Education Committee and Men’s Club Joint Breakfast—May 6th
This morning, the Education Committee and Men’s Club co-sponsored a breakfast with guest speaker Mark Freilich. Past ICCJ president and astronomer Mark Freilich gave an interactive lecture entitled “Is there life in the universe?” He said scientists think there are planets within and beyond our solar system that may contain elements for life beneath their crusts.
ICCJ Visit to Israel • April 15–25, 2018

Our three rabbis conducted
an amazing Israel tour on the
70th anniversary of
Israel’s Independence Day

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin
Israel Center of Conservative Judaism

Rabbi Manes Kogan
Hillcrest Jewish Center

Rabbi David Wise
Hollis Hills-Bayside Jewish Center

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Sunday Night, March 18 – Rabbi Kogan’s Visit to South Korea

On Sunday night, March 18, Hillcrest’s senior clergyman, Rabbi Manes Kogan presented a lecture and power point slide show on his March 2016 trip to South Korea. Although South Korea has a very small Jewish community, serviced by Chabad, he had been invited to teach by Korean Christians for Shalom in Jerusalem, an evangelical group that believes Jews will one day return to their homeland.

During his adventure in South Korea, Rabbi Kogan taught students at Choong Buk University who had never met a Jew before. Rabbi Kogan taught them about Moses, Jonah, and the importance of asking questions. Given the freedom to ask questions, one student asked Rabbi Kogan how he kept his yarmulke from falling off his head!

Various Activities — Purim 2018
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Memorial Tribute to Debbi Friedman - January 14, 2018

Musicologist Gerri Blum led 50 ICCJ members and guests in a memorial celebration of the life and music of singer-songwriter-cantor Debbi Friedman.

This event, marking the seventh yartzeit of Friedman, was co-sponsored by Sisterhood and the Education Committee.

Chanukah 2017
On Sunday, December 10th, members and guests, children and adults, gathered for a pre-Chanukah party to sing and dance, eat latkes, and shop for gifts.
On Tuesday, December 12th, the first night of Chanukah, about 30 members of the ICCJ community joined together to light candles, sing songs and, of course, eat jelly donuts!
Interfaith Thanksgiving – November 22
On the night before Thanksgiving, ICCJ joined with Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Christ Lutheran Church of Fresh Meadows and Hillcrest Jewish Center to give thanks for the blessing in our lives. We are very fortunate to have warm relationships with our interfaith partners in the neighborhood. A highlight of the evening was when representatives from each house of worship described what being American meant to them. While the program itself seems simple: sing some songs, share some readings and then have a little nosh at the end, the impact is immeasurable.
Saturday Night, November 11th – Young Families at Ben’s Deli
With Shabbat ending earlier, the ICCJ Young Families community came out in strong numbers on Saturday night, November 11th. We met in the Bayside Ben’s Deli party room, for havdallah and dinner. Veteran members (i.e., parents of teenagers) mingled with some of our newest members and their infants and toddlers. A few babysitting deals were a welcome unplanned consequence of the evening. With great thanks to Laura Maschler for creating a Thanksgiving activity for the younger children.
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Sunday, October 15 – What is Jewish Music?
In a program sponsored by the Education Committee, Gerri-Ann Frank (Blum) performed and informed to an appreciative audience about various aspects of Jewish music in art and in prayer.
Celebrating Sukkot at the Bodzins — October 7, 2017
On Saturday night of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, some of our younger ICCJ members visited the Bodzin sukkah. Everyone huddled inside for havdallah and ate delicious ice cream. The weather was perfect!
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Tashlich – September 24, 2017 – Captain Tilly Park (Goose Pond)
On a beautiful autumn day that felt like summer, ICCJ members from each decade of life, from 1 to 90 plus, joined together to toss away our sins (or feed the ducks and turtles). Songs and prayers accompanied smiles and laughs.


Israel Day Parade — June 4, 2017
Brunch Honoring Past President David Hasson – May 21, 2017
On Sunday, May 21, our past president, David Hasson, was honored. Preceding the brunch, there was a cermony in the sanctuary with speeches by Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Marilyn Kaufman, Sol Sturm, Susan Losow, and Hannah Feldman. In addition, Rabbi Isidoro Aizenberg, formerly of the Conservative Synagogue of Jamaica Estates, paid tribute to David.
Farewell to Evelyn Missan – March 13, 2017
Purim – March 12–13, 2017
Pre-Hanukkah Party — Sunday, December 18, 2016

Crafts, Latkes, Jelly Donuts, Oh My!

