פרשת נצבים - וילך


Parshat Netzavim - Vayelech

23rd of Elul, 5780

September 11th-12th, 2020

Candle lighting: 6:52 PM      Havdalah: 7:51 PM


יהי זכרם ברוך




4503 Fieldston Rd.
Riverdale, NY 10471


Please note the following details:

The service:

  • The Kehilah will be davening in our satellite location (where we have our sukkah).  Located in the back lawn of the home of: 
    Jessica and Chad Haller

  • There will be a separate entrance for the women’s and men’s sections (at the right and left side of the house respectively).

  • Davening will begin 30 minutes earlier at 8:30 am (to minimize davening in the heat of the day).  

  • The ba’al Tefilah and ba’al Koreh will be more than 12 ft. away, wearing a mask.

  • The gabaim will call aliyot from their seats.

  • The aliyot will be done, taken one step forward, looking at the Torah and then reciting a Bracha.  Each person called up will ensure that they are at a safe 12 ft. distance from the ba’al korei after taking a step forward.

  • Hagbah and Gelilah will be performed by the ba’al korei.

  • The ba’al korei and ba’alei tefilah who hold the Torah, will do so with gloves on.

Protocols in place for those attending davening:

  • We will be limiting attendance to 12 men and 12 women above the age of bar/bat mitzvah.

  • To sign up for a place in davening, please click here to fill out the form for Shabbat Morning.

  • We request that anyone who is healthy and has not had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 feel comfortable coming.

  • Anyone can sign up regardless of membership.

  • Those who feel that they can sit or stand in a designated place or section are encouraged to sign up.

  • Chairs will be provided and will be wiped down prior to davening.

  • All attendees must wear masks (including Ba’al tefilah and Ba’al Kriyah)

  • We ask that everyone bring their own siddur and chumash.  If you don't own a siddur or chumash, please let us know and we can loan you one of the shul's for the time being.

  • Please bring your own Tallis.

  • Please bring a hat.

  • Please bring your own water bottle.

  • Please make sure to use the bathroom before davening.

  • There will be one bathroom available for emergency only.

  • After Tefilah, there will be no kiddush and no congregating.

  • The davening is weather dependent.  If it is raining, please plan on joining us the following week.


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.


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

*Please note earlier davening time to ensure that davening takes place in a cooler climate.

September 13th-17th

Davening at 6:55 pm

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

            Password:  113089


Join Us For The Yamim Noraim?

The Kehilah is pleased to inform the community that The Kehilah of Riverdale is planning to meet for all the tefilot of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur:


The Riverdale Y 
Outdoors on the Patio deck in the back of the building.
5625 Arlington Avenue, 
Bronx, NY 10471

Please click HERE to fill out the form regarding the Yamim Noraim schedule and sign up for outdoor tefilot.
The Kehilah of Riverdale would like to thank the Riverdale Y for accomodating us during the chaggim season. We offer a great deal of hakarat haTov to them.
Details on Rosh Hashana davening next week as well as Communal Shofar Blowing will be sent in a separate email.

Please feel welcome to join us!

The Kehilah Membership Drive for 2020

Time to Renew your Kehilah Membership!

Please renew your membership or consider becoming a member of The Kehilah

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.

Your membership and financial support over the past year has enabled The Kehilah to meet regularly at the Society for Ethical Culture.  It has allowed us to expand our programming to include events on every holiday of the Jewish calendar year. 

We continue to have a great deal of programming planned for the 2020 year.
The Kehilah needs your support. 

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 Committe
wishes a happy birthday to those who celebrated birthdays this past week or will be celebrating this coming week:

Ezra Cohen

Paul Franks

Shoshana Hoffman-Kleiner

Eliyahu Najman

May they all have good health and fulfillment ad me'ah v'esrim shana!


Mazal tov to 

Debbie and Howard Jonas

on the recent marriage of their daughter




We wish the entire Jonas and Shalom families mazal tov on this beautiful union.

May Tamar and Eliyahu have a life of good health, joy and fulfillment ad me'ah v'esrim shana.  May they build a bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael.

