Welcome To Upstate


Last weekend. Rochester had an awesome visitation! 4 of their amazing advisors came up in addition to 2 NCSYers from Albany and 2 NCYSers from Buffalo. Wow! That is almost the size of a Shabbaton! It kicked off with a tisch Friday night hosted by the Sadiks. The following day they had a lunch and learn and a hangout at Temple Beth Sholom. After havdalah they went laser tagging!


Last weekend, Albany had an amazing Shabbos dedicated to its Jr. NCSYers. Their advisors Tzvi Goldstein and Jeanette Eliezer, spent the weekend participating in fun activities for them. Activities started with regular Shabbos groups followed by a delicious luncheon and all day activities. These activities included fun learning experiences about Chanukkah. After havdalah, they had a painting activity while their parents took part in they adult community learning programs.

This upcoming weekend Albany is looking forward to another busy event filled experience. Starting on Thursday mishmar will take place at Beth Abe featuring shwarma. The following night, they will partake in a Shabbos eve meal with the community and an A Capella concert. The following day will include all day events followed by an amazing Chanukkah Party after Shabbos with more information to follow. Stay tuned to see how the visitation went!

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Torah MiSinai

Let’s say it happened you were invited to a great feast, as you usually are of course. The feast was early in the morning though, and you’d have to be there by 8:00 am. The whole community, all your friends, your closest friends, essentially your family, will be there. You can’t miss it. You wake up. You look at the clock. You hope it’s early enough. You hope you can make it. Sadly, the clock reads 8:45 am. You shower. You get dressed. You get ready. You get there by 9:25 am. It’s just in time for the zimmun, the invitation, to say Birkat HaMazon. An honored member of the community shouts, “Raboti Nevarch [Gentlemen, Let Us Bless!],” inviting the whole community to say Birkat HaMazon.

How to answer? One hand this is your community, they all just ate a meal, and you should join in blessing HaShem, since it never a bad thing to do. On the other hand, you didn’t eat the meal, you didn’t become satisfied after eating on the land which HaShem has given you. Fortunately, the composers of the davening came up with a solution to this. You join the community, even if you didn’t join with them for the meal. Instead of usual response of “Baruch Elokeinu she-achalnu mishe uve-tuvo chayinu, “ meaning “Blessed is HaShem from whose food we have eaten and goodness we live,” you should say “Baruch Elokeinu u’mevaruch shemo tamid l’olam va’ed,” meaning “Blessed is HaShem whose name will be blessed forever.” You are part of the community, so you must bless HaShem with the community, even if you weren’t part of the meal.

Hillel said that no matter what, “you should not separate yourself from the community” (Pirkei Avot 2:5). Being part of the community is such an important value in Judaism; we must do everything we possibly to be part of it. Every prayer is written in the plural, on behalf of the community, even if said silently. Shabbat only works best when it is observed with a Shabbat observant community. Kashrut cannot work unless there is a community to bring Kosher food business to the town. Prayer should be done with at least ten. So much of what we do requires a community for it be done. Community is an essential trait of the Jewish people.

Hopefully, this newsletter will help strengthen our community in Har Sinai NCSY, so we can all know what’s happening in our community and stay in each other’s lives from Regional to Regional. A community already so strong and so close we call ourselves a family and has proven impossible to break up.


We would like to extend a marvelous mazal tov to our own Shaul Yaakov in his engagement to Tova Ross!!

Guess That Advisor

Once again, its time to.... Guess that advisor!! If you got it right last time, good for you! You get a point! Unfortunately, we are not giving out prizes for points, but in any case, see if you can guess who answered this week's survey. (Answer at bottom of newsletter)

Also, as you see, there are both answers in English and Hebrew. The Hebrew answers are transliterated, meaning it is English words written in Hebrew. This gives all of us the perfect opportunity to work on our Hebrew reading skills.

What's your least proud moment as an advisor? (Funny, not serious):

1. My least proud moment as an advisor was on reverse Shabbaton with Rochester. We were

singing at the oneg Friday night and I made a joke, attempting to make a parody to Billy Joel’s

“Piano song.” I said “Sing me a song you’re the niggin man!” But everyone else heard “sing me

a song you’re the nigg$@ man!” At least we had a good laugh lol.

אן א ריברס שבתון ווית' רוצ'סטר. ווי וור סינגינג אט ת'ה עונג פרידי נייט אנד אי מייד א ג'וק, אטמפטינג טו פרדי בילי ג'ול'ז פיאנו מאן. אי סאד, "סינג מי א סונג, יור ת'ה ניגון מאן" באט אבריוואן אלס הרד "סינג מי א סונג, יור ת'ה ניג* מאן!" אט ליסט ווי הד א גוד לאף חחח.

Who would win in a wrestling match, Albany advisors or Rochester advisors? Please provide matchups and exhaustive analysis:

5. Well lets first analyze the line-ups.

On the side of Albany, you have…

Larry: 5 year undefeated wrestling champ

Sho-ko: seemingly peaceful but can be extremely devious at times

Tzvi: Also known as “the beast” and never gives up

Jeanette: Determined and smarter than most

Nessyah: Secret Mossad and KGB agents have lots of fighting training so would

definitely not underestimate her.

However, Rochester has got a pretty formidable line-up as well.

Shira: Did you see how much stuff she carried at Regional???