We celebrated Hanukkah a little early this year as a congregational family. There were menorahs, hamsas and shalom plaques to decorate. There were last minute Hanukkah gifts to buy from Sisterhood. We had a professional story teller to entertain us. Of course there were latkes and apple sauce, jelly donuts and lots of knosh. There were dreidles and chocolate gelt for all to enjoy. But most importantly, there were lots of friendly people to schmooze with children of all ages from infants and toddlers to our most senior members. Congratulations to Shelley Ornstein on winning Sisterhood's 50-50 raffle. Thank you to all those who came and donated unwrapped toys for the Feal Good Foundation which supports 9/11 families. For those who were there, we are glad you could make it even in the rainy weather. For those who missed it this year, put it on your to-do list for next year. Hope your personal Hanukkah was a warm and festive one.

Gale Schott’s Retirement Brunch — December 4, 2016
The sancuary was filled with people from places far and near—congregants, clergy and staff from ICCJ, former members of CSJE, family, and lots of friends. Speeches and presentations took place in the sanctuary, followed by a delicious brunch in the ballroom.
Sunday, 9/11/2016 — Red Cross Rescue and Recovery Team Speaker
Fifteen years have past since 9/11. This past Sunday we were honored to have a member of the Rescue and Recovery team from the Red Cross, Ms. Christine Kraft. Jay and Lisa Woliner met Christine while they were doing volunteer work at the 9/11 Tribute Center across the street from the Freedom Tower (formerly the North Tower). Christine had conducted more than 1,000 walking tours. Christine spoke of her experience being down at ground zero from September 12, 2001 to November 2001. 9-11

During that time her devotion and dedication in trying to make the grieving families comforted, her determination in working with the fire and police departments to help in any way possible, be it working in the pit, at a medic station or simply getting coffee. Christine is a force not to be reckoned with. Today she suffers from many ailments related to 9/11, but her strength will keep her going every day. I'm very happy to have met and worked with her.

Lisa Woliner

Sunday, March 27, 2016 – Letty Pogrebin Discussed New Novel
On Sunday, March 27, 2016, the Bella and Harry Richter Memorial Library and ICCJ Sisterhood, were delighted to host author, prominent feminist, Jewish activist and founding editor of Ms. Magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Ms. Pogrebin discussed her second novel, Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate, which focuses on the theme of Jewish continuity and love. Ms. Pogrebin explored her own upbringing and what brought her to write this novel. She is a great storyteller and offered a unique perspective on women’s issues and Judaism. The turnout was excellent and there was much to think about.
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Sunday, February 7, 2016 – World Wide Wrap
On Sunday, Feb 7- the Men’s Club sponsored the World Wide Wrap as a participating part of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. This is an annual program to unite men, women, and children in prayer. We had morning services which included helping people to put on Tefillin. Members and children from our Hebrew School attended along with several parents. Rabbi Fryer Bodzin led services and introduced the program followed by David Schwartz who then explained details about the construction of Tefillin and the Mitzvah of putting on Tefillin. A nice breakfast was also part of the program.
Thursday, December 24, 2015 – Movie: Havana Curveball
Once again, ICCJ was the place to be on the evening of December 24, when Men’s Club hosted our annual get-together. Havana Curveball was the featured documentary, which related the story of a Bar Mitzvah boy’s Tikkun Olam project, which involved sending, and ultimately delivering, baseball equipment to poor children/teens in Cuba who love the game. We had a good turnout, and the compliments rang out for the video, as well as for the pizza, etc., we served.
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Sunday, November 8, 2015 – Antique Roadshow

Sisterhood hosted a program on Sunday, November 8, 2015, which was open to the entire congregation. We started with a sumptuous breakfast of juice, coffee, bagels, lox and pastries.

Our guests were Emily and Joseph Ragazzi, who own Ragazzi antiques shop on 163rd Street and Northern Blvd. They lent their expertise to us for about 2 1/2 hours. During that time they appraised more than approximately 30 items, ranging from cameras, various types of jewelry, paintings, and silverware. They were very accommodating to the audience, ensuring that they knew the differences between such things as the price differential between what the dealer purchases an item for and the price that something would be sold for at retail. Joseph briefly touched upon the auction process also.
They were extremely patient, and spent a sufficient amount of time appraising each of the items brought to them, as well as explaining the nuances particular to each item. As an example, Joseph explained that one piece of jewelry, originating from Europe, was 9 karats, as opposed to higher amounts that would more commonly be found in jewelry manufactured in the United States. He also explained that some items might fetch certain prices when sold for the metal content only, as opposed to selling something as a collector’s item, which generally would fetch a greater price.

