Fresh Meadows Pre-Purim Carnival Draws Over 1,000

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Well over 1,000 community members piled into the spacious Hadar Bet Yaakov multipurpose room for a pre-Purim carnival organized by the incredible All About Kindness organization this past Sunday afternoon, March 10. Designed as a measure to give back to the community – comprising individuals who donate their time and money for the betterment of Queens’ Jewish community – Lyudmila Mierova, founder, pulled off the impossible in a mere four days of planning!


The Event

Aided by the impassioned host Diana Ishakov, known far and wide for her challah baking events that draw tremendous showings from the community, a fun-filled program was planned. The afternoon included a comical magic show led by Long Island’s, two gigantic bounce houses that kept the kids lively, face painting to showcase the upcoming Purim spirit, tons of carnival games staffed by local teenagers, delicious bites from pizza and fries to popcorn and more were all arranged to the glee of the boys and girls that came by throughout the three-hour event. Raffles were also conducted for Judaica items, Purim baskets, gift cards, home goods, beauty products, high-ticket toys, and even $200 to Wall Street Grill, the premiere NYC steakhouse. The community was behind much of the donations for the array of prizes that encompassed bicycles, and scooters. Community members who wanted to donate towards the presents were given online links to order the items. “It gives people a sense of ownership and action to place the order for prizes being distributed and it gives the community the reassurance that their hard-earned money is being used directly for the prizes being awarded,” said Mrs. Mierova. Unbeknownst to many is the sheer kindness of DJ Avraham Productions who brings amazing upbeat Jewish music to simchot and events throughout the Queens community and beyond. Using the tagline, “yesh mechitzah, yesh mesibah,” when this is a divisionary wall for men and women to dance separately, then there is a celebration, this deejay brings a new level of kosher into local programming. DJ Avraham provided his performance at the carnival, much to the gladness of the organizers, even inquiring on his own if a deejay had been booked for the program explaining that he would step in on-the-house as a gift to the children. I can attest that the tunes provided enhanced the event exponentially. Rabbi Shmuel and Shevi Kogan of Ganeinu Academy are guiding lights of Judaism throughout Fresh Meadows and Jamaica Estates. The rav’s guest appearance at the carnival brought Torah into the program in a crucial manner. First, the chinunch expert provided words of chizuk to the crowd, and then called up boys to recite inspirational p’sukim, like the first p’suk of Shema that were repeated by those in attendance. Of note was Aiden proudly wearing his yarmulke who bellowed, “Torah tzivah lanu Moshe,” exclaiming the beauty of Hashem’s Torah that was given to the Jewish nation from Moshe Rabbeinu’s hand and received a thunderous repetition in response. Proceeds of the event were given to struggling families in Israel, the IDF, and families regularly by All About Kindness.


Thank You

Much thanks are extended to Rabbi Gavriel Robenov, head of school at Hadar, and Mrs. Shoshanna Friedman, Principal for giving of their beautiful facility and energetic high school girls for the unprecedented gathering of fun. The student body of Forest Hill’ Yeshiva Sha’arei Zion High School for Girls, and Holliswood’s Yeshiva University High School for Girls – Central also helped in the organization and logistics to make the day a fantastic success. Area shuls that helped promote the carnival included Cong. Anshei Shalom, Bukharian Congregation of Jamaica Estates, House of Torah, and Shaare Shlomo. These women love their life, are filled with happiness, and eagerly do their utmost to share joy with others. Thank you to Anna Kalantarov, Ilana and Nadia Konchorov, Sigalit Shamayev, and all the Jamaica Estates women for making Sunday a funday for all!


The Inspiration

Mrs. Mierova explained that this past Wednesday she took note of Rosh Chodesh Adar Beis falling on the upcoming Sunday. That left just four days of action to make an unforgettable event of thanks. Community members often drop items that are later redistributed to other less fortunate families who can benefit. “My house runs as a g’mach,” stated Mrs. Mierova as she added endless thanks to her husband Alex for always being at her side. Throughout the year, funds are gathered to assist struggling Jewish families – most situated locally – with essentials to run a Torah-centric home for their children. Each time All About Kindness organizes an event, community women come out of the woodworks and give of their time without question. “I have been inspired by these acts of compassion and wanted to put together a program that gives back,” expressed Mrs. Mierova to our publication. Every so often we are the recipient of a good deed. Sometimes it’s a helping hand of a neighbor we had not known before, or even one we see daily, other times it is an unexpected invitation for a meal at a local eatery, or a candy platter or flowers to brighten our Shabbos experience. Mrs. Mierova was such a beneficiary and grasped the feeling of receiving a surprise gift and how such a moment is appreciated. “It is one thing to give,” added the adoring beacon of chesed who watches as the Jewish community funds project after project, “But, is another feeling completely to get. For this reason, I wanted to give back to our community and their wonderful families. A Purim carnival seemed ever so appropriate!” Mrs. Mierova went on to detail how it is the participants at her events – and the attendees at the carnival – that continues to inspire her work. “The fact that people continue to show up time again shows that they are appreciative of our organization’s efforts and that speaks volumes.”

By Shabsie Saphirstein