פרשת בהר / בחקותי

שבת מברכין החודש

Parshat Behar / Bechukotai

Shabbat M'varchin haChodesh
26th of Iyar, 5781

May 7th - May 8th, 2021

Shabbat will be the 41st day of the Omer

Candle lighting: 7:40 PM              

Havdalah:  8:42 PM


Sign Up to Daven with The Kehilah of Riverdale

Shabbat M'varchin haChodesh
Parshat Behar/Bechukotai

he back lawn of the home of: 
Jessica and Chad Haller
4503 Fieldston Rd., Bronx, NY 10471

Davening starts at 9:00 AM

Click here to sign up for Shabbat Davening

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. As we have expressed before, we will continue to reevaluate the situation on a regular basis.  We hope to be back to regular davening as soon as possible.

The weather forecast for this Shabbat is in the mid 50s.  Please bring a light jacket.

Looking forward to our davening together in a safe and meaningful way.


Kol tuv,

R’ Dina Najman, Rabbi

Jonathan Konovitch, President

Mincha/Maariv Davening on Zoom

Join us for Mincha/Maariv.

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

The weekly davening this coming week, May 9th - 13th, will take place at 7:45 PM.       

Join Us on Zoom:

Password:  113089



6th of Sivan / May 16th-17th


Shiurim begin at 11 PM (Sunday night, May 16th)
Vatikin minyan at 5 AM (Early Monday, May 17th)

The Sopher Home
555 West 252nd Street
Riverdale, NY 10471
(Please enter on the Netherland side entrance)


Join R' Jonah's weekly Parshat HaShavua Shiur at 8 PM (Please note the change in time given later Mincha/Maariv).  Join Us on Zoom: Password:  113089.

DOROT Summer Teen Internship
The Riverdale DOROT Summer Teen Internship Program brings together a diverse group of socially conscious teens committed to creating meaningful connections with older adults. Do you know someone who would be a great fit? Find out more at

Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers work alongside staff to embody our universally held values of caring, respect, and responsibility. They strengthen our community by being determined, nurturing, genuine, hopeful, and welcoming. Our current volunteer needs include: Vaccine Outreach, Vaccine Support Companion, and Tech Support for Homebound Adults. For more information, and to apply, please visit

Riverdale Y Sunday Market
The Riverdale Y Sunday Market has returned! Come grab the freshest ingredients for your household. Located at the Riverdale Temple at 4545 Independence AvenueFor more information, please visit

Riverdale Run  Sunday, May 9 to May 16
Registration is now open. 100% of proceeds from the Riverdale Run support our Free Senior Meals Program, which delivers meals to over 200 seniors daily. For information, or to sign up, please visit 

The Kehilah Sunshine Committee 

Wishes a Happy Birthday to those who have May Birthdays...

Chole Haller
May 1st

Chad Haller
May 5th

Dahlia Prager
May 10th

Rukhl Schaechter
May 12th

Rahel Bayer
May 14th

Yael Michaeli

Hezekiah Konovitch
May 20th

Ben Prager
May 20th

Talya and Noa Nagata
May 22nd

Leila Haller
May 23rd

Akiva Najman-Licht
May 23rd

Claire Prager
May 24th

Lamelle Ryman
May 24th

Pearl Sussman
May 24th

Robert Zimmerman
May 24th

May they each have joy, good health, fulfillment and all they desire for themselves, ad me'ah v'esrim shana in good health.
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 2021.

We are now hoping to come out of the Pandemic soon and make more permanent plans for The Kehilah. In order to do that we need your help. Please consider our regular $500 Annual Membership. We also would like you to consider our "Enhanced" Membership for $1800. This will really help enable us to move forward on all of the progress we have undertaken and to have a home where ALL members can actively participate in all forms of leadership.

Thank you very much in advance for your sincere consideration of this request!
Your membership and financial support over the past year has enabled The Kehilah to expand our programming to include events on every Shabbat and holiday of the Jewish calendar year. 

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,

Rabbi Dina Najman, Marta d'Atra

Jonathan Konovitch, President

William Scheiner, Fundraising Chair

Interested in Sponsoring a Kiddush 2 GO at The Kehilah?

Please contact our Kiddush Coordinator,
Nahum Palefski at:
Halakhot for Sefirat HaOmer:

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

עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לה' - ויקרא 23: 15-16
And you should count seven complete weeks from the day following the [Pesach] rest day, when you brougth 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.
A Vort for Shabbos:  
The Communal Obligation to Give Tzedakah:

This week we lein from two Parshiyot:  Behar and Bechukotai.

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 a person who may not be seen by the individual be recognized by their community. And that our community commits to upholding a necessary value that their Jewish community cares for those in financial stress.  

Shabbat Shalom. 


                                                                                             May 6, 2021

Dear Riverdale Community, 

We write to share with you both updated information as well as a vision of how we continue to move forward as a community. 

The recent antisemitic attacks on four of our Riverdale synagogues continue to leave so many of us shaken, frightened, vulnerable, and unsettled.  We, decry these hateful antisemitic acts. They are intolerable in our Riverdale community and anywhere.

We are grateful for the support of our elected officials at all levels of government and the response of the New York City Police Department, the organized Jewish community, as well as the larger interfaith community.  We are relieved that a suspect has been identified and the judicial process is underway.  The next step is for the case to be presented to a grand jury by the Bronx district attorney. Supervised release is in place until then.

We have heard many voices in response to the supervised release of the suspect and other aspects of the case. We recognize that there are different approaches and perspectives to these legal and justice issues within our diverse community.  We are doing our best to share those voices and raise the concerns we have heard in our conversations with elected officials and community leaders.  We hope we can model healthy and respectful dialogue as a community as we are stronger and safer together.

Without exception, all City and State officials have agreed to remain in close contact with us to keep us informed of each step of the case through the criminal justice system, to respond to our questions, and to seek our assistance if necessary.  The commanding officer of the 50th Precinct has pledged to maintain as visible a presence as his resources allow.

We will continue to advocate for safety and security measures, as individuals and as members of the RJCP. We will continue to communicate with you and keep you informed of the investigatory and legal proceedings as they develop.

Please lean on us, your local clergy and communal leadership, to share your voices and articulate your feelings and needs.  We are here for you.

Deann Forman, The Riverdale Y

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Yeshivat Maharat

Rabbi Aaron Frank, Kinneret Day School

Rabbi Barry Dov Katz, CSAIR-The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale

Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, SAR Academy 

Rabbi Bob Kaplan, JCRCNY

Rabbi Dina Najman, The Kehilah of Riverdale 

Rabbi Dov Lerea, Congregation Beit Aharon

Rabbi Dov Linzer, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Rabbi Dovid Zirkind, Riverdale Jewish Center

Rabbi Joseph Robinson, Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership (an initiative of the Riverdale Y)

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Chabad of Riverdale

Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Congregation Tehillah

Rabbi Shmuel Hain, YIOZ of North Riverdale/Yonkers

Rabbi Noah Aronin, Hebrew Home at Riverdale

Rabbi Steven Burton, Congregation Shaarei Shalom

Rabbi Thomas Gardner, Riverdale Temple

Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, SAR High School

Rav Mordecai Lissauer - The Shtiebel

Rav Steven Exler, HIR – The Bayit 

Sandy Kahn, The Riverdale Minyan



To schedule an appointment at the Riverdale Mikvah, please click here.

Please keep in mind that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to a person in their home who is not feeling well are asked to refrain from Mikvah use.

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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