Sarah’s Place Retreat for Baalat Teshuva Women – October 31st

A recent BeyondBT post (“How Would You Help Fellow BT’s Transition?“) drew attention to many of the dilemmas facing today’s BT – particularly the female (baalat teshuvah) who often feels less connected to her new community.

Lacking the “networking” provided by daily minyan and various learning settings, the baalat teshuvah can often go days or longer without interplay with other BT’s or FFB’s.

Parenting concerns, relationship issues, and coping with Shabbos and Yom Tov preparation – just loved the recent 3-day Yom Tov preps didn’t you? – were but a few of the issues raised.

Many women expressed interest in boosting Hebrew reading skills and building basic vocabulary – “I want my kids to know more than me – but not in kindergarten!” And so many would simply like a chance to bond and network with other women who’ve gone thru similar transformations.

All of this has been taken into account in designing an upcoming mini immersion-retreat specifically for women who have transitioned into a Torah lifestyle.

The retreat is being hosted by Sarah’s Place, a new women’s learning and retreat center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now before you question “Why Cincinnati?” (or maybe, “Where’s Cincinnati?”) we should note that many Midwestern cities (yes, there are Jews west of the Hudson) are within easy driving range of Cinci and lots of airlines fly to Cinci (CVG) and/or Dayton (DAY). And, grant money is available to offset some of the travel costs for those who cannot find reasonable fares to either one (Note: first-come-first-served).

Lisa Aiken, author of many great books including the Baal Teshuvah Survival Guide, will be scholar in residence for the two-day retreat which begins Sunday October 31.

Sarah’s Place provides comfortable lodging, a pleasant learning environment, and hands-on learning — it even features a brand new kitchen designed for Halachah and kosher cooking classes!

Thanks to a generous sponsor the highly subsidized retreat cost can be even further reduced upon need.

Please go to for more information.

Please Help Lancaster Yeshiva With a Click of the Mouse

In November 2008, we all did our part in helping Leah Larson win the $100,000 grand prize in the Wells Fargo’s Someday Stories Contest.

Well now we all have a another chance to help our fellow Jews. Lancaster Yeshiva is entered in Pepsi’s $50,000 good idea contest.

A Beyond BT reader describes the Lancaster Yeshiva:

First it was the Mikvah. When the Rabbi arrived in this dwindling Jewish community right in the middle of Amish country, one of his first projects was to build a Mikvah. With the assistance of several congregation members, they raised penny after penny until finally the Mikvah was built. But that was just the first step in attempting to revitalize the kehilla.

Next it was the Yeshiva. Indeed, it is not your ordinary off-the-block Yeshiva. Geared towards bochurim who sometimes fall in between the cracks, the kind who want to be in a yeshiva but are more talented in the hands-on department. The Yeshiva provides a combination of morning learning with afternoon vocational training in residential construction. It is well suited for the kind of bochurim who don’t see themselves as academically oriented and need something different than just sitting all day and learning. As such, it serves a vital need in the Jewish community at large. And it seems to be succeeding. From a recent article in Mishpacha Magazine:

“We started the yeshiva shelo lishmah,” Rabbi Sackett says, “as a means to a different end, as a means to building up the Lancaster community.But before we knew it, we were doing it lishmah. The yeshiva took on a life and a reason for being all its own.”

In other words, in teaching boys how to build, the Lancaster Yeshiva Center accomplishes an even bigger objective it builds up the boys themselves.

But of course running a Yeshiva requires funds. It’s not often that such an easy opportunity to take part in a Mitzva comes along. You’ll be helping this unique Yeshiva itself, and at the same time showing some hakoras hatov to the Lancaster Jewish community by helping it grow into a more vibrant kehilla. Anyone who has been to Hershey park and benefited from the Kosher stand has benefited from the Lancaster Jewish community.

With just a few clicks of the mouse you can help the Yeshiva – – so hurry up vote early and vote often (once a day – per email address) and don’t forget to spread the word!

