Beekman Newsletter







Winter 2019 Report

Serving Your



Adult Ed




The Soul

“A summer’s day and a winter’s night is a

year...” Rabbi Joseph Isaac of Lubavitch

Summer days full of fun, evenings of study and

celebration, winter days filled with learning

and joy, all come together for another full year

at Chabad. Summer 2018 saw a lively and active

Camp Gan Israel, four weeks of fun for over 20

children in our 53rd street location, complete

with a backyard-turned-waterpark, a special

highlight for our city kids.

Our biggest High Holiday services ever took

place at Four Cuts, conveniently located on 1st

Ave & 58th St, in the heart of Sutton Place, with

overflow crowds and beautiful spirit. A rousing

Neilah service ended Yom Kippur on a high note,

with wishes for the new year spilling out onto

First Ave. An autumn decorated Sukkah in front

of Chabad on 53rd Street welcomed constant

flows of visitors over the holiday and provided a

convenient drop-in Sukkah for city dwellers.

Sukkot also saw the launch of CKids! A Jewish

experience club for children ages 4 & up, CKids

combines science, Jewish teachings and educational

fun. A Sukkot desert experience was followed

by a Chanukah Dreidel-robot workshop,

a morning of planting for Tu B’shvat, a Scribe

workshop and a Passover 4D experience.

Chanukah on Sutton Place was a smashing evening

despite the drizzle, with a wonderful turnout

of City and state politicians, and many hundreds

from our community. Nine years running,

“Bright Lights Big Menorah” continues to be a

beacon of Chanukah joy and light, around which

gathers a cross section of our community.

Jewish education is our primary objective at

Chabad; the sounds of children laughing and

learning at Manhattan Jewish Montessori provide

the backdrop for a culture of education for

all ages. Adult education, long a focus here at

Chabad, saw great expansion this year with the

launch of a Talmud Lunch ‘n Learn at Ambassador

wines (featured in the NY Post) and a weekly

women’s Torah class with Raizy, in addition to

the Rabbi’s ongoing Wednesday morning Tanya

class in Starbucks, and weekly Shabbat morning

study on the Torah portion. In January, the Rabbi

taught a six week evening course called Great

Jewish Thinkers and multiple one-on-one study

groups take place throughout the week.

Weekly Shabbat services continue to bring in

more new faces and good friends. Local Profiles,

our ongoing lecture series, held several talks on

Shabbat morning this year, with Oscar-nominated

Israeli filmmaker Uri Barbash; Joseph Lucein,

who told the story of the Jewish Pastor, Cardinal

Lustiger; Dr. Joseph Berger, child survivor of the

Kastner Train, and others.

In December, Mets 86 Champion and Chabad fan

Lenny Dysktra teamed up for an out of the park

virtual fundraiser, “Home Run 4 Chabad.” This

campaign was truly a home run and provided

funding for much of the programs offered at

Chabad this year.

As a community-supported non profit, we are

deeply grateful to all those who support Chabad

at Beekman-Sutton: to our virtual campaign supporters

and matchers, our Chai Club shareholders,

our Giving Tree donors, Kiddush sponsors,

and all those who make up our wonderful community.

May G-d bless you with the fulfillment of

all your hearts’ desires for good.

Wishing you a Happy and sweet Pesach!

Directors Rabbi Shmuel & Raizy Metzger

A Pesach Thought


The Soul

Adult Ed

From the Lubavitcher Rebbe

by Denise Sinclair

“The Haggadah describes four disparate

types of youth, but with a common denominator:

all of them, even the most

rebellious one, is present at the Seder.

They meet, their lives intersect, and

they share varying degrees of association

with the Torah and mitzvot. Consequently,

there is strong hope that even

the most wayward child will eventually

see the beauty of a Torah life.

Unfortunately, the present era of spiritual

confusion has produced a fifth, unmentioned

category: the absent child.

This one knows nothing of a Seder, Passover,

the Torah or Judaism. Our attention

to the absent children must begin

long before Passover. With love and sacrifice,

we must reach out to Jews who do

not know what being Jewish means. No

Jewish child is expendable. All energies

must be directed to introducing absent

Jews to the “seder” of Jewish life…”

From a public letter

11 Nissan 5717 /April 12, 1957

As a native New Yorker and Sutton/Beekman Place resident

of long-standing, I often passed by Chabad at Beekman-Sutton—admiring

its lovely, sidewalk Sukkah tent or

glancing through its inviting windows at toddlers and children

playing gaily inside the building. I had no immediate

sense of all that the organization represented.

