Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Chanukah Simcha 5775 (2014) at Old Broadway

A great time was had by all at our annual Old Broadway Synagogue Chanukah party, done in partnership with Senator Bill Perkins and the BINA Cultural Foundation. Below are a few photos of highlights of the evening

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Paul Radensky, Avi Friedman, and Ethan Friedman did an outstanding job leading the group in Haneros Halelu. Who knew these guys have this sort of talent?

Senator Perkins' Chief of Staff brought greetings from Senator Perkins and spoke about the importance of community unity.

At the initiative of Dimitry Ekshstut, Dimitry, Eric Plaks and Lawrence Goldman played wonderfully jazzy versions of great Jewish standards. For now, they are going by alluringly alliterative name, Hopping Harlem Harmonic Hebrews. As great as this name is, there is a rumor that the name may be changed on the near future. Regardless, we hope that Dimitry, Eric and Lawrence will play for us many, many times in the futire.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Please Include the Old Broadway Synagogue in Your Year-End Charitable Giving!

Rosh Chodesh davening at the Old Broadway Synagogue
Photograph by Viviana Perretti
Dear Friend,

We are delighted to announce, that after 13 years, we finally have a rabbi! Rabbi Moskowitz came to us through the recommendation of Rabbi David Merkin of Torah Umesorah and we are grateful to the organization for a generous grant that enabled us to hire Rabbi Moskowitz. From their first day, Rabbi and Mrs. Moskowitz have invested their seemingly boundless energies in expanding both the congregation and the Torah learning within it. Shortly after being hired, the Moskowitzes found an apartment a few blocks away from the shul, and Rabbi Moskowitz immediately increased the number of divrei Torah and derashos given on Shabbos. He also initiated weekday shiurim in addition to Rabbi Fridman’s longstanding Sunday morning shiur.

Rabbi Moskowitz has moreover, been making contacts to elevate the standing of the shul within the Jewish community. He is developing connections with other local rabbis and Jewish institutions such as Manhattan Day School and the West Side Kollel.  He is also reaching out to City College and to the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is located on 125th Street in central Harlem. And, following in Rabbi Kret’s footsteps, Rabbi Moskowitz is cultivating relationships with the Columbia-Barnard Yavneh Minyan and with the Jewish Theological Seminary.

The Moskowitzes have been actively reaching out to Jews in Harlem and Morningside Heights. In addition to the shiurim, Rabbi and Mrs. Moskowitz host many people from Harlem and Morningside Heights for Shabbos dinner every week.  All of these efforts are already paying off. Attendance at all of the services has noticeably improved even within this short period. More families are participating, and many more children are coming as well.

I am also pleased to report that the exterior restoration work is proceeding nicely. This project includes repointing the façade and parts of the northern and eastern walls of the shul. The project will also restore the purple stained glass window in the eastern (back) façade and it will replace all four back exit doors with new kalamein (steel clad) doors equipped with emergency exit hardware. At the end of the project, the fire escapes will be scraped and repainted.  As mentioned in a previous letter, at the request of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the scope of the work was extended beyond what was previously envisioned. The exterior of the building will be in much better shape as a result.

I am delighted to share these developments, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep up the momentum. In order to do so however, we very much need your help. We would like to raise enough money so that we can comfortably pay Rabbi Moskowitz’s salary, not only this year, but next year as well. Within a few years, we anticipate that with a greater number of congregants, raising this money will be easier. For now, however, your support will be very much appreciated.

We will also need your help to complete the exterior restoration. The original cost for the project was approximately $65,000, and we actually raised close to that amount of money. Now that the work has been expanded, we will need to bring in an additional $15,000.  With this as well, we need to count on you.

Accordingly, we ask you to remember us in your year-end giving.  To enable the shul to pay for Rabbi Moskowitz both this year and next, and to help us complete the exterior restoration of the building, please send a check to the synagogue at the address below.

Your contribution will also help cover operating costs, as well as programmatic expenses, which include kiddush every week, High Holiday chazzanim, Purim and Chanukah parties, holiday dinners and new furniture in the basement to make it child-friendly and safe.

Checks may be made payable to the Old Broadway Synagogue and sent to the shul at 15 Old Broadway, New York, NY 10027.

If you wish, you can also give online. Click here to make a secure online contribution.

We thank you in advance for your support. Your help makes it possible for us to maintain our historic synagogue, offer our services and programming, and be a beacon of warmth and Yiddishkeyt in Upper Manhattan.

Warm wishes for a freylikhn, likhtikn Chanukah,

Paul Radensky
Old Broadway Synagogue
Chevra Talmud Torah Anshei Marovi

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Struggling with Judaism?

Get a grip on things with a class with Rabbi Moskowitz!

Women's Gemara Shiur
Monday evenings, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
at the Old Broadway Synagogue

Talmud study for women Monday evenings 7:30-8:30 pm.  We will start at the beginning of tractate Pesachim.  All levels are welcome and all texts will be provided.  Light refreshments will be served. 

Weekly Parsha Shiur
Tuesday evenings, 7:30-8:30 p.m. 
at the Old Broadway Synagogue

Rabbi Moskowitz will be sharing thoughts on the parsha in a text based shuir blending Chasidic ideas with contemporary Mussar.  Open to both men and women of all learning levels. Light refreshments will be served. Every Tuesday evening from 7:30-8:30 pm. 

