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Russian American Jewish initiative

Russian American Jewish initiative

Palm Beach Daily news | January 20, 2017


Chabad launches Russian American Jewish initiative

By: Betty Nelander
Palm Beach Daily News
Friday, January 20, 2017

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Celebrating at the Russian American Jewish Hanukkah event are, from left, Hindel Levitin holding Mendel Levitin, Rabbi Zalman Levitin holding Alta Shula Levitin, Alex Chervinsky (host) and his daughter, Kayla. Left to right (bottom row): Musia Levitin holding a blow-up dreidel, Zoe Chervinsky and Jonathan Chervinsky.

 

The Chabad House has a new initiative that unites members of the Russian American Jewish community.

The first event was a Hanukkah celebration led by the Chabad and Rabbi Zalman and Rebbetzin Hindel Levitin. There was kosher food, Jewish music with a DJ, dancing and camaraderie. “It was very warm and friendly, like one big family,” said guest Rosa Taitler.

Although Rosa Taitler left the former Soviet Union in 1978 under Leonid Brezhnev, she remembers the religious persecution. Synagogues were non-existent, having been converted to warehouses and movie theaters or demolished.

“This is the country against God,” she recalled. “In the schools and the universities, they brainwashed the children: No God. No God.

Taitler was among those who spoke at the gathering. Her husband, Jack, supervised 600 employees at a construction company but was fired for his Jewish faith, she said.

“We came to the United States with $300 in our pockets,” she said. Other family members emigrated to Israel but her husband’s dream was to go to the United States, she said.

The Taitlers’ journey took them to Chicago before retiring to Palm Beach. She now lives in Jupiter; her husband died in 1997.

Rosa Taitler anticipates attending more Russian-American Jewish events. The Chabad is planning a Purim night with wines, pastries, and a bagels-and-lox buffet on March 11.

There is also a new Torah class for the Russian American Jewish community at 7 p.m. Mondays in memory of Gregory Rosenstein.

For more information, call Levitin at 347-564-8393 or visit palmbeachjewish.com.

Hosts for the Hanukkah event included Alex Chervinsky, Henry and Svetlana Kamenezki and Rabbi Zalman and Hindel Levitin.

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Gala event — About 50 women turned out for a “Navigating the Waves of Life Boat Ride” hosted jan. 11 by the Jewish Women’s Circle of Palm Beach aboard the luxury yacht Majestic Princess.

Speaker Amanda Dawn Spiro shared her story of losing a best friend in a car accident to her own recovery from cancer, including how God and mitzvahs helped her.

“Amanda went from being a Jew at heart to a Jew in action. … Everyone could relate in some way to remember to tap into the messages that God sends our way,” said Hindel Levitin.

Yonina & Miriam entertained, and guests enjoyed “cafe in a basket” as the sun set.

Among the highlights was the song I Believe in Hashem, a “reminder that everything is in God’s hands.”

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