Dron Family.JPGThank you for directing a wonderful Camp Gan Israel and for teaching your special skills to the campers and I.

-Maia Dron, 8, Newburgh

 We truly appreciate all the ways you help Maia develop her Jewish pride!

-Alejando & Carina Dron, Newburgh

Jake McPherson.JPGThis was my first year at Chabad Hebrew School. I had so much fun and made a lot of friends. I learned the Aleph-Bet, all about the Jewish Holidays and my Jewish Heritage. I loved everything, from the amazing Purim party to making your own matzah. Rabbi Pesach, Chana, Morah Dassy, Morah Shayna have been amazing. To learn and have so much fun was great. Thank you for such a great experience. See you all next year.

-Jake Macpherson, 8, Monroe
Hebrew School Graduation Speech


Lee Stanton.JPGAlbert Einstein said, "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it". In that context you, Rabbi & Chana, go far above and beyond the call of duty. For that, I greatly appreciate your work here in Orange County. Your actions and programs involve and benefit the community in which we all live. 

Being fortunate to be a member of the Boys Teen Club, a very successful club specially designed for teenaged boys post Bar Mitzvah, we meet periodically on Monday afternoons to discuss different aspects of Jewish life. Rabbi Pesach, the leader of discussion forums for the club, ensures that we are all engaged in the activities and having fun. Rabbi generously provides more than enough goodies to satisfy any man's sweet tooth. Whether it is Camp Gan Israel or the Boys Teen Club, Rabbi Pesach and Chana make sure that every single person involved is having the very best time they possibly can.

Working at Camp Gan Israel this year, I was overjoyed to see the campers smiling faces every morning and I got out of bed everyday genuinely excited to work at camp. I know that none of it would be possible without Chabad of Orange County, and without Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston.

-Lee Stanton, 14, Tuxedo High School

Lester & Shirley Pleeter.JPGThank you for bringing Chabad to Orange County. We love attending services and Kabbalah classes. Our grandchildren, Amanda and Megan Heller, enjoy going to Hebrew School, Bat- Mitzvah club and camp. They have a lot of fun learning at there own pace. Both of you have a wonderful understanding of people’s backgrounds. We are given respect and can voice our feelings. You make us feel like we are part of your family.

-Lester & Shirley Pleeter, Chester 


Jill Steir.JPGAt first, I was apprehensive about sending my daughter Shaina to Chabad Hebrew School. As a child, I begrudgingly attended Hebrew school – and hated it. The Rabbi offered a negative approach to G‑d, claiming that He was spiteful and vengeful. Small wonder, after my Bat Mitzvah, I never again entered a temple willingly.

After I married a Jew and had two children, we decided that we had to provide them with a Jewish education. I enrolled Shaina and Arlo into Chabad’s Hebrew school and pre-school programs. They both enjoy the programs tremendously and I get a kick out of all of the wonderful things they teach me about my heritage. My brilliant seven-year-old tells me that Hashem (G‑d) is not spiteful, but loving, not vengeful, but forgiving, and always present. When my sweet younger child was diagnosed with some medical issues and when my father recently passed, I was angry and hurt. Shaina met with Rabbi Pesach, who guided her. I am forever grateful to Rabbi Pesach for helping guide my family through such difficult times. I am thankful that my children are receiving the type of religious background I wish I had gotten at their age. I feel truly blessed to have finally come willingly to my faith. I, now, not only believe in G-D, but truly appreciate His greatness. I have found peace knowing that G-D understands that we all do what we can – Hashem loves us unconditionally.

-Jill Steir, Monroe
Excerpt from Hebrew School Graduation Speech

Linda Schwartz.JPGThe Tuesday evening Torah Study (“Kabbalah & Chicken Soup”) class has been a rich and spiritual experience for myself and others in the community. Your gifts of knowledge, warmth, humor, compassion and support have brought us all closer to Torah. Thank you Pesach and Chana for always making us feel welcome and a part of your extended family.

With respect and affection,

-Linda Schwartz, Monroe

stichman family.jpgDear Rabbi Pesach & Chana,

We want to thank you for making Sam’s Bat Mitzvah such a memorable one. Everything you did was “just right.” She will remember it always, for the rest of her life. We know we will!