The value of what Chabad at Beekman-Sutton adds to our

neighborhood became apparent when I first met Rabbi

Metzger by chance. We shared a spontaneous conversation

over coffee at a favorite, neighborhood café. The

next time we met, I was wheeling my luggage along the

sidewalk. The rabbi asked where I was going; I answered

Paris. He took out a dollar bill to give to someone in need,

explaining that this was tzedakah—the Hebrew word for

philanthropy in which a donor benefits from giving as

much or more than the recipient. I searched without success

for someone on my way to JFK airport.

In Paris, while boarding a train on the metro, I noticed a

homeless, old French woman standing on the platform

and quickly handed her a two Euro coin just as the train’s

doors were closing. She was taken aback by the immediate

gesture but clearly grateful. Since this incident, the rabbi

and rebbetzin and I have become fast friends. I am struck

by their unusual warmth and kindness, belief in community

purpose and unwavering optimism. These are traits in

short supply and seem somewhat old-fashioned in today’s

ever self-focused world.

Chabad at Beekman-Sutton’s community

outreach efforts clearly

have a positive impact on our

globally-sophisticated, prosperous

neighborhood with its Jewish

population that consists of a mix

of traditions.

I was honored this Chanukah to serve as the emcee for

the lighting of the menorah, welcoming state and local officials,

as well as the children and residents of our most

diverse neighborhood. What an unexpected, evolving connection

it is that I continue to celebrate and treasure.

Experiencing Chabad in Sutton Place

by Peter Schulman

The Soul

It is well known that

Chabad emissaries courageously

leave their comfort

zones in Brooklyn’s

Crown Heights to spread

Judaism and Chassidic

thought throughout the

world. Chabad houses can be found in faraway

places such as Cambodia and China, or

pioneering destinations in remote areas of

Nebraska or Saskatoon.

Yet, sometimes starting a Chabad House

close to home in certain parts of Manhattan

can be just as challenging and obstacle-laden,

as well. I remember my mother OBM telling

me once that she had championed Rabbi and

Rebbetzin Metzger at a SAC meeting she attended,

without ever having met them, when

she heard there was some early resistance

to their opening up a new Chabad on Sutton


Many were suspicious, others trepidatious.

None of this discouraged the Metzgers in any

way and when they organized the first Menorah

lighting at Sutton Place Park several years

ago (under the watchful eye of 1 Sutton Place,

which at one point in the 1950’s didn’t even

let Jews buy apartments in their building),

so many joyous Jews came out to eat latkes

despite frigid temperatures. It was the first

time, they said, in so many years that they

could experience such a beautiful communal

Jewish event in public in the neighborhood.

Now, with such pride in our community, I

see all the amazing things the Metzgers do

on a daily basis to spread the warmth of Yid-

dishkeit throughout all corners of Beekman-

Sutton. What they have built from scratch has

been so beautiful: a pre-school, a shul with

services and Kiddush on Saturdays and holidays,

Torah and Tanya classes, Bagels, Lox

and Tefilin on Sundays, and most importantly,

a warm Shabbos table to go to on Friday


It moves me to see that the light that the

Metzgers so daringly lit several Chanukahs

ago is shining ever so brightly thanks to their

incredibly contagious enthusiasm, warmth,

energy and devotion to fellow Jews near & far.

“I have seen people radiate with spirituality

after experiencing a Shabbos at Chabad of

Beekman, some for the first time."

I have seen people radiate with spirituality

after experiencing a Shabbos at Chabad of

Beekman, some for the first time in fact, or

others who return after a long hiatus from

observance. Judaism is alive and well on 53rd

street but most importantly in the hearts of

so many thanks to my friends the Metzgers

who never cease to inspire me with their

good cheer through thick and thin - regardless

of what adversity there might be in the

world around us at any given time.

