Category Archives : The Rockland Jewish Standard

A virtual sale meets the virtual marketplace

I was half listening to the announcements at the end of the Saturday morning service when something the rabbi was saying broke through the noise in my head. I was pretty sure I heard him announce that we could sell our chametz online. Immediately, I pictured a sort of eBay marketplace, where I could auction […]

Lipa faith

The secular education of a chasidic pop star Most students at Rockland Community College have not had successful singing careers before they decide to get their associate degree. But Lipa Schmeltzer is definitely not most students. A bona fide superstar in the niche world of chasidic singers, Schmeltzer came to RCC as a bit of […]

What shuls can learn from shoes

I purchased a pair of boots from, the online retailer, but they just weren’t right. I wanted to return them, but I also wanted to check out another pair of boots. Complicating what could have been a straightforward exchange was that I had initially paid through Paypal, which charged my American Express card, and […]

Champion of social action

Community mourns passing of Rabbi Louis Frishman Rabbi Louis Frishman, who came to Spring Valley in 1951 and built a small 150-member Reform congregation focused on social action and community involvement into a 900-member synagogue with a waiting list, died on Feb. 6 after a long illness. He was 89. He inspired his congregants to […]

Poised for power

Nita Lowey’s call to serve stems from Jewish values, background Rep. Nita Lowey grew up immersed in Jewish values. To this day, they inform the Bronx-born legislator’s decisions. “We grew up with tzedakah, charity and helping others, with a strong sense of tikkun olam, making the world a better place,” said Lowey, a 24-year veteran […]

Scared and proud

Monsey man trades yeshiva studies for IDF service Sgt. Chaim Silber was waiting for the order — the one that would take him and his unit, the 202nd Airborne, also known as the Vipers, into Gaza. While Silber waited, so did the world — to see if a fragile, brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel […]

Creating synergy in one place

Before the campus opened at 450 West Nyack Rd., most Jewish organizations that serve the liberally religious segment of the Rockland community were housed in a former 26,000-square-foot former medical building on Route 45. Prior to that, the JCC, the Jewish Federation, and Rockland Jewish Family Service had wandered without a permanent home. Community leaders […]

Meeting the needs of a changing Jewish landscape

Since the idea of first expanding the building on Route 45 arose in the late 1990s, Jewish Rockland has changed. The Orthodox communities continue to grow, with towns like New Square and Kaiser boasting among the highest birthrates in New York State in the 2010 census. The liberally religious communities of Rockland, at the same […]

Five years and counting

How a new campus helped transform Jewish Rockland During a December snowstorm in 2007, more than 5,000 people showed up at the new Rockland Jewish Community Campus on West Nyack Road. Shuttling from overflow parking, they packed the 135,000 square foot former Champion International tech center, which had been transformed into a home for local […]

Once more, with fizz

In a small, dimly lit building in Carnarsie, Brooklyn, Kenny Gomberg makes seltzer. Not seltzer in a plastic bottle, like you buy off the grocery store shelf — something Gomberg, a tall, lanky man, dismisses with the shake of his head — but New York City tap water, mixed with carbon dioxide, triple-filtered through sand, […]