Shalom Upstate NY

Yarchei Kallah

Over the Holiday break, many of our dedicated teens had the tremendous opportunity of attending Yarchei Kallah. They spent 5 days at the Hilton in Stamford, Connecticut with hundreds of other Jewish teens from around the nation. They studied Tehilim (the different psalms) in addition to learning how to connect more to Judaism. Some of the activities that they participated in were expressing yourself: which included rapping, writing, baking, manicures, theater, and many more. Some brave souls decided to share their work with the whole of Yarchei Kallah, including Miriam Rosenberg in theater, and Noa Bahir and Ben Sadik in rapping, They did a phenomenal job. On Thursday, NCSY held the biggest Challah bake ever! Everyone at Yarchei Kallah got to make their very own challah for Shabbos.

Here is what some people had to say about their experience

"It was awesome!! I can't wait until next year!!"- Yael Zaretsky

"This was my third and last time going to Yarchei Kallah and I feel like everyone should expedience it. My favorite part was learning to express my Judaism through theater and meeting Jewish teens from all over the country."-Miriam Rosenberg

Here is the recap video:

Albany Update

Over Chanukah, Albany had a music filled visitation. Starting with Mishmar on Thursday night, followed by Shabos dinner and all day activities on Saturday. Motzi Shabbos, their advisors threw them a Chanukkah party! In addition to these festivities, Albany hosted the Y-studs, an ACapella group from YU. They put on a concert Friday night following dinner and joined our NCSYers in their tish. Folowing davening on Saturday, the Y-studs hung around the shul and taught the community how to sing A Capella; from singing the melody to beat boxing the base in the background. After learning, they put on their very own concert. Throughout the Chanukkah party, the NCSYers and advisors were encouraged to take creative selfies of themselves with a Chanukkah theme. These were sent in and judged based on creativity. The top selfie was then chosen.

Below are two recap videos of all of the amazing selfies we received:


Once again it is time for... GUESS THAT ADVISOR. This time we gave you guys a little challenge. In order to practice reading Hebrew, we transliterated some of the answers into Hebrew. Don't worry though, it is still English words, just spelled out using Hebrew letters. We have also included the English version of the answers at the bottom just inc case people have difficulty reading, but we would love it if you would try the Hebrew first. In the past, we have sat down with Ezra and Atara, who do you think it is this time? Once again, the answer will be at the bottom of the newsletter.

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

אט ספרינג רג'נל, 2014, וון עי הלפד פסיליטט עי גוסט פרנק אגנסט אנת'ר אדויזר

2. Describe an encounter with the most famous person you've ever met.

עי וונס גט עי וודיו שאווט אווט פרם קרטיס גרנדרסן אב ת'ה נו יורק מטס, וויצ' קן בי פאנד אן יו-טוב

3. If you and Devora/Marc are sharing a bunk bed on a shabbaton, how do you decide who gets top and who gets bottom?

רק פיפר סיזרז

4. Strangest thing you've ever eaten

הרד טו סי-מיי פרנדז אנד עי יוזד טו פלי "פיר פקטר" ווית' פוד אי לוט אין היי סקול

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

אלבני פר שור. נוט איבן עי קווסצ'ין. פרסט, לרי ורס אלי-ווין פור אלבני. נקסט, צבי ורס ג'יק-ווין פור אלבני. פיינל מטצ': טג טים ג'אנט ענד נסיה ורס סי-אמ ענד לידיה-אי ת'ינק ווי אל נו הו ווד ווין.

6. Something you'll never understand about har Sinai region:

עי ליק טו ת'ינק עי אנדרסטנד איט פריטי וול עז אי פלו עפסטיטר

7. If I could teach my grandmother/savta/Oma/bubbe/Bubs! (You know who you are)/abuela one thing from the 21st century, it would be...

The difference between the touch screen and the home button on her iPad.

8. What's the weirdest dream you've ever had about NCSY?

I don't think I've ever had a dream about NCSY...

9. What's your spirit animal?

בולמוס. הנדס דון

10. Who's your favorite Rugrat?

גרנפה בוריס

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

Chinese food

12. Modern Jewish music is like...

לטס טיא ת'יז תהילים ענד תורה פסג'ז ת'ט ווי אלוויז יוז עז ליריקס ענד ת'רו אין עי פרש נו ביט. נו וון וויל נוטיס אוור קנסטנט ריסיקלינג!

13. A stranger walks up to you on the street and says, "your wallet or your life-unless you can convince me otherwise." What do you say?

וונט טו סי אי מג'יא צ'ריק?!

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

ווי הב בילט אין פמלי טיים אברי שבת! בטווין שבת דינר, אות'ר מילז, אנד א בריק פרם וורק, ווי גט א צ'נס טו ריקונקט ווית' פמלי אנד פרינדז אפטר ת'ה ביזי וויק

15. You're called on to run a circle time that you didn't prepare for. What do you do?

ריד א צ'לדרנדז בוק

16. Which Oreo are you and why?

קלאסיק. ביקאז אבריוון לאווז מי!

