April 11, 2024
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Chizuk Shiur to Mark First Yahrtzeit of Aleza Winslow z”l

On Monday, March 14, at 8 pm, friends, family, the Moriah School community, the Teaneck community and all those inspired by the life of Aleza Baltuch Winslow z”l (Aleza Shulamit bat Fischel Moshe) are invited to Congregation Keter Torah for a commemorative shiur on her first yahrtzeit.

The inspirational shiur, designed to give strength to those who attend, will be presented by Chai Lifeline’s Zahava Farbman and noted educator Michal Horowitz, and is entitled, “Pathways to Prayers: Tefillah Through the Darkness and the Light.”

Aleza Winslow, wife to Lance and mother to Zev, Ariella, Avi, Yehoshua, and Yakira z”l, an employee of the Moriah School and a member of Congregation Keter Torah, passed away last March after a three-year illness. Her death left a deep mark not only in Bergenfield and the Northern New Jersey community where she lived, but also in Florida where she grew up, in hospitals where she had worked as a labor and delivery nurse, and in the lives of many dear friends from all over the country.

It is sometimes said that the impact of a life is not visible until later, but at other times a special person is recognized and understood during their lifetime. “The real lesson of Aleza’s life is how to treat others,” said Lance Winslow, Aleza’s widower, who said that Aleza never missed an opportunity to help out a friend or colleague. “I only found out later that when she used to pop out at night to run an errand, sometimes she was using her skills as a labor and delivery nurse to check on a friend who was pregnant, or sometimes she was checking the hair of kids who had lice so they could go to school the next day. She would do anything for people. She was truly amazing,” he told the Jewish Link.

Aleza was an example of a nediv lev, a person who gives with a willing heart, said Dr. Elliot Prager, the former principal of the Moriah School, who worked with Aleza. “Aleza never ceased thinking about and worrying about others. Her all-too-short life was dedicated to chesed, loving kindness. Ask her to do anything: to cover for someone, help out with an event here, an absent staff member there. You didn’t have to wait for Aleza to jump in and offer to help. The only ‘shortcoming’ Aleza had was her inability to say ‘No.’ Her watchword was, ‘Hineni,’ ‘Here I am, tell what is needed, tell me how I can be of help,’” Prager wrote in a eulogy last year that was published in the Jewish Link.

Lance said that Aleza is never far from his family’s thoughts. “She is always in our hearts, and always in our minds,” Lance said. Aleza’s friends felt the same way. She was not just a friend, she was a best friend to many. Despite having faced tragedy in her own life, including losing her daughter Yakira as a baby, “She was a true tzadeikis and a woman of incomparable strength. She always approached each challenge with optimism, and never asked ‘why me?’” said Robin Tare, a longtime friend. “Having her in my life has made me a better person, and there are countless others who can say the same,” she added.

“She had these amazing qualities, in terms of being involved in so many aspects of the community. She was a real help to people, in schools, camps, volunteer activities,” said Lance. “Really in every aspect of life, she was very appreciated and loved by all the people she worked with.”

Lance added that Aleza was supremely honest, and believed in ‘telling it how it is’ in a way people understood. “Even with her own illness, she was very honest and direct with the kids; direct, not to scare them, but to prepare them.”

“Aleza was a very modest and spiritual person,” said Rabbi Shalom Baum, mara d’asra of Congregation Keter Torah. “We thought that it would be appropriate to bring in speakers who would focus on these aspects as a tribute to Aleza. Many people were beneficiaries of Aleza’s friendship and it will be meaningful to see many of these friends gathering in her memory. We all need chizuk in confronting the challenges of daily living. On this particular evening we will get chizuk from our guest speakers and from Aleza’s messages of life,” he told the Jewish Link.

Rabbi Baum added that Keter Torah members Keren Fisher and Jackie Demby have chaired the shul’s successful Rosh Chodesh Chizuk program, which seeks to bring in a monthly speaker to inspire and instruct in the art of daily living, a wonderful trait that Aleza modeled beautifully.

Presenting the shiur will be Zahava Farbman, LMSW, and educator Michal Horowitz. Farbman is a veteran traumatologist, having worked in this field for close to two decades. Formerly she held the position as a director of Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline’s overnight camp for children with cancer and other medical challenges. Zahava’s current position, which she has held for much of her career, is the associate director of Project Chai, the Crisis Intervention, Trauma and Bereavement Department of Chai Lifeline, where she focuses on helping families and communities prepare for and respond to the full range of crises, traumas and tragedies. Horowitz teaches weekly adult-education classes in the Five Towns, NY, and regularly presents guest lectures in various venues in the greater tri-state area. Her shiurim and lectures relate to Torah, chagim, parshat ha’shavua, tefillah and Jewish thought. Horowitz is a dynamic speaker who has a unique ability to convey her message with sincerity and passion.

Congregation Keter Torah is located at 600 Roemer Avenue in Teaneck. The Rosh Chodesh Chizuk Shiur is presented monthly. Anyone with questions may email [email protected]
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By Elizabeth Kratz

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