פרשת בהעלותך
Parshat B'haalotcha
 21st of Sivan, 5780

June 12th-13th, 2020

Candle lighting:  8:10 PM
Havdalah:  9:11 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: 6:10 pm 


Password:  113089
...For Mincha Erev Shabbos:
TIME:  6:45 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.
Join Us For Maariv on Motzai Shabbat with Communal Kaddish:



Motzai Shabbat: 
TIME:  9:15 PM

Join Us on Zoom:

Password:  113089



Mincha/Maariv Schedule for June 14th -19th

Davening at 8:15 pm

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

            Password:  113089



                                                                      20 Sivan, 5780

Dear Kehilah Member,
I hope everyone is feeling well and safe.  After much discussion, the Kehilah Board of Trustees has decided to wait  until Phase 2 of reopening to consider resuming in-person tefilot.
The concern for the welfare of our community is of utmost importance.  As such, we err on the side of safek d'Oraita l'chumra.  When there is a doubt in a d'Oraita principal, we are preferring to be more stringent.  We are safeguarding the concept of ונשמרתם מאד את נפשותיכם - to watch yourselves diligently, as well as deep concern for פיקוח נפש (saving a life). 
This is not say that, the importance of congregating and being together in davening is not of serious importance.  We simply decided to wait to gather and observe how our community and  all New Yorkers generally faired after the reopening in Phase 1.

If it appears that re-opening will be prudent with all safety recommendations for mask wearing, social distancing, separate entrances and available hand sanitizers in place, we plan to re-open our shul in two weeks time. 

With the re-opening, we will be restricting attendance.
We ask those who are at immunocompromised, those over 65, those with a fever of 100  or more not sign up to attend.

Please look for a sign up document in your email this coming week outlining our outdoor davening protocol and opportunities for davening and leining.  

In the meanwhile, we plan to continue our zoom tefilah with communal Kaddish during the week.  

We want to thank all those individuals who have been so patient with the re-opening schedule.  We appreciate that there is a strong desire and commitment to come to shul.  We hope to resume in the near future in a way where we feel comfortable and protected to the best of the shul's ability. With any questions, please feel free to email me or the members of our board at

May we hear b'surot tovot
Shabbat Shalom,
R' Dina Najman
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


                                                                            June 12, 2020

Dear Riverdale Community Member, 

The Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership is working as a team as we strive to play our role in combating racism and prejudice in all of its forms in our society.  

In these trying times, we must create spaces to raise awareness and inspire initiatives to address racism in our local and broader communities. After much exploration, and understanding that there are many important action steps to take, we decided that an issue of this magnitude needed a forum for real, ongoing learning and conversation. Even as we are supporting responses from each partner institution, we deeply feel the need to engage as our entire community, and we want to begin by reading a shared text. We are, therefore, creating and facilitating Riverdale community book clubs.  

While some may want to simply read and discuss with their families, we strongly encourage everyone to join a group to engage in communal conversations. Book groups will consist of 8-12 people who will read the book of their choice, and they will take place on the platform of their choice.

After a process of discussion and consultation with African American leaders, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo* has been recommended as our first shared text from among an array of important books. While that will be an appropriate read for some, we will also be recommending other books if you and/or your group would rather explore other texts to expand the conversation. 

We will send out a form in the coming weeks to help us learn more from you about how we can create book club spaces that will help you most effectively explore and engage these critical issues.  

So stay tuned for more information about this and the other initiatives that the RJCP is undertaking to address these times. We hope reading, learning, and sharing with others in our community will lead to more personal and communal reflection and inspire more action toward a better tomorrow.


Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership

*We are aware that some places are temporarily out of stock for this and other books on racism. We encourage you to purchase a digital copy and/or place your orders now for a physical copy so we can ideally begin the groups in a few weeks. 


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its massive impact on New York’s Jewish
community, the Hebrew Free Burial Association is, unfortunately, busier than ever. Since March 1st, they have conducted more than 218 burials, up from 79 a year ago.  Unfortunately, in many of these cases, family members are unable to attend the burial due to the statewide lockdown or their own health. Plus, with the backlog of thousands of unclaimed bodies currently being stored in refrigerated trailers by the NYC Medical Examiner’s office, some of which are Jewish, hundreds more burials are anticipated to take place in the weeks to come.
[Watch this video: See how HFBA is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic]
This increase in volume of burials has created a critical fiscal emergency for this important communal organization. Due to this tremendous surge in burials, the Hebrew Free Burial Association is currently facing a $650,000 shortfall and needs everyone across the broader Jewish community to rise to the occasion to help them perform this tremendous mitzvah.

Each burial in Mount Richmond Cemetery costs more than $5,000. This includes some of the following costs:
 Tachrichim (burial shrouds) – $54
 PPE equipment (for all people involved in the burial) – $100
 Daily cost to operate 40 foot refrigerated trailer (includes generator rental and fuel) – $150
 Tahara – $250
 Kosher coffin (simple pine box) – $300
 Grave opening – $650
 Additional grave digger needed due to COVID-19 – $650


1) DONATE NOW to help cover some of the costs of these burials:
2) We thank those who have donated more than 2,000 taleisim in the last few weeks, but don’t need more of these at this time. We respectfully ask that you please focus your giving solely on our extreme financial needs at this time.
Please open your hearts and participate in the highest mitzvah one can perform by supporting the Hebrew Free Burial Association TODAY.
The Hebrew Free Burial Association devotes its resources to chesed shel emet (the ultimate act of loving kindness), burying indigent Jews with dignity and respect. It is the only agency in the New York metropolitan area dedicated to assuring that every Jew, regardless of financial means or religious affiliation, receives a dignified, traditional Jewish funeral and burial.

