Community Bulletin

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TDS to offer new boys’ and girls’ divisions for upper grades

<font color='red'><i>Photo by JHV: MICHAEL C. DUKE</i></font color><P align='left'>Torah Day School’s expanded three-acre campus includes a new baseball diamond, visible from its new rooftop playground.

Torah Day School’s expanded three-acre campus includes a new baseball diamond, visible from its new rooftop playground.

New gender-specific programming part of major expansion and renovation project of Chabad Center

Torah Day School has announced plans to offer new boys’ and girls’ divisions for its upper grades, beginning next fall. Under its new gender-specific programming, TDS will have its first-ever boys’ and girls’ ninth- grade classes next year.

TDS is located at the Chabad Lubavitch Center-Texas Regional Headquarters in Southwest Houston. The Chabad Center is nearing completion of an extensive expansion and renovation project, which has greatly benefited its day school. The now three-acre campus boasts new and larger classroom spaces, teacher resource rooms, larger libraries and computer lab, social and activities halls, rooftop playground, new baseball diamond and outdoor basketball/tennis court, home to the newly formed TDS Titans basketball team.

“This is the realization of our dream,” explained Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, executive director of the Chabad Center-TRH, and founder of TDS. “We’ve always wanted to have separate boys’ and girls’ divisions at our community school, but did not have the space or resources. But now, with our larger campus and new buildings, we can make this dream a reality.”

TDS’ new boys’ and girls’ divisions will feature intensive Judaic studies curriculum, in addition to strong secular studies, specifically tailored for boys, and for girls, the rabbi pointed out. Having unique divisions for boys and for girls in the upper grades will help the maturing students focus on their studies, he added.

TDS will continue its tradition of being an inclusive, diverse day school for the entire Jewish community. “We are a Jewish community school, with a diverse student body. We make sure our students are prepared to enter a diverse world, in college, yeshivot and in business,” Rabbi Lazaroff said.

Rabbi Yaakov Vidal will serve as TDS’ boys’ division head. Rivka Fishman will serve as TDS’ girls’ division head.

Registration for TDS’ new boys’ and girls’ divisions will begin Monday, Feb. 2. For information, call 713-777-2000, or visit TDS is located at 10900 Fondren Rd.

New Section: Birkat Hachamah

Birkat Hachamah has launched a new section devoted to the once-in-28-years mitzvah that will be performed this April 8, the morning of the eve of Passover: the “Blessing of the Sun.”

This blessing – called Birkat Hachamah – is recited when the sun returns to the exact position, at the same time of the week, which it occupied at the time of its creation—at the beginning of the fourth day of creation. Due to the rarity of this event, this blessing is customarily recited amid large public gatherings of men, women and children.

This comprehensive section contains an overview of this rare ceremony, the procedure, FAQs, as well as in-depth information on the astronomical calculations involved in computing the date.

More features will, G-d willing, be added in the coming days and weeks. Including: Global Birkat Hachamah Service Locator, all the texts of the Birkat Hachamah ceremony, an informational video, and more.

Click here to visit this new section.

The Story of Life - In Twelve Short Chapters

The Story of Life

We are delighted to offer a new ‘monthly mp3 download feature’ from Rabbi Manis Friedman's ever so popular lecture series titled ‘The Story of Life: In Twelve Short Chapters’. The series expounds upon twelve passages from the written and oral Torah that the Lubavitcher Rebbe chose for children to learn.

Rabbi Friedman explains these verses as laying the groundwork for a wholesome Jewish life. He delves into such topics as living without doubt, self respect, optimism, living without constraints, knowing your true nature, the cure for narcissism, the world is yours to fix, and much more…

The first six verses are about our character and identity. The second six are about our responsibility to the world. Although this was begun as a campaign geared to children, the principles contained in these verses can change the lives of people of all ages.

Click here to download these new classes.

Monthly Recovery On Sale

Monthly Recovery On Sale
Monthly Recovery On Sale

Everyone loves a bargain. Try tapping into the Jewish calendar's spiritual energy as you work the Steps; it's bound to aid in Jewish Recovery.

By Susan T.

