Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Our Precious & Courageous HHJC Family

On the 1st day of Shavuot those of us who were in shul had the opportunity to witness our precious nursery school children on our Bima. Under the very talented direction of Robyn Rosenberg and some of her very capable teachers…Morah Irene, Morah Jaye, Morah Pazit & Morah Fiona…the children, ages 1½ to about 4 years old, gave us such hope, warmth and they truly exemplify why we all come to shul and why we work so hard to keep our Jewish tradition alive. As small and adorable as they are today, that is how grand and wise they will be years from now as they embark on their careers and as they build families of their own. Some day they will begin leading their own Jewish communities. Yes…they are our “future leaders” and we count on them to bring us from one generation to the next. It is because their parents see the importance of bringing them to Temple and to our Nursery School so we can help develop their skills in Judaic tradition & culture. We at HHJC are a congregation filled with spirituality and warmth…all of this helps to have a profound and lasting impact on these beautiful children. They will always remember the times they stood up on the Bima, after singing songs, and Rabbi Wise reading the Ten Commandments that the children had written…with great big smiles on their faces and the congregation smiling & gleaming back at them. When I got home from shul after experiencing the joy from our precious kids, I could not stop telling June about the adorable things they said and how incredibly delightful they are. They had a sincere impact on me. Yasher Koach to all the parents. You are the reason why Jewish tradition will survive!

Our Tikkun Leil Shavuot was truly a night of learning. It was led by various people…Rabbi Wise, Ben Solomowitz, Gordon Goldman, Rabbi Pamela Barmash & myself.  We explored and examined many various ideas and subject matters related to Jewish learning & Torah. We went until about 2 AM, fulfilling this beautiful custom & mitzvah. It was way past our bedtimes but we all learned so much & bonded together in study.

I also would like to share with you my feelings of pride and nostalgia as I read the article in the “New York Post” about our very own Sam Solasz, who for many years served on our Board of Directors & was honored with his wife Rose, as Couple Of The Year at our annual Dinner Dance Celebration years back. You may recall that one of his sons, Mark Solasz, was recently honored with the Frank Strassfeld Annual Award for Continuing Education at our annual Simcha Dinner Dance.  To quote the article from the New York Post…“At 88, Sam Solasz is still going strong and working 80 hours a week – thanks to butchering”. Sam’s life story is remarkable. He jumped from the speeding cattle car train on the way to Treblinka, running 20 miles an hour with unimaginable courage, Sam was able to save himself from the Treblinka extermination camp.

He met Rose in 1956 while ice-skating at Madison Square Garden. The next year, Sam opened Master Purveyors in the Meatpacking District. In 2001, he moved Master Purveyors to The Bronx and the business has now been operating for nearly 60 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Together with his sons Mark & Scott, they don’t get much sleep but they are the biggest meat wholesaler in New York. Sam Solasz’s incredible story is featured in the new book, “Food and the City” by Ina Yalof.  Sam — keep your magical spirit going & don’t stop! We love you & your entire family!

From our very young to our more mature members, we at HHJC are so very proud of each and every one of you.

Hope you all have a nice summer. I am planning programs for next year. I hope you will all join in our HHJC Happenings!

See you in Shul.

Cantorially always,
Cantor Sol Zim