This is the last Shabbat before students return, a few final days of summer before students return and freshmen move-in and a new year begins, our 18th new beginning at Shabbos House since our arrival in Fall 1997.

Not everything is in place yet, but planning is already underway and we look forward to an exciting semester ahead. Torah-Tues schedule us up, the Shabbos schedule is on the Events Calendar Page, and two new t-shirts are in the works (still in design stages). Look for a new Talmud class on Sundays. And Hillel brings the Maccabeats in Concert on Sunday evening before Rosh Hashanah.

Although there’s lots to do, we’re also trying to cram some quality time with the kids now that everyone is home from camp and before Mushky sets off for a year of study in Israel. While we have a big list of things to do, quality memorable  time with the kids is high up on that list.

The last Cozy-Shabbat of the 2014 Summer season was August 8-9, otherwise known as Shabbos Nachamu. Students up here, locals etc plus a Toronto group coming back this summer, plus a few other visiting families in the area for camp visiting days and vacations. And a newlywed alumni couple as well as an alumni family and their children. It was the last Shabbos for Ben and Stephanie, and Diana to be in Albany (though we look forward to their visits as alumni in the future). We had great Minyans. Believe it or not students will already be back and moving in for Freshman/Opening Weekend Shabbat on August 22nd.

With the recent events in Israel, which continue to unfold, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Israel and all those affected by terror. And in connection with the sad Jewish day of 9th of Av, the Fast Day commemorated this week, here are Mendel’s favorite Eicha Lamenation verses with positive, uplifting and hopeful messages.

Right now there’s a special offer available for first-time Mezuzah users to get their own Mezuzah for $5 (a $40 value!) one Mezuzah per household, and for first-timers only. This offer is available to young adults and students, use the website: www.JoinProtectiveEdge.com. These Mezuzot are in the merit of protecting our homes and our homeland in this challenging time. The Mezuzot will be delivered to Shabbos House, and we can give them to you or help you affix them.

A ray of light in all this darkness, Raizy gave birth to a baby girl on Wed July 23, Tammuz 25. We named her Rivka at the Torah reading on Thursday morning. See here for why we named her Rivka. We had a small Kiddush at Shomray Torah this Shabbos Chazak (Sat July 26th) and will celebrate with a full Kiddush celebration with the students when they return in August. Raizy is getting back to herself, Sara got home on July 20th and has been a big help.

Mushky and Chani returned from camp in California and Ohio (respectively) at the start of August. They, too have been a tremendous help, and the last Cozy-Shabbat with so many guests would not be possible without them. Bassie and Bluma end camp on August 8th, and Moshe comes back on the 14th. We have to get a family photo with the new baby before Mushky heads off for a year of study in Israel in the start of September.

Thanks to last year’s Unite Funds we bought a new 20 qt commercial mixer which will help with Challah dough, cookies, pizza-dough and much more. This year’s  Lchaim Unite Video is up for this year. Check it out (its a twist on Frozen) and give it a $5 or $10 vote! In past years the Unite Video earned us a new commercial fridge and the sound system we use for speakers and Jamming Night. Your small contribution-vote can go a long way…

It’s already time for the Spring/Summer “What’s Cooking?” update. Hope to get it out and mailed before the students return. In the meantime, there’s the Fall-Mid-Spring “What’s Cooking?” update newsletter (included events through the regional Shabbaton) See it here online in PDF format: http://www.shabboshouse.org/whats-cooking/

We are now preparing for the new semester, getting organized, planning and working on fundraising to make it all possible. Thanks to all for your generous support!

Rabbi Mendel and Raizy Rubin
Shabbos House Directors