Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX), Brooklyn’s premier kiruv organization, works tirelessly, day and night, arranging learning programs, lectures, mentoring and inspiration for Brooklyn’s non-observant and less observant Jews. BJX is very grateful to the mentor families that provided haven and refuge to their students who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is a tremendous kiddush Hashem that unaffiliated students felt so comfortable in the mentors’ homes and saw such a warm display of chesed.
Mr. and Mrs. Shimon and Chanie Lefkowitz and family hosted the BJX weekly dinner and shiur in their home this past week, and the theme of the evening was Hurricane Sandy. After the students were treated to a delicious hot buffet and Viennese table, Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer, Rav of BJX who is a renowned lecturer and author, opened the program and introduced the students to the matriarch of the Lefkowitz family, Mrs. Shoshana Lefkowitz. Graciously welcoming the students, the senior Mrs. Lefkowitz spoke to the heart of each member of her audience, sharing beautiful accounts of charity and kindness practiced by her husband – the unforgettable Mr. Israel Lefkowitz, of blessed memory. She stressed that her husband’s greatest pleasure was to make sure that every Jew felt part of Am Yisrael, was welcomed and accepted, and received a genuine Jewish education.
Shimon Lefkowitz, a founding board member and mentor of Brooklyn Jewish Xperience, warmly welcomed BJX to his home. He kept the students riveted as he recounted the challenges he experienced in ensuring the health and safety of 150 patients under his care in one of his nursing home facilities in Sheepshead Bay. The students were then treated to a shiur by Rav Fingerer entitled “A Jewish Perspective on The Hurricane.” In his inimitable style, Rabbi Fingerer humorously but profoundly tackled complex theological issues and highlighted the differences between “Mother Nature” and Divine providence. Rabbi Fingerer wove together sources from Nach, Rambam, Zohar, and Midrashim to present a dynamic hashkafic understanding of current events.
In keeping with the theme of current events, Shimon Lefkowitz showed a remarkable video produced by Aryeh Gelbard (featuring Yossi Green) about the hundreds of frum volunteers who gathered in Sea Gate to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The students were exceedingly inspired and impressed with the care and compassion of their fellow Jews, to the point that many students immediately stepped forward to volunteer for that relief effort.
The weekly BJX hotline (open every Wednesday from 10 AM to 6 PM) is regularly bombarded with calls for assistance and guidance in religious matters. BJX is starting an introductory Hilchos Shabbos class for the many students who wish to learn about the laws and philosophy of Shabbos observance. If you would like to learn more about BJX or sponsor one of their programs, please visit www.thinkandcare.org or call 646-397-1544.