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News Blog

The latest news at the Chabad Center of Sudbury



This past Saturday evening right after the Sabbath, I read the sad news that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the UK passed away. As a long time admirer of the former Chief Rabbi of England and as someone who listens to many of his podcasts, reads his weekly emails and has heard him speak in person, I was very upset at his untimely passing.

Through his writings and teachings, I felt like I had come to know him, and I like so many others, had been profoundly touched and inspired by his teachings, and I am still absorbing the shock of his passing.

As I processed my emotions on Saturday night, I told my children let's take down one of the books that he wrote from the bookshelf and learn a teaching. I took down his book "To Heal a… Read More »


Untitled design (14).pngGrowing up in England we had a little red guest book in which our many sleepover guests, could sign their names and leave a note. I remember browsing through it from time to time and remembering the various guests who came through our home and slept over and joined us for a Shabbat.

There was the gentleman from Argentina who worked for the World Bank and was in London for a high profile international meeting, there was the Captain in the Israeli Navy who enthralled us with his experiences, then there were the two backpackers from Uruguay who were travelling around Europe and just having the time of their lives, there were the two officers from the IDF Golani Brigade who came for a week to check out London and get a break from some stress… Read More »

We mourn the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

JSacks.jpgAn incredible leader, scholar and teacher, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of Blessed Memory passed away this morning.

On a personal note, I read and learned so much from him each and every week for the last few years and more, through his books, weekly articles, podcasts and via his Whatsapp messages. His teachings and ability to translate Judaism to the world at large were unparalleled for the 21st Century and his ability to do so enabled his crystal uplifting messages to reach so many across the spectrum of views, faiths and backgrounds.

A humble giant who impacted so many and who left an indelible positive impact on Judaism and indeed on the world at large.

I will deeply miss him, his writings and his voice.
May his memory be a… Read More »

Mazal Tov Anna Dayn

 Mazal Tov to Anna Dayn on her beautiful Bat Mitzvah last weekend at Chabad of Sudbury. Anna had a beautiful ceremony in the outdoor tent with family and friends as she marked this special day of celebrating Jewish adulthood and its responsibilities. 

We extend a big heartfelt Mazal Tov to Anna, her parents and grandparents and wish her continued blessings and success on her journey forward.

Overcoming the Waves of Stress & Anxiety


Debates, School Closings, Covid-19 upticks, Economic Uncertainties and the list goes on…

I don't think I had a single meaningful conversation this week that didn't drift towards people's concerns about the current political climate, economic uncertainties and the challenges of Covid-19.  There is no doubt that all of the concerns and emotions that people are currently feeling and experiencing are real and can be genuinely overwhelming and disturbing. At times these pressures might consume us as they chip away at our inner core and quash our ability to be positive, to focus on what is important and meaningful and to actually do Mitzvot and good deeds.

Yet 2020 is definitely not the first time, humanity has… Read More »

Mazal Tov to the Lokshin & Kashper Families

 Mazal Tov to Yasha & Kolya Lokshin on their beautiful Bar Mitzvah this past Sunday at Chabad of Sudbury & Mazal Tov to Nathan Kashper on his Bar Mitzvah which took place this past Monday.

The three boys both read beautifully and delivered meaningful Dvar Torahs at their services. Despite the challenges of a Bar Mitzvah during this time period, all the boys managed to have beautiful and joyous Bar Mitzvah ceremonies while adhering to social distancing and masks.

The large tent and stunning outdoor Fall setting of the Chabad Center added a lot to the ambience of these special Bar Mitzvahs.

We extend a big heartfelt Mazal Tov to the boys and their families and wish them all continued success and growth and… Read More »

Lost in a Corn Maze & the Lessons we learned

 Last week in the middle of Sukkot we went on a family trip to a farm in Thompson, Connecticut, which among other things has a huge corn maze. I was in awe when we arrived and saw the size of the maze and all the kids were quickly ready and excited for the challenge.

We entered the maze, but quickly discovered that the corn stalks which were eight feet tall and very thick, all looked the same once you were inside and it was actually more challenging than we had anticipated. Of course we didn’t give up and we worked together and tried not to separate so that we could figure out the various challenges along the paths and also make progress and get where we needed to.

At one point after a lot of progress, we suddenly seemed to be… Read More »

Mazal Tov Harry Barnett & Ben Zislin

 Mazal Tov to Harry Barnett & Ben Zislin on your wonderful Bar Mitzvah ceremonies which were held earlier in the week at Chabad of Sudbury.

The two beautiful Bar Mitzvah services were held yesterday morning and again yesterday afternoon and managed to be meaningful and very special even as we adhered to social distancing and masks. The large tent and stunning outdoor Fall setting of the Chabad Center added a lot to the ambience of these special Bar Mitzvahs.

Both boys donned Tefillin, read their prayers and Torah readings really well and gave beautiful and meaningful Dvar Torah's.

