BLINK Takes Community by Storm

Last month, our community became a safer place.

Over 700 community members streamed into the West Deal Shul determined to gain valuable lifesaving skills, and they all walked out feeling confident that they now know what to do in a life-threatening situation. These two hours of training may just translate into years saved of a loved one’s life.

All this is thanks to BLINK, a division of Hatzalah of the Jersey Shore, which provided free CPR classes to the community, equipping everyone with the ability to save a life.

BLINK began by teaching the graduating class of every high school in our community, an initiative they plan to continue for years to come, and it’s been a tremendous success, training
500 students in their first year. However, BLINK wasn’t going to stop there. Just a few months later, they opened to the public, offering a wide range of classes for the public during the Nine Days in the West Deal Shul. The program was sponsored in memory of Diane Azrak, a”h, whose son, Adam Azrak, had introduced the concept of free community CPR classes several years ago.

“BLINK’s preparing an army of lifesavers,” Adam said, as he watched hundreds of participants file into the classes night after night. “I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

The classes were taught by certified instructors, many of whom are our very own Hatzalah members, with lead instructor and longtime Hatzalah member Robby Lederman at the helm. In just two hours, everyone learned the basics of how to save a life, including CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, operating a defibrillator, and other important skills.

The next time someone screams, “Does anyone know CPR?!” bystanders won’t shift their feet and look away. Instead, they’ll answer “YES!” and become the difference in that person’s life.

Lev Aharon Basketball Tournament

On Sunday August 9th, 120 of the community’s elite players turned out for the 5th Annual “Nothin’ But Net” men’s basketball tournament, benefitting Yeshivat Lev Aharon in Jerusalem. The event was a fabulous success, thanks to the great turnout and beautiful weather.

Among the new attractions introduced at this year’s event were a split-the-pot raffle, a three-point shootout, and a car raffle offering the prize of $5,000 towards the car lease of the winner’s choice at Westmount Auto Leasing in Lakewood.

The tournament began with 30 teams dispersed over six courts. By midday, the event was getting heated and tense, with 16 teams remaining in the competition. The halftime program featured a three-point contest with 50 participants, which was won by Ralph (cousin) Sutton, who walked away with a trophy and a cash prize. The competition resumed after halftime, and the winners were Daniel Beyda, Ezra Sultan, David Hindy, and Mike Attias. MVP honors went to Judah Cohen.

The organizers express their gratitude to all the hosts who lent out the use of their basketball courts for the tournament: Jack and Harriet Sasson, Ray and Sharon Haber, Steven and Sari Sofer, Raymond and Vivian Dayan, and Elliot and Rochelle Franco. Special thanks go to Joey and Jody Cohen, the gracious hosts for the last four years, for opening up their home for this wonderful event. Everyone is already eagerly looking forward to next year’s tournament!!

Upcoming SBH Support Groups

The Mental Health Resource division (MHR) at Sephardic Bikur Holim understands the benefits of being part of a support group.  Knowing that you are not alone and that there are other people sharing the same struggles as you do is a great source of relief for many people. Being in a support group can help you develop new skills to relate to others, while you brainstorm with people in a similar situation to yours, working together to find ways to deal with your struggles. At first it may seem uncomfortable to discuss things in front of strangers. However, the fact that others are facing the same type of situation may help you open up and discuss your feelings. Everything that takes place within the support group is kept confidential.

Below is a list of the groups which are currently being offered at MHR this fall.

How to Gain Cooperation from Any Child:Facilitated by Tammy Sassoon, MS ED (4 weeks), Oct. 27th – Nov. 17th, $20.00 per session, last session is free for those who attend all the sessions.

For Women Only:  Facilitated by Audrey Grazi, LCSW (6 weeks), Oct. 12th – Nov. 16th.

New Moms Support Group:Facilitated by Robin Garrett, LCSW (6 weeks), Oct. 12th – Nov. 6th. $10.00 per class, last class is free for those who attend all six.

