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Thoughts, notes and happenings...

Chabad of Uptown and personal diary updates! Please comment on our posts, we would love to hear from you!

We need a lift! Can you?

~ While all the stores and offices were closed this past week, we took the kids to spend a few days inFamily at the PierGalveston. Thankfully we enjoyed the new pier and playing in the beach sand before it got too cold. We also did the regular things, like riding a family Surrey visiting the flight museum and racing around the go kart track... We had a very nice time, making many wonderful memories.

~ Last week's Jewish Herald Voice ran my column "Beyond Guns and Mental Health Services". You can read it here. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts as well...

~ Upcoming: First Fridays for Young Professionals, next Friday, Jan. 4! Start 2013 off right!

Faith and Resentment - Vayechi

PARSHAH: Not only did he have no desire for revenge, he would not even concede that his brothers had actually succeeded in doing anything to him for which he should feel wronged... more...


~ We are so thankful to have so many amazing friends who have contributed towards our year end campaign!


As an organization Chabad has grown in size and impact. Our plans for growth continue into 2013, especially with serious plans for our building expansion. As the year draws to a close please challenge yourself to grow in your giving.

Dig deep and join our End of Year Campaign!

There are many methods to contributing year end, all of which can benefit you on your tax return. Certain tax credits will expire on 12/31/12 and not be available in 2013! Remember that donations to Chabad of Uptown are 100% tax deductive (speak to your accountant to see how this will benefit you on your return).

Here are some methods of giving that you should consider at year end:


Auto Donation - If you are planning to purchase a new vehicle in the next few months donating it to Chabad can bring you a greater value on your tax return. Your tax donation value would be evaluated based on while selling it on the open market may bring you 30-40% of that value.


Real Estate Donation - You may have real estate that has depreciated in value. You can get the full appraised value for that real estate even if you couldn't sell it for that amount.



Appreciated Stock - Due to the shifts in the market over the past year you may have appreciated stock. Donating (transferring) the appreciated stock directly to Chabad helps you avoid capital gains tax while getting you a donation credit at 100% of the stock value.



We need your help!

There are only 4 days left until the end of the year. Please consider Chabad of Uptown for your end-of-year donations.

THANK YOU to all who have already contributed. Please visit

Cash (or check or credit card) - Of course good old fashion donations via check, credit card or wire transfer to Chabad all can benefit you on your tax return. Speak to your tax advisor to see exactly how your contribution can benefit you. Donations to Chabad can be made via our our website, Paypal or via mail. Feel free to email or call if you need more information.

Airline Miles - Donating airline miles or AMEX award miles or similar award programs is now considered a charitable contribution eligible to be deducted on your taxes. For this or for information on any other contribution please contact me by replying to this email.

The real value of your contribution is above and beyond the cash value as your dollars are directed to helping us achieve our mission to inspire every Jew regardless of affiliation or background and to provide opportunities for Jewish education and experience.

May you and yours be blessed with material success in the New Year and blessings for health and nachas.

Rabbi Chaim and Chanie

Shabbos Parshas Vayechi

Friday, December 28 
Services at 6:30 pm 
Candle Lighting at 5:12 pm

Shabbos, December 29 
PrePrayer Kabbala Study at 9 am 
Services at 10 am 
Followed by Kiddush 
Mincha at 5:15 pm 
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:12 pm 
Living Torah

Sunday, December 30
Shacharis at 8:30 am
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:00 am

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie
Chabad of Uptown
4311 Bettis Drive, Houston, TX 77027
713-419-3960 |

Beyond guns and mental health services

Editorial in Jewish Herald Voice - Published Thu, Dec 20, 2012

This past week many have watched with horror as the details on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. unfolded. A compelling article, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” made its rounds on online social networks, spurring a discussion on the case for more services for those with mental illness. “In the wake of another horrific national tragedy,” Liza Long writes, “It’s easy to talk about guns. But, it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

A dear colleague of mine, Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm of Chabad at CU, shared with me that as a parent of a child with autism, this article touched a raw nerve. He shared, “I deeply appreciate so many people posting [the article]. I worry about my son. For example, even thought he’s still young, I wonder what might happen if a police officer arrests him for doing something silly? How will he react?”

He continued to share something that has been on my mind for a while and especially since the story broke on Friday. He encouraged me to share his thoughts and add some of my own. That is the social impact of violent movies and video games. It isn’t the only problem, but, it is something to think about. 

Anyone who has a relative on the mental health spectrum will know many of these children get caught up or even addicted to things most of us enjoy for a short time. Oftentimes, they will get fixated on something, whether a game or hobby, and they won’t want to do or talk about anything else.

Think about the last time you watched a murder scene in a movie. Did you cringe, close your eyes or mute the screen? Or, was it simple to see people getting killed in a gruesome manner? Did a lovely evening or nightmares follow the night out to the theater? 

