By Dina Aaron
CHAZAQ (with a “Q”) has become a household name in the Queens community since its inception nearly 10 years ago and their sphere of influence is slowly expanding beyond their borders. “Kiruv rechokim and chizuk lekrovim is our motto” says operations manager Yaniv Meirov, “and every community can use a bit of that.”
Their wide array of programs include community wide shiurim, a separate men and women’s division, a teens division, a children’s division, along with a family magazine and an online radio station.
Though, while this dynamic organization has inspired thousands of men and women via their large gatherings, it’s the personal relationship they build with the youth of the community that makes their work so successful. “With all the splash that we do in organizing all these big events, behind the scenes we are quietly changing the lives of scores of teenage boys and girls from local public schools via our after school programs for teens”, says Yaniv.
“My brother, Rav Ilan, together with Rabbi Yitzchak Oelboum (son of the renowned Posek Rav Noach Isaac Oelboum Shlit”a) work tirelessly together with community activists to create a makom Torah for these children. We have 8 weekly sessions for the boys and girls along with Shabbatons in different communities that really make a difference in the lives of these children. We recently started a basketball league for the boys in our new initiative of Kiruv through sports and we are seeing wonders”.
This Sunday Night, March 15th, CHAZAQ will host their 3rd annual “Big Event” which will be”h be a night of great inspiration and entertainment. “Any time you have Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein or Charlie Harary speaking, you are sure to be inspired. How much more so when you have all three of them on stage in one night” says Yaniv excitedly. “You top that off with Avraham Fried and Eli Gerstner along with renowned Mentalist Marc Salem and this promises to be an unforgettable evening”.
Tickets for the Big Event are nearly sold out. Select seats are still available on line at chazaq.org or by calling 917-617-3636. All proceeds of the event go towards CHAZAQ’s outreach programs.