An Environmental Message

10 Tips for a Healthy & Sustainable Rosh Hashanah

The holiday of Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to open up to new possibilities and be grateful for everything you have. In celebration of this time of turning and returning, Hazon has compiled a list of healthy, sustainable resources that will help you welcome Rosh Hashanah with mindfulness, sustainability, and joy.

1. Blend the traditional with the local. People crave familiar foods at holiday times. But it’s all too easy to fall into a culinary rut — and besides, those old standbys don’t always lend themselves to good health or sustainability. This year, add a dash of innovation to traditional Jewish holiday dishes by incorporating local flavors into your favorite family recipes.

2. Efficient cooking - Have you ever used a solar oven? Cooking with the sun might not be an option in the Western Cape, but further north, the winter sun is powerful enough to cook any festive meal. A solar oven uses no power, no waste CO2 and leaves you more time to tend to other preparations. Don't own a solar oven? Turn this into a fun project and build your own! There are many websites and YouTube videos with instructions on how to make your own cheap & efficient solar oven. Another great way of conserving energy is using a hotbox or wonderbag. Bring your food to the boil and then put it in your hotbox or wrap it up in blankets. The food is slow-cooked in 2-3 hours and tastier than ever! A wonderbag is energy-efficient and you don't need to mind the stove!

3. Rethink chicken soup. Chicken soup is an iconic Jewish comfort food, but you may want to skip it if you’re trying to cut back on your meat consumption. Treat your guests instead to a seasonal, vegetable-based soup. If you really need that tureen of soup on your table, look for kosher organic chicken — and consider making the soup the only meat in your meal.

4. Food for thought. There’s an old Jewish saying that if three people have eaten together at one table and not discussed words of the Torah, the meal was essentially wasted. This year, ask your guests to bring a favorite song, poem, scene from a play, or other text based around a particular Rosh Hashanah theme. Need examples? Try “returning,” “scarcity and abundance,” or “mindful eating.” At dinner, ask your guests to share what they brought, then let the conversation flow.

5. Seasonal indigenous centerpieces. Instead of fresh-cut flowers that will wilt after a few days, create a sustainable of indigenous flowers & foliage that will impress your guests. Alternatively use fruit to decorate your table. At the end of your dinner, invite your guests to take home the fruit or potted plants as gifts. (or save them for Sukkoth)

6. Lighting. Set a great mood by switching of your electrical lights and lighting candles. Avoid the petroleum fumes and use beeswax & soy candles. Alternatively, try this creative way of making your own candles with citrus fruit and cooking oil Homemade citrus candle

7. Sustainable Gifts For Your Loved Ones. Many families exchange small gifts during big holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Passover, and what better way to spread the sustainability bug than giving away a local, sustainably designed gift? Eco-friendly gifts can also easily be ordered online (See Faithful to Nature for some ideas). Whether its a beautiful wonderbag, indigenous plant, organic tea or a handmade soap, your sustainable gifts will surely be the talk of the table.

8. Get There Sustainably. In addition to eating sustainably and gifting sustainably, try to make your journey to your holiday feast as green as possible.

9. Get outside! Rosh Hashanah celebrations have the tendency to fall into the rhythm of pray, eat, sleep, pray, eat, sleep…eat. This year, change up that rhythm by finding some time to get outside into the crisp spring sunlight. Go for an early morning walk before synagogue, meditate outside in the afternoon, take a walk on the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live by one!), or bring your kids to the park after lunch to sing holiday songs. Whatever way you get there, don’t wait until Tashlich to get outside.

10. Cast away cleanup. Tashlich is one of the most beautiful moments of Rosh Hashanah where we head towards a flowing body of water...As part of your Rosh Hashanah preparation, take a day in the week leading up to the holiday (and bring your friends and kids) to “clean up” the river or watershed where you will perform the tashlich ritual. Collect any garbage or bottles lying about and walk around to get a lay of the land. When you come back the next week, note if you feel a different connection to the space.

