פרשת כי תשא

פרשת פרה
Shabbat Ki Tisa

Parshat Parah

18th of Adar, 5780

March 13th-14th, 2020


Candle lighting: 6:42 PM    

Havdalah: 7:44 PM



Thank You to...

Rahel Bayer

Paul Franks

Avital Hirsch

Danny Hirsch

Ethan Katz

Maayan Lwowski

Gila Senderowicz

Rachel Vidomlanski

Sammy Vidomlanski


Thank you to the more than 200 people who joined and celebrated Purim with us via ZOOM!




Mazal tov to...

Best Kid Costume:
Shmuly Nerenberg - 1st Place
Dahlia Sopher Harelick - 2nd Place

Best Family Costume:
Sommer/Senderowicz Family - 1st Place
Katz Family - 2nd Place

DD Gift Cards for the victors will be forthcoming!



The Levy Family
Lisa Licht Hirsch & Danny Hirsch and Family
Amanda & Toby Lowe
Cantor Chaim & Dr. Sherrell Najman
The Palefski Family
The Weisberger Family

Kati Gabor
Laurel & Jonathan Hecht
Tuvia Lwowski & Rahel Bayer and Family
The Ostro Nagata Family
Yonina, Yehuda, Zevi and Avi Siegal
Toby & Howard Stahl
The Stern Family
The Wolfer Nerenberg Family

Debbie Brenner and R' Simcha Weinberg
Ezra & Barie-Lynne Rosensaft
Seryl Ritter & Buddy Skydell
The Sommer/Senderowicz Family

Rick Feldman
Lea & Michal Geller and Family
Howard & Carolyn Graybow
Chad & Jessica Haller and Family
Shimona, Ari, Ethan and Talia Katz
Ruth Licht
The Najman-Licht Family
Harry Slepian & Meira Trawick
Bobbe Gaims Spiegel & Robert Spiegel
The Yasinsky/Kalb Family
The Vidomlanski Family

Special Thanks to

Molly Palefski, Nahum Palefski and Sarah Braum for organizing and coordinating our Purim Program.

*** The Kehilah Mishloach Manot will be delivered to those who requested a package. 
They will be delivered early next week.  All items were sealed and packaged.  Please go to with any questions related to Mishloach Manot delivery.




KehilahKids is meeting!

Please join us!

Dear Kehilah Members and Friends, 

After a series of shiurim, and based upon overwhelming communal interest, our Kehilah has now expanded the roles for women during Kriyat haTorah.

Women and men are called to the Torah for aliyot and participate in reading from the Torah. 

If you would like to read from the Torah on any given Shabbat, please click
here to sign up to lein on our google sheets.

Now more than ever we need your support, and we encourage you to renew your membership with the Kehilah for 2020 today.
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. 

The Kehilah will be meeting roughly every other week from January through June at the Society for Ethical Culture.

Below is a calendar of remaining dates for the first half of 2020 when the Kehilah will be meeting: 

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 $1800.

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, February 22nd.

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman
President Jonathan Konovitch

A Short Vort for Shabbos:  
Parshat Ki Tisa

Parshat Ki Tisa tells the tragic story of the "chet ha'egel" - the sin of the golden calf. Among the repercussions of this terrible incident for Bnai Yisrael, was the substitution of the firstborn, the B’chorim, with the tribe of Levi as those who will serve in the M’shartai Hashem, the service of God in the Mishkan. Since the tribe of Levi refrained from participating in the debacle, they earned the privilege of ministering in the Temple. As we know from Parashat Korach, the firstborn harbored intense feelings of resentment over their loss of this distinction.

In truth, however, the Levi'im received this honor not for having refused to join in the worship of the Golden calf, but for their response in the aftermath of this incident.  When Moshe will give his final blessings to the tribes at the end of Devarim, 33:9-10, prior to his death, Moshe will allude to this specific merit of the tribe of Levi.

What happens?  When Moshe comes down from Har Sinai, and saw the goings on with the Golden calf, Moshe declared:

 כו  וַיַּעֲמֹד מֹשֶׁה, בְּשַׁעַר הַמַּחֲנֶה, וַיֹּאמֶר, מִי לַיקוָק אֵלָי; וַיֵּאָסְפוּ אֵלָיו, כָּל-בְּנֵי לֵוִי.