The program was a success, with many of the attendees satisfied that they brought their items for appraisal.
After all, where can you get a decent breakfast, and a family heirloom appraised for only $5.00? If you couldn’t make it this year, we hope to see you next year!

Saturday, June 10, 2015 —Musical Shabbat Havdalah Service

On Saturday, June 10, a large group of ICCJ members and guests attended ICCJ’s first musical Shabbat. The service was led by Cantor Magda Fishman, accompanied by David Bravo. Music and song resonated throughout the sanctuary with enthusiastic participation by all. Lyrics in Hebrew and English were displayed on a screen for all to see.

Click below for videos:

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Monday, June 15, 2015—Sisterhood End Of Year Gala

For the past few years, Sisterhood has been honoring its own at the annual end-of-year dinner. Past recipients of the Woman of Achievement awards have been Isabel Zemmel and Ruth Fisher.

On Monday evening, June 15, 2015, Cultural Vice President, Lisa Woliner, hosted a phenomenal program, in which the entire leadership of Sisterhood was acknowledged for their dedication.

The ICCJ Academy Awards was emceed by Russell Targove, who has conducted numerous karaoke programs at our synagogue. Our members had stiff competition from many accomplished performers, including Faye Dunaway, Rosalind Russell, and Holly Hunter. However, their cinematic accolades paled in comparison to the daily mitvot that our ladies perform.

Although our initial recipients expressed genuine shock at their winning, the pattern of the evening’s competition outcome was eventually realized, to the extent that some Sisterhood nominees would stand before their names were even announced to claim their statuettes. Yet, Lisa, our Mistress of Ceremonies, continued to maintain a suspenseful air to the nominations and spontaneously provided poetic tributes to the winners, regaling their multi-faceted talents to the assemblage.

It was truly a night to remember, not only for the recipients, but for all in attendance, one of sheer delight and entertainment.

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Sunday, June 7, METNY of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs Picnic

On Sunday, June 7, our region (METNY) of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, sponsored a regional barbeque/picnic, at Eisenhower Park, in nearby East Meadow. ICCJ members, along with their families, had a beautiful sunny day, in which we met people from several Queens and Long Island congregations.

Together, we enjoyed a typical barbeque lunch of hot dogs, burgers, and chicken, with various side dishes. Some people enjoyed being outdoors, sitting and shmoozing, while others played catch, and threw frizbees. Sack races for kids and adults were fun. A softball game was a source of exercise for a group. Later that day, there was a Salute to Israel in the same area of the park, featuring numerous vendors, and an evening music program. Here are few pictures featuring some of our members and their families enjoying their time at the picnic.

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Salute to Israel Parade – May 31, 2015
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan
Sponsored by Men’s Club and Chaverim

Sam Weiss (center) conducted a walking tour of
lower Manhattan for 11 members and a guest..

Attendees (left to right)
Alan Berkower
Leah Marenstein
Robert Losow (back)
Susi Berkson (front)
Janet Billian
Susan Losow
Irene Meyerowitz
Faye Rutcofsky (front)
Steve Meyerowitz (back)
David Hasson
Nikki Hasson
Irma Goldman

Monday, March 23, 2015
4 Nisan 5775

American and Israel Women Investigate
the Past and Invest in the Future

Isabel Zemmel leads annual Women’s Seder honoring famous Jewish women scientists and historians.

Scientists: Gertrude B. Elion, Shafi Goldwasser, Eva Jablonka, and Michal Schwartz.

Historians: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, Paula Hyman, Barbara Tuchman, and Leni Yahil.

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World Wide Wrap – Sunday, February 1st, at Hillcrest Jewish Center

The main Men's Club activity recently was the World Wide Wrap which took place on Sunday, February 1st, at Hillcrest Jewish Center. Essentially it was a joint event where Forest Hills Jewish Center, ICCJ, and Hillcrest came together to encourage putting on Tefillin at the morning Shacharit Minyan.

