Archive for the tag 'shorefront ym-ywha'


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

Source: Shorefront Y

The Shorefront YM-YWHA is now offering free legal services to victims of Superstorm Sandy through the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and UJA Federation of New York.

If you sustained damage as a result of the October storm and need legal services and advice on topics such as appealing denied claims, disaster-related fraud and mortgage issues for affected homes, you can make an appointment to speak with a lawyer on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Shorefront Y is located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue. Call (347) 689-1848 to schedule your appointment. The Shorefront Y will work to accommodate language translation. For further information, email

We reported yesterday that the Brooklyn Philharmonic would return to Brighton Beach for the second year in a row. However, we found out after it went up that organizers had to cancel with the Brighton Beach venue, instead hosting two events as part of the “Brighton Beach Series” – and neither will be in Brighton Beach.

The news was distressing for those of us who found comfort in knowing that at least one Brooklyn cultural organization gave some thought to the borough’s nether regions, but there is some hope on the horizon. A rep for the Brooklyn Phil could not comment on why the event was canceled, but said that the organization “is still very much attached to Brighton Beach, and has plans to continue its ties there.”

Here’s the information for the two shows in the Brighton Beach Series:

Chamber Concert
Sunday, February 10, 2013, 4:00 pm
S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture
Brooklyn Public Library Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tchaikovsky gets personal as acclaimed poet Vera Pavlova and the Brooklyn Phil Chamber Players take an intimate look at the life of a great Russian artist through original poetry, imagery, and music for strings and piano.  Born in Moscow, Pavlova is a graduate of the Gnessin Academy of music and has published eighteen collections of poetry in her native Russian in addition to authoring five opera libretti and lyrics to three cantatas. Now living in New York, Pavlova recalls her childhood and coming of age in Russia through the lense of Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young and Piano Trio in A minor.  Texts will be presented in Russian with English translations. This free performance will be followed by a post-concert Q&A.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic is honored to partner with the Brooklyn Public Library to present this performance.

Vera Pavlova, poet
Steven Seymour, translator


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Album for the Young, Op. 39
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 – Mvt. 1. Pezzo elegiac


Family Workshop
Sunday, March 3, 2013, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst
7802 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11214

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.

UPDATE (1/29/2013 at 9:50 a.m.): We have just learned that this event has been canceled. We are awaiting an explanation from the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Last year’s successful reinvention of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, led by Artistic Director Alan Pierson, continues with another venture to Brighton Beach.

The 155-year-old institution has been on a new mission to tour “artistically under-served” communities of Brooklyn after losing its home base at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2005. The Philharmonic tailors its performances to reflect the roots of the communities it tours, and for the Brighton Beach series this year, the theme is “All Music is Folk Music: Traditions of the Former Soviet Union.”

The program has been lauded as “remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary,” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker.

“I’m thrilled to be deepening the roots we built last year in Brighton Beach, Downtown Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy; there’s still so much to explore in Brooklyn’s extraordinarily rich and varied communities,” Pierson said in a press release.

The Brighton Beach show will take place February 1.

More event details after the jump.

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