Outreach group’s thriving one-day-a-week Hebrew school splitting a L.I. community
fighting to hold onto Jews.
Rarely has a single day — one day less of Hebrew school instruction a week, to be exact — so polarized a Jewish community. But in the desperate fight for Jewish souls playing out in the Long Island town of Oceanside, Chabad of Oceanside’s one-day-a-week Hebrew school, now in its 10th year and drawing a big crowd of students, is tearing the community apart, the town’s leaders suggest.
They met in high school and became lifelong friends. For six years.
Carol Kestenbaum, from Bellmore, L.I., and Nicole Schiffman, from Merrick, L.I., — classmates at Kennedy High School in Merrick — were typical teenage friends, “talking together and shopping together and watching movies together,” said Laurie Fontana, a friend of the Kestenbaum family. They graduated together in 2005. “They went together to their senior prom.”