Press Release


The Young Israel of Brighton Beach, its president Mr. Steven Frohlich and its spiritual leader Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman invite everyone to a special rededication of the newly renovated, gorgeous synagogue and completion of writing a Torah scroll and a celebration of 15 years of growth BROOKLYN, N.Y., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Young Israel of Brighton Beach, an Orthodox synagogue (associated with the National Council of Young Israel, an Organization founded in 1912 and serving as the national coordinating agency of nearly 150 Synagogue branches) that has revitalized the community under the leadership of President Mr. Steven Frohlich and its spiritual leader Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman , proudly invites the public to its monumental rededication event on November 3, 2013. The event will begin with the traditional scribe writing the final letters of the Torah on the parchment scroll at 11:00 AM, followed by festivities with live music, song and dance in a joyous parade through the streets of Brighton Beach, eventually bringing the Torah scroll to its new home at the Young Israel, culminating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and few words from local and overseas dignitaries. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and Odessa, Ukraine Chief Rabbi Avrohom Wolf, amongst others, will be in attendance. “Our community is finally recovering from the devastation wreaked upon it by the winds and flood waters of Hurricane Sandy. The rededication marks the conclusion of a long construction project and its occurrence shortly after the first anniversary of that hurricane is nothing short of heartwarming,” said Rabbi Zaltzman, the synagogue’s Rabbi. “This is a historic event,” explains Rabbi Zaltzman. In the 1950s and 60s 90 percent of the Brighton Beach population were Jewish. Although not all of them were observant, the many synagogues were bustling. However the people started aging and passing on, the children moved out of the neighborhood and the ones moving in were Jewish Russian immigrants, thus giving it the name “little Russia’ or “little Odessa”, and known throughout the world as, arguably, the largest concentration of Russian Jews in the U.S. The problem is that these Jews were torn away from Jewish life by the Soviet regime for 70 years! That’s three generations! Thus the synagogues began to dwindle and unfortunately at least six Jewish homes of worship in Brighton Beach closed their doors. The situation of the Young Israel of Brighton Beach, once a hub of Jewish life, was dire as well. Thus in 1998 Mr. Steven Frohlich, current President of Young Israel of Brighton Beach (then first Vice President at the time), reached out to the Lubavitch Youth Organization’s Program Director Rabbi Kasriel Kastel to send them a spiritual leader who would reach out to the unaffiliated, revitalize the community and ensure the continuity and growth of Jewish life in the community. Rabbi Zaltzman and his Rebbetzin Chanie worked tirelessly as a team with the full support and encouragement of the dedicated President Mr. Steven Frohlich to reach out to the Jewish people living in the community. They inspired adults and children alike to get involved in the synagogue and learn more about their heritage. The dynamic duo held Chanukah parties, Purim celebrations, Pesach Seders and Torah classes on interesting topics. Rabbi and Rebbetzin Zaltzman are also the Directors of Chabad of Kingsborough. This organization sponsors ongoing classes and outreach activities for Jewish students at Kingsborough College, community development, an annual Summer Day Camp – Gan Israel Chamah, and a Hebrew School – the Chabad Gan Israel Hebrew School. Thank G-d, the efforts of Rabbi Zaltzman and his wife Chanie, together with the dedication of synagogue president Steven Frohlich and other community members succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The synagogue membership grew into a warm, young, enthusiastic community. The synagogue became a home away from home for its members. The Synagogue was renovated to be one of the most beautiful Synagogues in New York and sponsored in the most part, along with many others, by the F. Kogan family and the A. Korchmar family, both Russian Jewish families. The latter was introduced to the Rabbi through a contact at the Annual International conference of Chabad Emissaries some eight years ago thus initializing the current young dynamic group of young Russian families involved in the Synagogue life and growth. This great milestone of the newly renovated Synagogue will be celebrated together with the completing of the writing of the new Sefer Torah that was funded by the dedicated members and friends of the Young Israel. This community Sefer Torah became a rallying point, a unifying factor, and a symbol of the growth of the Jewish community. The Torah project is the brainchild of the Synagogue President Mr. Steven Frohlich. “Together with a few other dynamic Synagogues in the neighborhood we are brightening up Brighton,” quipped Rabbi Efraim Zaltzman. The celebration on November 3rd indicates the remarkable strides a community has made in the past 15 years. There will be Rabbis from Ukraine, France, Sweden and Israel. Come rejoice in the revitalization of an up-and-coming community!

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