We extend a big heartfelt Mazal Tov to both of you and to your dear parents James & Annette Barnett & Leonoid Zislin and Elina Uraiev and to… Read More »

Sukkot Recap

 Sukkot is truly a holiday of joy and despite the many challenges this year, thank G-d, Sukkot has been a meaningful and joyful experience. We thank so many of you who have joined us over the holiday, stopped by the Sukkah, helped put up the Sukkah, came to shake the Lulav, joined outdoor services and of course to those who were able to join the fun family Sukkot event on Monday and the Sushi & Klezmer in the Sukkah event last night. It was also great stopping by the houses of so many of you and bringing the joy of the Lulav and Etrog to your homes.

Everything was done with social distancing and masks and outdoors and we feel grateful that we were able to continue to make sure Sukkot was a very joyous experience as well as a… Read More »

The Holocaust Survivor & the Story of my Esrog Box

20201002_134635.jpgEvery year at this time of year I take out a very beautiful velvet red Esrog box and gently place my new Esrog inside it for the times we are not using it during Sukkos. As I look at the Esrog box, besides loving how it looks and it making me appreciate the Mitzvah of Lulav and Esrog, I am also reminded of how it was gifted to me and the story of the special person who gave it.

You see each Sukkot I visit the local nursing homes and help the residents celebrate the holiday. About nine years ago, I became close with a very special resident at the Wingate at Sudbury, Elizabeth Stern. Elizabeth was a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who had experienced a lot of pain and loss in the Holocaust, and used to often speak of these experiences with… Read More »

Post Yom Kippur Reflection

Tent.jpgThis Yom Kippur was our 15th Yom Kippur in Sudbury, and while it was certainly the most challenging one as the logistics and planning was complicated and very different than anything we have done before, it was also the most powerful and inspirational one.

Spending Yom Kippur with the hundreds of people who came through the various services (while socially distancing with masks outdoors on the lawn and in the tent) was a very powerful experience. Whether it was the beautiful crowd who came for Kol Nidrei, the many who joined us for a Pre Yom Kippur virtual Zoom Service, the large crowd that was there in the morning and for Yizkor or the many that came for the grand finale of Neila, they all had the same vibe, of a community coming… Read More »

Pre Yom Kippur Reflection

 Gmar Chatima Tova.pngAs we approach the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar, our hearts and minds are filled with thoughts and emotions about the times in which we live. This is a different kind of Yom Kippur than what most of us have ever experienced, as the pandemic has changed the course of our lives dramatically and brought with it an abundance of challenges of every kind, including financial, health, emotional and more. In some places right now including Israel, it is once again out of control and wreaking havoc on society and Yom Kippur will be done under complete lockdown.

Whether we will praying at home and observing Yom Kippur in our living room, or joining in an in person socially distanced outdoor service, our hearts and minds will be filled… Read More »

Two personal Rosh Hashanah Moments

It is a New Year, a very different one, but it is a new start and G-d willing for a good year of health, happiness and more. For most people Rosh Hashanah was not the same as it usually was, yet at the same time, the strong desire to connect, be inspired, hear Shofar and pray and reflect on the first days of the year, was a testimony to the spiritual and moral hopes and aspirations that are at the core of all of us.

As many have commented, the Shofar and its clarion call for change, had a different touch as it was blown outdoors and in nature. The simple sound of the Shofar, coupled with the rustling of the leaves and the chirping of the birds, seemed to pierce nature itself as the world around us absorbed the sounds of… Read More »

Quarantine, Moses & Shared Responsibility

Canva - Woman Holding Sign.jpgSo the new year of school began and thank G-d all of my children are doing okay in their respective classes and schools and getting used to the new rhythms of life. Zalman is enjoying online school with twenty students from places like Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Canada and many States within America. Mendel is enjoying in person school in Brookline with social distancing protocol and likewise Chana & Levi are doing the same in their schools in New York.

However a few nights ago, one of my children who studies out of town was potentially exposed to someone with COVID like symptoms and at midnight on Sunday we were scrambling to figure out quarantine and how to make it manageable. Luckily after three days of quarantining… Read More »


9C471D0F-F500-4090-A115-BEAD6D837FDF.jpegYesterday Reb Yehoshua (Hershke) Raskin of London, England returned his soul to his creator at the age of 97 years old. His passing left me with many emotions and thoughts as a piece of my childhood moved on to heaven.
When I was turning 13 and terrified to have to publicly read my Haftorah in the large Chabad Synagogue in London, he lovingly coached me and taught me the meaning, the cantillation marks and how to read it properly.
As a young 12 year old boy, he seemed very old to me, although at the time he was just 68 years old. Each week I would come to his house and he would teach me how to read, why it is important, and inspire me with confidence to be able to do it.
To this day I can hear his voice ringing in my ears as he… Read More »

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