Rabbi Shimon Green of Bircas HaTorah is Speaking in KGH on Wed, May 5th

Rabbi Shimon Green of Bircas Hatorah in Yerushalayim, will be giving a shiur for men and women
on Wednesday – May 5th, 2010 at 8:30 AM at
at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel 147-02 73rd Avenue
titled “The Essentials Needed for a Lifetime of Learning for You and Your Children”

Rabbi Green is Rosh Yeshiva and co-founded Bircas Hatorah in 1989. In addition to teaching at the Yeshiva, Rabbi Green travels widely in Israel and abroad, giving seminars, lectures and shabbatonim to audiences that range from the totally secular to very observant. His exciting presentations are famous for their depth, clarity, humor, and inspiration. Rabbi Green strives to help every Jew achieve the ecstatic Torah experience that he believes is their birthright.

Wikipedia points out that:

Yeshivas Bircas HaTorah uses a unique methodology for studying Talmud developed by Rabbi Green.

This methodology is based on a combination of the teachings found in the works “The Ways of the Gemara” by medieval Spanish scholar Rabbi Yitzchak Kanfanton, and “The Way of Understanding” and “The Book of Logic” by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto.

Rabbi Green developed this system at the behest of Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein of Jerusalem. Rabbi Goldstein felt that there was an urgent need for a systematic approach to the teaching of Talmud, and urged Rabbi Green to invest effort into its development.

In this article from Mispacha Magazine Rabbi Green says:
“Most people learn through intuition. However, many of us can make even more progress if we know how to learn consciously, following a consistent method. The Shulchan Aruch says that every Jew must study Torah, whether he is rich or poor, a genius or of minimal intelligence.”

Rabbi Green believes that serious learning doesn’t need to end after two years of yeshivah gedolah, or after a man is married. “It’s terrible that in our day and age, anyone over twenty who isn’t sitting in kollel isn’t taken seriously when it comes to Torah. Can’s such a person go to work every day and still be a ben Torah?”

Come join us on Wednesday to listen to Rabbi Green.

Beyond BT Announces Effort To Curtail Internet Usage

In an effort to encourage others to reduce their internet* usage, Beyond Teshuva** has announced a weekly “Log Off Day”.

Mark Frankel, one of BBT’s Administrators and its resident IT guru explained the endeavor: “Every week, from just before sundown Friday to just after nightfall Saturday evening, we are asking that all of our fellow Jews do not use the internet.” In order to encourage full participation, David Linn, also an Administrator at BBT and its resident Blackberry*** expert, explains “We at BBT will not be posting during the designated “blackout time” and will not be monitoring the site. We encourage all Jewish blogs and websites to follow suit in a show of solidarity.”

Frankel and Linn added that those who have chosen to participate are encouraged to light candles just prior to the blackout period and take advantage of the free time by dining with friends and family.

Dr. I.V. Poll, BBT’s resident medical Resident, explains that the idea is actually healthy and that concerns about going cold turkey are unfounded. “Those who are nervous about going without internet for 25 hours should not be concerned. Those with strong addictions however, are encouraged to print out BBT posts to have at hand in case the need arises.” Dr. Poll does not recommend use of the transdermal patch.

*The internet, invented by former Vice-President Al Gore, is an electronic medium for the transmission of information. Users sit at devices called computers and watch as words magically appear on their screens. (Ed: Wow, those Jetsons writers were prescient!)

** Beyond Teshuva is the internet’s most popular web site with the name Beyond Teshuva.

*** Blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. It is, botanically, an aggregate fruit. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries are also called caneberries or brambles. Many of its over 375 species, are closely related apomictic microspecies native throughout the temperate Northern hemisphere and South America.

Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, Chanukah: “Seeing Hashgacha in Times of Challenge” Monday, Dec 14 at 8:00 PM in KGH

Kollel Toras Chaim presents a special Chanukah Shiur by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser,

Chanukah: Seeing Hashgacha in Times of Challenge.

