The shul’s doors are opened early. Weekday morning Shacharis officially starts at 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30 and 11 – and, for night shift workers from 12 p.m. onward. Minchah on Sundays begins at 3 p.m. and continues every 15 minutes thereafter; Minchah during the workweek begins at 5 p.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter; Maariv begins at nightfall and every 15 minutes thereafter.
The last minyan for weekday Maariv is scheduled for 11:45 p.m., but there are times when minyanim continue well past midnight.
Those having a yahrzeit in the Catskills now have a shul where a minyan is guaranteed. Sponsorship of a yahrzeit tikun with lekach and bronfun is no longer a pipe dream.
On Shabbos in Woodbourne, the Nikolsburger Rebbe leads tefillahs and tisch in the shul. The shalosh seudos that lasts beyond the regular Havdalah and a grand melaveh malkah draw large crowds and are appreciated not only by those living nearby but by those who drive there as well.
Another component the Nikolsburger Rebbe introduced in Woodbourne is a constant smorgasbord of cake, nosh, and drinks set out at all times. In addition, during late afternoon and evening hours, chulent and kugel (potato and noodle) are served to all takers. As he does in Boro Park, the Nikolsburger Rebbe generously provides physical as well as spiritual nourishment.
This is reminiscent of Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner, zt”l (1852-1925), beloved Keresturer Rebbe. Reb Shayeleh Keresturer, as he was and still is affectionately known, had an overpowering love for his fellow Jews. He is remembered as a people’s rebbe. In those days, when food was not as abundant as it is today, he always made sure plenty would be on his tisch and that no one would go away hungry. On Rosh Hashanah, in the hour before the sounding of the shofar, when other rebbes isolated themselves and were in deep meditation and contemplation in preparation of the holy moments of tekias shofar, Reb Shayeleh would personally slice and served kokosh cake and other sweets to his chassidim.
With sefarim being brought into the shul on almost daily basis, visitors to Woodbourne have a retreat where they can study their Daf Yomi, Mishnah, Gemara, Chumash, Rambam, Chitas, or Shulchan Aruch daily shiur, check on a halacha or recite Tehillim in sanctified tranquility, mere steps away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street while wives and children shop nearby.
The shul’s 24/7 schedule has had a pronounced and profound effect on Woodbourne. Seeing people on Main Street rushing to the Woodbourne Shul to catch a minyan at all hours is no longer an exception. It is now commonplace.
Brezna Kehilla Hachnassas Sefer Torah
On Sunday, June 17, the Brezna Kehilla of Boro Park celebrated the Siyum HaShas taught and led by Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Neuschloss, Brezna Dayan. Simultaneously, the kehilla celebrated the hachnassas Sefer Torah dedicated by Avrohom Ephraim Kaller in memory of his parents, Menachem Mendel ben Moshe Dovid z”l and Fradel Rochel bas Amron a”h.
The final letters of the Sefer Torah were ceremoniously written at the Kaller home. Then a beautiful and huge escort, featuring much music, song, and dance, was given to the new Sefer Torah as it was brought to the Brezna Beis Medrash at 1563 42nd Street. The joy was indescribable. The exhilarating event was followed by a formal banquet dinner held at the Skverer Hall on 43rd Street. The dinner encapsulated the combined special events of the Siyum HaShas and the Siyum Kesivas Sefer Torah. Rabbi Shulem Neuschloss, esteemed Brezna Rav, was the keynote speaker.