Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rochies Friendship Network; Mommy n Me

As Rochie's friends and family, we wanted to create a program in Rochie's memory that would personify all of her many qualities. We decided on something that would fulfill at least two criteria: the participants would be her peers and the goal would include creating a forum to initiate and solidify friendships amongst young women. We voted on an innovative and exciting group for mothers and their young children. The weekly meetings will take off after Yomim Tovim IYH, and will include curricula developed by skilled early-childhood professionals, monthly music and movement exercises with popular local artists… and most importantly of all, opportunities for big and little people to share and help each other. If you would like to get involved in administrating the program or to receive updates on our events, email or call 718-467-8761 (day) or 718-363-8893 (eve).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rochie (Tauber) Paley Achos HaTmimim Campaign

Dear Friends and Classmates,

We hope this email finds you well.

It is difficult to believe that it will soon be one month since the neshama of our dear friend, Chaya Rochel bas Yissachar Dov yblch"t, departed from this world. We are all left in a painful place, struggling to make sense out of this dark galus and to find meaning in this terrible tragedy.

In an effort to channel these powerful feelings into a positive place, we are launching the Rochie (Tauber) Paley Ahavas Yisroel Campaign. As Rochie's friends from high school and beyond, we worked hard to think of a way we could bring the message of Rochie's genuine Ahavas Yisroel to teenage girls in the Crown Heights community.

Some of you may have heard of the highly successful Achos HaTmimim programs in the local girls high schools. Participants work hard to earn points in a wide range of areas and those that earn a specific number of points are rewarded with an all-expenses paid trip to Israel. The incentive is a fabulous one and it attracts the participation of more than 75% of the student body.

The program coordinators in local high schools have agreed to implement a new way for girls to earn additional points. The updated Ahavas Yisroel section will be dedicated in Rochie's honor and we are sure that the increase in acts of kindness towards fellow classmates will be a great zechus for her neshama. In return, we have pledged to cover the costs of one trip. Based on last year's expenses, the projected cost will be $3,000.

If we each participate - however much or little - we'll be able to reach our goal. Help make it happen by clicking here to contribute via PayPal or credit card. Please feel free to share this message with friends and family.

May we share only good news.

Kesiva v'Chasima Tova

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rochie's Shloshim Tonight

Rochie's friends will be gathering tonight (Thursday) at 827 Montgomery st. at 8:00 in honor of the Shloshim. Primarily, it is for Rochie's classmates, but others who wish to attend are welcome.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mikvah Chaya Rochel

By Rochel Leigh; Cambridge, UK

I had just arrived in Montreal to attend Bais Chaya Mushka Seminary from over the Atlantic, and Rosh Hashana was upon us. The Sem closed for Yom Tov and the students were expected to return to their families or be placed with the Seminary placement scheme. Not having family in Crown Heights, another English girl and I began to search for other options… Rochie was one of our dorm-mates and suggested we go and "help a Shliach" for Yom Tov; she would organize it and join our group making it a threesome. I was taken care of!

We had an amazing experience in Vermont that Rosh Hashana and our friendship blossomed during our two years together in Montreal.

Rochie was deeply proud of her family and grateful for the envious position she held – having a home in Crown Heights and many contacts. Being Rochie, she desperately wanted to share these gifts with others and soon established a name for herself among the out-of-towners as an address for hospitality. If Rochie was unable to find a space for someone to stay in her parent's incredibly hospitable home, she would not rest until she had found a space somewhere else through her network of contacts.

An excellent hostess, Rochie would often arrange Farbrengens, parties and learning groups. No occasion would go unmarked and no detail would be left out. On one occasion she showed up with a portable strawberry ambrosia cocktail bar, another time with an assortment of chocolate and peanut butter themed desserts; or, if she was really pressed for time – a nut display. I once found myself being shlept to a designer kitchenware showcase evening, "a small gathering," Rochie assured me, "a friend of mine is running it and she needs numbers; you don't have to buy anything – just show up." Rochie dutifully bought a handful of products and all the way home she excitedly discussed with me who each gadget would be for and what a great initiative this was on her friend's part… Rochie was always thinking about others.

As our peer group matured, married and started families, Rochie's many kindnesses branched outwards. She became the address for shower parties, new baby gifts, job vacancies, tutoring opportunities and the person to call for Mazel Tov updates.

After Rochie's engagement to my brother Yaakov, my closest sibling in age, Rochie would call me every other day. Her excitement was contagious and her happiness palpable. The wedding was a beautiful Simcha.

On the 9th of Av a year ago they were blessed with a charming and happy baby boy, the lovable sort of child who attracts complete strangers with his warm smiles and alert expressions. For her precious Yosef Yitzchok only the best would do. When Y.Y. came to stay he needed a good sized wooden crib, with matching bumpers all the way around. He only played with clean fresh soft toys that had not been handled by older children, to protect him from unnecessary illness. His meals were delicately balanced, homemade; three course affairs, each in their own containers, and each with their own spoon. He was the best traveled baby as he spent hours being walked up and down the streets in a stroller to get him off to a peaceful mid day nap. I was inspired by her dedication to every detail of Yosef Yitzchok's routine, the effort she invested into his most formative year, the gift of a mother's love that will surely last a lifetime.

Tragically, at 3am on Thursday morning, Av 13, Hashem took back our Rochie, leaving us shattered and broken hearted.

During the week of Shivah, my husband and I sat talking night after night about what we could do to honour her memory; something that would be elegant and dignified, that would symbolise her outstanding qualities of modesty and her commitment to bringing joy to the home.

We have decided to dedicate a mikvah in Cambridge to Rochie: Mikvah Chaya Rochel will carry her name and promote her message of modesty and unity.

Please visit to contribute towards the Mikvah fund.