Parenting Children with ADHD:Parent Training and Support Workshop: Facilitated by Regine Galante, PhD  (6 weeks), Oct. 15th –
Nov. 19th.

Tune In to Your Teens Facilitated by Ratzon Gholian, LMHC
(6 weeks), Oct. 15th – Nov. 19th.

Mothers without Mothers:Facilitated by Audrey Grazi, LCSW, meets once a month; please call for details.

For more information, or to be part of the support group experience, call 718-787-1100 x 315.

The SAFE Foundation Offers Guidance
for Easing Back-to-School Anxiety

For many students, the back-to-school season is laden with anxiety. It can manifest itself in several ways, such as stomach-aches, headaches, moodiness, depression, as well as a host of many other physical and emotional symptoms. This becomes a major concern when children, unaware of the ramifications, turn to dangerous outlets to relieve stress.

Studies show that as children get older, the pressure to drink, smoke and use other drugs continues to increase. So does the availability of these substances. Therefore, it is necessary for parents to warn their children about the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, and to communicate openly about their children’s concerns as they acclimate themselves to the new school year.

While you cannot eliminate all of your child’s worries, there are a number of things you can do to help ease his transition to the
new semester.

Converse:Explain that it is understandable to be nervous about new experiences. To open up the conversation, share a story that relays how anxious you were as you embarked on something new. You can also ask open-ended questions that encourage dialogue, such as, “What do you expect this year to be like for you?”

Reduce stress:Be realistic and optimistic when discussing academic expectations. Remember that if the intense desire to perform has damaging repercussions, you may want to rethink
your priorities.

Plan:Help organize your child’s schedule. Have him do most of the scheduling work while you offer guidance and support.

Encourage outlets:Support your child’s participation in sports, clubs and other activities based on his/her interests, not based on what will please others.

Foster positive feelings:Help build self-esteem with positive comments and encouragement. Remind your child that he is valued and that his feelings and
thoughts matter.

Be there:Reassure him that you are there to discuss anything that concerns him.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the SAFE Foundation’s confidential, toll-free
hotline, 24/7, at 866-569-SAFE
(7233). Have a question, E-mail:

Third Annual Hatzalah Carnival
is a Smashing Success


This is the first word that comes to mind upon reflecting on what happened on Sunday, August 2nd. The day was filled with fun
and exciting community events, making it one of the greatest days of hesed this community has ever seen. And the carnival that Hatzalah of the Jersey Shore put together was a big part of it.

Jersey Shore Hatzalah is an independent organization with dedicated volunteers who serve their patients during sickness, emergencies and accidents. After years of dedicated service, the volunteers decided that they want to give more to the community and their patients. After brainstorming countless ways to bring joy to the children of our community, the idea of the Jersey Shore Hatzalah Carnival was born.

The carnival featured activities for all ages, including rides, live ambulance tours with the EMTs, games, prizes, a petting zoo and face painting. In addition to the scores of rides and characters in costumes, there was also a car raffle and a beautifully displayed Chinese Auction, which proved to be a major hit among the carnival’s guests. The carnival was also well-stocked with barbeque, cotton candy, ices and fresh popcorn, providing for snacking between the various activities. The organizers also provided fire engine tours, bringing together the local fire and police departments, which not only gave the community a sense of security, but also made a strong and lasting impression upon our young children.

By day’s end, thousands of community members and local residents had come together for a day of fun in support of
those who protect them year-round. It was truly a day for all ages; from the kids enjoying the games and rides and the teens working the booths, to the adults checking out the auction and car raffle.

For three consecutive years, the carnival committee has come up with so many fun and exciting new ideas to bring to the carnival. Bringing such joy to young children while raising money for such an amazing organization is not something many people can pull off. The committee had worked nonstop for several months to put together a day to remember, and with the great weather, numerous sponsors, countless volunteers and positive synergies from the day’s countless hesed events, Sunday August 2nd was truly a day we’ll never forget.

