Our Update #34

Our Update #34

Women’s Retreat

Dror hosted a beautiful women’s retreat at the picturesque Vallevue Mansion on a large estate with amazing views. Each of the attendees received a beautiful room package and gift set. The guests enjoyed delicious gourmet meals prepared exclusively by Aperion Caterers served in stunning decor and a lavish 24 hour tearoom.

Some of the highlights included a glass painting session by Abby Wollin from Not2Shabby. The women got to spend quality time together, painting and creating their very own salad bowl – which they took home as a gift. Topping off the amazing 24 hour retreat, was a live musical concert by renowned singer Malky Giniger. After the joyous dancing and singing, Malky led everyone outside to a beautiful, uplifting Kumzits around the fire beneath the starry night. They spent hours beneath star filled sky relaxing, talking and sharing personal as they enjoyed delicious s’mores.

The following morning each guest was treated to a personal massage –  which was definitely a great way to start the day, followed by a delicious full breakfast sponsored by Taste n Toast and enjoyed listening to a speech from  Rabbi Yechiel Milstien.

Next, the women got together for a challah baking demonstration by The Challah Maven. She began with inspiring words followed by each woman taking challah as a Zechus for their husbands. Some of the women were so inspired that they decided then and there to begin baking challah every week.

Lunch was sponsored and served by Bleu Modern Cafe highlighted by an amazing speech by noted lecturer Rabbi Fishel Schachter.

Lunch was followed by a Yoga session outside on the grass, overlooking the magnificent rolling mountains and swimming in the large Olympic size pool.

A special Thank you to Rechy Mendlovic for putting together the beautiful gift packages.

A special thank you Mr. Kornbluh of Bleu Café.

A special thank you to Ari Roth from White Glove Events and to Stem’s Florist for providing the stunning decor throughout.

A special thank you to the drivers who provided transportation to and from the retreat.

Some of the messages we received:

Thank you so much for the beautiful wives retreat last week.  It was truly relaxing, rejuvenating, inspiring and extraordinary.  It is incredible to think that so much time, energy, resources and attention to detail was devoted for the sake of our group of wives.  You made us feel so special and cared for.  I told my daughters when I came home, that if the people at Dror knew that there was a box of comfort and happiness on the top of the tallest mountain, in the most remote location in the world, they would find a way to get there, climb that mountain and bring it to the wives and families.  It is an extraordinary Chesed that you do on a daily basis, in so many creative ways, to help the families.

 And not only do you provide for so much physical comfort – you of course provide for our spiritual well-being as well.  I always come away with the most remarkable and inspiring words of Chizuk, that carries me through the days, weeks and months.  I feel happiness and comfort in these words. They help me always be aware that Hashem does everything for our good.  As Rabbi Milstein said in his talk to us, along with the difficult times, Hashem continually gives us so many gifts to enjoy.  The ability to see 10,000 shades of green is an incredible gift from Hashem.  And at the beautiful retreat, there must have been 10,000 shades of green in the grass, bushes, trees and mountains!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the wonderful chessed you do for us.  May Hashem reward each of you tenfold.

 I really saw a change in Gitty.  When we all first arrived, she was quiet and didn’t smile.  By the next morning, she had the most beautiful smile on her face. She was talkative and laughed.  It was wonderful to see.  And it’s because Dror gives us wives the opportunity to talk to each other in a beautiful, comfortable – and comforting setting.  We wives are really bonding and care for each other.  That too is to Dror’s credit, and is so greatly appreciated.

Bochurim Shabbaton

Dror hosted a Shabbaton exclusively for Bochurim in Lakewood at the home of Meir Fishel.

Some of these Bochurim, who usually take the role of the father of the house, making Kiddush and leading the Zemiros, were now able to enjoy a Shabbos away from the responsibilities.

Also joining us for this Shabbos, were some boys that have since BH had their fathers return home from prison and now had a chance to reunite with some of their close friends they got to know over the years.

The boys arranged and Davened together in their own Minyan, giving out some very special Aliyas and Kibudim. Over Shabbos the Bochurim enjoyed hearing from dynamic speakers including Rabbi Friedman, Rabbi Lefkowitz and Rabbi Paneth who all shared their unique perspective and Divrei Chizuk.

The Shabboton ended with a beautiful Motzei Shabbos program where the boys had a chance to go swimming before enjoying the lavish full Melave Malka.