Comments and Tips adapted from SAFCEI and Hazon

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu

A Short Vort for Shabbos:

Parshat Netzavim - Vayelech

The US Senator (and basketball player), Bill Bradley once said:  Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better."  The role of a true leader is to encourage and give "chizzuk" to his or her followers to try to attain a level of fulfillment and success and move forward in an upward trajectory.  Towards the end of Moshe's leadership, he implores Bnei Yisrael to recognize that although there are many mitzvot to follow, it is within the realm of possibility for each member to achieve what is expected of him or her.  They have great potential to accomplish a great deal.  Understanding Moshe's comments can be understood in a more general way or perhaps in a much more specific manner, addressing a particular challenge.

In the first of the two parshiyot we will read this week, Moshe commands Bnei Yisrael (in Parshat Netzavim), that they should not be distant from the people. In Perek ל, pasuk יא, Moshe says:


   כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--לֹא-נִפְלֵאת הִוא

מִמְּךָ, וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא

For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off.   

Moshe continues statements of encouragement to his people when he says in pasuk יד when he says:

כִּי-קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר, מְאֹד:  בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ, לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ

For this matter is very close to you , in your mouth, and in your heart, to achieve it.


While Chazal understand that these verses are speaking about learning, teaching and following the Torah in general, the Ramban, Nachmonides, explains Moshe's directive to be specifically speaking about Teshuva - the path to repentance.  Moshe instructs the people that when they stumble and transgress, and, they will, that their potential for returning is possible.  Now that Bnei Yisrael will be entering Eretz Yisrael, it is conceivable that the people have a deep concern that Moshe will not be there as a liason for them.  Who will be their advocate?  Based on the Ramban, Moshe is emphasizing to the people that when you feel that the process of repenting is not within your reach, when you consider that you are not capable of self-improvement, remember that it is possible for you.  As far away as you might have distanced yourself or feel removed, you can always return and be successful.  Moshe is giving his people coping mechanisms for survival as a part of a collective and in their personal relationship with Hashem.

This coming Motzai Shabbat, Ashkenazim will begin to recite Selichot.  One of the opening phrases that we say at the beginning of the Selichot Prayer is:  

לך ה' הצדקה ולנו בושת הפנים

For You, Hashem, are righteous and we are embarrassed.

How do we come before You, Hashem, and request mercy and forgiveness?  We are not worthy.  We have committed wrongdoings.  Yet, as difficult as it is, we expend energy, put in the effort and try to improve and repair our relationship with Hashem.  We follow Moshe's command and recognize that we are indeed able to reconnect with Hashem and come close despite the potential struggle. 

During the month of Elul, our Rabbis quote from Shir haShirim (6:3) - HaMelech Basadeh - Hashem is in the field.  Hashem has emerged and is coming close to us as well. Hashem is becoming more accessible.  This serves as an important reminder that not only do we have to make it possible to redirect our hearts to Hashem.  But, despite existential, emotional, physical and other struggles, Hashem would like a repaired relationship with us as well.

May the Ramban's understanding of these pesukim serve to give us strength and support as we near Rosh HaShana this coming week and recognize the beauty of the relationship we share with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  May it continue to reinforce our commitment to Hashem and our people and steer us to the upward path of shmirat haMitzvot, a love of God and humanity and respect for the world that we live in.


Wishing you us all a healthy, joyful and fulfilling new year.

כתיבה וחתימה טובה

Shabbat Shalom


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.

Community Happenings at the Riverdale Y:

Riverdale Y Sunday Market
There are still a few spots remaining for the Riverdale Y Sunday Market. After an amazing first two weeks, come join us to see what the entire community is talking about. You must register for a time slot, for more information or to register, please visit

KCI Community Food
KCI Community Food provides fresh Kosher food delivery to anyone in the community. The economic downturn has affected many people, and the Met Council and UJA Federation of New York are helping the community get these food resources to help. Please call (646) 647-1380 or email All requests are confidential, and all food is delivered to your door. ention to this content.
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