-The Stichman Family, Middletown

Jesse Meshulam.JPGDear Rabbi Pesach & Chana,

Thank you so much for all you’ve done to help me become Bar Mitzvah. I really appreciate everything.

-Jesse Meshulam
Highland Mills




chailifeline-logo].jpgOn behalf of the very special children and families of Chai Lifeline we would like to thank Camp Gan Israel of Orange County for its extraordinary achievement during the National Chai-A-Thon. We applaud your campers’ dedication and determination in raising $383. The money allowed Camp Simcha Special (for children with terminal illness) to experience a summer they will never forget.

-Rabbi Simcha Scholar
Executive Vice President, Chai Lifeline


Gerald Fiber.JPGDear Rabbi Burston,

I cannot express my appreciation and surprise when you came for a visit when I was a patient at Arden Hill Hospital. Your visit helped raise my spirits. I also enjoyed the conversation we had. Many thanks for your interest and care.

-Gerald M. Fiber
Blooming Grove



Ari Goldman.jpg“Orange County Chabad is like no other synagogue. At most synagogues, they preach at you. You sit and they talk. But at OC Chabad they sincerely want to hear what you have to say. I learn something new every time I go, not only from Rabbi Pesach and his wonderful wife Chana but from everyone who comes. Everyone is given respect and a voice. It is a truly beautiful place.”

--Professor Ari Goldman
Columbia University
Summer Resident of Monroe



Andrea Pincus.jpg“Our Chabad teachers aim to nurture and build the foundation of our children’s Jewish identity through a very exciting educational approach. They are focused and are very dedicated teachers and inspire a two fold love. A love of learning and a love for Judaism while developing a feeling of closeness within the heritage for each individual child.

[The teachers] have always gone out of their way to make us all feel as if each one of our children are family, even if they do not attend Hebrew School with them. They are always giving of themselves to others and are highly motivated in teaching our children about Jewish Holidays and Jewish customs.

It gives me great honor to tell people that I am part of the Chabad of Orange County and that I belong to this great, amazing and wonderful family that has embraced my family with open arms and has allowed all of us here to embrace the values of the Torah as a guide to our decisions in life, for our community and life-long learning’s and teachings.”

--Andrea Pincus, Washingtonville
From her Chabad Hebrew School graduation speech

Stacey Finkelstein.jpg“Chabad has helped us to understand more about our religion and brought us closer to our children.”

--Stacey Finkelstein





Alec DeRoss.jpg“It’s awesome to have a rabbi who is outgoing and loves to have fun – he understands the way we think and can relate to us. [At Boys Teen Club] He will teach us about being kosher and take us on a ‘kosher hunt’ in ShopRite – he makes everything real and interactive. We’re really lucky.”

--Alec DeRoss, 16




David Rein.JPG“[This support is] In honor of Pesach & Chana Burston and family of Chabad of Orange County who have done so much for promoting healthy and spiritual Jewishness in Orange County.”

--David Rein, Newburgh
Note to Jewish Federation of Orange County
in response to, along with a donation of support of,
the appeal to support the Israel Festival




Chanan Retiblatt.JPG“Rabbi Pesach & Chana have enabled me to share the love and spirit of Judaism with the youth of our community. Through a joint effort of Chabad of Orange County and Upstate New York NCSY, our staple event, Friday Night Lights, is a major success in sharing the warmth of Shabbos, and hopefully will continue to "light up your life, one Shabbat at a time". Chabad of Orange County is large enough to be a community, but small enough to be a family. Chabad has made Judaism accessible, relevant, and – most importantly – real!”

--Chanan Reitlblat, 17

Sabina Pashkin.JPG“I had a lot of fun this year in Hebrew School! I got further in my Aleph Champ book – I am almost on yellow! I want to thank Chana and the staff because they made me learn a lot of cool stuff and all the Shabbat parties and baking! If Chana didn’t call my parents to start Hebrew school I would be lying around in my house doing nothing. But I learned a lot in a fun way, with different people. I met Chana about 4 years ago. She lived around the corner in my development and we met in the park. I also want to thank Chaya! She is one of the best teachers I ever had…Thank you all for being such good teachers and letting me learn different stuff each year!”

