News Archive

L' Shanah Tova 5780

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Recently, I received the most beautiful Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur invitation that I can remember from a good friend, Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein. It was a general invitation, but it really spoke to the heart of this holiday season. The first half of the invitation gave the lineup of the different teachers and rabbis who would be leading the service.  But, the second paragraph was all about the participants.  He wrote, "More importantly, everyone in the room will teach, support, uplift, and goad each other to wakefulness, to hearing the cries of all anguished people, sentient beings, and the planet, present in the sound of the shofar, to turning to our best selves and the best that our ancestors have bequeathed us, while taking good, hard responsibility for our own transgressions and those of our ancestors in which we are still caught. That is our aspiration. Come join us. Your voice is precious."


Preparing Young Teens to be Career-Ready.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Y completed another successful year of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) supporting 771  teens and young adults by placing them in job sites where they were not only able to earn some extra money during the summer but develop skills that will prepare them for their future careers. This year the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the City’s agency that funds SYEP, decided to take a new direction with Younger Youth in the program, where 14 and 15 year-old teens received a more hands-on, educational experience before they get placed at a job site. This fits well with the Y’s own philosophy of how we run our own SYEP, as we understand the unlimited potential a meaningful SYEP experience can provide for the youth we serve when they are given opportunities to learn and grow.


In Memory of Lou Yehuda Strauss (1921-2019)

Friday, August 02, 2019

Recently, the Y community was saddened to find out about the passing of long time Y member and Holocaust survivor, Lou Yehuda Strauss. Lou Strauss shared many wonderful memories here at the Y. His family members mentioned during his funeral how much he looked forward to having lunch with his friends every day at our senior center, Center for Adults Living Well (C.A.L.W), and participating in different activities at the C.A.L.W until his health no longer allowed him to.


Rocks, Water, Rainbows, Plants, and Insects

Friday, July 19, 2019

S.T.E.M Education at Footpaths Nursery Camp

(But Still Playing and Having Fun)

S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or S.T.E.A.M (S.T.E.M plus Art) has become a “hot” topic in the world of education but its applicability and relevance to the early childhood world is less well known. With a better understanding of how the brain develops, we now know that three year-olds are quite capable of understanding complex concepts and possess the critical thinking skills that are at the heart of the scientific process. At Footpaths Nursery Camp, STEM is not only recognized and acknowledged but embraced! Over the course of this summer, our campers have been investigating an array of interesting topics including the water and rock cycles, seed and plant growth and the world of insects.


Growing Children's Hearts and Minds in Be Me

Friday, April 05, 2019

As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I was blessed with Mister Rodgers as the key television personality in my formative years of television watching. I still do remember the opening and closing songs. “It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive...” and while I can’t say that any one episode or sketch stood out for me, years later I can attest that the show laid out a blueprint for a healthy emotional intelligence that still might be unmatched in children’s television programming. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood probed the depth of children’s feelings and did not shy away from difficult topics such as love, divorce, and death. I sometimes wish Mister Rogers was required viewing for anyone audacious enough to raise children.


The Y Organizes Drive to Aid Homeless Mothers

Monday, April 01, 2019

The Y invited the community to help fellow New Yorkers by contributing to a collection benefitting Siena House. The week-long drive culminated at the Y’s Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 24 and today we delivered the boxes to the Bronx shelter.


With Rita Rosenthal's Passing, the Y Loses a Beloved Family Member

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Yesterday we lost a dear and beloved member of the Y family, Rita Rosenthal. In her 108 years she held many titles: Holocaust survivor, German immigrant, Washington Heights resident, wife, jewelry businesswoman, mother, and grandmother. The Y was fortunate to also call her board member, bookkeeper, volunteer, and member. We will remember Rita for her devotion to others, her fight against adversity, and her strength, to name a few of her inspiring traits.


Precision Irish Dancers Step in Time for CALW Cultural Program

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hands were clapping when the New York School of Irish Step Dance performed for the Center for Adults Living Well (CALW) on Sunday, March 10. In Riverdance-style dresses, six of the troop's dancers explored both soft- and hard-shoe dances that had them leaping and balancing on their toes. Crowd favorites included toe-tapping reels and an acapella piece that sounded like a percussive conversation between the dancers.


A Community Coming Together for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22, 2018

On Tuesday, November 20, the Center for Adults Living Well @ the Y staff were grateful to have had the opportunity to provide 150 seniors in our community with a Thanksgiving luncheon. The wonderfully festive day and the take-home meals were made possible through contributions from CALW members, volunteers, Fairway Market, and Temple Emanu-El.


Behind the NYT Neediest Cases Article: Overcoming Trauma Through a Supporting Community

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Last week The New York Times published a moving article about Y member and Wien House resident Yana Gilchenok. The piece, part of the newspaper’s Neediest Fund series, manages to capture Yana’s unique Russian-Jewish experience and some of the deep losses she’s had to endure. I feel privileged to be able to further share how, for nearly three decades, the Y has been there beside her, helping to keep her going despite these challenges.


Bigs in Blue: The Y Partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the NYPD

Monday, November 12, 2018

Last week the Y was thrilled to launch Bigs in Blue -- a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC) and the 33rd Precinct -- at our SONYC After School Program at Harbor Heights Middle School. 


