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Rabbi’s Blog - Trip to Netanya

07/31/2023 05:48:47 PM



Dear OZ family,


Alisa and I are leaving this evening for Israel. We’ll be staying at Beit Elazraki in Netanya, a place that always fills us with inspiration and joy. Beit Elazraki is an Emunah facility that has grown recently by leaps and bounds, and has over the years, helped thousands of disadvantaged youth not only to get a start in life, but a head-start in life. They leave Beit Elazraki full of confidence to face the world with promise and a fast track for advancement and fulfillment. We were introduced to Beit Elazraki by the Schonzeit’s over 30 years ago, and ever since, we have been ardent supporters of this amazing place and its leaders, Rabbi Yehuda and Rikki Cohn. At their summer graduation, they usually invite the mayor of Netanya, and other city officials to watch their oldest children take their next step into the world. I have spoken at this event the last several years, and a benefactor has told me that he will pay an extra $5000 to Beit Elazraki if I can somehow weave into my words in a meaningful way, a particular random word.


Over the years, I’ve been challenged to include the likes of hippopotamus, alligator, scorpion, lynching, and hummus. The thing is that I only get the word, right before I start speaking. Sounds like fun. I will try to keep in touch every few days to report on what we see. Israel is being torn in two, and everyone has an opinion. They say that President Eisenhower told President Zalman Shazar that he is the president of 200,000,000 Americans. Shazar responded: That’s nothing. I’m the president of 2,000,000 presidents.


I received an email a few weeks back asking if I will be in Israel, and specifically in Kiryat Sanz to perform a wedding on the night of Aug. 17th. The request came from Ruth Winkler, whom I had converted to Judaism over 30 years ago. I told her that not only would I be in Israel then but that I’ll be staying 2 blocks from where the wedding is. Beit Elazraki is in Kiryat Sanz in Netanya. What we love so much about Netanya is that every type of Israeli lives side by side and they all get along. They share the beach, the parks, the squares, and the promenades. The Sanz Beis Medrash has every type of Jew with every type of dress and Kipah. I look forward to making the Bracha on the Yam Hagadol  (Mediterranean) tomorrow, and keeping in touch.


I wish everyone a pleasant and relaxing August and Alisa and I look forward to being back in Ohab Zedek in the beginning of Elul.   

Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635





Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784