--Sabina Pashkin, Highland Mills
From her Chabad Hebrew School graduation speech


Benichou.jpgDear Rabbi & Chana,

Thank you so much for everything. Agatha and Elias are very happy at Hebrew School and they are thrilled to spend time with you at the winter camp. Such a good thing!

­--Cyril & Veronique Benichou
New Windsor

Mark & Sandy Gamzon.jpgDear Rabbi & Chana,

We want to thank you for hosting a beautiful, delicious and meaningful Passover Seder. Again you made us feel as if we were a part of your family.

--Mark & Sandy Gamzon


Star Galler.jpgChana,

You are truly unique and amazing woman. I have never met someone with such grace, style and ability to handle 10 million tasks at once without losing a smile…

--Star Galler
Sugar Loaf



Jack F. Berkowitz.JPGDear Rabbi & Chana,

Suzy, Bryant, Adam and I very much enjoyed spending Shabbat with you and your family this past Saturday, and we thank you a thousand times over for a most lovely Shabbat luncheon. Indeed, we are so very proud to have you as our friends, and every Jewish family within Orange County should be fortunate that you are part of our community.

--Jack Berkowitz

Morris Pulver.JPGDear Burstons,

Thank you so much for the really generous donations [of toys to my Bar Mitzvah toy drive], the beautiful havdalah service, and the special Tefillin service. I greatly appreciate all of it and I am so glad I could share my special day with you.

--Morris Pulver
Highland Mills




Meshulam.JPGDear Pesach & Chana

Thank you for being so kind and taking Jesse under your wings. We truly appreciate all you have done, and all Jesse has accomplished in such a short period of time.

--Shari & Eliot Meshulam
Highland Mills


---5768 ---

Adam _ Rebecca Ross.JPG“To the editor:

How wonderful to read your coverage of the work of Chabad of Orange County. As regulars at the warm, welcoming environment of Chabad’s Shabbat services, we are always thrilled to see new faces at Chabad events, whether a Hanukkah Super Bowl and Carnival in Chester, the Torah Troopers preschool group in Goshen, or a Mommy & Me class in Monroe.

The boundless energy of Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, as well as youth directors Molly Leader and Leah Lewis, is an inspiration which ignites a spark in anyone who meets them. Together, they have recognized the Orange County Jewish community’s desire to learn more about their beautiful heritage and have provided easy access to the millennia-spanning traditions of Judaism.

Thank you, Chabad of Orange County. We can’t wait for the next exciting event.”

Adam and Rebecca Ross, Highland Mills
Letter to the Editor of Straus Newspapers

Zachary Pincus.JPG “Shalom.  My name is Zachary Pincus. I met Rabbi Pesach and Mora Chana last summer at camp Gan Israel.  Everyone at camp was so nice to me, my brother, mother and father quickly felt like we were with family. I started at Hebrew school in September 2006 and learned a lot about the Jewish Holidays and Jewish traditions.  We come to Youth Shabbat on Saturdays and attend the Holiday events throughout the year.I started learning the Aleph Bet and a few weeks ago I became a White Aleph Champ.  I hope to become a Red Aleph Champ by the time Hebrew school starts again in September.  I will miss all the friends I have made in school.”

Zachary Pincus, Washingtonville
Hebrew School Graduation Speech

Julie Murphy.JPGDear Pesach and Chana,

Thank you for the lovely services you provided to so many...including myself! Someone I taught with years ago stopped me after Yiskor and introduced me to her elderly father and thanked me. She had read about you in my column and knew that she had a place to go for the holidays. That REALLY made me feel good. So thank you for helping me to achieve that mitzvah!

Julie Murphy, Bullville
Columnist, Wallkill Valley Times

Roberta Monkash.jpgDear Rabbi and Mrs. Burston,

I want to thank you for your wonderful hospitality this past Shabbat.  Your family and friends are lovely and warm and your dinner was delicious.  Thank you for making me feel so welcome and accepted in your midst. 

Roberta Monkash, Monroe


Peter & Allison Berman.jpg[Our daughter] Molly had a wonderful experience at Torah Troopers!

Peter & Allison Berman, Warwick




Sandy Leonard.jpg"Thank you once again for a lovely [Chanukah] event and a very beautiful dreidel.  I have it set up in my home."

