A Temporary Home for the Holidays

NY Times City Blog

The sukkah in Bryant Park is one of a handful of public huts where Jews eat and say blessings the festival of Sukkot. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY — It’s a prime tenet of New York City real estate that there just isn’t enough of it. And the city’s lack of space can have theological ramifications, when apartment dwellers don’t have room, say, for a full-size Christmas tree or a sukkah, a temporary shelter used to celebrate the Jewish harvest festival, which started Monday evening and continues through this coming Monday evening, with some celebrations continuing on Tuesday.

‘Ask a Rabbi’ Web Feature Flooded by Queries

NY Daily News

BROOKLYN , NY — On an average day, about 200 questions are fielded by 40 rabbis on the Brooklyn-based Web site Chabad.org.

The site, which hosts a long-running feature called “Ask a Rabbi,” has helped answer questions as odd as “Can you perform a marriage ceremony through video conference?” by Jews from as close as Brooklyn and as far away as Antarctica.

Simchas Beis Hashoeva on the ULY Roof!

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn [CHI] — Following last year’s enormous success Lubavitch Yeshiva once again hosted Simchas Beis Hashoeva for its students on the schools roof, in a safe upbeat and exciting environment.

More pictures in the Extended Article!

Sukkos – Don’t Lose Your Spine!

by Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov Shliach to Jacksonville, FL

You’re sitting on a plane buckled-up in your seat, as the plane is pushing back. You’re ready to relax – read a book, close your eyes and catch up on some badly needed sleep — but there’s one more important bit of business to be taken care-of before you can kick back; the airline safety demonstration. This, we all know, is when the flight attendant gets up to do her/his little buckle-vest-mask ditty.

“. . . The cabin is pressurized for your comfort and safety. In the unlikely event of a cabin decompression, oxygen masks will automatically drop from a compartment above your seat. To start the flow of oxygen reach up and pull the mask closest to you, fully extending the plastic tubing. Place the mask firmly over your nose and mouth, slip the elastic strap over your head and breathe normally. Tighten by pulling on the ends. The bag does not need to inflate for oxygen to be flowing to the mask.”

Then, almost as a side note, comes a little piece of additional advice: “If you are seated next to a small child or someone needing assistance, ‘secure your own mask first and then assist the other person!’”

New JEM DVD Narated By Children

BROOKLYN , NY [CHI] — In 770, children would gather in their privileged spot in the front of the shul standing near the Rebbe’s Shtender. Their eyes would alternate between the holy words of the Siddur and catching glimpses of the Rebbe at prayer.

When Davening with the Rebbe first came out in 1998, it was acclaimed by parents and educators alike. Children were once again able to see and hear up close the Rebbe Davening.

With this special relationship in mind, a new version of Davening with the Rebbe has been released. Climbing the Rungs of Prayer has the original video footage and soundtrack, but it has gone giant steps further. Besides being available for the first time on DVD, the new version has a children’s narration narrated by children and explaining many basic concepts of prayer in a clear unsophisticated style which can easily be grasped by youngsters.

Sample Video in the Extended Article!

Miami Student Take Ahavas Yisroel to a New Level

MIAMI, FL [CHI] — The students of Lubavitch Educational Center in Miami are well known for their over-the-top ahavas yisroel—love of their fellow Jews. Two years ago the student body raised $18,000 dollars for the rocket riddled Israeli communities of Sderot and Neharia. Another program encouraged them to give a gift of “mitzvahs” to the Rebbe and the Jewish people—which resulted in the collective performance of 22,180 extra mitzvahs. Past accomplishments have made it clear—the children of Lubavitch Educational Center are ready for anything. In fact, they’re now ready for a new mission: “Succos—No Jew Will be Left Behind.” 


SHARON, MA [CHI] — On August 28th Leah Larson, 17 year old creator and editor of the popular YALDAH magazine for girls worldwide, was chosen as a semifinalist in the ‘Someday Stories’ contest by Wells Fargo Bank.

Chosen, along with four others, from 10,000 applicants, Leah received $10,000 for her magazine. Yaldah – Hebrew for “girl” – is a magazine that encourages young girls to follow their dreams, empowers them to take leadership roles in their communities and celebrates their Jewish faith.

S. Thomas’ Jews Celebrate Sukkot ‘Miracle’ of the Hurricane That Wasn’t

By Joshua Runyan

Jewish residents of S. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands decorate the sukkah built by the island’s Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries.

The Talmud states that one who has never the joyous ceremony in the Holy Temple during Sukkot, has never seen joy. Jewish residents of S. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands will take that message to heart tonight when they commemorate the thousands-years-old ritual during a special party almost snuffed out by Hurricane Omar.