After The Flood: New York NCSY Shows Strength And Resilience In The Face Of Adversity
Despite loss of their Queens headquarters from last week's torrential rains, the New York Region of NCSY is having a full program of summer activities and is planning for the upcoming school year.
"I can't believe it, what an utter mess," Director of Administration, Leah Goldberg, said, when she proceeded to walk toward the swamp that used to be her office. Just to get to the main door of the office, located at 64-41 Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows, was nearly impossible due to more than a foot of high water.
"So many seforim, siddurim, and computers … gone," Atara Fuchs, Director of Public Relations, commented after viewing the flooded building.
Although there was a great deal of damage, repairs and cleaning have begun and are moving at a rapid pace. In the interim, the NY NCSY staff has transferred to the Long Island NCSY office located on Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. Nobody knows yet when the New York office will reopen.
"Teens have been requesting Torah-oriented programs all summer, and despite this setback, we refuse to slow down. None of our programs will be affected," declared NCSY Assistant Director, Jon Ackerman.
Rabbi Moshe Zucker, Director of Outreach, offered to lead learning sessions with any group of teens that desires to do so. He now learns with NCSYers every Wednesday afternoon in Moonlight Cottages in Monticello; Thursday mornings, at Ohr Yitzchak in Brooklyn; and Thursday afternoons at Ohr HaChaim in Queens.
New York NCSY Regional Director, Rabbi Nahum Zak, commented in regards to the attendance of over 200 teenagers at his weekly sessions, "I'm floored by the turnout of teens at our Torah learning events."
New York NCSY also hosts a weekly "Burn 'N Learn" program, which consists of a BBQ and learning session in conjunction with the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, and the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center in Brooklyn.
When asked how he is handling the current situation, Rabbi Zak replied, "Even though the New York NCSY office may have suffered, it will not stop the New York Region from success this summer."