27th of Kislev 14th of December, 2009
8 PM Monday Night

Young Israel of Queens Valley
141-51 77th Ave. , Kew Gardens Hills

Followed by refreshments with
Rabbi Goldwasser and
Rabbi Travis, Rosh Kollel Toras Chaim

Great Children’s Books By BBT Contributor Bracha Goetz

Bracha Goetz has just released her latest book:

What Do You See in Your Neighborhood?
A wonderful everyday word-and-picture book for toddlers which teaches basic vocabulary – in a Jewish kind of way! This could be a great gift to give anyone with a little one! You can get it online from or at local Jewish bookstores.

Bracha is the Harvard-educated author of eleven children’s books, including Aliza in MitzvahLand, What Do You See at Home? and The Invisible Book. To enjoy Bracha’s presentations, you’re welcome to email


Rabbi Lazer Brody in Queens and NJ – Plus Audio File From 5 Towns

The remainder of Rabbi Lazer Brody’s schedule is posted below.

# Shabbat Yayera, November 6-7, 2009
Emuna Shabbaton, Monmouth Torah Links, Marlboro, NJ – contact Scott at 732-547-1808 for details

# Saturday Night, November 7, 2009 – 8:30 PM
Iselin, NJ: Melava Malka, “Answer to all your questions,” Woodbridge Hilton, 120 Wood Ave South,

# Sunday, November 8, 2009 – 3 PM
Forest Hills, NY: Chazaq, Bet Gavriel, 66-35 108 St.,

# Sunday, November 8, 2009 – 8 PM
Brooklyn/Flatbush, 8 PM – contact Eli Steinburg, 917-2976782 for details

# Monday Morning, November 9th, 2009 (Just Added) Admission Free!
Shacharis 6:30 AM, Breakfast 7:30 AM, Lecture for Men Only 8:00 AM
Private Meeting with R’ Brody are Available (Contact for Info)
Beth Gavriel Community Center 66 – 35 108th St. Forest Hills NY 11375
For more info call or text 917-617-3636 or Email

# Tuesday, November 10, 2009 – 8:30 PM
Teaneck/Bergenfeld, NJ: Hillel House, this event is especially for and limited to university students. For more information, contact Rabbi Ely Allen for details, 201-9663040

Dixie Yid has the audio from Rabbi Brody’s shiur in the 5 Towns.

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh Author Speaking Schedule For Sept 2009

Rav Itamar Shwartz, the author of the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh seforim will be arriving in the U.S. next week for about one week. He will be speaking in Lakewood, Boro Park, Flatbush, Monsey, and Toronto. The following is the schedule of his public speaking engagements.


* Sunday, September 6th – 2:30 PM – Yeshiva Katana, 120 2nd Street
* Shabbos, Parshas Nitzavim-Vayeleich (Sept. 11-12th) Lakewood Schedule:
* Friday afternoon Parsha Shiur – 2 PM, September 11th at Rav Strulowitz’s Beis Medresh (Corner Madison Ave. & 8th Street)
* Shalosh Sheudos at Tiferes Shalom (Rav Berel Leifer’s Shul: Corner Monmmouth Ave. & 4th Street)
* For information on Slichos and other drashos in Lakewood, please call R’ Avigdor Jerusalem at 732-363-2453

Boro Park: Sunday, September 6th – Time & Location TBA – Call 516-668-6397 for more information

Monsey: Tuesday night, Sept. 8th 8:30 PM at Yeshivas Ohr Someach, 244 Route 306, Monsey
– Call or e-mail R’ Doniel Coren for private appointments before or after the drasha: 914-645-4199 or

Flatbush: Wednesday night, Sept. 9th – 8:30 PM, at Bnei Binyamin Torah Center, 727 Ave. O (corner E. 8th)

* Sunday September 13th:
* 5:15-6 PM: At the Chassidishe Kollel (Rabbi Moeller)
* 7:15-8:30 PM: At the home of Dr. Seidenfeld
* Monday Morning, September 14th:
* 9-9:45 AM at the Old Yesodei Hatorah building on Lawrence Avenue

In addition to these public drashos, the Rav will be availible for an all day workshop on Labor Day, September 7th in preperation for the new year 5770. Spots are still available for that. Please CLICK HERE for more information and registration.

