password:  113089


May Hashem keep you safe and protected. 
We appreciate all the Doctors, Nurses, medical care workers, medical facility workers, police officers, EMT, Fire department and all first responders, pharmacy, grocery, sanitation, delivery drivers and distributors, and all essential workers. You keep us safe and cared for.

The Kehilah would like to thank all those who are risking their lives each day amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Each week, we would like to spotlight an essential worker in our community and thank them.  

This week, we want to express our appreciation to 

Dr. Daniel Hirsch

Dr. Hirsch specializes in Neonatology and Perinatology at Columbia University Hospital.  He is Clinical Ass. Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center. His deep commitment to his patients and their families in Columbia University, as well as the medical team and medical students make Dr. Daniel Hirsch an exceptional doctor and caregiver.  Throughout this recent pandemic, his endless hours in the hospital attending to newborn premature infants and guiding patients' families, working with the Columbia medical staff and continuing to serve his community make him a hero in Riverdale, New York City and beyond.  May Dr. Hirsch, his wife, Lisa and their three children, Malka, Avital and Elan continue to be safe and well.
Thank you so much, Dr. Hirsch, for all your selfless efforts for the greater health and well being of our community.

With Deep Gratitude, 
The Kehilah of Riverdale


May 25th, 26th AND 27th

Join the Kehilah for a night of learning Torah with great scholars and thinkers on ZOOM

Click on this link:
Password:  113089

Shiurim* and Divrei Torah will be given throughout the 3 days with: Judy Federbush, Dr. Tammy Jacobowitz, James Licht, Judah Lopatin, Nachman Mazurek, Avi Siegal, Yehuda Siegal and many more.

*Source material will be attached


The Kehilah would like to thank all those who contributed to The Kehilah with renewing membership and contributing end of year donations.

Please remember to renew your membership for 2020.

Now, during this pandemic, your membership and financial support is necessary to keep our shul functioning.

To become a member and/or donate, please select one of the following choices:

Through Paypal click on the donate button:

If you would like to send a personal check, go through a charitable foundation or charitable fund, please: 

Send a check made out to "The Kehilah" to:
The Kehilah
P.O. Box 78
Bronx, NY 10471
Or –

Go to our website at: and click on the

Membership tab.

The Kehilah, Inc. is a congregation incorporated under Article 10 of the New York State Religious Corporations Law. Under federal tax code, a contribution to a synagogue which complies with 501(c)(3) requirements is automatically exempt.


Once again, thank you for your generous support.

With deep appreciation,

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman, Marta d'Atra

Jonathan Konovitch, President

William Scheiner, Fundraising Chair

The Kehilah Sunshine Committee
Wishes a Happy Birthday to...

Chanan Kessler

Rukhl Schaechter

Rachel Bayer

Leila Haller

Yael Michaeli

Akiva Najman-Licht

May Hashem bless them with good health and fulfillment ad me'ah v'esrim shana.
Short Vort For Shabbos:

The Communal Obligation to Give Tzedakah:

There are two main places in the Torah where we learn the obligation to give charity to those in need.
In Parshat Behar, we learn the mitvah of tzedakah - charity.  In Vayikra, Perek 25, Pasuk 35, the Torah commands us:

כִי-יָמוּךְ אָחִיךָ, וּמָטָה יָדוֹ עִמָּךְ--וְהֶחֱזַקְתָּ בּוֹ, גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי עִמָּךְ

And if your brother be waxen poor, and his means fail with you; then you should strengthen him: as a stranger and a settler he should live with you.

When in financial stress, the Torah requires us to not allow a person to sink, but to help them up and assist them.

This concept will be repeated later in Sefer Devarim. In Perek 15, P'sukim 7-8, the Torah obligates us to help those in need:

 כִּי-יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֶבְיוֹן מֵאַחַד אַחֶיךָ, בְּאַחַד שְׁעָרֶיךָ, בְּאַרְצְךָ, אֲשֶׁר-ה׳ אֱלֹקיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ--לֹא תְאַמֵּץ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ, וְלֹא תִקְפֹּץ אֶת-יָדְךָ, מֵאָחִיךָ, הָאֶבְיוֹן

 כִּי-פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת-יָדְךָ, לוֹ; וְהַעֲבֵט, תַּעֲבִיטֶנּוּ, דֵּי מַחְסֹרוֹ, אֲשֶׁר יֶחְסַר לוֹ

If there be among you a needy man, one from your brothers, within any of your gates, in your land which the Hashem gives you, you should not harden your heart or shut your hand from your needy brother. 