17. In NYC, why can you get a pizza before an ambulance?

Because we live in a backwards society

18. On the scale of 1 to unbelievably, how talented are you?

I would tell you, but I'm also humble...

19. What's your favorite/least favorite word?

קישקה-גריט וורד. מויסט-נוט סוצ' א גריט וורד.

1.At Spring Regional, 2014, when I helped facilitate a ghost prank against another adviser.

2.I once got a video shoutout from Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets, which can be found on YouTube.

3.Rocks paper scissors?

4.Hard to say- my friends and I used to play "fear factor" with food a lot in high school.

5.Albany for sure. Not even a question. First, Larry vs. Eli- win for Albany. Next, Tzvi vs Jake- win for Albany. Final match: tag team Jeanette and Nessyah vs CM and Lydia- I think we all know who would win.

6.I like to think I understand it pretty well as a fellow upstater!

9.Bullmoose. Hands down.

10.Grandpa Borris

12."Let's take these tehillim and Torah passages that we always use as lyrics and throw in a fresh new beat. Nobody will notice our constant recycling!"

13."Want to see a magic trick?!"

14.We have built in family time every Shabbat! Between Shabbat dinner, other meals, and a break from work, we get a chance to reconnect with family and friends after the busy week.

15.Read a children's book

16.Classic. Because everyone loves me.

19.Kishke- great word. Moist- not such a great word.


Lately, there have been many attacks. Just within the past week there have been shootings at a cafe in Tel Aviv, a stabbing in Southern Jerusalem, and a shooting in Hebron at the cave of the Patriarchs. It is so important not to buy into biased media in times like this. All of us must spread the truth about Israel, and support it during times of terror. Let us all take a single minute out of our day and pray for Israel and all of the soldiers who risk their lives everyday for its protection and safety. May Hashem protect Israel and all of its defenders.

Winter Convention

Did you attend fall convention? Do you miss your NCSY friends and have no idea when you are going to see them again? Do you want to spend a Shabbos with amazing advisors? If so then sign up for fall convention located in your favorite Upstate city of Albany (who's your capital?) When is it you might be wondering? Friday February 5 through Sunday February 7. Come enjoy Shabbos while hanging out with your friends, learning about diversity, and after Shabbos... GOING INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING (don't worry if that does not sound pleasing to you there will be different activities as well). SIGN UP! GET YOUR FRIENDS TO SIGN UP! Don't have the link, here it is below!…/1411…/upstate-ny-winter-regional/

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Torah MiSinai

Finally! The Greorgian Years have finally caught with ours! For the past few months we’ve been living in 5776, a year endin in a 6; now the secular world is too, it’s 2016 now. In case that opening sentence has left you confused, recently it was New Year’s Day and the secular world celebrated the start of new year as clock struck twelve and 2015 transformed into 2016 . The Jewish people celebrated our start of year just a few months ago as 5775 transitioned into 5776 during Rosh HaShanah.

But what’s really the difference here? Both are celebrating the start of new year, both are time to reflect on behavior and make some attempt to change it, whether it be through resolutions or teshuva, both are incredibly festive times. So they’re pretty much the same right? Not at all.

New Year’s is a moment. It is sudden. The main celebration of New Year’s Day actually take place New Year’s Eve as people anxiously countdown to that one fateful moment. It’s six hours away then four then two then thirty minutes then just seconds. People stay up all night to just for that one moment. Resolutions are declarations of a sudden change in behavior; seldom does anyone ever really put any thought about how they are going to do it. They just say they’ll make a change. Rosh HaShana and Teshuva could not be more different.

Most holidays where one cannot do any work, Israel observes one day and the rest of observe two. Rosh HaShanah is the only when both in Israel and outside of her do we observe two days of the holiday. Rosh HaShanah is about the transition from year to the next. Teshuva is a whole process; it is not some magical moment where all our sins are forgiven. It begins in Elul when start to think how to be a better person and apologizing to our friends, culminating in the Ten Days, Rosh HaShanah, and Yom Kippur where ask for forgiveness from HaShem and then do our best to behave better. But you could really say, as Maimonides does, that the process isn’t fully complete until you presented with the same choices in which you chose wrongly, expect this time you choose right. TeShuva is a process.

This is how the world is. You can’t just make a sudden change to your life and expect to stick. The key is succeeding is doing work and going through a process to ensure what you want to is long term, and not just one off idea you try to do for a few days.

A general housekeeping note from your Regional Vice President of Education: if anyone would like to write a Torah MiSinai, which is simply any sort of Torah thought you have on your mind which you’d like to share with the Har Sinai family, please contact me as soon as possible at Also, if you’d like to give a Tefilah Workshop at winter, please contact me about that too.

-S. Lev Goldberg

What's going on in the future?

NCSY is having some awesome events coming up in many of its chapters. In just two weeks, CBAJ in Albany will have its annual Sephardi Shabbos with NCSY programming. That same weekend, Rochester will welcome the MACCABEATS to join them in celebrating Shabbos. The following week, Buffalo will have a visitation with awesome programming. Stay tuned for updates on these events!


If you guessed Larry Ginsburg, congratulations, your correct.