After three amazing weeks in Suffern, NY, and the surrounding areas, we wanted to finish off our assignment and bring closure to what had been a very powerful experience for us and the people we had gotten to know.

In light of the Nine Days, when we mourn the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed as a result of disunity among Jews, we decided to bring people together in a celebration of Jewish unity. So we called a farbrengen (informal Chassidic gathering). Luckily, Suffern is near Monsey, so we had no problem getting kosher food.

Our guest list included businesspeople, yeshiva students, and others. We tried to keep it small and personal. We told some stories, taught some niggunim (Chassidic melodies) and spoke about ahavat Yisrael. We all had a good time. For most people, it was their first time participating in a farbrengen, and everyone was anxious to hold another one soon.

Maybe you should hold one also?

The ingredients are simple. Here is what you need to host your own:

  • Some kosher food and drink.
  • Good friends.
  • Some time cleared from your schedule to focus on G‑d, Judaism and each other.
  • A couple of traditional Jewish melodies to sing together.

Optional ingredient:

  • Some stories and thoughts prepared in advance. (Or you can just let things flow if you prefer.)

So long from Suffern,
Adam Epstein and Mechel Gancz