You should open your hand to him and you should lend him sufficient for his need in that which he is lacking.

Are the p'sukim in Devarim merely an elaboration of the pasuk in Sefer Vayikra or is there some subtle distinction between the two? 

Rav Soloveitchik quotes his grandfather, Rav Chayim Brisker, who distinguished these two sources for charity from one another.  Rav Chayim saw each command as distinct in that it recognized different requirements for charitable giving. 
There is a mitzvah to give Tzedakah as an individual.  There is a mitzvah for the community to provide for those in need as well. 

For Rav Chayim, the pesukim in Devarim are pesukim which focus on the individual giving according to his or her means.  But, as Hashem is speaking to the Klal which will enter the land of Israel, as a community, the pasuk in Behar appreciates that there is a mitzvah for the community - a successful and moral community - to support and provide for those in need.  It is the community's collective responsibility. 

There are individual people who will give what they feel they can and consider the needs of people based on what he or she can afford.  However, communal funds must consistently be set aside to enable that person not seen by the individual to recognize that it is a necessary value that a Jewish community upholds, to care for those in financial stress. 

Shabbat Shalom.  

Halakhot for Sefirat HaOmer:

עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לה' - ויקרא 23: 15-16

וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה:  שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה

And you should count seven complete weeks from the day following the [Pesach] rest day, when you brought the Omer as a wave-offering.  To the the day after the seventh week you should count fifty days  Then you should present a meal-offering of new grain to Hashem. 

The Torah commands the Jewish people to count forty nine days beginning from the second night of Passover until Shavuot.
  • While it is best to count the Omer at nightfall, one may count it the entire evening with a bracha.
  • One should try not to say what the day is before the counting with the bracha, because one may then fulfill the counting without the bracha.
  • It is best to say what the previous day was.
  • One has all evening to recite the Omer with a bracha.
  • If one forgets to count during the night time, one may count during the day without a bracha and then proceed to count on subsequent nights with a bracha.
  • If one forgot to count during the night and day, then one may proceed to count the remainder of the Omer without a bracha.


Dear Friends,

Over these past weeks our community has risen to the many challenges posed by Covid-19.  On this journey we strived to meet these challenges with care, creativity and unity. We celebrated Passover and Yom Ha’atzmaut and commemorated Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron. We are working together every day to help members of our community navigate the emotional and practical challenges created by social distancing. Together, we mourned those lost, comforted their loved ones and upheld those stricken by Covid-19. With Hashem’s help we will continue to meet these challenges as a united community.


We have seen and heard that, especially over Shabbat, people may want to gather with friends for outdoor kiddushim, playdates, or meals.  It is crucial that social interactions follow social distancing guidelines at all times including wearing of masks outside the home. We know the weather is improving and while the overall situation in NY seems to be improving it is critical that we maintain social distancing at this time so that we will continue to see the spread of COVID slow. The document below was prepared by doctors and community representatives based on national guidelines.  


The outpouring of support in dollars and volunteer hours has been a particular bright spot over these past two months. Thank you to all the donors and the volunteers who are shopping for those who cannot go out, providing tech support to help people stay connected to the community and making phone calls to “visit” those who are isolated. Each of our institutions continues to be here to help people in areas of need and we encourage you to continue to reach out to us for support.


As New Yorkers we are hearing tentative proposals and possible timelines from public health professionals and our elected leaders related to reopening. While there are no firm guidelines or timelines, the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership is committed to working together so that when the time comes to reopen we will be prepared to meet everyone’s spiritual and emotional needs while maintaining our focus on protecting our physical health as well.


Thank you all for being a part of our caring and united community.


Rabbi Steven Burton, Congregation Shaarei Shalom

Rabbi Steven Exler, HIR – The Bayit 

Deann Forman, The Riverdale Y

Rabbi Aaron Frank, Kinneret Day School

Rabbi Thomas Gardner, Riverdale Temple

Rabbi Shmuel Hain, YIOZ of North Riverdale/Yonkers

Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, SAR High School

Rabbi Simon Hirschhorn and Rabbi Noah Aronin, Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Yeshivat Maharat

Rabbi Barry Dov Katz, CSAIR

Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, SAR Academy

Rabbi Jonathan Kroll, SAR High School

Rabbi Dov Lerea, Congregation Beth Aharon

Rabbi Dov Linzer, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Dan Margulies, The Riverdale Minyan

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman, The Kehilah of Riverdale 

Rabbi Joseph Robinson, RJCP (an initiative of the Riverdale Y)

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Chabad of Riverdale

Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Congregation Tehillah

Rabbi Dovid Zirkind, Riverdale Jewish Center

Rabbi Bob Kaplan, JCRCNY

Social Distancing Guide

Below is a quick guide to what you should not do, what you should do with caution (remembering the 6-foot rule, washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, as well as wearing facemasks) and things you can do with relative safety.