One of the things we learned during a brief teaching was that Tefilin are one of the only 3 Mitzvot in the Torah that are called "signs". The Brith Milah, the Shabbat, and the Tefilin are a sign of our pact with Hashem.
I found this to be an awesome concept which elevated the Mitzvot of putting on Tefilin.

While Men's Club is essentially a social organization; it is clearly within the confines of a religious institution. As such, events like the World Wide Wrap provide an excellent meld between the Religious and Social aspects of
Men's Club. If you joined us this year- great; and if not we welcome you to participate in the future. You are always welcome!

Shalom, David (Co-President of Men's Club)

Pre-Chanukah Party – December 13, 2014

On Saturday evening December 13th, the synagogue was abuzz with so much activity at the congregation’s pre-Chanukah party. Setting up for the children’s craft project tables next to the Sisterhood gift fair tables. Heating the ovens for the potato latkes. Plating the sugar powdered donuts and munchkins. Putting out dreidels, Chanukah gelt, applesauce, and potato chips on every table. When our members started arriving, there was much going on both out in the smorg room and in the ballroom. There was holiday music playing on the stereo and the smell of latkes permeating the room.

We were entertained this year by an entertainer (new to us,) Ned Gelfars, who is a magician, juggler, unicyclist and comedian. The children were engaged in his act and the adults sitting at the tables were laughing at his puns. We were amazed by his magic tricks and juggling while on his unicycles. After Ned’s performance, our own member, Daniel Meyer entertained the children with storytelling. Finally, Rabbi Fryer Bodzin led us in teaching the appropriate form for lighting the candles for Chanukah.

Out came the donuts and tea and time to just schmooze with our communal family and possibly meet new members. It was a warm and entertaining evening. As we have done every year, the cost of admission to the wonderful event was an unwrapped toy, which we donate to a local hospital for children hospitalized during the holidays and to The Fealgood Foundation (supporting 9/11 families). The box was filled with your generous donations. Hope you were with us.

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Jon Adam Ross, Storah Telling – December 5-6, 2014
On December 5th and 6th our congregation met Jon Adam Ross who introduced us to a very ancient tradition known as StorahTelling. During a very well-attended Friday evening Shabbat dinner Jon engaged us by asking us to think about and select a character from the bible and to discuss this with a partner. During Shabbat services, Jon transformed into Jacob from parsha Vayishlach and, in Jacob’s voice, dramatized the apprehension and fear of his impending meeting with his brother, Esau, after many years of separation and alienation. The storahteller, known as the Maven, had been the oral translator until the early Middle Ages, bringing the interpretation of the Torah to the people.
Community Thanksgiving Service - Novemer 26, 2014
On November 26, members of four local spiritual communities--ICCJ, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Christ Lutheran Church and Hillcrest Jewish Center joined together to get into the Thanksgiving spirit. Leaving our differences aside, we focused on our similarities that evening. Young people from each community shared what Thanksgiving means to them, including our own Abigail Rivera, daughter of Beth and Phil Rivera, granddaugther of Irene and Steve Meyerowitz. American classics, including God Bless America, were sung and poems were recited. We thank the Ahmadiyya community for their hospitality.
AIPAC Presentation – November 9, 2014
On Sunday, November 9th, there was a presentation by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). This was an insider political briefing on The Changing Middle East and the Mid-Term Elections: What It Means to Israel’s Security. The speaker was Danielle Kroo, AIPAC Northeast Region Deputy Political Director. Also speaking was Queens Director, Jason Koppel.
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Men’s Club Breakfast and Sukkah Building — October 5, 2014
Members of the Men’s Club and other synagogue members attended a breakfast where Ruth Merrill, Education Director of our Hebrew school, Ohr Chadash, was the guest speaker. Building of the sukkah followed.
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Tashlich — September 29, 2014
During the High Holy Days, it is traditional to go to a lake, river or sea (preferably a body of water that has fish), and recite the Tashlich prayers, wherein we symbolically cast our sins into the water and leave our old shortcomings behind us, thus starting the new year with a clean slate. Here we are on a sunny afternoon at Goose Pond in Capt. Tilly Park, Jamaica, NY.
10th Anniversary Celebration
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of ICCJ, the entire congregation came together to mark the occasion on the weekend of Sept. 5-7 with music, dance, speeches and lots of food. Kudos to  Marilyn Kaufman and her committee for making the weekend such an outstanding success. The following pictures tell the story. Everyone had a great time.