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News items


Chabad Hebrew School celebrates accomplishments; offers free tuition for new families

CHESTER (June 26) - Chabad Hebrew School, directed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, is offering free Hebrew School Tuition for new families, for any age student, joining Chabad Hebrew School for the first time.

This announcement came just after Chabad Hebrew School celebrated its fun and festive Moving Up & Awards Ceremony, held at Orange County Sports Club in Florida, NY. “Learning never ends!” exclaimed Rabbi Pesach, as he emphasized the importance of celebrating past accomplishments, but simultaneously using it as a springboard to advancing and growing further.  The event was attended by many of the Hebrew School’s 70 students, along with their families, and was held at the Orange County Sports Club in Florida, thanks to the generosity of club owner Eric Muhlrad and his dedicated staff.

Rabbi Pesach’s graduating class poses for a photo at the Moving Up & Award Ceremony

The Moving-Up event was a perfect showcase of what Chabad Hebrew School is about: Innovative, creative and hands-on learning, making the values and lessons of Judaism relevant and engaging.  The most telling is the happy faces, attitudes and feedback from both parents and students.  Nothing says more than a student – and parents – who love Chabad Hebrew School!  This was evident from the reflections shared by parents and students.

Representing the parent body, Julie Drillings of Chester addressed the spirited crowd. “When we joined Chabad Hebrew School, we immediately felt included and comfortable,” she recalled.  She shared how much her children, who have now all had their bat and bar mitzvah’s with Chabad, always enjoy the creative and engaging programming at Chabad.  “Chabad has become much more to us than a Hebrew School; they have become our family!”  As for the future, Drillings said, “We cherish all the wonderful memories and we look forward to continued involvement with our family.”

Representing the student body, two students shared their reflections.  Morgan Reich, 8, of Highland Mills, shared her “top 10 reasons why I love Chabad Hebrew School”. They included the fun and tasty edible holiday crafts, many friendships, the Torah stories and Jewish traditions and that “the teachers make learning so much fun.”  Morgan explained, “We never know what crazy activity Chana has planned for us.”

Arlo Stier, 13, of Monroe, talked about his fun memories of Chabad Hebrew School and how much he loves the holiday celebrations he and his family enjoy at Chabad.  “Chabad has given me a good Jewish foundation and pride in my religion,” he said.

Special honor was also given to Chabad’s donors as well as the Gregg Wenzel Scholarship Fund.  “Chabad’s policy is that no one will be turned down due to lack of funds” said Rabbi Pesach, “and our supporters make that happen!”  

Registration Hebrew School next fall is underway. Chabad Hebrew School is offered on Sunday morning during the school year and is “Two hours a week of FUNdamental Jewish experience that will last a lifetime!”  Contact Chabad at 845-782-2770; write or visit


First Holy Communion at Grace Lutheran Church

GREENWOOD LAKE (May 7) - Pictured with Pastor Dietrich, who officiated, are Luca Siebert, Jacob Creighton, Jessica Bell, Courtney Romano, Landon Cross, Casey Fox, and Brooke Heffner who made their first Holy Communion at Grace Lutheran Church in Greenwood Lake, NY on Sunday, May 6.




Rev. Collins, his wife, Bernice and Sen. Bonacic

Julius Collins honored on 25th anniversary as the pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church

ALBANY (May 2) ­- State Senator John Bonacic (Mt. Hope) honored Reverend Julius Collins on his 25th anniversary as Pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Ellenville. At the event, Senator Bonacic presented Rev. Collins with a framed proclamation celebrating his 25th anniversary.

In addition to serving as Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Rev. Collins is a longtime member of the Ellenville Central School Board, a member of the Ulster County Legislature, a member of the Ellenville Hospital Board, and previously served as the President of the Town of Wawarsing Clergy Association.


