The Chabad of North Brooklyn expanded recently, opening a Greenpoint branch on Manhattan Avenue. And just a few months into its expansion, it is already bringing innovative programming to help get the community involved as the Jewish High Holidays approach.
Last Wednesday, in light of the impending Rosh Hashanah celebration, the Jewish New Year, the Chabad hosted an event called “Honey Infusion & the Art of Apple Dipping,” targeted as a social event for young Jewish women in the neighborhood.
It is customary to dip an apple into honey as a sign of ushering in a sweet and promising new year.
At the Greenpoint outpost of the Chabad, attendees were also provided with a range of flavored honeys like rosemary, thyme, and one with mint leaves. And for those not so keen on honey, the Chabad also provided chocolate and caramel substitutes.
“We spoke about the mystical connection of apple and honey coming together,” said Rabbi Israel Nissim, who oversees the Greenpoint operation. “Honey comes from a bee and a bee can sting you, and it’s interesting to note that something as a harsh and ruthless as a bee can also produce something so sweet. It’s about ushering in something new.”
The Chabad of North Brooklyn has been operating out of Williamsburg for just over a decade now, but with an influx of younger people moving into neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Rabbi Nissim said the Chabad felt a need to also be closer to some of it’s newer congregants in the neighborhood.
The Chabad hosts classes in Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah, Friday night get together and meals, ladies night outings, and a series of non-affiliated social events where people regardless of their religious backgrounds can hang out together to get better acquainted with the community.
The Greenpoint outpost opened in April, just before Passover, and one of its first events was a matzo tasting, with 10-15 different varieties brought in from the oldest matzo bakery in the United States.
The Rosh Hashanah and Passover events are part of a new series the Chabad has introduced, “Food+Cycle,” which explores the connection between Jewish holidays and food, bringing a greater understanding of traditions while providing a sense of community.
“We bring out the mysticism of the food, its health qualities and most importantly its natural origins and how it is coming from the earth,” said Rabbi Nissim.
The Chabad of North Brooklyn and Greenpoint, 664 Manhattan Avenue 2nd Fl, 718-772-3858, for more information visit http://www.chabadofnorthbrooklyn.com/.