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37th Anniversary Dinner

Dinner Journal

Rabbi Shlomo & Karen Hochberg

It is with hearts full of pride, that we announce our guests of honor at our 37th annual dinner will be Rabbi Shlomo and Karen Hochberg, as we celebrate their 25 years of service to our community. While every Shul experiences milestones, these events are rare and are accompanied by moments of contemplative reflection, enormous pride, and Shevach V’hodaa L’Hashem Yisborach.

The Rabbi and Karen joined our community in 1990, when they moved to Jamaica Estates with their children Mira and Yosef, from Lowell, Mass where the Rabbi served as Morah D’Asrah for the Montefiore Synagogue for sixteen years. While in Lowell, the Rabbi was instrumental in the community’s growth, as he served as Dean of the Merrimack Valley Hebrew Academy, President of the Vaad Harabonim of Massachusetts, and a member of its Beis Din.

From the start, the Rabbi and Karen immersed themselves into every aspect of the community and moreover, every Shul member’s personal wellbeing. For this and so much more, we owe them a tremendous Hakarat Hatov.

That we as a community have been the beneficiary of the Rabbi and Karen’s Torah wisdom, creative vision, and sterling model of gemilas chassadim, makes it only natural to reflect on the significant influences in their lives, their parents R’ Hillel and Gertrude Hochberg Aleyhem Hashalom and Joseph and Ruth Ulevitch, Aleyhem Hashalom.

The Rabbi was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and relocated at the age of 5 with his parents and sisters to Flatbush, Brooklyn. Educated at Yeshiva Rambam, Brooklyn Talmudic Academy, and later Yeshiva College/RIETS, Yeshivat Hakotel, and Boston University, the Rabbi was a Talmid of and received smicha from Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, ZT”L. Throughout his career, the Rabbi, in his own personal way, has ensured that the Rav’s mesorah and teachings continue.  

Karen was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, and attended public elementary and high school there, while becoming strongly influenced by active membership with her siblings in the National Council of Synagogue Youth. Karen would later attend Stern College, graduating with distinction as its valedictorian in addition to studying Social Work at New York University. Karen’s career accomplishments are indeed noteworthy in their own right. She has served on the boards of numerous charitable and educational institutions, including Yeshiva University High School for girls and Stern College, and serves as an active mentor to young YU rebbetzins. Karen presently is Director of Programming and Special Projects for The Afikim Foundation, an innovator and implementer of educational and communal programs, that has distinguished itself as a valuable resource for content and creativity for Jewish communities across the globe.

The Rabbi has taught us L’ilmod – the importance of Torah learning. While weekly drashot and frequent shiurim would be enough, he went further and developed our LITE program (Learning in the Estates) a diverse collection of classes taught by Rabbinic and lay leaders catering to all levels of learning. Under his direction, we have also enjoyed numerous Scholar-in-Residence Shabbatot and learned mishnayot each year with the Chevra Mishnayot Zichron Dovid. Additionally, he is committed to Lifroach – as witnessed by his mentoring of rabbinic interns, personal counseling and advising soon-to-be chassanim and kallot.

Fittingly, the Rabbi’s influence has extended beyond our community – he has served with distinction as President of both the RCA and Vaad Harabanim of Queens, and chaired the Kashrus Committee of the Vaad. Presently, he is Mashgiach Ruchani (Religious Guidance Counselor) of Stern College.

Karen has for many years been an integral focal point of L’Smoach – among the varied programming efforts in our Shul, large and small. She has been at the forefront of welcoming new members to our community, been the creative force behind social events such as the Chanukah dinner and café nights, and directed for many years our annual clothing drive for Israel as well as the perennially successful L’Chaim 5K Run/Walk for Israel.

Together the Rabbi and Karen focus with full kavana on L’Hitpallel – The Rabbi with his extraordinary nussach and niggunim on the Yomim Noraim and Karen by leading weekly Tehilim for women on Friday mornings.  

Their beloved children, Mira and Yosef were 12 and 10 when they moved to Jamaica Estates, and the shul members have become their family as well.  Mira, married to Yehuda Labovitz, CRNA, is an occupational therapist for the Medical Day Care division of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and has served with Yehuda as Directors of the Baltimore YACHAD for kids with disabilities for the past 13 years.  Yosef has lived in a HASC group home in Flatbush for the past 14 years and loves to spend the chagim and Yomim Tovim in YIJE with his extended YIJE family.

The influences of their parents AH, and their own significant career accomplishments, have individually and collectively, had a deep and profound impact on the lives of the Rabbi and Karen, starting with their time in Lowell, their later move to Jamaica Estates - all culminating today, with their indisputable leadership role within Orthodox Judaism, Kiruv, and Chessed. For this we are all so grateful and so proud.

Over the last twenty five years the Rabbi and Karen have been indispensible, involved in all our simachot and our challenging times.  We owe them a debt of gratitude.  Let us show our hakeras hatov by being in attendance at the dinner and actively participating in our Journal.

 

The Journal will again be online only.  This “green” initiative saves the shul thousands of dollars, making your much needed donations all the more effective while still allowing each of us to express our admiration, gratitude and best wishes to our deserving honorees.  Please place your ads by going to the YIJE web site and clicking on the 37th Annual Dinner link.  The Journal will be fully accessible at www.yije.org.

As this year’s dinner represents a milestone event of considerable impact, we fully expect it to be a memorable experience. Please set aside the date of February 6, 2016, 28 Shvat 5776 for this can’t-miss community celebration. Our Thirty-seventh Anniversary Dinner will take place at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation of Westbury, New York. Your presence, promptly at 8:30 pm will enhance the evening and add to the success of the dinner campaign.  We look forward to greeting you personally.

 

 

Yours truly,

The Dinner Committee

Wed, July 8 2020 16 Tammuz 5780