Highlights Spring-Summer 2009 Events

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Couples' Class

This past spring Kol Israel had a young couples event at the home of Morris and Rachel Tabush. We all gathered on Saturday night after Shabbat for a delicious dinner and dessert and were treated by wonderful hospitality by our hosts Morris and Rachel. The moderators of the evening were Rabbi Moses and Molly Haber. We were first greeted with a divre torah by the Rabbi and then we broke off into our groups to play the newlywed game. For those who never played, the men broke away from the women, and we each answered questions about each other in secrecy about what each others spouse would say. When we all gathered to answer each others questions, boy did we laugh, and learn so much about each other. The night was so memorable and extremely enjoyable.     

We want to thank our hosts Morris and Rachel, our Rabbi and Molly for putting together and incredible night and we definitely can’t wait for the next one!!!!

- Sarah and Chucky Dweck (Newlywed Game Winners!!)




Lag Ba'Omer Barbeque

This year Kol Israel held a barbecue in celebration of Lag La’omer.  Over 50 men gathered for delicious food and a night of learning.  With Elliot Chrem as the chef, everyone ate well, socialized, and enjoyed the beautiful weather before settling down in the evening to learn together.


Birkat HaHama

On Wednesday, April 8th, Erev Pesach, Jews were given an opportunity that comes once every 28 years. Its a blessing that we say on the renewal of the sun's cycle. It's to be said on the 4th day of the week as that is when Hashem created the sun. This year the 28th year fell on erev Pesach. So in order to capture this mitzvah at its most opportune time, we decided to gather at sunrise; and to pick a beautiful spot we decided to say it at the foot of the Atlantic Ocean.  

We all gathered at the early hour of 6 AM at the boardwalk and Coney Island Ave. We were close to 80 people: men, women and children.  To get a closer look at the sun rising we walked closer to the water and made our trek on the beach. We found a perfect spot and proceeded to read the prayers that proceed this berachah. To be honest, it was FREEZING.  However, I cannot remember a warmer feeling in my heart. When the sun came up and was in view we said the berachah, and I believe  everyone who was there was moved and touched. We made it back to synagogue to pray and have our Siyum, as there was so much to do to prepare for the holiday. Throughout the rest of the day I felt on a high and was proud to say this special berakhah with my friends and family at KOL ISRAEL. I will never forget where and how I said Birkat Hahama in 2009. In 28 years from now I am not sure how we can top it.  Maybe we will climb Mesada.

-Chucky Dweck


Yom HaShoah

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Kol Israel is well known for our superb Yom Ha Shoah programs and this year was no exception.  Our speaker was Ann Kirchner, author of  SALA’S GIFT and daughter of survivor Sala  Kirschener.  She explained that she always knew her mother survived the Holocaust  but knew little else about her experience.

Then, before Sala went into the hospital for surgery, she gave Ann a box of letters and journal entries chronicling her life, and the lives of many other Jews, during the war. Ann learned that her mother had been a slave in one of the

labor camps, and it was her hard work that enabled her to survive. The stories of Jewish slave labor during World War II traditionally has received less attention than life in the ghettos and concentration camps. But in SALA'S GIFT,

Ann Kirschner, using those letters, tells her mother's story and of other men and women forced into labor under the Nazis.

      Many, many thanks to Jack Saban who puts so much time, effort and research into always providing us with moving and meaningful experiences.  He somehow always manages to focus on different aspects and give us a much deeper understanding of the Holocaust.


Yom HaAtzmaut

This year Kol Israel celebrated Yom Haatzmaut by honoring the gentlemen in our congregation who have participated in the Israeli Defense Forces.  All of Israel’s wars were represented with former soldiers young and older.  Avi Ash introduced all the former IDF soldiers and then Mike Shamah, a veteran of the War of Independence, regaled us with tales from over 60 years ago during that tumultuous time.  Needless to say all of us at Kol Israel felt tremendous pride for our friends who served in the military and towards the Israeli Defense forces, which is a beacon of hope for the Jewish people.

Book Club

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This summer was an active one for Kol Israel members. Our Womens Committee continued with the always popular book club series.  

Our first book was The Stranger Among Us by Thrity Umrigar which was presented by Esther Hidary (always a club favorite) and most graciously hosted by Dianne Suede.   The next selection was People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. 

We were delighted to have as our speaker our own Natalie Greenberg who shared her expertise on the subject matter.  Michelle Tawil was our wonderful hostess for the afternoon.  

Both novels were enlightening and inspired lively discussions thanks to our articulate speakers.  

These afternoons were even more interesting because in addition to the delicacies prepared by our hostesses, the events were also Kol Israel Cookbook tastings. We had opportunities to sample delicious recipes and vote on them. 

Our Kol Israel Cookbook is in full swing.  Watch for updates.  For more information contact Andrea Saban at ansa1233@aol.com.  

Thanks again to our warm hostesses Dianne Suede and Michelle Tawil for opening their lovely homes to our members.


Summer Softball

            Kol Israel has its own Boys (and Men) of Summer.  Our athletes were major players on two summer league softball teams.  The “Angry Dragons” included  Lew Grazi, Sammy Fallas,  Steven Haim, Adam Dweck, Norman Cohen and (little)  Lew Grazi – our young stars. The “Bedford Boys” consisted of the more mature ball players from the area.  Led by captain Sol Sayegh, the team included Freddy Sayegh, president Eli Matalon, Sammy Matalon, Jack Saban, Abe Shuster and Chuck Erani.

             They both made the playoffs but the “Bedford Boys” went on to the semi-finals.  We are very proud of our skillful athletes!


Kool Israel

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Kol Israel Youth is off to a great start for the New Year. With the direction and leadership of Rabbi Haber we have put together many ideas for fun and exciting events for the young boys, high school, and college youth. In the fall, we will challenge Shaare Shalom to softball and ultimate and also bring back the Kol Israel fishing trip. We want to also provide Halacha and Tanach classes for girls during the week. For the winter, we are very excited to continue the Friday Night Oneg events we had last year with entertaining family events such as Family Feud. Chesed programs such as delivering food to those less fortunate will be a great way for the college kids to give back to our community and to a tremendous mitzvah. We will have soccer and ultimate games for the girls and our first Kol Israel BBQ in Marine Park in the spring. We also plan to organize a Shabbat-friendly scavenger hunt! The KI Youth committee wants to instill enthusiasm to come to Shul and to attend and participate in the programs to form a fun and active group of kids. We urge that everyone will do their part in making this a success and always go to the committee with any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Wishing you happy and healthy new year from the 'Kool' Israel youth.


Youth Program


Our Kol Israel young people have an exciting year ahead of them.  There will be many opportunities for children and young adults of all ages to be involved in shul and shul activities.  We have a wonderful lineup of Rabbis and teachers. Our youth Rabbis will be available to our members and their children 7 days a week.


Our Kol Israel Annex Shabbat program incudes:

            -Rabbi Moses Haber leading teens and young adults

            -Rabbi David Shweky running the boys minyan

            -David Dayan working with both of  those groups

            -Evan Tobias teaching our boys to read Torah

            -Sally Grazi-Shatzkes leading our girls Tefillah


We are looking forward to some changes for Rabbi Shweky’s boys minyan.  There will be a new layout in the upstairs annex – it will be set up as a more traditional shul.  We anticipate conducting  a number of father/son minyanim. It promises to be a great year for Kol Israel kids!


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