"Whoever is for God - come here!" (Shemot 32:26). The tribe of Levi gathered round, and Moshe ordered them to execute the perpetrators of the sin.

With this response, what made the tribe of Levi worthy of serving in the Mikdash?

One answer is because Levi answered the call in the time of need.

This is the opinion of the Chafetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan.  He said that the service in the Mishkan or Mikdash is reserved for those who answer to the call in times of need.  At certain times throughout one’s life, says the Chafetz Chaim, a person hears a silent call … מי לה' אלי.

"Whoever is for God - come gather to me." Situations arise requiring proactive involvement and selfless devotion. Most of the nation will remain idle rather than hurrying to Moshe in response to this call. Some, however, zealously drop what they're doing and rush to act; only these people earn the right of performing the sacred service in the Mikdash.

The Netziv fills this idea out a bit:  Mi LaHashem Ailai…

When Moshe declares this, he was not referring to those who did not engage in idolatry (the Ramban does not view the Cheit haEgel as idolatry…against Rashi, the Netziv follows Rashi that it was Avodah Zara), because in fact, the majority of the nation did not worship the egel haZahav.  Rather, Moshe was asking for people who knew that they themselves would give over themselves and all they had for the love of God and God’s glory.

Moshe wanted active participants in the service of God. Levi responded to that.

Shimon and Levi are both people of action when seeing an injustice.  It is not just reacting but, of seeing the context.

This simple, though ever so meaningful explanation brings to mind a similar message some have brought out from the sequence of parshiyot earlier in Sefer Shemot.  According to Rashi, God ordered the construction of the Mishkan only after the incident of the golden calf, despite its appearance in the Torah earlier. Some have suggested that for good reason the Torah juxtaposed the command of the Mishkan - at the beginning of Parashat Teruma - specifically following Benei Yisrael's declaration of "Na'aseh ve-nishma" ("we will do and we will hear" - at the end of Parashat Mishpatim). This teaches us that resolute declarations and promises mean little without a follow-up of concrete action. Good intentions and emotional identification with an important cause are important but of far less significance than active involvement. Therefore, the Torah follows the nation's heroic proclamation with the commandment of the mishkan: "Tell Benei Yisrael that they shall bring for Me a donation… " (Shemot 25:2).

וְיִקְחוּ-לִי תְּרוּמָה

The Bet Ha-mikdash, the spiritual backbone of the Jewish people, is built by those who generously give of their time and resources for the cause of building this backbone. The Mikdash is similarly run by the tribe of Levi, who demonstrated zeal and fervor at a critical time in the nation's history.  And this zeal must be a zealotry for God.  Not for one's own personal advancement, glory or fear.  We can learn a great deal from the example of Levi.  We need to remain steadfast to how we practice religion.  There is a danger that religious observance and religious strictness for its own sake can become idolatrous; Halakha (Jewish law), can become so rigid that often its own form of false worship when not directed toward Godly ends can become Avodah Zarah.
We have a great challenge before us in our service to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  e to the threat of the COVID - 19 virus, many shuls, schools and organizations have made the responsible decision to close their doors temporarily for the sake of the health of our members, our community and our country.  Make no mistake, the directive of ונשמרתם מאד את נפשותיכם - to take care and guard yourself  very well - "m'od".  In addition to this being a moral obligation to preserve one's self - this is a religious mandate being observed.  But, it goes beyond ourselves.  We must ensure the health and success of our health systems in place.  We cannot afford to have them unravel.  We must ensure this now. 
As our community acts to do our part to help contain this pandemic, we are given the option to remember: mi LaHashem Eilai - As Moshe said, whoever is with Hashem come with me.  We follow the wisdom of the leadership who has the forethought and resolve to put aside the deep love of ritual and community for in exchange for safety, preservation and the greater good of our health and strength.  As difficult and challenging as it is, take pride in this decision and see it as acting in the genuine service of Hashem.

