Tzom gedalia this year was a happening day for the Brooklyn Heights Jewish Academy ( BHJA) executive team. This past Sunday was the Atlantic Antic street fair which is NYC annual largest street fair presented by the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation. Hundreds of vendors filled the streets with different type of goods to offer the visitors from food to furniture, cloths, toys, and attractions for kids and adults. The streets where roaring from the sounds of drums, children, music, and the only one Shofar in the BHJA white tent. It was one of the hottest days we had in a few weeks, however, that nor the fast prevented the motivated team from showing the passing crowd what BHJA is all about and to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.
BHJA head of school, Marina Pinkhasik, together with, Shternie Raskin, executive director of Kiddie Korner, her daughter, Chaya Raskin, teacher at BHJA, her daughter in law Yael Raskin, and Kiddie Korner’s ed director, Sheli Man-Steinberg, set up a happening scene for the visiting crowd. They put out apples, honey sticks, face painting, holiday schedules and calendars from Chabad of Brooklyn Heights located in Congregation Bnai Avraham in 117 Remsen St., chess tables, plants made by the BHJA kids, Hebrew school flyers, Kiddie Korner’s Yoshaba Shaba and Tot Shabat program flyers, and shofars. Some of the teachers and parents came to support the team as well and share their feedback about the school.
Jen Littman, a parent, commented that “It was truly inspiring to see people of such diverse cultures, religions, backgrounds, and traditions eager to learn about the Shul, shofar, the apples and honey and ideas that were on display at our table. There were many, many back and forth conversations and while there was some difference of opinions, exchanges were respectful and Insightful. The fair is about having fun, exposure to the vast heritages that coexist in Brooklyn, it was beautiful for everyone to reflect, acknowledge and celebrate diversity.”
Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, and his two sons Rabbi Yankel Raskin and Eliyahu Raskin, were helping men put on Tefillin, and for those who still haven’t heard a shofar this year, a special shofar blowing on this hot day. It was a team effort to get out there while fasting and lift people’s spirits. It was a wonderful opportunity to give the downtown Jewish community a beautiful display of what it means to be Jewish, the feeling of home away from home in the midst of a roaming street. There they were, the BHJA team, reminding everyone that they are loved and accepted and that now is the time to remember, to awaken, and to do Teshuva. The sound of the shofar was heard on every booth, reaching with its roaring rhythm the hearts of our brothers and sisters.