The Melave Malka featured great music, singing and dancing with a special surprise visit from a Chosson that was getting married the following week. The uplifting and joyous singing and dancing lasted until the wee hours of the morning. A special thank you Tuvye Eichler for the great music and Shia Roth for singing.

A special thank you to the Fishel family for opening your heart and your home and showing true hospitality and providing tremendous Chizuk to our Bucherim. May Hashem give you all the Brochos and continued Mazal.

Williamsburg Dina Event

Dror arranged its highly recognized and important Dina Event in Williamsburg to help spread awareness and educate people on the correct and legal ways to conduct business properly.

The event was attended by an esteemed legal panel who shared their advice and experience dealing with legal matters.

They included:

1) Judge Leon Ruchelsman

2) Judge Josh Hanshaft

3) Arthur L. Aidala,Esq, Criminal Defense Lawyer Former president of the “Brooklyn Bar Association”

4) Bernard Shafran Esq, Partner Hershkowits & Shafran LLP

5) Richard Mahon

The guest speaker for the night was Chaim H. Leshkowitz

Chaim H. Leshkowitz is a practicing CPA and tax lawyer for the past 45 years. He is the managing partner of Leshkowitz and Company CPAs, a midtown Manhattan CPA firm employing more than 50 professionals. He has broad experience in dealing with Federal and State tax auditors and has been part of the criminal defense team in many tax and financial fraud investigations and prosecutions. Additionally, he has worked with Satmar, Skver and Spinka as part of the team dealing with their operating and governance issues. He is also Chairman of the Board of Yeshivah Torah Vodaath, Vice Chairman of Maimonides Medical Center in Boro Park and Treasurer of Agudah Yisroel. Chaim’s speech was powerful and informative, touching on vital issues that come up and the importance of staying informed to avoid legal pitfalls.

Click to see photos of the event

Since the event many other communities have seen the tremendous need and importance of such an event and have taken steps to arrange similar events throughout their neighborhoods of Monsey and Lakewood.

News publications have also taken a great interest in the Dina Project. The Mishpacha Magazine recently published an article about our BP event.  They shared some important tips and advice from Dror.

Click to see the full Mishpacha article

Simchas in Dror

Baruch Hashem there have been many Simchas at Dror. A Mazel Tov to all the Dror families that made weddings and Bar Mitzva’s over the past few weeks.

Our legal Askunim worked endless hours to help arrange furloughs for the fathers to join the Simchas. BH a few successfully obtained Furloughs.

Unfortunately some were not approved. It pains us that some fathers were unable to attend the wedding of their own children.  This is a feeling our legal team always works hard to be able to avoid at all costs.

An Emotional Goodbye

Dror held an emotional goodbye party for our close friend Rabbi Boruch M. Leibowitz who will be moving to Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Berish Freilich presented him with a plaque and spoke a few words in appreciation for all the work he’s done for Dror over the years. Rabbi Leibowitz served as a chaplain in the prison system for over 40 years, 25 years in Rikers Island and 15 years in State prison.  Together with dror, he was able to do so much good for so many Yidden over the years.

Besides all askunim that attended, we had honor of having Rabbi Richtman as a special guest who was also a chaplain for many years in Rikers. The party ended with Rabbi Leibowitz himself sharing warm and touching words from the heart.

Summer Support

While so many people enjoy their well needed vacation during the summer, Dror was actively involved in helping families with throughout the summer. From placing kids in camps to arranging rides to and from prison from upstate.

Some families have to travel many long hours to visit their father in prison. They would leave as early as 4:00 am to be there and return late at night.

Thank you to the devoted drivers that undertook these long distance trips.

A special thank you to Itche Rosenbaum for providing drivers and Goldy Goldberg for arranging it all.

Just a small thank you message from one of the families:

“Thank you so much for arranging the ride Sunday. It was very beneficial. The driver was wonderful. It’s such a far distance and we would not have gone otherwise. It’s really appreciated. Were all exhausted, hoping and praying we don’t have to do this anymore!”

Mazel Tov Wishes

Mazel Tov to Avrumi  Klein upon the birth of his first grandchild.

Mazel Tov to Shimmy Engel upon the birth of his baby girl.

Mazel Tov to Mayer Fishel upon his daughter’s wedding.

Mazel Tov to Sruly Hager upon his son’s wedding.

We would like to extend our warm wishes to you, our dear friends and supporters, for a Gmar Chasima Tova. In the Zechus of all that you do for Dror, may you merit a year of health, success and happiness!