The Rav will also be available for private appointments in Woodmere, NY on Labor Day night, this coming Monday, September 7th. For an appointment, or more information about the trip in general, please call Benyomin Wolf at 516-668-6397 or e-mail him at

For more information, please see Dixie Yid

Nationwide Webcast – Are you worried about your child?

By Dr. David Pelcovitz

Priority-1 presents a first-of-its-kind nationwide program that will give serious advice and real answers to parents concerned about their child’s behavior.

This program is for caring parents who are determined not to give up. You can help your child overcome his challenges and succeed.

Defiance, Depression, Low Self-Esteem, Cynicism, Learning Disabilities, Distrust of Parents or Teachers, Disillusionment to Yiddishkeit…

If your child is challenged by these issues, this program will give you real answers.

Wednesday, August 26th, 8:30 pm, EST
Watch the Webcast here

You can also listen live by phone at
308-344-6400, Access Code #562029

Virtual Chabura for Ahavas Yisrael for Women

Hi- I’m starting a virtual chabura for Ahavas Yisrael for women, similar to others that are being started in various communities. I know there are others like me who are BTs who don’t quite know where we fit it yet. After all, most BTs don’t just pop up in crown heights or boro park. We are out bamidbar trying to see where we would fit in best and where we should move our families.

When I learned about the chaburot, I thought it might be a great opportunity for BT women in various places, but in search of the right fit community to join together to work on Ahavas Yisrael in a virtual group.

If there are women in BeyondBT who would like to join or would like more information, please contact me, Sheindy, at The link below will give you information about the Chabura Ahavas Yisrael.

All the best in your journey,



ShirHaLev.Com – Free Jewish Songs and Jewish Music was created to help Jews learn songs and therefore help increase their enjoyment of Shabbos, holidays and many other occasions.

There’s lots of material there. And it’s all free.

You can even submit your own songs following these guidelines:

The recordings should be 1 male singing, no instruments, not too fast and clearly and accurately pronounced. Once received, we will go through them and decide to put them up or not.

Definitely worth checking out.

The Unfinished Project

It is not uncommon for the following exchange to take place on BBT:

Dear Beyond BT,

I have a great project which will help a certain segment of the Jewish People.

– Gary Ideaguy


Dear Gary,

It’s a great idea. Please send us a short writeup and we’ll be glad to post it with a link to you’re site.

-Beyond BT


We star the email in Gmail and quite often we never here from the person again. What happened?

According to the Baalei Mussar, our excitement often dissipates when we talk about an idea, perhaps because the talking is some small aspect of doing. In fact one Torah Great would sometimes hold an idea for years until he would share it so that its effect would remain in effect longer.

So the next time you have an idea, please send us the three paragraphs when you email us. There’s a good chance we’ll post it and you will have at least taken a few more steps.

The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah- Motza’ei Shabbos 3/14 at 9:15 PM – CAY

The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah- Motza’ei Shabbos 3/14 at 9:15 PM – CAY

Motza’ei Shabbos March 14 at 9:15 pm at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills

Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Video Presentation

“The Inner Meaning of Birkas HaChamah.”

Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer
Rabbi Paysach Krohn.

Suggested donation is $10.00.

Help Free Jonathan Pollard

After 23 years in federal prison, it is time for Jonathan Pollard to go home.
Just a few moments of your time can help Jonathan Pollard regain his freedom. Your phone calls, faxes and letters can help make that happen. He needs your help now.

Please visit to find out how you can help by doing one of these things:

Click here for more information

Click here for addresses and sample letters

Sign up to have your name added to the petition that will be sent to President Bush

Print out the petition and give it to your family and friends to collect signatures

Collect letters from Clergy, School Principals, Elected Officials, and other community leaders

Thanks From Leah Larson – the 100,000 Winner of the Wells Fargo Contest

Leah Larson shows her gratitude on her Yaldah Magazine site.