Sandy Leonard
Monroe Town Supervisor





S & E Piker.JPG"Thank you so much for all of your guidance and support before and during our wedding!"

Elyssa and Seth Piker, Monroe




westpoint.jpg"Thank you for including me at your Shabbat dinner.  You really made me feel at home and the food was absolutely delicious.  I hope this is just the first of many, and I hope to bring my friends as well!”

Mark Bidder
Cadet, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

Iris Sasson.JPG"Dear Channa,

Thanks for the outstanding pre-Hanukah program at the Jewish Women's Circle last week.

The Festival of Laughter and Light was just that - I haven't enjoyed an evening that much in a long time!  Not only did I laugh till my sides ached, but the food treats were delicious, and preparing the gift packages for the girls in the Jerusalem orphanage was most enjoyable, too.  Thank you for providing us with such a delightful program.

You and Rabbi and doing wonderful work.

May all eight days of your Hanukah festival be full of laughter and light."

Iris Sasson, Monroe

Gail Oliver.jpg"Thanks so much for letting [Chabad Youth Directors] Molly and Leah know about our Chanukah beauty Makeover festivities at AHRC.  They were absolutely delightful and a tremendous help.  We couldn't have done it without them! I know the AHRC ladies all enjoyed their special pampering!  They are terrific!"

Gail Oliver, Newburgh
Noar Hadassah

Emily Gordon.JPG"Thank you for the brunch and for a great year of Mommy & Me."

Dr. Emily Gordon, Goshen




Annabelle Pulver.JPG"Thank you for the nice Shabbos dinner. I had so much fun making the food, and it was delicious."

Anabelle Pulver, Highland Mills




Lorri Glatt.JPG"I don’t know if everyone sees the work you put into this organization, but the little I see is tremendous!”

Lorri Glatt, Newburgh




Gil & Phyllis Goetz.JPG"Happy are we that we can impart 
birthday wishes to Pesach from the heart!
Happy are we that you chose Monroe
May nachas follow wherever the Burstons go!
We've learned the bedtime Sh'ma
and study more Torah you and Chana guide us in our way
Tehilim every day you've taught us how to pray
one more mitzvah, that's our goal today!"

A Birthday Poem by Gil & Phyllis Goetz , Monroe

Copy of Sigal Szuchman.JPG“Rabbi Pesach and Chana opened their hearts and welcomed my family. Immediately I felt that we had a new family that cares about us.  My kids attend Chabad Hebrew School and they can’t wait every week until Sunday arrives.  The teachers teach the children with such joy about the Jewish religion and holidays.  My kids talk about Hebrew School and sing the songs all the time.  They are so excited for Camp Gan Israel.  I can’t thank Chabad enough for all they are doing for us.  They are amazing people; pure good.  I’m so glad we moved here and I had the chance to meet them.”

Sigal Szuchman, Highland Mills
From Hebrew School Graduation Parent Address

Bob Sandow.JPGI find [Rabbi Pesach & Chana] to be the warmest most loving people you could want to meet. They are trying to do something that's for the betterment of the community.  They are just trying to do something that's going to make the community better. And I would love to see it happen.

Dr. Bob Sandow, Highland Mills
During a Village of Monroe Public Hearingfor Chabad’s Building Plans


Mike Mittentag.JPG“Chabad has helped me grow and reconnect to Judaism in so many ways.  For the first time in my life I put tefillin on and now I’m doing it everyday.  A year ago I knew no Hebrew, today I am teaching it to my best friend. Chabad shows by example what it means to love all Jews which is what motivates me to continue my study in Torah.”

Michael Mittentag, Newburgh



"Dear Rabbi & Chana,

Both of you have done so much for my family.  I thank you both for helping my family by giving me the inspiration to bring religion back into our lives. We feel very comfortable at Chabad. Rabbi Pesach has been an inspiration for Alec . . And you have given him a sense of purpose by letting him be a counselor last summer, helping in the Hebrew school, and again working this summer in camp."

Tzivia (Vicki) DeRoss, Blooming Grove

"I'd like to thank you for all your efforts to serve the Jewish community in the region.  You are very important to us."