Shabbat Shalom.



Sunday, June 7, 2020
at the home of Joyce Marcus
629 Kappock St.
Riverdale , NY 1046
Presenter:  To be announced

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. It analyzes the complex set of forces that brought several generations of central European, East European and Sephardic Jews to settle in Harlem, and it explains the dynamics that led Jews to exit this part of New York.
Gurock has populated his book with fascinating tales of Jewish Harlem’s development with all people, Jews and African Americans who gave the community life and vitality.
We look forward to seeing you on June 7th.
Ruth Licht-
Sherry Najman
If you would like to share an important part of the book, we’d love to hear your opinion.

Mrs. Lucy Lang to receive the Lotte Bravmann z’l Eishet Chail award 

The  Riverdale Jewish community is honored that our longtime founding member and benefactor Mrs. Lucy Lang  will receive the prestigious Lotte Bravmann z’l Eishet Chayil Award at the UJA gala Heart Matters Dinner : Tuesday, March 24, 2020 6:00 PM  at Gotham Hall. Couples and individuals are welcome. 25,000 of us stood up to anti-Semitism at the “no hate no fear” rally in January.  Now join UJA to stand up and stand together with the Jewish community once again and raise vital funds for the security of our Jewish institutions throughout the area. We’ll honor 4 extraordinary individuals whose leadership and vision have helped build and strengthen UJA and our greater community - Alisa Levin and Chuck Nathan, Al Bernikow , and foremost among them are very own Lucy Lang. For more information,  reservations, or Journal ads, please follow this  link (—-), or contact Adrienne Rubin-Prince at RubinPrinceA@UJAFEDNY.ORG or (212) 836-1674.
Upcoming Communal Events:

Riverdale Run 2020
The Riverdale Y will be hosting its annual community-run on May 17, 2020. This year the proceeds will go towards funding our Inclusion Program. Save $10 by registering with our Early Bird Special! Bring your entire family, your neighbors, and building residents for a fun-filled day. Alongside the run, there will be an assortment of local vendors and activities available. To register, please visit

All In: Inclusion Program
All In is an inclusion program open to participants of all abilities for ages 6 - 16. This allows participants to engage with other peers as they learn to improve their social and communication skills through activities. The programming can include Sports, STEAM, Dance, Music, Arts, and Social Skills. This 10-session program runs from February 23 - May 3. To register, please visit

Maccabi Games
The Riverdale Y is happy to announce our plans for two great JCC Maccabi experiences this Spring and Summer. We're excited to be a co-sponsor of these games right in our backyard! We are planning to send a delegation that includes boys, basketball, and ideally girls basketball as well. For more information, please check out our website at
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

***Given the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our greater community, the Mikveh of Riverdale has requested that any person exhibiting signs of illness such as difficulty breathing, fever, stomach flu, etc, not immerse in the Mikveh. 
As of now, the Mikveh is committed to remaining open.  However, it is the community's obligation to not put those at risk by immersing in the Mikveh while not well.  Please abide by this request.
An Environmental Message

Wash Your Dirty Car

While you may think you’re doing your car (and your wallet) a favor by hand-washing it at home, it’s actually the opposite.

According to the International Car Wash Association, automatic car washes use less than half the water used when washing your car at home. The average home wash uses 80-140 gallons of water while the commercial average is 45 gallons.

Commercial car washes often reuse water and send the runoff to treatment centers instead of nearby lakes and streams. They also use high-pressure nozzles that require less water usage.

But if you’re dead-set on washing your car at home with the kids, here’s how to keep the impact at a minimum:

  • Park on gravel or grass so soapy water soaks into the ground, becomes filtered and recharges groundwater.
  • Avoid soaps with labels that say “harmful, danger or poison.”
  • Turn off the hose when you’re not using the water. During a 15-minute car wash, you could use 150 gallons of water if there isn’t an automatic shut-off nozzle.

For more information, go to:

Interested in Sponsoring a Kiddush at The Kehilah?

Please contact our Kiddush Coordinator,
Nahum Palefski at:
Copyright © 2020 The Kehilah, All rights reserved.

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