When life carries on without hindrance, perhaps it is because when we are exposed to so many violent scenes, it begins to numb our ability to be sensitive to these realities. 
Now, think about the teenager with special needs. Imagine he watches these movies or plays the violent video games. He has the same enjoyment watching the movie, just in a more extreme way. We never will understand, because his brain is wired differently. He can get a “kick” out of someone getting hurt, even though he has the gentlest soul. If he watches enough of those movies, he will become mentally addicted to them. That is the only thing he will be able to think about. 

Now, think about any impressionable child and what we expose them to. The Lubavitcher Rebbe strongly encouraged that children be surrounded by toys, art and clothes with kosher animals. Non-kosher animals have negative energies for a Jewish child and, often, violent natures. 

Ask yourself, is a child sophisticated enough to distinguish the difference between Hollywood and reality? Discern the difference of video games and playground games? Like a developing seed in soil, developing children are impacted by the smallest of things causing a greater impact. Children and teenagers are in their formative years, when their heart, mind, soul and personality are being formed. The sights we see, and especially those that they see, leave a tremendous imprint on our collective psyche.

We must make sure our children – especially those with special needs – are not exposed to violent movies and games. 

Hashem wrote in the Torah more than 3,300 years ago: “You shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes” for the heart desires what the eye sees. 

Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff, a Torah Day School of Houston alumnus, is the director of Chabad of Uptown and program director for Chabad Lubavitch of Texas.



  • The Chanukah aftermath continues! Dancing Rabbis on international media networks, JN1CCTVYnet. Chanukah cruise on the internationally syndicated Talk of the Planet - Reports on Chanukah in the Snow and Chanukah Cruise will be published in this week's JHV.
  • Many thanks to all of you who have come forward to help us reach our year end goals!Donate Online (225)
    • So far we have raised $539 in our year end operation campaign! Our goal is to raise a total of $20,000 for operations by year end. We can only make this happen with your generous hand... 
    • We are ecstatic to report that we have reached an amazing goal of $60,360 already collected towards our $100,000 building fund challenge grant! That leaves us with $39,640 to raise to be able to have a total of $200,000 for our building fund by the end of the calendar year. Your generous contribution will help make the dream of a bigger facility a reality! Please realize that what you give before 12/31/12, will double your gift! Every dollar you give to the building fund is worth two!
  • Mazel tov to Jay & Anat (Kaufman) Zeidman on their marriage in Jerusalem!
  • Mazel tov to Pasha Brokhin and Susan Perry on their engagement!
  • This Sunday is Fast Day "Asara B'Teves" - davening and tefillin but no "BLT" 
  • No young professionals dinner, class & social this Wed, Dec. 26.
  • Please let us know if you will be town for Tanya classes on Thurs. Dec. 27
  • Upcoming: First Fridays for Young Professionals, Friday, Jan. 4 

Shabbos Parshas Vayigash

Friday, December 21 
Services at 6:30 pm 
Candle Lighting at 5:08 pm

Shabbos, December 22 
PrePrayer Kabbala Study at 9 am 
Services at 10 am 
Followed by Kiddush 
Mincha at 5:10 pm 
Maariv, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:08 pm 
Living Torah

Sunday, December 23 - Fast of Tevet 
Fast Begins at 5:57 am 
Shacharis at 8:30 am 
Tefillin (no breakfast) at 9 am 
Fast Ends at  5:54 pm

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Can you help?

As 2012 and the festival of Chanukah come to a close, many people have asked how they can best help support our dynamic and growing community. We're particularly touched by this desire to help, because it’s only through your support that we can provide:

  • Exquisite High Holiday services and meals
  • Sukkot Dinners & Passover Seders
  • Shabbat Dinners
  • Campus, Young Adults & Professionals Programs
  • Community Study and social opportunities
  • Seniors & Volunteer Partnerships
  • Holiday parties and events
  • Mezuzah, Matzah, Sukkah and mitzvah campaigns and so much more

Chabad of Uptown has an annual expense (only) budget of $280,000, 100% of which Chanie & I must raise. It’s you, your family and friends that make this possible.

We are also embarking on an exciting expansion slated to be completed in 2013. A $100,000 challenge matching grant has been provided by a dedicated member to raise a total $200,000 be the end of 2012 for this effort. That means every dollar you give this month is really worth two! Please help us reach our capital campaign goal of $200,000! If you would like to participate or join the building campaign committee, please let us know. 

As you consider the many fine organizations and endeavors which merit your support, please consider Chabad of Uptown as you make your year-end giving decisions. Your tax-deductible charitable donation will create more light this year and in the years ahead, ensuring a strong and proud Jewish future.