Alejandro Dron, Newburgh

 "We want to thank you for hosting a beautiful, delicious and meaningful Passover Seder.  Again you made us feel as if we were part of your family"

Mark & Sandy Gamzon, Blooming Grove

"Dear Rabbi and Chana,

Thank you again for the lovely Lag B'Omer event.  All the planning that went into it really made it a wonderful day.  I was glad I was able to participate."

Betty Grossman, Pert Jervis

Dear Pesach,


Thank you for the wonderful service you conducted at the unveiling today.


Dan & Phyllis Dunitz, Maine
Formerly of Middletown

On Friday Night Live


“Thank you all so very much for sharing such a special evening with us.  We thoroughly enjoyed your stories, songs and of course the exceptional meal laced with both love and hard work.  Your family is a wonderful addition to Orange County and we welcome you as well as hope it is all you wish it to be.  With the fondest of thanks.”

The P. Family


“Thank you very much for a lovely Shabbos dinner!  We had a lovely time.”


The C. Family



 “We wanted to say thank you for the lovely Shabbat evening we spent in your home.  We wish you all a good week and we look forward for all the exciting activities you have planned.


The P. Family


“Phyllis and I want to thank you for the very delightful luncheon and afternoon that we spent with you today.  It has been a long time since we spent a Shabbat more appropriately, and we both enjoyed it immensely.”


The Dunitz Family, Middletown



On E*Torah


“I thoroughly enjoyed today's passage and I appreciate your including me on your e-mail list. What a wonderful perspective and how true it is!  It was also eloquently written. Though I may lack in observance, there is no lack in my passion and pride in being Jewish.I look forward to more Torah thoughts!  Thanks again.”


Dr. S.H.P. 




On Jewish Women’s Circle


“…It was a great talk last night.  [Mrs. Peikarski] was really engaging.  You had a beautiful turnout.  I really wanted to thank you.”


Mrs. N. P.


On Mommy & Me


"I want to thank you.  We had such a great time.  The Mommy & Me was adorable.  We really had fun.  Looking forward to next week."


Mrs. J.C.



On High Holiday Services 5765


“Thank you for a lovely service!”

Ms. R.V.


“The High Holiday services were Wonderful. So warm and “real”.  It was a pleasure to feel like part of a large family… davening as required, and yenteving (only a little!) & truly being impressed by a Rabbi  (“moving in the left lane as we neared the end of Shabbos and Yom Kippur) lead this most solemn of services with anecdotes to explain portions, and a little humor to aid along the way.  Chana, The Break the Fast meal really hit the spot. You and your team did a great job!  Pesach and Chana, thank you.


The M. Family


“I wanted to thank you for allowing me to have a place to send all of the disconnected Jews (including myself)! Your wife and son are beautiful (inside and out)! You are an inspiration...I enjoyed afternoon services on Yom Kippur. Thanks!”


Mrs. J.M.


“Great Yom Kippur service!!!!!!!!!  Thank You”


Mr. A.F.


“Just to say thank you for a very wonderful experience that my cousin and I had with you and your family.”


Mrs. L.F.


Thank you so much for coming to Middletown and allowing us to participate in such wonderful holiday services.


The F. Family


“Your services was conducted very well, and I look forward to becoming a member in your congregation.”


Mr. R.H.


“I appreciate the incredible efforts and expense that you and your family went through in order to bring a genuine Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur experience to Orange County.”


Mr. M. T.


“We wish to thank you for the beautiful and inspiring service you conducted for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  We are truly grateful for the opportunity you enabled us.

If the services weren’t conducted by Chabad, we would have not been able to celebrate the holidays in this religious and spiritual manner”


The K. Family


On Sukkot






“Thank you for including us in your Sukkot celebration and allowing us to share the evening with you.  It was great meeting you and we are glad to have you as part of our life.”


The S. Family






“Thank you both for increasing the level of excitement for Judaism in Orange County.  You have been a wonderful gift for the area.”


The Shanker Family


"With respect and admiration we thank you for bringing Yiddishkeit to Orange County. Your efforts are appreciated! May you go from strength to strength!"


The Distelburger Family




"I appriciate what you have done for my granddaughter!  She is thrilled being in Hebrew School and is definetly coming back!"


Richard Dobelle, May 2006