Bedside Pediatrics

Peter Oppenheimer, MD FAAP

Home Visit Medical Care for Children


Six Great Thinkers: Course Recap

by Geoffrey Skolnik

Adult Ed

In January and February, over a

period of six very cold and wet

weeks, an enthusiastic group of

learners turned out each week

to attend outstanding classes taught by Rabbi

Metzger about Six Great Jewish Thinkers.





Rabbi Judah HaLevi (1075-1141), Spain;

an intellectual and community leader; a

physician, poet, and philosopher; author of

The Kuzari.

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, “Maimonides,”

“Rambam” (1135-1204). Left Spain as a

young man; ultimately lived in Cairo. A physician,

philosopher and halachic expert;

author of the Mishneh Torah, the Guide to

the Perplexed, and the Thirteen Principles

of Faith.

Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, “Ramban,”

“Nachmanides” (1194-1270), Spain, lived

in Israel his last few years. He viewed the

work of the rabbis of the Mishna, Talmud,

and the early medieval rabbis as unquestionable;

criticized some of Maimonides

thoughts as rationalizations.

Rabbi Isaac Luria, Ha’Ari”, “The Arizal”

(1534-1572), Jerusalem, Egypt, then Sfat.

Considered the father of contemporary




Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer, “Baal Shem

Tov”, “Besht” (1698-1760), Poland. The

founder of Hasidic Judaism. Among his

many teachings were the need to love your

fellow Jew and, the worship of God, not

only in prayer, but in all daily affairs.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson,

“The Rebbe” (1902-1994), Russia, Berlin,

Paris, New York City.

This class was a very special night done in the

style of a Farbrengen, with food and drink.

Rabbi Metzger’s personal connection to the

Rebbe showed clearly in this inspirational

class, with his meaningful comments and examples

of the Rebbe’s many works and deeds.

Our thanks to Rabbi Metzger for all of his

hard work and informative presentations.

Future classes are greatly anticipated.

FAQ's about the Montessori Method

with Director Raizy Metzger


Chabad at Beekman-Sutton is home to the

East Side’s only Jewish-Montessori fusion

preschool program, Manhattan Jewish Montessori.

An exquisitely balanced hybrid of

play-based learning and Montessori curriculum,

infused with the warmth and joy of a

Jewish community experience, MJM truly offers

the best of all worlds to our children.

Q Isn’t Montessori non-Jewish?

A It’s not! Montessori is a cross-cultural approach

to education, with special focus on the

early childhood years. Based on theories of

childhood development tested over 100 years

in classrooms across the world, the Montessori

approach provides a strong foundation

in critical knowledge and the development of

an inner discipline and joy in learning.

In fact, the method was originally known as

Francetti-Montessori, for the Jewish family

who supported Dr. Maria Montessori’s early

work. In fascist Italy, the name Francetti was

removed and never replaced.

Adopted by many faith-based learning centers,

Montessori is one of the oldest, timetested

educational approaches in the world.

Did you know that Anne Frank, of blessed

memory, attended a Montessori school in

Amsterdam in the 1930’s?

Q Isn’t play-based learning more effective?

A Play-based learning is extremely authentic,

effective and long lasting. That’s why a

Montessori classroom gives children freedom

to play and learn—within a prepared

environment. Creating an environment with

playthings that are actually real-life, childsized

experiences (such as polishing silver,

pouring liquids) and meaningful learning

activities (such as rods and blocks designed

to teach number concepts) provides children

with maximum benefit to their time at school:

play experiences that teach them—without

imposing upon them—academic skills, life

skills and more.

Q What is the benefit of a Montessori

education at MJM?

A The world is changing rapidly, and no one

can tell exactly what knowledge or skills our

children will need to succeed. One thing we

do know: it is not factors like cognitive ability

or socioeconomic background that ensure

a child’s success in classrooms and in life:

It’s something that can best be described as

“grit”—an inner self-discipline that enables

one to organize oneself and succeed at any

given task.

The Montessori method, in which critical

skills like Concentration, Coordination, Order

and Independence (we call it CCOI) are woven

into each activity, provides the groundwork

for success by developing work habits and a

passion for discovery from the very youngest

age. The other part of our ‘secret sauce’ is

Love. Celebrating each child as they enter the

classroom each day, listening to their unique

voice, and enabling them to soar, is the magic

of our unique program at MJM. Learn more

about our school at: and come visit!







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