Archive for the tag 'shorefront ym-ywha'

The following is from our friends at the Shorefront Y:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Source: Shorefront Y

Met’s legend John Franco signed autographs at the playground’s reopening. (Source: Shorefront Y)

The Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue) unveiled its remodeled playground area on Monday, after spending months rebuilding it in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

With funds provided by Citi, the New York Mets, and the Mets Alumni Association, the renovations included elevating the area’s sinking asphalt structure, installing fencing, repairing cracks near the tennis courts and replacing a storage area. The Y also introduced a new adjustable basketball hoop and a refinishing of the tennis courts that will make it more accessible to community members.

Source: Shorefront Y

Franco poses with the ribbon, alongside leadership from the Shorefront Y and Citi. (Source: Shorefront Y)

Approximately 250 children buzzed about during the ceremony donning Mets themed shirts that read “Teammates in the Community,” awaiting the star-studded ribbon cutting that included Mets legend John Franco.

Franco served as the Mets’ relief pitcher for 14 seasons, and later served as the team’s captain. He grew up near the Shorefront Y, and brought the same passion to rebuilding the community as he did to his beloved sport.

“Get out there, have fun, and play the games you love,” he said. “Exercise is the most important thing for kids right now.” That includes exercising the mind through education, he noted.

The New York Mets’ beloved mascot, Mr. Met, was also expected to be in attendance, but unfortunately, to the dismay of the children, was stuck in traffic and could not make it.

A long blue Citi and New York Mets ribbon was brought out, with one end held by Jill Kelly, the vice president of Citi Community Development, and the other by Franco, and was cut by Susan Fox, the executive director of the Y, which symbolized the official opening of the play area.

Alla Vaynshteyn, the director of marketing and communications at the Shorefront Y, described how the new play area offers something to do for everyone who attends the community center.

“It basically allows children and adults of all ages to use more areas of the backyard,” Vaynshteyn said. “For example, the basketball hoop is now adjustable, which we didn’t have before, so the littler kids can enjoy it too.”

The renovations to the play area took roughly three months, with the removal of displaced sand from the storm briefly delaying work.

Fox thanked Citi, the Mets, and the Mets Alumni Association for making the remodeling possible, and reminded the children of the Shorefront Y that they too have a lot to be thankful for.

“This neighborhood was really hurt by Hurricane Sandy, but the Shorefront Y was lucky,” Fox noted, as she referred to the fact that there was no flooding within the building of the community center, only the play area.

“The Shorefront Y is a part of United Neighborhood Houses, and we are a settlement house with the mission and purpose to make sure our neighborhood is taken of care,” Fox said. “That backyard is a special place for you.”

The following is from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

To learn more, go to or call 311.

Superstorm Sandy makes landfall on the East Coast. Source: US Office of Response and Restoration blog

Superstorm Sandy makes landfall on the East Coast. Source: US Office of Response and Restoration blog

The Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group and New York Disaster Interfaith Services are holding a mayoral forum on “Hurricane Sandy Relief & the Future of NYC’s Flood Zone,” tomorrow, June 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Avenue near the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

With thousands still struggling to rebuild at an estimated cost of $20 billion after the October 2012 superstorm upended their lives, 37 percent of New York City residents — approximately three million people — now live in areas that could be affected by future storms and rising sea levels.

Tomorrow, mayoral candidates will address issues on current and future policies for Sandy relief, including the disbursement of recovery funds, disaster preparedness of New York City’s flood zone, NYCHA funding, mold remediation programs, new building regulations for the flood zone, flood protection, restoration of services, and future preparedness.

As of this writing, the candidates that have confirmed their attendance are Sal Albanese, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Anthony Weiner, Erick Salgado, Adolfo Carrion and John Catsimatidis.

The mayoral hopefuls will speak before a large gathering of Sandy survivors from across the city. Also present will be relief agency workers, volunteers, representatives from the Long Term Recovery Groups of all five boroughs, national and international relief agencies, congregations, and community organizations active in recovery and rebuilding efforts. Candidates will address the host of issues facing New York City’s Hurricane Sandy recovery and future preparedness efforts.

To learn more, email


The Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue) celebrated its 34th Annual Graduation Ceremony of the English language learning program last night, recognizing what they warmly referred to as “the accomplishments of our newest Americans.”