Hatzalah EMS of the Jersey Shore is an independent organization. Their emergency phone number is 732-531-9988. Please save it in your phone today.

The Hilchot Shabbat Initiative

The Hilchot Shabbat Initiative was recently launched as a source of merit for Chaya Malka Bat Batsheva, an 18-year-old girl who fell into a sudden coma about three months ago. Her family, relatives, classmates, neighbors and friends, along with countless others who never even met her, are still reeling from shock and praying for her to wake up. They have all committed themselves to do all they can to accrue merits on her behalf. Thus far, over 8,500 families have joined this
special learning initiative, and are enjoying this addition to
their Shabbat table.

Everyone who signs up for the Hilchot Shabbat Initiative receives a weekly sheet that discusses several practical and relevant halachot of Shabbat, in a clear, straightforward fashion. Members receive sheets via fax, email, or mail (booklets containing pages to read over 20 weeks). An email blast company sends out the material weekly to over 40,000 families.

Baruch Hashem, the founders have received very enthusiastic feedback, with subscribers glowingly describing how reading the halachot at the Shabbat table enhances their Shabbat and has raised the level of their awareness of Shabbat observance. Several prominent high schools have distributed the material to their student body. Requests have come in from far and wide, from both within and beyond the U.S., to incorporate these sheets into school curricula. Many bungalow colonies and camps joined the program, as well. A number of Hilchot Shabbat groups have formed, in which women gather to learn the material. All this has happened in a short two months. This idea is spreading, and families around the world are being given the opportunity to learn the basic halachot of Shabbat in a very practical way.

There are currently three versions of the halachah sheets. The Ashkenaz paper is reviewed by Rabbi Yaakov Forchheimer, posek of the Bais Medrash Govoah in Lakewood, and by Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, author of The Artscroll Halacha series. The Sephardic version is reviewed by Hacham Eliezer Harari,  and the Yiddish sheet is reviewed by the Skvere Dayan to serve Chassidic communities. The program is endorsed by many rabbis and is being run under their guidance.

The Sephardic community in warmly invited to join this program as a source of merit for Chaya Malka bat Batsheva. You can subscribe by calling 732- 901-0536 or by sending an email to:

Magen David Congregation of 67th Street – Open for All Shabbat and Holiday Minyanim!

Following a major restoration project, Magen David Congregation of
67th street, Brooklyn’s longestfunctioning Syrian Jewish congregation, has been returned to its former glory and is open for All Shabbat and Holiday Minyanim.

For more information, call 347 850 3972.

Shomrim Defeats the NYPD
at the 6th Annual Greenfield Classic

The Greenfield Classic is a friendly end-of-summer softball game played between NYPD’s 66 Precinct and the Boro Park Shomrim. Councilman David Greenfield started this tradition during his first year as Councilman in 2010.

On August 18th, the Shomrim faced off against the NYPD’s
66 Precinct at the sixth annual Greenfield Classic softball game. In an exciting game, the Borough Park Shomrim opened a wide lead early on, ultimately defeating the NYPD by a score of 25 to 5. The series is now tied, as both teams have three wins each in year six of this annual Brooklyn tradition.

Hundreds of people came out to watch as Councilman Greenfield hosted this friendly end-of-summer event to say thanks to those who work so hard to keep the community safe. NYPD’s highest ranking uniformed officer, Chief of Department James O’Neill, threw out the first pitch. Thanks to Klein’s Ice Cream and Greenfield, there were free ices and snacks for the many onlookers who came out to support the community.

“Everyone had a great time at this year’s Greenfield Classic.
I started this event six years ago to recognize the hard work that our local heroes do to protect us and the unique cooperation between the NYPD and the Shomrim. Here in Brooklyn we love the NYPD and we are grateful to our Shomrim volunteers. Congratulations to the Borough Park Shomrim for tying up the series. I can’t wait until next year’s game to see who pulls ahead,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Captain Kenneth Quick of the 66 Precinct added, “Nobody likes a loss, but it was nice spending time with our community partners.”