Please note: the following guidelines apply to those who are feeling healthy, have no underlying “at risk“ conditions, and are younger than 60 years old, based evidence of those who are at higher risk from COVID-19.  If you are sick, have one of the “at risk“ conditions, or are 60 years old or older, CDC’s and other guidelines are clear that you should stay at home.  This more restrictive approach for these populations, especially people older than 60 who feel healthy and well, can be tremendously burdensome and challenging. But we truly view this as what each of us can do to help save lives.


Do not:

  • Gather in groups, including for such life cycle events as weddings and funerals, and home or synagogue minyanim

  • Have sleepovers or playdates or hang out with friends (of any age) 

  • Play sports with non-household family members 

  • Have meals (like kiddushim, Shabbat meals, or playdates) with friends and neighbors even if they are outside

  • Do any non-essential driving with others (except household members not in quarantine)

  • Have non-essential visitors or workers in your home

  • Spend too much time in stores or places of business for any reason, get in and out as soon as possible

  • Go to malls or crowded stores 


Do with caution:  

  • Shop for groceries quickly and not in crowded stores, and shop during off peak hours when the stores are less crowded; opt for delivery by phone or utilize internet orders if possible

  • Pick up a prescription at a pharmacy (if you cannot arrange for delivery)

  • Go to work only if you must

In each of the above cases, try to keep to the 6-foot rule, wash or sanitize your hands frequently (especially as soon as you get home), wear a facemask and consider changing and washing your clothing upon returning home


Safe to do:

  • Go for a walk or a run.  Even if you live in an apartment building you can go outside and get some fresh air (keep in mind the 6-foot rule, wearing face masks and wash your hands frequently)

  • Ride a bike

  • Play in the backyard with household members not on isolation (if you live in a house), or sit outside on your balcony (if you live in an apartment)

  • Go for a drive with household members (if not in quarantine)

  • Cook a meal or bake together as a family

  • Work from home

  • Exercise at home

  • Meditate

  • Connect with others by phone, text, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom



1) What does it mean to be in isolation?

In isolation, you should have no contact with anyone unless absolutely necessary.  This is reserved for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 because they have the greatest likelihood of spreading the disease.

2) What does it mean to be in quarantine?

Quarantine is in order when someone has been exposed to COVID-19.  Because people can transmit the disease before they have symptoms, in quarantine you should restrict yourself to your home and have contact only with individuals in your home.  You should do your best to stay 6 feet from each other and you should not share utensils, beds, cups, etc. with them.   

3) So how does social distancing differ from quarantine?  

Quarantine is when you are restricted to your home and can be in contact only with those living there with you.  Social distancing allows for minimal movement in the community if you focus on reducing contact with others.  One of the main ways of doing this is by avoiding events and crowds, reducing meetings and other gatherings to a few members, working from home with video and phone meetings as necessary, and keeping a safe distance of 6 feet with anyone you are with for longer than 6 minutes.  

If you do go out, try to stay 6 feet away from others and be sure to wear a facemask.  If you live in an apartment, try not to touch handrails or other items in the stairwell and avoid crowded elevators.  In all cases, use hand sanitizer frequently and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you return.    

Not easy, we know!!  But during this uncertain time, when we are all looking for ways to help out and keep our community, friends and loved ones healthy, social distancing is something simple we can all do.  It is a selfless act that saves lives.

4) How is the Coronavirus spread?

COVID-19 appears to be spread via respiratory droplets, and mainly from person to person. This means that with a cough or a sneeze the viral particles may directly spread to another person or fall to the surrounding surfaces or the ground. The particles travel generally no more than 6 feet, therefore the “six feet rule.”  The virus can live on some surfaces for many hours, so someone who touches those surfaces and then touches their face, especially their eyes, nose and mouth, may introduce the virus into their system.  That is why cleaning surfaces, frequent hand washing and minimizing touching the face is crucial.