Grace Lutheran Church welcomes new pastor

GREENWOOD LAKE (April 22) - The congregation of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church welcomes the Reverend Lauretta Dietrich as their new pastor. A special service of Installation will be held on Sunday, April 29th at 4:00 pm at the church, located at 25 Waterstone Road, Greenwood Lake, NY.

The Reverend Ernest Mossl, Dean of the Delaware-Hudson Conference, of the Metropolitan New York Synod, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will install Pastor Dietrich as the called pastor of Grace Lutheran Church. All are invited to attend, as Pastor Dietrich is welcomed to her new pastoral call. A reception with light refreshments will follow the service.                                                                                     

The congregation, with the church council, is pleased to welcome Pastor Dietrich to Grace and look forward to her leadership in worship.

Pastor Dietrich began her call at Grace Lutheran Church on February 1st of this year, after the church’s call committee underwent the extensive process of choosing a new pastor. The congregation then had the opportunity to meet with Pastor Dietrich, and attend a worship service she led, followed by an overwhelming vote for her to become their new pastor.

“My call to Grace Lutheran Church and Greenwood Lake has come as quite a surprise and blessing in my life. Although I was in a pastoral call search process for almost a year, nothing had quite seem to ‘fit’ or be the right ‘match.’ Pastor Dietrich said.

Rev. Dietrich has been a pastor for over 21 years and has served various congregations in New York State. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she grew up with a diversity of experiences, getting to know people from all races, cultures, and backgrounds. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education of the Deaf, as well as her certification in Elementary Education. She taught both Elementary and Deaf Education until leaving the classroom to become a professional nanny, a career change she greatly enjoyed.

All are welcome for Sunday worship at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings and for coffee and fellowship immediately following. Visit Grace on the web at and on Facebook for more information about weekly services and other events.


Youngsters enjoy sweet treats at Chabad Hebrew School’s Chocolate Model Seder

Chabad offers Passover Resources and contemporary messages

MONROE (March 27) - Celebrating a Chocolate Seder, watching the 10 plagues come to life, creating an heirloom Seder plate – Chabad of Orange County, directed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, approaches the holiday of Passover with a contemporary twist.

“Jewish holidays are not just traditions, but spiritual conduits for life today,” explains Chana Burston, “The Jews broke free of Egyptian slavery over 3,000 years ago – this holiday symbolizes breaking free of the negative habits which ‘enslave us.’”  Passover commemorates the miraculous exodus of the Jewish People from Egyptian slavery. 

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated this year from sundown on Friday, March 30.

Children of all ages have been experiencing the excitement and lessons of the holiday.  Babies and toddlers at Chabad’s Musical Mommy & Me enjoyed Passover puppets, songs and crafts. Students at the Chabad Hebrew School celebrated a Chocolate Seder which highlighted the rituals of the Passover traditions through with a sweet twist. Older students learned the technique of wood burning as they designed beautiful Seder plates to adorn their holiday table.  Teen volunteers acted out the story of the 10 Plagues with props and sound effects, and students of all ages enjoyed the performance.

“Leavened, fluffy bread symbolizes ego”, explains Rabbi Pesach Burston. “The flat Matza – unleavened bread that we eat for 8 days – symbolizes humility. When we make more room for G-d and others, we have more room to grow as individuals.”

Chabad of Orange County is offering a variety of Passover resources to the community:

Chabad is hosting two community Seders:   1st Seder – Friday, March 30, 2018, at 6:45pm. 2nd Seder – Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 8:00pm.  Enjoy a delicious, meaningful, interactive, fun and educational Seder, spices with stories, song and humor.   Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, along with their children, will facilitate the inter-generational program.   Reservations must be made in advance by contacting Chabad at 845-782-2770 or email, or register online at Space is limited and filling up quickly.


Faith Christian Academy announces Science Fair winners

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 28) - Faith Christian Academy (FCA) in Poughkeepsie has announced the winners of their 2018 annual Science Fair that took place recently in the School’s renovated gymnasium.

Full details on our Education Page



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