June 18, 2024
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Lincoln Park Eruv Reconstruction Is Bar Mitzvah Project

On June 5, Daniel Delman will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah at the Lincoln Park Jewish Center (LPJC) in Yonkers, New York. In addition to learning to lain his Torah portion, Daniel has established a fund-raising campaign to rebuild and repair the currently unusable eruv in their Yonkers neighborhood. He has set up this ambitious bar mitzvah project through GoFundMe.

The area of the eruv covers their narrow strip neighborhood, bounded by the Saw Mill River Parkway, the Cross County Parkway and I-87, where it switches from the Major Deegan Expressway at the New York City line to become the New York State Thruway. Yonkers Raceway, the Empire City Casino and a reservoir are just opposite the shul, and outside the eruv, on the other side of the Thruway.

At this time, the previously constructed eruv is not compliant with halachic requirements. Rabbi Levi Welton, LPJC’s current spiritual leader, cannot bring his 3-year old son to shul. Prior to COVID, Daniel’s father, Brent Delman (aka “The Cheese Guy”) would supply their shul with his signature cheeses and crackers for kiddush. While he would generally deliver his items before Shabbos, he lost the luxury of carrying an extra supply on Shabbos morning, after the eruv was deemed not kosher. A major overhaul is needed to restore its standards.

Currently a student at Westchester Torah Academy in New Rochelle, Daniel explained, “LPJC’s eruv will help the Jewish tradition of the Sabbath as an anchor for this community. Enjoying the Sabbath is one of the requirements for correct Sabbath observance. When you don’t have an eruv, I can’t do on Shabbat a lot of things I do with my friends.” Daniel described how he likes to play sports, especially football. Without an eruv, Daniel cannot carry his football to the local high school field to play.” Daniel noted, “I am not just doing this so I can play ball, but it is for the benefit of the entire community, as well.” Daniel added, “When we’re together, and when we bring the community together, we can have a bigger congregation.”

Brent explained how he and his wife, Patricia, are shepping nachas from Daniel’s accomplishments: “Daniel cares so much about our community.” Brent continued, “He’s very committed and very socially conscious and community oriented for a young man. I am very proud of him, the fact that he thinks about the community.” Brent revealed that Daniel spent the past two years growing his hair. This year, before Pesach, Daniel donated 10 inches of hair to “Locks of Love.” “There are many people that, due to cancer, do not have hair. I have the opportunity to have hair and other great things and it’s good to donate.” Daniel added, “A lot of people don’t feel comfortable going outside without hair and they think that they’re going to get shamed or feel embarrassed. I feel good to donate to help them.”

Patricia is a pediatric endocrinologist with New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is originally from Argentina. At the time of their wedding 14 years ago, this shul was re-expanding, and became a center for Jews of Latin origins. “When Patricia and I got married, we wanted to be close to Riverdale. Lincoln Park was a beautiful community, with beautiful homes, and there was a shul within walking distance,” Brent said.

Daniel has been attending LPJC since he was born. The family has celebrated many simchas at the shul. “The synagogue has seen thousands of simchas over the years, but Daniel’s bar mitzvah is special for this older community,” stated Brent. “Most of the congregation attended his bris, his upsherin, all the way through to his soon-to-be bar mitzvah. Daniel has affectionately become known as the ‘MVP of LPJC’ by Rabbi Welton.” To learn more about this fundraising project, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/daniels-eruv-project.

By Judy Berger

 

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