Nysha Recent News

Hamaspik of Kings County Brings Happy Faces to Upstate’s Raleigh Hotel

March 29, 2017        

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Agency’s 61st St. Men’s Residence Enjoys Mar. 17-19 Getaway Weekend

No snow here!

While there was no shortage of the wintry white precipitation all over the grounds, residents of the 61st St. Briderheim all but escaped the frozen fury of the season over a thrilling and thoroughly rejuvenating three-day getaway centered on a Shabbos weekend at the Raleigh Hotel.

That venue was the axis of the group home’s March 17-19 vacation—which saw the residents of the Borough Park-based Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) hit, road early Friday, hit a fast-paced go-cart track late Sunday, and get plenty of rest, relaxation and recreation in between.

Yossi Moskovits, longtime Manager at the Hamaspik of Kings County men’s residence, oversaw a crew of four Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) supporting nine gentlemen from the vacation’s start through its finish.

Beginning well before Purim, Mr. Moskovits planned the entire itinerary, taking into thoughtful account each individual’s personal preferences for a vacation that met their collective wishes.  Providing him with critical help with all those arrangements was 61st Assistant Manager Mrs. Chany Wertzberger.

By the time the morning of March 17 rolled around, then, Raleigh reservations were long since made, foodstuffs and medications were packed, and gas-filled vans were ready to roll.

Pulling up to their vacation destination in leafy upstate South Fallsburg some three hours after departing brownstone Brooklyn, the 61st St. family exited their vehicles and—at least for Shabbos—left the world behind.

Hardworking Hamaspik DSPs Dovy Klein, David Teichman, Shea Teichman and Yidi Teichman never left the gentlemen’s sides throughout.

First helping them settle into their hotel rooms and unpack their suitcases, the DSPs supported them throughout the Friday-night meal, serving them a range of culinary choices and enjoying their own renditions of Shabbos songs—which at least one young man delivered stage-like while standing on a chair in the private ballroom reserved for the Hamaspik guests.

The DSPs later helped the gentlemen off to bed.

Shabbos day at the Raleigh was filled with Day-of-Rest rest and relaxation, as the young men enjoyed sleeping in, rising at their leisure to a lovely breakfast and sharing the company of the Raleigh’s numerous other guests, the bulk of which share their same Chasidic Orthodox community of origin.

As such, on-site morning prayer services followed by the traditional Shabbos lunch made “the boys” feel right at home.

That was followed by a leisurely and lengthy Shabbos afternoon marked by relaxing naps and/or gentle strolls about the Raleigh’s spacious and elegant indoor premises.

But as Shabbos ended, 61st’s vacation only really began.

Following the post-Shabbos Havdalah ceremony, the young men opted for a private swim in the Raleigh’s large heated indoor pool.  Besides the recreational benefits, the buoyant non-impact water environment gave the swimmers a therapeutic workout.

In need of serious protein infusion (translation: dinner!) after that invigorating aquatic exercise, the gentlemen next enjoyed a late-night Melaveh Malka (lit. “Ushering the Queen”), the customary Saturday-night meal symbolically sending off Queen Shabbos.

Sunday morning kicked off with the Shacharis morning prayer services to which the gentlemen are accustomed, followed by a nutritious breakfast served by 61st’s DSPs and Manager—themselves backed by none other than Hamaspik of Kings County Director of Residential Services Cheskel Fisher, who had accompanied the group since Friday for that extra measure of support.

By the time the clock struck 12:00 noon, the Hamaspik guests and support staff were all packed up and ready to roll again.

Their next destination, like their first (not to mention their point of departure), had plenty of snow, too—but this time, it attracted, not repelled.  Destination?  Campgaw Mountain Ski Area!

The snow on the snow tubing track at that venue was readily embraced by the gleeful young men, who had plenty of fun sliding down the hill snugly ensconced inside giant rubber bagels.

If that wasn’t fun enough, the gentlemen’s next destination of choice was southwest by Highway 287 to East Hanover, New Jersey, where an afternoon of indoor fun awaited at The Funplex.

If downhill (as in snow tubing) is fun, it would only logically follow that flat is not—unless, of course, you’re whizzing around the decidedly flat but hardly non-descript indoor go-cart track at The Funplex.

“There are no words to describe the happiness and joy that each and every individual had during this beautiful mini vacation getaway,” Mr. Moskovits later told the Gazette by e-mail. “I saw a smile on every face.”

Needless to say, when 61st St. got back home to 61st St that night, after a long afternoon at The Funplex, everyone was still smiling.

“I have no regrets,” he said.  “It was worth it to see their happy faces!”