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Young Israel of Great Neck

Ariel Yitzchak Newman Memorial Scholar in Residence

41st Annual Dinner - Sunday February 28

The 41st annual YIGN Dinner will take place on Sunday February 28, 2016 at Leonard's Palazzo in Great Neck.  This year's Dinner will honor Barrie & Eliot Peyser and Sarah & Etan Walls.   

Dinner Registration



President's Message

The Young Israel of Great Neck (YIGN) was established over 40 years ago through the efforts of six visionary families.  What started out as their dream has resulted, after four decades of tremendous growth, in a large, thriving, modern orthodox congregation with over 250 family members, located at 236 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck. In addition to our beautiful main sanctuary, our state-of-the-art Justin Family Center contains a large Beit Midrash, several classrooms, as well as a full-sized gymnasium. Read more



Mazel tov to Rina and Yossi Weisberg and to Rabbi Yaron and Abby Weisberg on the engagement of their granddaughter and daughter Rachel to Moshe Aharon Rabin.

Mazel tov to Elana and Adam Zitter and Penny and Jerry Koss on the birth of their daughter and granddaughter.

Mazel tov to Aliza and Allan Rein and Rachel and Sandy Shulkes on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.

Mazel tov to Marlene and Larry Schiffman and Estee and Jeremy Lavitt on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.


Condolences to Deborah Welner on the loss of her sister, Risa Doyle z.l..


Our YIGN dinner honoring Barrie and Eliot Peyser and Sarah and Etan Walls is less than 3 weeks away. If you have not done so already, please submit your scroll of honor listing and your response to the dinner ASAP. THE FINAL DATE TO BE LISTED IN OUR JOURNAL IS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH.

LIU Post doctoral students Nini Goldberg and Tali Wachspress are back for their second annual parenting workshop! They will be presenting on mindful parenting on Tuesday February 16 at 8 pm! This workshop is suitable for parents of children of all ages.

Tuesday May 17th 7:30 PM - Join us for an informative and entertaining evening in support of our community Mikvah.  The event will feature our back-by-popular-demand speaker, Rachel Hercman LCSW, who will be speaking on: Abandoning Perfection -- Learning to let go in life, love and intimacy.  Details to follow...



Please save the date, Sunday March 20th (AM) for our annual Youth Purim Carnival. Promises to be the best one yet!!!


Coach Eric Schuman's boys basketball clinic meets Sunday mornings in the YIGN gym.

    Sessions are as follows: 

2nd - 3rd graders: 9:30-10:30 AM

Kindergarten - 1st graders: 10:30-11:30 AM 

Remaining Sunday dates for this program are:

2/14, 2/28, 3/6, 3/13 Cost is pay-as-you-go $15/session for YIGN members; $20/session for non-members

Please contact Roya Samuels for further information.


The Great Neck Yoetzet Halacha Committee presents - Family Planning: Whose Plan Is It? with Lisa Septimus, Yoetzet Halacha. The shiur will be in memory of Daniella Moffson, z'l on Tuesday, February 9th at 8 PM at the home of Rachel and Ben Feintuch - 3 Sycamore Drive. For more information, please contact Lisa Septimus at or 516 415 1111. 

Come check out BELLA’s new collection of trendy and affordable hats, fascinators and other accessories. – Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 10AM – 12PM and 7:30PM-9:30PM at the home of Roya Samuels, 36 Wooleys Lane, Great Neck, NY 11023 – Portion of proceeds benefit YIGN

Please be advised that the return envelope that was sent out with our annual appeal in January was printed incorrectly. If you previously sent a check in that envelope, it was destroyed by the old mailbox company.
January is the time we depend on all of you for our yearly fundraising. This unfortunate mistake has put us very much behind in our collection efforts. This has been a bad winter, so far, and the need for your help is important.

If you have not already responded, we ask that you please do so by either by sending a check to : G N Eiruv Association P.O. Box 234243 Great Neck, NY 11023, or by donating online at

The minimum suggested donation remains at $180.00. If you are able to support the Eiruv with a larger donation, it will be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanking you in advance for your support of our community Eiruv.

Magen David Adom
 is Israel’s ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization, serving as emergency medical first responders for the state’s more than 8 million people. MDA is the only organization mandated by the Israeli government to serve in this role, but it’s not a government agency, so it relies on people like you for funding. Through your gift, you’re saving lives.