Jewish months don’t always correlate with the secular calendar. Somehow, though, they come close. Thus, during January, the Hebrew lunar month is mostly Tevet. February will coincide with Shevat, March with Adar, and so on. Judaism teaches that time has spiritual significance; Shabbat, holidays, and even months have distinct sanctity and spiritual messages. A closer look at these monthly messages shows intriguing correlations to 12 Step work. There are no coincidences in G-d’s world. Perhaps we Jews in recovery can draw strength from what our tradition teaches us about our place in cosmic time as we work the Steps.

Step One: January/Tevet - Powerlessness.

The main event of the month of Tevet is the siege of Jerusalem, which occurred about 2500 years ago, and ultimately led to the destruction of the Holy Temple. The tenth of Tevet marks the day that the protective walls around Jerusalem were breached. Think about it: foreign armies surround your city, depriving you of water, food, dignity. It’s unmanageable! Your walls can no longer protect you. You can’t live like this! Powerless!

Click here to continue reading this article.

Rabbi Yossi Paltiel Shabbaton

Please join Chabad Lubavitch Center
January 23 & 24
for a Shabbaton with Rabbi Yossi Paltiel
a noted educator and lecturer from New York

A Weekend of Chassidic Dimensions 
  כ”חTevet, Shabbos Mevorchim Shevat - Parshas Va’eira
Chabad Lubavitch Center - 10900 Fondren Road 

Friday night candle lighting - 5:34 pm
Kabalas Shabbos davening at Shul followed by the first lecture - 6:00 pm
Enjoy Shabbos dinner at your home/host family
Friday night fahrbrengen for men only
9:00 pm - Call for location

Shabbos Shachris davening begins - 10:00 am
Shabbos lecture (before Mussaf):
Conquering Mount Ever Rest
Suedas Shabbos washing Kiddush with continued learning
Between Mincha and Maariv - Chassidic Maamar 

Melave Malka Saturday night for women only
8:00 pm - Call for location (dairy will be served)

The Shabbaton is partially underwritten by The Fink, Barnett and Amber Families
To RSVP and for questions & locations:
Please call 713 -729 -7097 or 713 -774 -1986

Solidarity Photos & Reports

The first pictures of the soldiers who have received letters of solidarity and support from all over the world have arrived.

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Volunteers Report from the Field - Reports from those delivering the letters you wrote and the packages you sent... on NY News 12

Web site set up to send e-mails to Middle East 

(01/09/09) BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - Residents say a new Web site was set up to allow them to show support for civilians and soldiers caught in the Gaza conflict.

According to one Brooklyn family with relatives in Tel Aviv, the Web site letter-writing campaign helps them feel connected to their family members. They send several e-mails a day to show their support for their relatives and to acknowledge their awareness of the situation.

Brooklyn residents say the Web site helps them feel like they are making a difference in the lives of those in Gaza and Israel. Even though they can’t physically help them cope with the violence, neighbors say their messages give their friends and relatives in the Middle East hope.

Send your own letter here

Send a Package

Send a Care Package

Send Care Packages to IDF Soldiers and Families in Affected Areas

The courageous soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are putting their lives on the line every day that the Gaza War rages. It is essential that we let them know that we all deeply appreciate their bravery and their heroic defense of the Jewish homeland.

With people spending increasing amounts of time in bomb shelters, the needs of the elderly, sick, and those below the poverty line have become an urgent priority. They need help with food, medicine and warm clothing.

Schools in the targeted areas of Israel have closed and the children spend a great deal of time in bomb shelters. The isolation and boredom increase their fear and anxiety.

Click here to provide an emergency care packages to be delivered to an IDF soldier, an affected Israeli family, or a child in a bomb shelter.

Stay Focused

With the Gaza offensive now well into its second week, it is natural for the feelings of deep concern we all initially felt to subside somewhat. Life resumes...

But life as normal has not resumed for our brethren in Israel. And as a united people, we must make an exerted effort to keep our minds and hearts focused on our brothers and sisters who find themselves in distress.

