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Rabbi's Blog: Chesed Continues Unabated...

06/08/2023 01:52:57 PM



Dear OZ family,


In close to 40 years on the West Side I have experienced many different reasons to rally volunteers to help neighbors in need. I remember Hurricane Gloria on Sept. 27th 1985 (I didn’t have to look up that date, it was the day Chani was born). I remember Hurricane Sandy and Ida. I remember the sweltering heat of the Blackout of Aug. 2003. There was the immediate aftermath and uncertainty of 9/11, extreme cold, snow, ice and sleet, and of course, Covid. In all these events, dozens of volunteers sprang to action to help neighbors and friends in need. I must admit that I never thought wildfires would be a cause for such activity, but here we are. While the air quality is improving somewhat, there is still a day or two of caution ahead, so please look out for vulnerable neighbors. It may be a worthwhile opportunity to knock on an elderly neighbor’s door to ask if they need anything.


Please heed the advice that Hatzoloh just sent out for personal safety. Our first concern is respiratory in nature, but this weather can be tough on our eyes as well. We have some face guards that cover the eyes if anyone needs. You can pick them up at the front office at OZ. This is posted below.


We extend condolences to Melissa Bramowitz & David Retchkiman on the loss of David’s father, Manuel Retchkiman. The Levaya took place in Canada earlier this week, and David will be sitting Shiva at 49 W 96th St. apt. 3G. Visiting times is 12 noon until 6pm, today and Sunday. May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz



Dear Community Members,


We hope this finds you in good health and safety. We want to provide you with important information and guidance regarding the deteriorating air quality resulting from wildfires in Canada.


The wildfires have led to a significant decline in New York City’s air quality that can cause various health issues, particularly for individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, the elderly, pregnant women, and young children.


To safeguard your health and mitigate potential risks we urge you to adhere to the following guidelines:


Stay Informed: Stay updated on the current air quality conditions through reliable sources such as local news, weather apps, or official environmental agencies. Regularly check for air quality index (AQI) readings in your area. Visit for more information. 


Limit Outdoor Activities: Minimize your time spent outdoors, especially during periods of high air pollution. If possible, reschedule or avoid strenuous activities that could lead to increased inhalation of pollutants.


Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): When outdoor air quality is severely compromised, consider wearing N95 respirator masks or masks with a higher level of filtration to reduce the inhalation of harmful particles.


Seek Medical Advice: If you experience any symptoms related to respiratory distress, such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or worsening of existing respiratory conditions, consult a healthcare professional promptly or call Hatzoloh - (212) 230-1000


We are committed to serving and supporting our community to the best of our abilities.




West Side Hatzoloh

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784