 ​There is a campaign being run by the Great Neck Jewish Community to raise funds for a Magen David Adom ambulance. Below is a link that will take you to the correct site. Make sure to click on Gigi Aharoni​ ​ to give proper credit to the Great Neck Ambulance campaign. If you prefer to donate by check, it can be dropped off at the YIGN office or sent directly to Shaare Zion Synagogue.​ For more information, please contact Gigi at 917-577-5178 or

The YU seforim sale will take place this year from February 7-28 at Belfer Hall (183rd  and Amsterdam Avenue).  Wide selection of seforim at discount prices. For further information go   

The North Shore Hebrew Academy’s Annual Journal Dinner, celebrating its 61 year tradition of excellence, will take place on Sunday, April 10, at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregationhonoring Heidi & Glenn Zuckerman, Guests of Honor, Drs. Helen & Howard Zimmerman, Grandparents of the Year and Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Distinguished Faculty Award. Those wishing to serve on the Dinner committee, please contact Arnie Flatow at or call the Business Office at 487-868 ext 2.


Please Save the Date for Shaare Zedek Women’s Health Day which will take place Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 9:00- 2pm at the NY Academy of Medicine. This year the Health Day funds will be dedicated to the Trauma/Urgent Care area since Shaare Zedek is treating the vast majority of victims who have been injured

since October 3rd

Schedule for Shaare Zedek Health Day:

9 AM-10:00 AM: Registration

Breakfast and 14 Boutique Vendors (open all day except during Keynote)

10AM-10:45 AM: Breakout Session 1

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, Sex Therapist or Mary Sabo, Acupuncturist/ Herbalist

11AM-11:45 AM: Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jonathan Halevy, Director General at Shaare Zedek Medical Center 

12PM-12:45 PM: Breakout Session 2

Dr. Eric Mandel, Lasik or Dr. Christine Coyle, Infectious Disease/Travel

Lunch will follow at 12:45pm

For info- contact Randi Luxenberg -

Website for registration will open Feb


The following donations have been made to the Young Israel of Great Neck:

Ellen and Mitchell Siegel in honor of Moshe Kranz’s bar mitzvah; In honor of Noah Kranz’s bar mitzvah

Sonia Movsas in memory of Norman Seif

Zelda and Sol Berger in memory of Norman Seif

Suri and David Kufeld in honor of Trudy and David Justin

Sarit and Shlomo Elias in memory of Risa Doyle

Rabbi Lerner's Weekly Parsha Shiur


Parshat Terumah

The Temple Jewels

28:2-3: Speak to Bnei Yisrael and let them take for Me a portion, from every man whose heart motivates him you shall take My portion. This is the portion that you shall take from them: gold, silver, and copper. The meforshim say that from pasukim 3-8 there are a total of 15 different types of gifts, including precious metals, incense, animal skins, fabrics, etc. The last two in 28:7: Shoham stones and the stones for the settings, for the Ephod and Breastplate. They are precious stones worn on the begadim of the Kohen Gadol. Each of the Avnei Miluim represents one of the twelve tribes and is worn on his chest in the Breastplate; the Avnei Shoham are stones worn on each of his shoulders, on the straps of the Ephod.

Rashi: there were two Avnei Shoham needed for the Ephod; the 12 Miluim stones are placed in a cavity made of gold – each stone fit into a cup of gold – they are called Avnei Miluim because each stone fills a hole, called a Mishbetzet.

Ibn Ezra and Rashbam: agree with Rashi; the stones fill a cavity and project out somewhat.

Ramban: Rashi is absolutely wrong with his explanation of the Avnei Miluim and the Avnei Shoham – if those two stones also fill a cavity, why are then also not called Miluim. In Sota 45b it says that these precious stones could not be cut out and shaped with a sharp cutting tool – if Rashi was correct, then they would have to be carved and shaped. Furthermore, the Gemorrah says the stones do not fill a setting – Targum Unkelos says that the stones were held in place with thin prongs, like a diamond ring, so that they can be seen from all angles and appreciated more – it wouldn’t make sense to hide the majority of the precious stones in a deep gold cup. The stones had to be complete, full stones that could not be cut and shaped with jewelers’ tools. There were chains attached to the Ephod to connect the jewels to the garment.

