Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memories to Last from NYC

Forty-two young professionals set out on an incredible trip to the city that doesn’t sleep; NYC. The staff at JUMP (Jewish Urban Meeting Place) who organized and arranged the six night / seven day “Getaway”, during the week of Christmas 2009, put together an itinerary that took the participants to a number of the city’s main attractions, both of the Jewish and general variety.

The first stop was Ellis Island, like that of the first stop for many immigrants who emigrated from various parts of Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. It is really quite astounding how much Jewish content is housed in the main exhibit, everything from theatre production posters to renderings of music albums from artists of days gone by.

A brief visit to Ground Zero where the World Trade Center fell and the Museum of Jewish Heritage (which operates as New York’s Holocaust Museum) reminded everyone of dark days in world history that should never be forgotten.

An incredible example of how the Jewish people have endured in NYC was in the East End. The Bialystoker Synagogue, a hidden jewel and artist’s masterpiece has a great story behind it. Here is a taste of what was heard.

Two of the most eye opening experiences took place in Brooklyn including a great work of chesed. Oneg Shabbos is a food bank charity organization which puts together boxes of food each week for families who can no longer afford to provide for themselves, especially due to the recent economic crisis. The need for the food and thus the amount that ultimately is packed is astounding. The lesson really was not to take anything for granted.

Life’s essentials can be taken away in an instant. Without supporting local organizations like Oneg Shabbos, where would we turn to in desperate times to feed those we love?

Speaking of those we love, a visit to the Horneshteipler Rebbe one of the highest authorities in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community, illustrated the importance of keeping and maintaining family records. In doing so one might have the ability to trace one’s family’s lineage all the way back to Adam and Eve. Depicted in this accompanying photo is an ongoing account of the Rebbe’s family, passed down from father to son through the ages, accounting for each generation from the time that man began. It is truly a site to behold.

Most people remember the countries and cities they have visited on vacations through the years. Few times however can you intricately recall the details of specific moments. This “Getaway” was one of those few exceptions when the moments are frozen in time and will stay with you well through the years.

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