Established in the early 1950s, The Shorefront Y has been a community-based organization that offers widespread services — such as adult, education and vocational programs — to the very diverse population of Southern Brooklyn. In the latest graduating class, about 60 percent of the ESL graduates were of Eastern European descent, 30 percent were of Latino descent, and the remaining 10 percent were a mix of Middle Eastern, African and South Asian backgrounds.

“Over 1000 people a year come in for our services,” said Lawrence Fish, the director of Émigré, who was particularly vocal in highlighting all the hard work the graduates put in. “The ESL graduation is a combination of seven or eight classes from different sites, but everyone is gathered here at the Y today to celebrate.”

Fish, however, said that the statistics are slowly yet surely shifting, noting that as the population of Southern Brooklyn continues to diversify, so does the inside of their classrooms.

Approximately 40 students received certificates that recognized that they had attained the highest possible level of achievement within the English language program at The Shorefront Y, as 300 students and their family members were in attendance to honor the graduates and celebrate the end of the year.

The auditorium was decorated with blue and white balloons down the aisles, as seated family members clutched bouquets of flowers to give to their graduate after the ceremony, some waving a small flag of their home country throughout.

The graduation opened with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with every member of the audience, on stage and off, standing straight, some mouthing the words. “God Bless America,” “This Land Is Your Land,” and “Hatikvah,” the national anthem of Israel, were some of the songs that followed.

After the singing of “This Land Is Your Land,” Fish made clear: “America—this land is your land. For you, for me, for everybody.”

Esteemed guests were in the audience to celebrate the achievements of the ESL graduates and give a few words of encouragement, including representatives from New York State Senator Diane J. Savino and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

The ceremony included group presentations from the classes as the audience clapped along, and later included a piano recital and some solo performances.

Later, some of the graduates, though shy, spoke openly in front of the crowd of hundreds and gave personal statements about their journeys towards learning English as a second language—and for some, a third—and what it meant to them to become American citizens. Freedom, bravery and justice were some of the common themes shared by each individual.

Susan Fox, the executive director of The Shorefront Y, spoke in admiration of the accomplishments of the graduates, and explained that learning English, especially as an adult, is no easy task, but the Y will always offer its services to help those achieve that goal, and build a tighter-knit community in the process.

“I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 34 years,” Fox said. “But we’re hoping for another 34.”

Our sincerest apologies to both our readers and the Shorefront Y for not getting this out sooner. But there’s still time to check out this awesome free event, where you can find free screenings and educational materials in Brighton Beach.

Here’s the info from the Shorefront Y:

 The Shorefront Y will host a community health fair on May 30th, 2013 at 12PM. The health fair is designed to provide free screenings & educational materials to the Brighton Beach community and beyond.

This yearly event is free and open to the public. Many local vendors along with nationally recognized brands will participate including Fideliscare, United Health Care, Amita Healing Center, Project HOPE, MJHS, NYCDOH, Walgreens, Coney Island Hospital, Liberty Mutual Insurance, & many more!

Free screenings will be available to everyone and include blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI).  This event is appropriate for people of all ages.

What: Shorefront Y Health Fair

Where: Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235

When: Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 12PM

Participants in this year’s Autism Walk.

When the Southern Brooklyn community wants to raise awareness for a good cause, they know how to do it – even in stormy weather.

On Sunday, May 19, approximately 170 Southern Brooklyn locals gathered at the New York Aquarium to walk 1.2 miles of the boardwalk to Coney Island Avenue. Together, they marched until Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Beach to raise awareness for autism.

Lilach Koch, the Special Needs Program director at the Shorefront Y, said that walks like this are vital to create greater knowledge and education about autism, as well as raise funds.

“This will create a community that recognizes and accepts individuals with autism and supports their families,” Koch said.

The three main goals of the walk? To educate, to recognize, and to gain support for the programs for disabilities.

“It’s important that the leaders of the community understand that it’s a great cause. We are here. We need your support. These programs are scarce,” Koch said.

Two other local Jewish Community Centers – the JCH of Bensonhurst and Kings Bay Y – collaborated on the effort.

Autism is a developmental disorder of brain function. Characteristics typically include impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests.

