Written by Menachem Posner, Editorial@antonnews.com Saturday, 28 September 2013 00:00
Ted Volynets grew up with two passions: dance and Judaism. As a child he danced competitively in the US and abroad. In 2011, during his last semester at New York University, Ted’s professional ballroom dancing career reached a new high when he was selected for the professional troupe on ABC’s Dancing with The Stars.
He also grew up part of the then-small Town of Oyster Bay Chabad in Woodbury.
“My father, Eugene Volynets, is the executive founder of the congregation,” he says. “It is basically where I grew up—whenever I was not at the dance studio.”
His says his two passions come together each year on Simchat Torah, the holiday when Jews gather in the synagogue to sing and dance with the Torah, the handwritten Hebrew scroll containing the 5 Books of Moses.
This year, Volynets will be on hand to lead the dancing at his childhood synagogue and “show everyone some moves.”
“The entire community is invited to join us for the dancing and the meal that follows,” says Rabbi Shmuel Lipszyc of Town of Oyster Bay Chabad. “It’s a time to let loose and let your Jewish joy flow. This is the culmination of the entire High Holiday season, and I am so happy that Ted is taking a leading role.”
While Lipszyc notes that it is not the first time celebrities have joined his congregation for services—Bob Dylan has been spotted attending High Holiday services—he is “really gratified to see a child of our community remain strongly rooted in Jewish tradition.”
The congregation will celebrate Simchat Torah on September 26 at 7:20 in the evening. Town of Oyster Bay Chabad is located at 678 Woodbury Road in Woodbury, NY. There will also be a special children’s program led by Volynets and volunteers at 6:55 p.m. Reservations are necessary for the holiday feast that will follow the dancing, but the dancing and kids’ program are open to walk-in traffic. The entire evening is free of charge.
Based on past experience, Volynets says he expects the crowd to vary from amateur dancers to people with little dance experience, “but if you can walk, you can dance too.”
“I do all kinds of dances, ranging from waltzes to salsa, but I will make sure to tone it down when I lead the dancing at the synagogue and keep things traditional,” says the 23-year-old Volynets, who now manages his family’s dance studio in Ridgefield, NJ. “You just can’t tango with the Torah.”
For information and reservations, contact Town of Oyster Bay Chabad at 516-682-0404 or www.jewishtob.org.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
On Nov. 7, more than 150 supporters gathered for MercyFirst’s Annual Harvest Ball held at The Garden City Hotel, raising more than $100,000 to help fund MercyFirst’s programs.
This year, the 2013 MercyFirst Community Partner Honoree Awards went to three Syosset-Woodbury families: The Millers, The Cliffords and The Majoys.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
On a crisp November evening, more than 200 people arrived at Chelsea Mansion at East Norwich for the Syosset-based Long Island Jewish Community Relations Council’s holiday party, entitled “Multicultural Visions, Artists Exploring Identity.” People from all ethnic and religious walks of life mingled under the heated tent viewing art from six local artists, equally diverse, including Manu Kaur Saluja, a Sikh artist from Old Brookville.
Each artist addressed the audience and talked about art and how it reflects their individual identity as a Jew, a Sikh woman, a Latino woman or an African American man. Saluja, a portrait artist, explained to the audience how identity is a very complicated issue. Standing between two portraits of her brother, a cardiologist, one wearing a black turban and one with his long hair cascading down his shoulders, she explained why she chose to paint these two portraits.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Fourteen student-athletes from Syosset High School have committed to play at a college or university next year.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Jericho Celeste Taub, 13, showed that she could run with the big girls (and the big boys!) on Sunday, Nov. 17, as she scored a decisive victory in the Women’s Division of the 5th annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5-kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.
Taub finished the Run in 20 minutes, 17 seconds, 53 seconds in front of 36-year-old runner-up Kelly Bregou of New York City.