Thank You!
I’m happy to announce that YALDAH is the Grand Prize Winner of Wells Fargo’s Someday Stories Contest!!

This past Shabbos, my school went on a Shabbaton in a hotel. Right after Shabbos I called my mother to check if she’d heard any news from Wells Fargo. She told me she got an e-mail that we won! My whole school was screaming behind me and hugging me, so I couldn’t hear anything else she was saying! Here’s a photo of me about a minute after I got the news (thank you Elisheva Eisenberg for having your camera ready!)

Now for the thank you’s! So many people helped spread the word. I’d love to mention everyone, but since we got 28,880 votes that’s not possible. So here are just a few, and if I missed out anyone, please know that I am extremely grateful.

First of all, thank you to Hashem. As much as we try to do our part down here, we know that all blessings come from Hashem. I look forward to using the money to encourage more girls to come closer to Hashem and the Torah.

Thank you to my parents, who encouraged me from a young age to go for my dreams. A huge thank you to my mother for entering the contest and for the hours upon hours she spent spreading the word about voting. Thank you to my siblings and all my relatives for your support and for spreading the word as well.

Of course, a huge thank you to Wells Fargo for sponsoring this wonderful contest!

Enormous thanks to Carolyn Lanzkron of who headed our publicity campaign along with Don Martelli of MS&L. Carolyn was able to use her connections with bloggers and social media, together with many hours spent and lots of hard work to spread the word.

Thank you to the entire Bais Chomesh High School for spreading the word and for all your support!

Thank you to the YALDAH staff for spreading the word and for everything you do for YALDAH! We can’t do it without you!

Thank you to the following blogs, websites, organizations, and newsletters, who posted announcements about voting:

visit Leah’s site for the list.

Parenting Expo by Priority-1 on Sunday, November 16th

Parents are constantly worried about the daily challenges their children face. But as the nature and severity of these challenges evolve faster than ever before, it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of what we’re supposed to be worried about.

“By the time parents have a handle on one problem, their children are already struggling with something entirely different,” says Rabbi Shaya Cohen, founder of Priority-1 and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Aryeh.

This disconnect has serious consequences. “When parents don’t know what the problem is, there’s almost no way to help,” says Rabbi Cohen. “It’s like driving a car blindfolded. You may be the best driver on the road — but you still can’t see where you’re going.”

The solution, according to Rabbi Cohen, is parent training. For the last several years, Priority-1, through its Community Training Initiative, has taught hundreds of parents the skills they need to counter the issues frum children face, while providing resources to help teens enhance their love for Yiddishkeit and Torah learning.

Now parents have a unique opportunity to supercharge their parenting skills at the first ever Priority-1 Parenting Expo, on Sunday, November 16th.

At the Parenting Expo, parents will learn essential, practical parenting skills at workshops led by experts in Chinuch, and social and emotional child development. These workshops address challenges such as peer pressure, learning strategies, Tefillah, Hashkafah, and a multitude of issues related to the child psychology.

Parents will have opportunities for confidential talk time with experts in Hashkafah and mental health, and will receive free material that contains valuable strategies for raising healthy, happy, frum teenagers. Light refreshments will be served.

Among the many experts at the Parenting Expo are renowned psychologist, Dr. David Pelcovitz, and Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah. Other speakers include Rabbi Zev Freundlich, Menahel of Mesivta Shaarei Arazim, Rabbi Yossie Feintuch, Principal of Torah Academy of Lawrence Cedarhurst, Rabbi Yitzchok Goldberg, Principal at Yeshiva Darchei Torah and Mr. Philip Rosenthal, Computer Forensic Investigator.

“Happy, healthy, frum children typically come from strong, nurturing families led by caring, involved parents,” says Rabbi Cohen. “And parents who educate and prepare themselves have the best chance of succeeding.”

The Priority-1 2008 Parenting Expo is from 6:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, 2008 at the Holiday Inn at JFK Airport. For more information, or for sponsorship opportunities, please visit Priority-1 or call 516-295-5700. There is a $25 suggested donation.