According to, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify 1 in 88 American children on the autism spectrum. Statistically, there are more children affected by autism than diabetes, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome combined.

The event saw well known community figures like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and a host of community volunteers.

“Our mission is to strengthen the skills of our clients and support them and their families from early childhood to adulthood. We believe in our developmentally disabled clients and direct them to become more independent, functional and happy individuals,” Koch added.

Koch explained that many of these programs are free to the community, and that Southern Brooklyn families cannot afford many of the more expensive options available.

“We do understand our families’ needs on both the practical and emotional levels, and we constantly seek for channels to provide families with as many free and low cost services and programs as possible,” said Koch.

Karreell Pereira, a Shorefront Y member, visits the community center weekly with her husband and young boys.  Her two sons, age seven and eight, were at the event as well, supporting after-school classmates.

“It means a lot to me, being around other parents. It opens my eyes. It shows me how other parents operate, and shows me how blessed I am,” Pereira said. “We are capable of making a drastic change. These programs need to be nourished and should be promoted.”

“They love it here,” she said. “It opens their eyes to what’s really going on in our community. It helps you see not only your situation, but other people’s situations.”

Currently, the Shorefront Y offers free after-school programs for children ages 5 to 13, a Sunday Funday social skills recreational program for children ages 5 to 12, and a series of other educational workshops for parents and families. They hope to support families in need.

Michelle Pisani-Hinojo said that rain or shine, she will support this walk for years to come. Her 11-year-old daughter, Amber, has autism.

“The weather put a damper on the event, but not on the spirit. It makes me feel like I’m not alone. The public is becoming aware. It feels good that people are willing to work together for awareness,” Pisani-Hinojo said.

“It’s symbolic, you know? Some days will be sunny days, and other day’s it’ll rain,” Pisani-Hinojo said. “Even on the bad days, you need to stay strong and still be supportive. We can’t give up.”

Source: The Snapper

The Shorefront Y will be teaming up with the Brooklyn Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative (BASDI) to host its Third Annual Walk for Autism, this Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. along the Coney Island boardwalk, starting at West 10th Street. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m.

The annual walk aims to raise awareness and funds in order to create new programs and maintain vital ongoing services and programs to families living with autism and other developmental disabilities. All proceeds from the walk will benefit programs at participating BASDI organizations serving children with special needs throughout southern Brooklyn.

The 1.2 mile walk will conclude at the Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, where there will be a chance to learn more about special needs programming, network with peers, and enjoy refreshments.

To register for this event, or to make a pledge, click here. To learn more about the Shorefront Y, visit

An attendee at the Be Proud Foundation’s Victory Day dinner last week.

Immigrants from the former Soviet Union celebrated Victory Day on May 9, honoring those who fought in the Great Patriotic War – better known to Americans as World War II – with uniformed veterans sipping vodka and chowing down at events throughout Brighton Beach.

Victory Day marks the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union on May 9, 1945, nearly four years after Adolf Hitler’s forces invaded during Operation Barbarossa. It remains an important holiday in Russia and the former Soviet states. Historians estimate that between 9 million and 14 million military personnel perished in the fighting, along with between 12 million to 17 million civilians – the highest count in both categories of all nations involved in World War II.

Organizations including the Be Proud Foundation and Shorefront Y of Brighton/Manhattan Beach held events in honor of the holiday last week, and auto clubs toured Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods honking horns and flying flags from former Soviet nations.

As we reported on Sheepshead Bites last month, the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s “Brighton Beach Series” — which will not be taking place in Brighton Beach — will feature the family workshop, “A Bad Workman Blames His Tools” at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, 7802 Bay Parkway, March 3 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

A description of the event from organizers:

Russian folk music was born in a rich peasant culture, centuries ago and 5,000 miles away, by artists who created music using whatever resources were at their disposal, from wood blocks to washboards to tablespoons. Lack of proper tools held no sway over creativity of the human spirit! The remarkable and distinctive folk music they created had an enormous impact beginning with orchestral music of the 19th century and expanding on into the music of today. The public is invited to join charismatic teaching artists and Brooklyn Phil musicians in a hands-on discovery of these creative traditions.

The event is free of charge, and you can RSVP by going here. For further information, call (718) 488-5700, email or go to

« Prev - Next »