In this Edition

SSSQ Students Visit Jewish National Fund | Jonah's Bar Mitzvah Project | SSSQ Transitions to Distance Learning | Shinshinim Visit SSSQ | Students Create a Beit Hamikdash | Second Grade 2020 Chumash Celebration | Learning Torah | Do You Want to Build a Snowman? | Buddy Reading with Dr. Seuss | The Kindergartners Organize a Food Drive | Bouncing Around the Room | Eighth Grade Chesed Trip | The 2020 SSSQ Purim Carnival | Visiting the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County |The Robotics Club Competition | Kudos | Alumni Corner | Good and Welfare |

Monthly Highlights
SSSQ Students Visit Jewish National Fund
Morah Aharoni's 8th grade class visited the  Jewish National Fund - USA  offices in NYC. At SSSQ we believe in giving back to the community and contributing to causes that make a positive impact. The JNF is an organization that does a lot of great environmental work in Israel, such as planting trees, providing water and irrigation technology, developing the Negev, etc. Our students heard from a guest speaker at the JNF and then called members of our community to help fundraise over $2000. Our students had fun, contributed to a meaningful cause, learned about the JNF, and gained valuable professional skills. We thank the JNF for hosting us and congratulate our students for their outstanding efforts!
A year ago, 8 th grade student Jonah Leinwand injured his leg and required surgery. His parents decided to bring him to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. While recovering from the operation, Jonah got bored because there wasn’t much to do in the hospital. He would often speak with the other children at the hospital to help pass the time. His parents decided to bring Jonah various games so he would be entertained during his stay. Jonah loved having the games, but quickly remembered how bored the other children were and asked his parents what they can do to help.
Jonah's Bar Mitzvah Project
On March 14 th Jonah is about to have his Bar Mitzvah. Most children naturally want to receive money for their Bar Mitzvah but Jonah wanted to give back to the community that helped him during his time of need. With the help of family and friends Jonah put together 50 care packages filled with games for children to play. He plans on sending them to the same pediatric division at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he stayed last year. When asked why he decided to send care packages for his Bar Mitzvah, Jonah replied, “I want to make it more fun for the kids and to focus less on the pain. I am trying to show them to always have hope and never lose faith. I really hope the kids have a good time and enjoy the gifts.” We wish Jonah a Mazal Tov for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah and congratulate him for his outstanding efforts to always help those around us who are in need!  
SSSQ Transitions to Distance Learning
On March 18th, due to COVID-19, SSSQ transitioned to Distance Learning. Online classes began for Grades 1-8 and Early Childhood joined them on the following day. The students were so excited to see their classmates and teachers again! We are proud of the way the SSSQ community came together and look forward to continuing the education of our students. 