Hebrew Free Burial Association will hold its annual Riverdale community breakfast virtually THIS Sunday, June 14, from 10 – 10:45 AM on Zoom. Zoom ID: Password: riverdale.  Join us in honoring Joel E. Simon, Lauren and David Lieberman and Bella Hochberg. 

To support this event please go to​ 


The Riverdale Mikvah will  continue its appointment only model every night. This will allow us to stagger usage and run the pool filters  between each use. We will not have more than one person (aside from the attendant and cleaning attendant) in the building using the Mikvah at a time. This adheres to the current social distancing guidelines. 

Please use this link below or click the button abnove to make your appointment. If you need a spot that is not available for a personal or medical reason please call the Mikvah. We will be sure to do our best to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Payment for mikvah visit or Bedikah cloths should be done online or by mail. Please respond to your appointment email if you need bedikah cloths so it can be ready when you arrive thereby reducing any additional time and transfer of items during your Mikvah visit. No cash or credit card transactions will take place at the Mikvah. Please pay via zelle or chase quick pay to 

All Mikvah preparations must be done at home. You will not be allowed to use anything at the Mikvah - and if you do not come prepared we will have to send you home. We ask that you leave all personal belongings at home.

Mikvah rooms and preparation rooms are being disinfected between usages. All mikvah personnel are using gloves and replacing them between cleanings. All door knobs, counters or anything coming into contact with a person is being disinfected between use. Mikvah personnel are limited at this time, to ensure minimal outside exposure (i.e. refraining from taking public transportation etc) and are asked upon arrival about their health status. 

  • Please come with your own personal robe and towel. 

  • Although not usually Halachically advised, during the current pandemic a woman may shower when arriving home. 

  • If you or anyone in your household has a fever, any respiratory symptoms or are experiencing any other signs of illness, we ask that you not make use of the mikvah at this time. If you are in quarantine, ie anyone in your household has been sick with COVID-19 symptoms within the last 14 days, you may not go out to use the Mikvah.

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19, do not return to the Mikvah until at least seven (7) full days have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and significant improvement of respiratory symptoms (eg., cough, shortness of breath). In addition, the first time you return to the Mikvah please request an appointment towards the end of the evening. 

  • This protocol has been in place but we want to let people know that the Mikvah attendant will not be coming within 8 feet of any woman using the Mikvah. The Mikvah attendant will remain at the doorway of the Mikvah pool room and will ensure that the tevilah is kosher but will not do any further inspections - as is in line with social distancing guidelines. 

  • At this time, the Riverdale Mikvah is only available to local Riverdale women in the community.

  • You will receive an email the day of your appointment, with a review of the most up to date procedures and a request to email back confirming you are local and that you and your family are in good health. You will also be screened upon arrival at the Mikvah to confirm your health status. 


Riverdale Y Sunday Market
The Riverdale Y Sunday Market is back on June 14! We are relocating to the parking lot of Riverdale Temple (246th Street and Independence Avenue) with mandatory social distancing procedures in place. The market will open with some of your favorite farmers and vendors, and will welcome even more vendors in the following weeks. Details will be posted on the Riverdale Y website at

KCI Food Pantry
KCI Community Food provides fresh Kosher food delivery to anyone in the community. The economic downturn has affected many people, and the Met Council has helped 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.

Thank you for all your help! We greatly appreciate the effort.
Short Vort For Shabbos:

The parsha begins this week with the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan.  Instead of commanding Aharon haKohen to kindle the lamps with the term "hadlaka" (lighting), the Torah says "ha'alot," which means raising.   
The Sifrei, the Midrash Halakha on Sefer Bamidbar, explains that the Torah here is referring to the step that was placed in front of the menorah.  When cleaning and lighting the menorah, the Kohen would stand on this step.
What is a somewhat curious is the fact that the menorah was only around eighteen tefachim in height (around 5 feet).  Presumably, most kohanim were tall enough to clean and light the menorah without the step. In his Drash Moshe, Rav Moshe Feinstein points to this question and directs us to find some significance in the Midrash Halakha's explanation that the kohen required a step when performing this mitzvah. 
Rav Moshe first reminds us that the menorah with its light is a symbol of  the pursuit and the acquisition of Torah scholarship.  There is a connection between the detail of this step and the wisdom of the Torah.  Perhaps, says Rav Moshe, this step symbolizes the importance of spending time and effort even when one approaches basic and relatively simple Torah learning.  A student of Torah will always try to exert and expend energy in the pursuit of Torah scholarship, examining each detail and rigorously analyzing the a text or idea.  Of course, with the Kohen, he was capable of cleaning and lighting the menorah without this step.  But, the step stood as a reminder to invest energy in the pursuit of service to Hashem.  Even the simplest halakha desereves careful attention and analysis.  The kohen is demonstrating to us this commitment to ensuring that the flame of Torah is lit, but, with the ameilut - the effort on our parts.  As it says in Mishna Avot:  L'fum Tza'arah Agra.  According to the effort is the reward. 
As the last days of school conclude and summer will soon officially begin, let us offer the bracha and our hope that on each new journey during the summer months and beyond, we will continue to raise the bar for ourselves, continue in our studies and attempt to ensure that the rich and substantive tradition of Torah learning is protected and given the room to advance and achieve more.  Try to never remain stagnate. 
Shabbat Shalom.

An Environmental Message
Drive Smarter 

Simple changes in our existing driving habits can improve fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent. Drive at or near the speed limit, keep your tires inflated, make sure oil and air filters are clean, and step on the gas and the brakes carefully. Driving like a drag racer may be fun, but it has a substantial environmental cost.

For more information, go to:
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