Please contact Rabbi Moskowitz at to sign up or if you have any questions.  

Meet Rabbi Mike and Rebbetzin Keren Moskowitz!

The Old Broadway Synagogue is pleased to introduce you to our new Rabbi and Rebbetzin, Mike and Keren Moskowitz. Mike hails from Richmond VA, where he lead a kollel and substantial outreach efforts. Keren works at Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future in the Rabbinic Placement Department. 

Mike and Keren's engagement photo.

Please introduce yourself  to Moskowitzes and wish them a mazel tov.                         
                                     They look forward to meeting you!                                                                            

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our President's High Holiday Letter, 5775

Elul 5774
September 2014

Dear Friend,

I hope this letter finds you and your families well.

We have exciting news to share! After thirteen years without a rabbi, we have finally found an outstanding spiritual leader for our community, Rabbi Mike Moskowitz. He is warm, energetic and as enthusiastic to be the rabbi of Old Broadway as we are enthusiastic to have him. Rabbi Moskowitz studied in the major yeshivos of Mir and Lakewood, and received his semichah from Rabbi Nehemia Zalman Goldberg in Israel. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he returned there after finishing his studies and became the mashgiach ruchani (dean of students) at the Yeshiva of Virginia. Later Rabbi Moskowitz created the Torah Learning Center in Richmond, in which he directed a kollel for advanced students and established a number of outreach activities including a beginners’ minyan. After the high holidays, Rabbi Moskowitz will be joining our community with his wife Keren, who has long been involved in Jewish life in New York and is an administrator in the rabbinic placement department of Yeshiva University.  

With more Jews moving into Harlem and with Columbia building their new campus two blocks away, now is the time to raise Old Broadway’s profile to make it an even more exciting and welcoming for the neighborhood’s growing Jewish population. Rabbi and Mrs. Moskowitz will employ their energy, vision and learning, walking in the footsteps of Rabbi and Mrs. Kret, to grow the shul both in people and in Torah. We will need your help to fund Rabbi Moskowitz’s salary, but I can say with confidence that your contribution will be a great investment in the Jewish future.

The situation in Israel this past summer has set everyone in the Jewish community on edge. We are reminded once again that the very existence of the Jewish people is a threat to those who wish to do evil.  Our anxiety about Israel and the Middle East this year finds an echo in the Jewish liturgical calendar during the late summer and early fall. The Haftaros from the Shabbat following Tisha ba-Av to the Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashanah are called the Sheva de’Nechamta (Seven Haftaros of Comfort), all taken from the Book of Isaiah.

The Haftaros acknowledge the presence of our enemies, but remind us that they are nothing before God (40:17). Ultimately, the nations will acknowledge us (49:22-23). We will spread out and will not be ashamed (54: 3-8) and finally, we will be able to live in our land in peace and security, as the prophet says, “No longer shall violence be heard in your land, [nor] plunder and breakage in your borders, but you shall call God’s salvation your [protective] walls and [His] praise your gateways” (60:18). Although Isaiah prophesied over 2,700 years ago, his words continue to give us consolation and hope today.

We are looking forward to the High Holidays. We will be holding our joint Selichos service with the Colunbia/Barnard Hillel at 12:30am on Motzoei Shabbos, September 20th/21st.  The service will be led by Orrin Tilevitz, as he has done beautifully for many years. This year we will celebrate our twelfth annual Rosh Hashanah dinner. I am delighted to note that our wonderful High Holiday baalei tefilah, Yosef Tannenbaum and Rabbi Reuven Hoff, will be back again to lead us in davening this year.

As I reported previously, the New York Landmarks Conservancy awarded us a $25,000 Jewish Heritage Fund matching grant to help pay for repointing of the exterior of the building, replacing the rear exit doors, repainting the fire escapes and restoring the rear stained-glass window.  Thanks to your help, we raised the $35,000 in matching funds needed to be eligible for the grant. Since then, the Landmarks Conservancy has given us an additional $7,000 grant but has asked us to expand the project to include the façade of the building so that the total cost will be $80,000. This means that we will have to raise another $13,000 to cover the cost of the project. We hope that we can turn to you again for assistance. Your support will enable us complete the exterior and move on to restoring the interior of the building.

We have had a good spring and a good summer. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we were able to accommodate all fifty people who wish to attend our popular Passover Seder.  Raif Melhado, a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, taught at the Shavuos dinner. Micah Halperin, a rabbi, author and columnist for the Huffington Post, served as a guest scholar in the spring and in the summer. Rabbi Daniel Fridman continues to give his excellent shiur every Sunday morning after Shacharis.  Thanks to Dale Brown’s efforts our garden in the back provides a verdant and welcome place for contemplation. Dale also led us this past July on another very successful visit (I believe it is our thirteenth) to the Old Broadway section of the Riverside Cemetery, where we tended to the graves of our deceased members and recited Kel Male in their memory.  

I would like to thank you for your ongoing generous support. You have enabled us to welcome people with beautiful davening, a beautiful shul and a warm community. As the New Year approaches, and as we hire a new rabbi, we turn to you again. We hope that we continue to be worthy of your assistance so that we may continue to be a beacon of Yiddishkeit and Torah to many Jews in Harlem, Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side.  May Hashem inscribe and seal you and your families for good health, happiness and success for the New Year.

,לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו
,א גוט געבענטשט יאר
Dr. Paul Radensky