To make an operational or capital campaign donation, visit: To become a monthly recurring donor, as many have recently done, please check off the "recurring" checkbox. 

For Chanukah party pictures visit our website or Facebook. 

Thank you for your consideration and support, 

Rabbi Chaim

P.S. If you’d like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, stock transfers, foundations or just get a better picture of our overall financial and operational structure, please contact me and I’d be happy to set up a time to meet.

Houston is on Fire!

Chanukah Jews Cruise

What a Chanukah so far!! Over 2500 Houstonians have participated so far with Chabad's fired up Chanukah events throughout the Houston area, with thousands more exposed to the miracle of Chanukah through news media, Houston Rockets, Galleria and car menorah parade... Truly fulfilling the purpose to "publicize the miracle of Chanukah"! And.. there are more to come!!

Chabad of Uptown ain't finished yet either! Please join us, as it is not too late to RSVP for this Shabbos special Chanukah Shabbat Dinner! RSVP at 

  • First we warmed up for Chanukah with a packed house at "First Fridays" for young professionals...
  • Motzei Shabbos we enjoyed the first candle together at home...
  • Sunday brought us to Kemah for a three hour Jews Cruise for young professionals (photos by Gary Maltz) to light the menorah in Galveston Bay at sunset... (Pre-Chanukah Mention in CBS & KHOU)
  • That same night brought us to chill at The Galleria Chanukah on Ice (Channel 39 News).
  • Monday brought the dancing Rabbis to Hoops & Hanukkah with the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center (@HoustonRockets Twitter postYouTube video recapTablet Magazine Hoedown) spurring the Rockets to make an attempt at singing Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel...
  • Tuesday had crowds pour into Chabad of Uptown for a Chanukah Winter Wonderland in the Snow! (Photos) 
    Chanukah Winter Wonderland in the Snow
  • Wednesday had us the lighting of the Lone Star Magen Shlomo Menorah at The Galleria (Channel 39 News)
  • Followed by the Car Menorah Parade with tens of cars decked with lighted menorahs by police escort through the heart of Houston...
  • Thursday was the Mommy & Me where mothers and babies sang songs and traded notes and latkes...
  • Other local events we hosted as well.... But, you can't dance at all weddings! Channel 13 pre Woodlands and Bellaire, Pre other stuff at The ChronicleNews 11 Coverage of Bellaire... If you have any other news coverage links, please share!
  • See you Sat night for the Menorah Lighting at Houston City Hall?

Shabbos Parshas Mikeitz


Friday, December 14 
Services at 6:30 pm 
Chanukah then Shabbos Candle Lighting at 5:06 pm

Shabbos, December 15 
Preprayer Kabbala Study "Torah Ohr" at 9 am 
Services at 10 am 
Followed by Shabbos Chanukah Kiddush & Farbrengen 
Mincha at 5:05 pm 
Maariv, Chanukah Candles, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:03 pm 
(At home make havdalla first, then light Chanukah candles) 
Living Torah

Sunday, December 16 
Last day Chanukah Shacharis at 8:30 am 
BLT = Bagels, Lox & Tefillin at 9:00 am

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

dancing rabbis rockets youtube icon.jpg


Let there be light! Ship to sail, Snow to fall!!

This week is our monthly "First Fridays" Shabbos Dinner, Chanukah Warmup 4 Young Professionals! RSVP on Facebook and

It's here! Check out all the Chanukah stuff Chabad of Uptown has to offer here. You can also check out our Chanukah Megasite with how-to guides, recipes, multimedia, classes and fun for the kids!

miracle eight nights phone.jpg

SUN, DEC 9: Young Professionals Jews Cruise > facebook-icon.gif

TUES, DEC 11: Winter Wonderland in the Snow > facebook-icon.gif

THURS, DEC 13: Mommy & Me > facebook-icon.gif

FRI, DEC 14: Chanukah Shabbat Dinner > facebook-icon.gif

Not Giving Our Kids Chanukah Gifts

This is not a holiday of splurging and materialism, but one of teaching our children how fortunate we have been, and how to help those less fortunate than ourselves... more...


Record breaking crowds are expected at Chabad's Chanukah events this year. for a complete listing of Houston area Chanukah events.


Shabbos Mevarchim, Parshas Vayeishev

Friday, December 7
Services at 6:30 pm
Candle Lighting at 5:03 pm

Shabbos, December 8
Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim at 8:30 am 
Services at 10 am
Followed by Shabbos Mevarchim Kiddush & Farbrengen
Mincha at 5:05 pm
Maariv, Menorah Lighting, Havdalla & Shabbos Ends at 6:02 pm
Living Torah

Have a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Chaim & Chanie

Follow us on FacebookTwitter & YouTube @youngchabad!

Jews Cruise | Winter Wonderland | Mommy & Me | Shabbat Dinner | Megasite


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