5) Where can I learn how to protect myself and more about social distancing?

The CDC has a very clear website on actions to be taken to protect yourself and your family.  The recommendations on this site are very much a part of what social distancing is about. 

Click here to view this useful web page.  Additional information about COVID19 and social distance from the New York City Department of Health can be found here. You can also find more information regarding facemasks here.

Please make sure to adhere to the social distancing guidelines during this global pandemic.  

Please make sure to wash hands.

Please try to isolate yourself, take care of yourself and ask for assistance when needed.




Riverdale Community Members,

We hope this email finds everyone healthy and safe. In these unprecedented times, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their flexibility as we are constantly adjusting our Mikvah policies to ensure both the highest level of halachic observance and the highest level of physical safety. We will continue to make adjustments as recommended, and we ask that you regularly check our website, and make appointments (to the best of your ability) at least 24 hours in advance.

In a normal year, we would be reaching out to ask for your support in our annual Shavuot Bake Sale. It is our only fundraising event of the year, and we rely on the funds raised as a significant part of our budget. Sadly, due to the current situation, we can not hold our annual Bake Sale. However, we are hoping that the community will take this opportunity to make a donation to the mikvah, in lieu of purchasing a baked item.


Suggested donations are:
Fancy Bundt Cake: $126
Bundt Cake: $108
Babka: $90
Two Dozen Fancy Cookies: $72
One Dozen Fancy Cookies: $54
Challah: $36

To make a donation, pay via zelle/chase quick pay to
or visit our website
A check can also be mailed to the Mikvah at
3708 Henry Hudson Parkway East, The Bronx, NY 10463.

We look forward to iy’H seeing everyone in person at a future Bake Sale, and daven that we should have good news and a refuah for all those in need.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our Mikvah.

The Riverdale Mikvah Committee

Community Supported Agriculture Sign-up

In today’s times knowing that your food is coming and where it is coming from is essential. We hope you'll join us in supporting local farmers and enjoying fresh produce throughout the summer and into the fall! CSA will offer streamline pick ups and offer delivery or ‘pick up for a buddy’ for vulnerable members. Fruit deliveries begin in early May. Vegetables & eggs start arriving in early June. Visit for information and to sign up or email . To learn more about the Community Supported Agriculture movement visit: To learn about our farmers: (fruits), and (vegetables and eggs). Signup for full or half shares of fruits, veggies or eggs. Pickups are Wednesday evenings at HIR from 5:30- 8:30pm and run from early May until late October.

Our next Kehilah Book Club will meet

, June 7, 2020 at 10AM


Password:  113089

We will discuss The Jews of Harlem
By: Jeffrey S. Gurock

The Jews of Harlem follows Jews into, out of and back into the renowned metropolitan neighborhood of Harlem over the course of a century and a half. 

Please be prepared to discuss a chapter or theme in the book.

Chapter 1, (your name)_________
Chapter 2, (your name)_________
Chapter 3, Carolyn Graybow
Chapter 4, (your name)_________
Chapter 5, (your name)_________
Chapter 6, Ruth Licht
Chapter 7, (your name)_________
Chapter 8, Sherry Najman
Chapter 9, Dorothy Feldman
Chapter 10, (your name)_________
Early immigrants to Lower East Side and Harlem
Establishment of cultural and educational institutions and organizations 
Discrimination against Jews
Discrimination by Jews
Jewish / Black cooperation
Black prejudice against Jews
Establishment of various synagogues and competition for members
Conflicts between older and younger generations
Differences in approaches to curriculum
Uptown/downtown conflicts/cooperation


Ruth Licht:
and Sherry Najman:

We are looking forward to having you join us.


The Kehilah's class on leining will be meeting this Sunday via Zoom.

At 10:30 AM, please Join the Zoom Meeting by clicking on:

Meeting ID: 490 439 501
Password: 12345

We look forward to having you join us!
An Environmental Message
by, Jessica Haller
Bike a Mile Save the World:
May is National Bike Month
Bicycling significantly reduces transportation emissions, traffic congestion and the need for petroleum. The total number of pounds of pollutants, (hydrocarbons, CO, nitrogen oxides and CO2), emitted per year is 12,140.30 lbs/year (or 0.97 lbs/mile) for passenger cars. So Bike a mile and save nearly ONE POUND of pollution.
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