Please send photos of SSSQ students engaged in distance learning to
Shinshinim Visit SSSQ
SSSQ was honored to recently host Shinshinim from The Jewish Agency for Israel. Shinshinim are 18 year old Israeli Emissaries sent by the Israeli Government to communities abroad with the goal of educating people of all ages about Israel and Israeli culture. It was an incredible educational experience when the Shinshinim visited our school to run interactive Tu BiShvat programs for the 1st-3rd grade students. We look forward to working together again in the future! 
Students Create a Beit Hamikdash
In Morah Aharoni's 8th grade Navi class students learned about the first Beit Hamikdash on Mount Moriah. King Solomon built this in a place where it was the binding of Isaac. Students were then assigned a project to create a model of Beit Hamikdash. They presented their projects and had a feast in class. Congratulations to the students for their fantastic work!
Second Grade 2020 Chumash Celebration
The Second graders put forward a wonderful play and celebrated the receiving of their very own Chumash! Students danced and sang songs highlighting the first week of creation. The ceremony was well attended by parents, students, and alumni. Special thanks to Executive Director David Kalman, Morah Garber and Morah Blum for organizing a beautiful ceremony and making this a memorable event. Mazal Tov to the Second graders for a fantastic performance!
Learning Torah
 KB students spent time with Rabbi Tomsky to learn about the different Sefrei Torah that we have at SSSQ. The students were excited as each child was given the opportunity to find some Hebrew letters that they could identity and then compared the differences and similarities between the Torah.
Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
 Morah Blander's Shorashim students experimented with creating snow in class. Can you make a snowball or a snowman? We did using flour, salt, powders and water. The substance began as powder and then became a solid. Take a look at how much fun our students had participating in this group activity!
Buddy Reading with Dr. Seuss
Ms. Ratner and Mrs. Korytny's third grade classes had the opportunity to buddy read with both kindergarten classes. Since both the third grade and kindergarten classes were celebrating the life of Dr. Seuss, they shared their favorite Dr. Seuss books with one another. It was a wonderful experience watching them interact and engage in conversations about their favorite Dr. Seuss characters! 
The Kindergartners Organize a Food Drive
 KA and KB collected 100 cans of non-perishable food to donate to a local food bank in honor of 100 days of school at Schechter Queens. They counted the cans by twos, fives and tens, and sorted them according to food type and size of package. What a worthwhile and meaningful experience!
Bouncing Around the Room
The SSSQ PTA organized a group activity that brought the community together for a day of fun at Bounce! Family Entertainment Center. Students of all age groups had the opportunity to run around with their friends and play select games of their choosing. All proceeds for this event will go towards the 8 th grade fundraiser. Congratulations to the PTA for their wonderful efforts to bring the community together to support our students!
Eighth Grade Chesed Trip
 The eighth grade class went to Masbia of Queens and learned a valuable lesson in practicing Chesed. Masbia is a local Kosher soup kitchen that enables any person to come in and enjoy a homemade cooked meal free of charge. The students brought thousands of pounds of vegetables into the downstairs kitchen to help them prepare for the meal. At SSSQ, we pride ourselves in teaching our students that one of the most satisfying feelings a person could have is assisting those in need. During this experience the students sensed that pride knowing that their hard work directly helped individuals in need and made the world a better place. Kol Hakavod!
The 2020 SSSQ Purim Carnival
The SSSQ PTA organized a fantastic Purim Carnival at the school! Students got dressed up in their favorite costumes, played games, ate delicious food, and collected their prizes at the end. Our middle school students visited the Hillcrest Jewish Center, where they heard from Rabbi Kogan and participated in a Purim Film Festival. We thank the Hillcrest Jewish Center, the SSSQ PTA, and our student and parent volunteers who helped run the games during the carnival! Wishing everyone a Happy Purim! 
Visiting the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County
 Our 6 th grade students led an interactive program at the  Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County -CP Nassau that elevated each of the children’s spirits and brought joy to their day. They began with a Purim play followed by our students singing and dancing with the other children. Afterwards, each one of the SSSQ students was paired with one of their students. They helped to make Purim masks and read them a book. We concluded the day by giving each child a special gift sponsored by the generosity of the parent volunteers. We thank Shiri Malka and Orit Hayon for making this trip possible. We also thank Sura Rosenberg for her leadership in creating a beautiful program that our students most certainly will never forget!
Family Purim Celebration in Jackson Heights
On March 8 th SSSQ partnered with Malkhut, Wandering Jews of Astoria, and the PJ Library for a Purim celebration in Jackson Heights. Families from all over Western Queens attended the event and everyone had fun wearing their Purim costumes, playing games, and singing songs. The event concluded with all the families marching outside in their costumes and shaking their grogger’s. It was incredible seeing everyone come together to celebrate this joyous holiday! 
Kudos to Dr. Kalman for being invited by the Jewish Broadcasting Service to discuss the COVOID-19 virus.
To see Dr. Kalman’s interview please click here and skip to 20:30 
Kudos to Morah Aharoni and the 8 th grade students for participating in the Jewish National Fund Telethon 
Kudos to the students, parents, and teachers of Schechter Queens for organizing a toy drive to kids in need at Chai Lifeline.
Dear Alumni: If you would like to share your news (engagements, weddings, births, career milestones, B'nai Mitzvot , etc) with us or visit the school, please contact Naomi Horowitz at or 718-591-9800 ext. 323.
Yaara Bank Plotkin '96
- Why did your family decide to send you to Schechter Queens?  

It was very important to my parents that I attend Jewish day school. Back then, there were many things they couldn’t afford while they worked hard and saved for the future, but giving my sister and me a Jewish education was a top priority. SSSQ provided an excellent academic & Judaic education, but my parents also loved the warm and nurturing atmosphere that teachers created there. They also knew it was a Zionist school that would foster a commitment to and passion for Israel. 
- Have you remained friends with anyone from your class?