In Response to the Tragedy in Pittsburgh

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The board of directors, staff, and members of the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood express our deep sorrow to our brethren at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. We are with them both in spirit and in person as our own Chief Program Officer Martin Yafe arrived there last evening to represent us all and offer support.


Introducing Table for You! with PJ Library

Friday, September 07, 2018

Washington Heights and Inwood families raising Jewish children now have more opportunities to participate in Jewish life, thanks to a grant recently awarded to the Y by PJ Library, a flagship program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that provides free books to families raising Jewish children all over the world.


Strengthening Camp Twelve Trails' Jewish Identity From the Ground Up

Monday, July 02, 2018

This summer Camp Twelve Trails, the Y’s day camp for children 5-16 years old in Pearl River, launches a new fellowship program aimed at positively influencing camp’s Jewish identity.


Creating a Culture of Service at Columbia Secondary School

Thursday, April 12, 2018

In the fourth year of the Y’s SONYC program at Columbia Secondary School, we’ve rallied our program around the theme “Better Together.” As a campus with multiple schools, we jump at the opportunity to stretch this concept to foster building-wide community. One collaboration we’re particularly proud of is with Book Mentors, one of our SONYC electives, and P.S. 125’s literacy program for kindergarteners (also funded and staffed by the Y).


Finding Our Story in the Passover Story

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One of the most ironic aspects of the Passover Seder is the supposedly simple command of Passover: retelling the Exodus story. The whole point of Passover, we are told, is that every single person participating, in every generation, should see themselves as if they are the ones living the Exodus from Egypt. Everyone at the Seder – the ceremonial feast held at the start of the holiday which includes readings, stories, and song – should experience that liberatory moment of a status change from slave to free person. Yet the Seder line up does not actually include the full story we’re supposed to tell.


Successful Drive to Aid Hurricane Maria Victims in Puerto Rico

Friday, March 16, 2018

Following Hurricane Maria’s devastating blow to Puerto Rico, island residents are facing a long road to recovery. The Y and Upper Manhattan synagogues joined forces, resulting in collecting 20 boxes worth of items that are still desperately needed on the island.


Hudson Cliffs Baseball League and Sports for Youth

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Last year the parent of a former Hudson Cliffs Baseball League player and a Twelve Trails camper addressed UJA-Federation of New York to share the impact their Sports for Youth initiative has had on her family. This is what she had to say.


The Y Partners with The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund to Keep One Man Connected

Thursday, December 28, 2017

For 106 years The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has provided direct assistance to those who are struggling. The Y is pleased that for another year, through our partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, we were able to secure funding so we could support a member of our community. Here’s the story behind the The New York Times story.


The Endurance of the Festival of Lights

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hanukkah is considered one of the top three most observed Jewish holidays in the United States. Yet, for a seemingly significant holiday in the American multicultural landscape, Hanukkah is barely made mention in the ancient rabbinic sources. The Talmud, one of Judaism’s central texts on Jewish law with rabbinic commentary, has little to say about the holiday. In its limited conversation, it starts off with a question, “Mai Hanukkah?” which translated to “What is Hanukkah?” What a strange opening, as if to say "we don't really know what Hanukkah is about, but we're about to figure it out." If I was writing my own guide to Hanukkah, I would start with a different question, "When is Hanukkah?" More specifically, "How were the dates of Hanukkah chosen?"


Budding Green Thumbs: Gardening at the Y Nursery School

Monday, November 27, 2017

Have you ever seen preschoolers in a garden? At that age, it is a truly magical time of exploration and investigation where young children see, touch, and taste herbs, tomatoes, and other delicious fruits and vegetables. This is what the 3 – 5 year olds at the Y Nursery School experience each week during their gardening and permaculture specialty classes in our rooftop garden. Our greening and gardening programs are sponsored, in part, by Con Edison in their support for environmental sustainability education for children of all ages.


Birth of "Be Baby: Discovery Zone"

Thursday, November 02, 2017

At the Y, we love to welcome neighbors of all ages – from expectant families with babies on the way, to adults celebrating birthdays age 100 and better. At the Y Beginnings Parenting Center, we focus on babies and toddlers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with PJ Library, we're excited to announce Be Baby: Discovery Zone, designed especially for babies between 6 and 12 months, along with their parents and caregivers.


The Y's Kitchen is Back in Business

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In order to meet the needs of our patrons, last year the Y began renovations on our kitchen and auditorium. To the delight of all, that work is now complete and representatives from the Mayor's Office, the Department for the Aging, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Jewish Communal Fund, and UJA-Federation of New York joined us to celebrate.


The Heart of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What is at the core of Rosh Hashanah? Yes, it is one of the most widespread Jewish holidays celebrated in the United States. Most people know the food associated with it and some of the symbols, but far fewer know what the holiday is really about. Before we get to the heart of it, let’s start with an easier question: When is Rosh Hashanah?


Our Thanks to Clifford Alarcon for Twenty-Five Years of Service

Friday, September 15, 2017

Twenty years ago when gang violence and drugs were running rampant through Washington Heights, one young man named Miguel found a safe haven in the Y. Clifford Alarcon, a security guard, took Miguel under his wing, kept him safe and connected. This week Cliff, who still welcomes you at the door with a smile, celebrates 25 years at the Y. We thank him for still making a difference in our community.


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