We urge you to visit our Gaza War section on a frequent basis. It is updated daily with new stories and perspectives, and you’ll find ways to show your support for the soldiers and affected citizens—spiritually, emotionally, and materially.

With blessings for lasting peace in the Holy Land.

Show Your Solidarity!

Show Your Solidarity

It's time to show them that we care. That we are in awe of their heroism and brimming with admiration for their courage. That all of us across the world are hoping, praying, learning and doing extra good deeds for their safety.

Write your thoughts to an IDF soldier, or to an Israeli living in an area where rockets are falling. We will hand-deliver your words of encouragement, and if you choose, your picture as well. Simply demonstrating your solidarity by mail is a mitzvah on its own. Taking on another mitzvah or learning some Torah on their behalf will accomplish even more.

Be there with them, hand in hand, providing even more strength and courage.

Click here to show your solidarity!

‘Yes, we CAN’ punctuates last night of Chanukah

More than a dozen children were selected to ride in a stretch limo, leading the Chabad Chanukah parade of cars on Sunday, Dec. 28.
More than a dozen children were selected to ride in a stretch limo, leading the Chabad Chanukah parade of cars on Sunday, Dec. 28.

A parade of more than 20 vehicles, filled with Chanukah festival-revelers, drove from Chabad Outreach on Fondren Road to Chabad of Uptown, near The Galleria, on Sunday, Dec. 28. On this eighth night of Chanukah, vehicles sported lighted chanukiyot and some played festive music from rooftop speakers. A stretch limo – filled with children – led the procession of privately owned vehicles.

Inside Chabad of Uptown, more families gathered together for Chanukah treats and building a chanukiyah out of canned goods, which would be donated to the Houston Food Bank and other needy Houstonians. Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff greeted the crowd, and eight members of the audience were invited to light candles which were placed atop the cans.

Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff delivered an impassioned speech, borrowing from the theme of President-elect Barack Obama’s recent campaign, and relating the theme to Chanukah. “This menorah – this physical embodiment of hope and change,” he said, “was built by you, by your donation, your dedication, your devotion.“. . . Yes, we CAN is the message of Chanukah,” Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff said. “If there is anyone out there who still doubts – the message of Chanukah – that a little light pushes away great darkness, that the few CAN conquer the many, that ultimately goodness and righteousness will triumph – tonight is your answer.

“When the Syrian Greeks wanted to destroy Judaism, to force us to abandon Torah and G-d, when the world said, give up, you’re fighting the mightiest army in the world, No, you can’t – the Maccabees stood up and declared, Yes, we CAN. And, they rallied the Jewish people, rededicated the Temple and earned, for themselves and subsequent generations, a miracle, a miracle of Yes, we CAN.”

As Rabbi Lazaroff drew from life and the year’s events – from fighting for life when faced with illness, to rising up after terrorists struck in Mumbai, to giving tzedekah in times of financial depression, to feeding the hungry, to defending Israel when others call for its destruction – the audience responded with “Yes, we CAN!”

The rabbi’s remarks ended with the theme of change. “Change, we can believe in,” he said. “But, there’s one change that we can really believe in, because it’s the ultimate, the real, the true, the final change. And, that’s the change that will come with Moshiach, the change that will transform the world, the change that will actualize the message of Chanukah – when light will completely and totally push away the darkness."

Front Line Blog - Dispatches From a Soldier on the Front

Front Line Blog

First Sergeant Yared M. Ben-Caro is a combat soldier in the Israel Defense Force. Born in Los Angeles, he immigrated to Israel in September, 2006, at the age of 21 after studying English, Pharmaceuticals, and Financial Management. As of January, 2009, he is serving in Paratrooper Battalion 890 in the Heavy Weapons & Recon Company as Lead Sharpshooter and Missile Specialist.

From his position on the Gaza front, Ben Caro is taking some time each day to text us updates from the field of operations.

Click here to read this new blog.

War in Gaza

As we follow the situation in Israel with concern, we would like to let you know about a new section put together addressing the situation in Gaza.

The section includes news, video, personal stories, "call to action", and more. Exclusive to is a paratrooper's text-message updates from the front.

Click here to visit this new section.
Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.