How were these stones made whole and how were the letters of the tribes’ names placed on each stone if they could not use metal tools? They used a Shamir, a worm that had a miraculous power of being able to sink into the surface of the stone to create the lettering – it would melt away part of the stone – that is what is meant by Miluim – the worm would complete the stone and they would be whole. None of the stone was shaved off.

Rabbeinu Bachya: Ramban is quoting Targum Unkelos who said that the stones were complete, could not be cut and shaped – it had to be in its natural state coming out of the ground or it would be weakened by the processing; it had to be a complete stone. They would use ink to outline the letters on the stone, and then the worm would be placed on top of the stone – the worm would then just sink into the stones.

Rabbeinu Bachya: Regarding the number of different contributions, we see that there were a total of fifteen, as it says in Yeshayahu that with fifteen (BeKah – yud and hey) God creates worlds – from this the Midrash learned that the Mishkan, a microcosm of the world, was created with 15 different categories of materials. It is an important number – there were 15 steps in the Bais Hamikdash for the Leviyim to stand and sing. There are 15 praises of Hashem about God’s qualities in Yishtabach. In Emes Veyatziv there are 15 praises. There are 15 Shir Hama’alos in Tehilim.

Ohr HaChayim: If these stones are so critical, why are they listed last – maybe they should be listed first? If through these stones placed in the Choshen is how the Kohen Gadol will communicate with God, they should even precede the gold, silver, and brass donations? They are more important than anything else – why list at the end? Three reasons: 1) Perhaps it was because they were brought last by the leaders of each tribe – after everything else had been donated over a period of three days, the only donors left were the princes who said that they would wait until all others had donated and they they would fill in the gap – and the only things left to donate were these stones – God was unhappy with their attitude of arrogance, to let all of the regular people donate first and they would come to the rescue with whatever was needed. In 35:27 it says The leaders brought the Shoham stones and the stones for the settings for the Ephod and the Breastplate. The word Nesi’im is spelled stangely, missing a Yud – Rashi quotes Rabbi Nassan who said that while they brought the first Korbanos during the eight days of Miluim, they were the last to offer donations – when the congregation filled in virtually everything, the only things left were the precious stones. Because they had been arrogant, waiting until the end when there was virtually no shortfall of materials, God punished them, putting them down by spelling their name with missing letters. 2) Another possible reason for listing them at the end is as said in Yuma: the clothing of the Kohanim were not as holy as the other vessels; if an ordinary person would wear them, they would not be guilty of Me’ilah as opposed to all the other vessels; so because they have lower kedusha, they are mentioned last. 3) A third answer quoted in Yuma say that these stones did not come from the ground – they were miraculous stones that did not exist in the earth – they were rained down from the heavens, like the manna. These were not personal possessions like all of the other materials donated by the people; the princes were sent to collect the precious stones which fell from the heavens – it was no skin off their back – they got them without significant effort, nor were they out of pocket for the value of these items – they came from Hashem for free. They are at the bottom of the list because there was the least amount of spirit involved, the least amount of Mesiras Nefesh. It was not a big effort or cost to the donors, as opposed to the great generosity exhibited by Bnei Yisrael.

Rav Baruch Simon: there is a major lesson for us from the actions of the princes. The pasuk 25:8 says They shall make a sanctuary for Me so that I may dwell in them.  It says Besocham instead of Besochoh. God really wants to be in each person; He wants our love and passion – He doesn’t want to dwell in a foreign, inanimate object; He wants the Shechina in our hearts and minds; the Mishkan was to be a means to this end. The lesson of the Mishkan is that each person should make himself into a Mishkan, to eternalize God’s mitzvos; and that is why it says in 25:9 it is a mitzvah for all generations to prepare the Mishkan – Vechain Ta’asu. These precious stones are listed last to teach us that when we make ourselves into Mishkans, there is no comparison between an action that requires no effort, labor, or expense to one that does cost a lot of time and effort and money. The precious donations were the first items listed that required effort and money, as opposed to the stones picked up at no cost. What really counts in Hashem’s eyes are the things that show an expenditure of time, effort, and cost; when we show that we throw ourselves into the effort. Rav Chaim Veloshon said that the Vilna Gaon would be approached by angels to offer lessons and Torah secrets, and he would turn them away because he wanted to achieve all of his learning with his own hard work; that was what was precious in God’s eyes.

Sun, 14 February 2016 5 Adar I 5776