One of my closest friends is a classmate I’ve known since kindergarten at SSSQ. We attended different high schools and colleges, and even though we lost touch for a few years in between, we reconnected immediately and our bond was just as strong as it started. 
- What would be your advice to current students regarding  staying connected to Jewish life ?

Synagogue is a great and traditional way to stay connected to Jewish life, but nowadays there are so many interesting options - there are Jewish groups in high school, college, online Jewish groups/courses in a digital community, and my favorite way to stay connected is through charity work in Jewish/Israeli organizations. Being involved in these orgs gives us an opportunity to support Israel and fellow Jews, and gives us a chance to learn about traditions, holidays, various cultures in Judaism and keeps us feeling close to Israel no matter where we are.

- After graduation from Schechter where has your path taken you?

After graduation from Schechter, I studied at Townsend Harris High School and then studied at New York University, where I majored in journalism and minored in Judaic studies. I’m not currently working but I always loved to write and look forward to spending time on that in the future.
I’m married, have 3 wonderful children, and my other passion is helping people and charities via our foundation, the Gabriel & Yaara Plotkin Family Foundation. We are involved in many amazing organizations, some in Israel, several that promote Judaism & Zionism, some are solely focused on aiding wounded soldiers in the US and Israel, while others help adults and children who are sick. 

- Do you belong to any Jewish or secular groups/organizations?

We belong to Chabad Israel Center, and have attended both that and Park East Synagogue for holidays and Jewish events. Our children attend Ramaz and Park East Day School. Through our foundation, we are involved in many amazing organizations - Belev Echad, Wounded Warrior Project, Ahava Village, Interactive Jewish Community founded by Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff, who does such amazing outreach to Jewish teens, college students and young professionals in their 20s & 30s, the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute, Children of Fallen Patriots, and more.

- If you have one take away thought/feeling/memory about your Schechter years what would it be?

I can never forget the warmth I felt at SSSQ, and the atmosphere of Zionism which was fostered there. I’m sure that helped form my passion and commitment to supporting Jewish causes, Israel and ahavat yisrael. I’m thankful to SSSQ for teaching me these wonderful principles that I hope we can pass down to our children! 
Mazal Tov to:
Tevi Troy ('81)  on publishing his newest book  Fight House  and making the Jerusalem Post best books list. Reviewed by David Weinberg -  “A fast & fascinating read with deep insight from a presidential historian & aide which demonstrates that “good old fashioned rivalries” are the norm, not the exception; that such rivalries often lead to policies contrary to presidential & national intention”  

Also, reviewed by Greer Fay Cashman - in  Grapevine  1/26/20:

Miriam Weinberg ('95)  and her husband, Todd Goldstein on the birth of their daughter, Dakota Rose born February 24th. Older sister, Hannah is so happy to have a baby sister!
Justin Weg ('97 ) on the recent rele ase  of his newest film  "Spies in Disguise."  The movie was released on December 25, 2019 and comes to DVD and streaming platforms March 10, 2020. Short synopsis:  The   film tells the story of s uper spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) who are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is...not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo is forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise - transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic...pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril.

Mala Hertz ('00)  and Federico Kamelhar on the birth of their son, Ariel born February 15th.

Jessica Schonfeld ('00)  and her husband, Andrew Levy on the birth of their son, Bryce born January 23rd. Older sister, Aubree is so happy to have a brother!

Inna Binyaminov ('11)  and her husband, Ben Khaimov on their wedding September 3rd at Elite Palace.
Good and Welfare
Condolences to Judy Stein and family on the passing of Judy's mother, Rose Berger, grandmother of Eliza ('96) and Rachel ('00).  

Condolences to Larry Schonfeld and family on the passing of Larry's mother, Esther Schonfeld, grandmother of Jessica ('00) and Rachel ('05).

Condolences to Dov Troy and family on the passing of Dov's wife, Elaine Troy, mother of Dan ('73), Gil ('74) and Tevi ('81).
If you would like to contribute material for the monthly newsletter, please contact Paul Friedman Director of Development & Public Relations at  or 718-591-9800 ext. 305.  
Connect With Us
The Solomon Schechter School of Queens
76-16 Parsons Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11366
Tel: 718-591-9800