October–November Highlights
Nov 21 , 2019/Category

It’s hard to believe how fast the past few months have gone, but 5780 is off to a great (and busy!) start. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Mitzvah Weekend

Mitzvah weekend was a huge success—more than 300 community members came out to perform all kinds of mitzvot, from avodah (worship) to tikkun olam (social justice).

One Year After Pittsburgh: The State of Antisemitism in Our Country Today

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, we gathered with experts to take stock of where we are as a country in terms of antisemitism and security. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism John Miller and ADL New York/New Jersey Regional Director Evan Bernstein discussed trends, predictions, and anecdotes, moderated by congregant and accomplished attorney Kai Falkenberg. The result was an enlightening and sober look at the state of antisemitism and how it can—or can’t—affect us.

Chess & Havdalah with Maxim Dlugy

A large and eager RSS crowd visited CRS for a chance to try their skill against congregant and chess Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy. With a simultaneous exhibition and several one-off games, it was a fun and relaxing—if competitive—way to end Shabbat and begin the new week.

Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy plaus a simul (simultaneous exhibition) against a crowd of participants.

Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey with A.J. Jacobs

On November 14, congregant and bestselling author A.J. Jacobs gave a talk about his newest book, which chronicles his attempt to cultivate a sense of gratitude by thanking everyone involved in his morning cup of coffee. This was no generic TED talk—because he’s local, A.J. was able to get specific: about where he gets his coffee (Joe Coffee on Columbus & 85th), how gratitude is so Jewish (it is), and why he embarked on his gratitude project in the first place.

PLUS: Yom Kippur Food Drive exceeds expectations

In addition to collecting bags of food, we added a new option for our annual Food Drive this year: congregants were able to order food from a wishlist on Amazon and have it delivered directly to City Harvest. This streamlined the donation process, reduced waste, and made it easier for congregants to donate—and it worked! We were thrilled to announce that our digital food drive allowed us to raise over 17,000 lbs. of food for City Harvest. This constituted a 77% increase from last year’s donation. Here’s to continuing the trend for next year—let’s go for 1,000 chai!

We are so grateful to our entire community, all of whom together make all of this possible. May we continue to go from strength to strength in the coming months. We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events!