Lydia: Earning her title as “The Fire-breathing Dragon” after eating 8 hot peppers in a

role makes her one of the most formidable of opponents.

Eli: This man has many abilities, most unknown to all but a few. Not someone to be

taken lightly.

Jake: Like a jack-in-the-box, Jake is always exploding with energy. Some even call him


Ezra: I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve and my fair share of experience.

So who will win? I guess we’ll just have to see…. : )

לץ אנאלייז:

אלבני, יו הב:

לארי: 5-ייר אנדפיטד רסלינג צ'מפ

שוקו: סיימינגלי פיספול, בט כן בי דיביאוס אט טיימז.

צבי: אלסו נון אז "ת'ה בייסט" אנד נבר גיבז אף.

ג'אנאט: דיטרמינד אנד סמרטר ת'ן מוסט.

נסיה: סקרט מוסד אנד ק.ג'.בי איג'נץ הב לוץ אב פייטינג טריינינג סו דפינטלי דונט אנדראסטימייט הר.

האוואבר, רוצ'סטר הז גאט א פריטי פרמידאבל ליין-אפ אז וול:

שירה: דיד יו סי האוו מץ' סטוף שי קריד אט ריג'אנאל?!

לידיה: שי דאוונד 8 האט פפרז אין א רו-ת'ה "פייר בריית'ינג דראגון" וונט גו דאוון איזילי.

אלי: ת'יס מאן האז מאני אביליטיז, מוסט אב ת'ם אנ-נון טו על בט א פיו. בי קירפול.

ג'ייק: לייק א ג'אק אין ת'ה בוקס, ג'ייק איז אלוויז אקספלודינג ווית' אנרג'י. סום איבן קל הים "קרקר-ג'ק ג'ייק"

עזרא: אי'ב גאט א פיו טרייקס אף מי סלייב אנד מי פייר שיר אב אקספירינץ. סו הו וויל ווין? ווי'ל ג'סט הב טו סי...

What's your spirit animal?

9. My spirit animal is DEFINITELY a wolf….Or maybe a cheetah. Wait. I want a Jaguar! Or

maybe it could be a tiger? Ok…I’m not really sure.

מי ספיריט אנימאל איז דפיניטלי א וולף...אור מיבי א צ'יטה. וויט. אי וונט א ג'גוור! אור מיבי איט קוד בי א טיגר? או. קי, אים נוט רילי שור.

Who's your favorite Rugrat?

10. Rugrats? I don’t know any. Any of ‘em play guitar?

רגרץ? אי דונט נו אני. אני אב ת'אם פלי גיטר?

If you had to eat one food only for an entire year, what would you choose?

11. Salad. Most probably salad.

סלד. מוסט פרובבלי סלד

A stranger comes up to you and says "YOUR WALLET OR YOUR LIFE". How do you respond?

13. “You see fine sir, I would love to give you my wallet but it’s set to blow up if anyone but me

holds it. On the other hand I’m not so good at convincing people so I guess that’s not an option.

You know what? Let’s try this again. Perhaps it would be best to rephrase your question so that I am asking you, ‘My wallet and you’re life, unless you can convince me otherwise.’”

יו מין, מי וולאט אור יור ליף. ברינג איט, בדי.

Most underrated bit of wisdom Jews know but no one else does:

14. Keeping Shabbos is actually fun! Especially on NCSY Shabbatonim!

קייפינג שבת איז אקשואלי פאן! אספשיאלי ען נ.סי.אס.ווי שבתונים!

Favorite Word?

19. Favorite: Awesome!

Least Favorite: Can it be a phrase? Because mine would be, “I’ll tell you when you’re older”

ליסט פבריט: עייל טל יו וון יור אולדר.

Yarchei Kallah

We are so excited that so many Upstaters have signed up for Yarchei Kallah this year! In case you don't know, Yarchei Kallah is an "international" NCSY event that takes place for public high school teens over winter break. They will arrive at Stamford Connecticut on December 23 and stay in the Hilton hotel until December 27. They will have the opportunity to socialize with teens from all over America as well as Canada, and even some from South America. They will experience amazing learning opportunities. Last year, they had the opportunity to study the book of Yonah. We cant wait to see what we will be studying this year! I can't think of a better way to spend my Christmas vacation than with a bunch of Jewish teens, connecting to my Judaism and making friends with teens from all over America. Does this sound fun? Are you upset that you never signed up? Well don't worry, you can sign up next year. We are counting down the days until we leave.
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I am sure by now you have heard of the amazing opportunities that NCSY provides us during the summer. There are many different trips, ranging from touring Israel, participating in community service here in America as well as other countries, and even a camp to play sports. As we approach the winter months, many of us are starting to make plans for what we will be doing this summer. I bet many of us are thinking "I never want my NCSY events to end." Well, they don't have to. All you have to do is participate in a summer program. The motto for these summer programs is "BEST SUMMER EVER" and everyone I have talked to has agreed that it truly is the best summer ever. For more information on each summer trip visit https://summer.ncsy.org/

Happy Chanukkah from our Advisors

Have you seen this crazy video yet? Our amazing advisors put together a video for us celebrating Chanukkah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdyM6K9dQ-E


Send us your best menorah SELFIE (or your favorite part of Chanukah!) Best, funniest, and most creative seflies will be chosen at Albany's CBAJ Chanukah party this week after Shabbat!
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If you guessed Ezra, you are right! Stay tuned for more!