Country Yossi Family Magazine Issue #196 / Vol 27 No 6



Our heavily intellectualized, slightly homogenized, completely disorganized Purim concoction has once again escaped! It is armed, legged and dangerous! If you see it on the street approach it with caution, pick it up gently and bring it home at your own risk! Featuring exclusive behind-the – scenes inside dope and never before revealed reportage of incredible events heretofore unknown in the history of incontrovertible controversy. Filled with irony, pathos and alliteratus profundus you will swoon with delight and sway with mental inebriation and physical prevarication as your neural synapses crackle with pre-frontal energy and your corpus colossus vibrates in concert with the primal, inscrutable, sturm un drang of nature until ….whatever!

In other words PICK UP A COPY before they disappear like Korach!

DADDY BLUE sung by Avner Levy


We’ve been watching the sad news on TV and hearing about it on the Radio, and as the current unrest in Ferguson, Missouri shows, even absent (perhaps especially absent) a clear picture of exactly what went down, people are all-too-ready to jump down a cop’s throat whenever something goes tragically wrong.

When you watch the DADDY BLUE video, you’ll see and understand what is almost never publicized, never considered, is the humanity of the cop; his life – his world – his family – his children. We routinely ask these brave public servants to go out every day and put their lives on the line; most often without a thought to the possibly tragic consequences of even the most seemingly innocent of interactions with an often unpredictable public. Yet go out they do.

The song, “Daddy Blue” movingly depicts this too-often unacknowledged other side of the equation.

By purchasing the Daddy Blue song (audio / please click here, you’ll help send a portion of the proceeds to the Policeman’s Widows & Orphans Fund.

Remember: DADDY BLUE is dedicated to the courageous men & women in BLUE who make the world a SAFER PLACE FOR YOU.

For more info, contact us at: -

Country Yossi Family Magazine Issue #195 / Vol 27 No 5


Country Yossi's long awaited, eagerly anticipated, highly venerated uberspectacular Chanukah issue arrives just in time for your holiday shopping! Jam packed with price-buster, gift-giving specials and other assorted Gevaldiger Metzios you'll recoup twice the cover price in no time at all!  Oozing like an overstuffed jelly donut with inspiring, informative and exclusive reportage, this issue headlines the star-studded HASC 28 concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center! Sizzlin' like a fresh potato latke this copious compendium features the latest releases from Uncle Moishe, Benny Friedman,Mitzvah Blvd, the Weinreb Bros and Heshy Lowy among others! So pick one up today before you're completely left Latkeless!

Country Yossi Family Magazine Issue #194 / Vol 27 No 4

Country Yossi's eagerly awaited Sept/Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur/Sukkos issue floods the streets in a veritable tsunami of literary abundance! The inundating, out gushing deluge begins with the heart-warming tale of a young little-league pitcher who was told by the umpire to remove his Tzitzis! What happened next will warm the cockles of your heart! The torrential Niagara continues with Torah, advice, inane shmoozes and a profusion of captivating, inspiring articles you just wont find anywhere else!

So grab a copy today or read it online before they're gone like last years geklopteh Shainis!

Country in the Country 20140817


It's the last Country in the Country of the summer. Finally! Awwwww....

First we have to let you know, if you haven't already heard, about the winners of the Sullivan Renaissance Awards, originally announced last Monday. The winner of the $10,000 Community Mitzvah Award went to Camp Bnos Ahavas Israel in Liberty for beautifying its facility. Second place award of $5000 went to Khal Divre Chaim Bungalow Colony in Kauneonga Lake; while third place of $3000 was awarded to American Theological Camp in Kiamesha. Camp Simcha in Glen Spey received a special $5000 “Award of Excellence” as a role model for all institutions in Sullivan County. This contest included ten camps and bungalow colonies in Sullivan County. The three judges from outside the county were: Rabbi Joel Schwab of Middletown, Mary Lewis of Cornwall and our own Country Yossi Toiv of Brooklyn.

As for the show, we kicked of as usual with some Country Yossi music: "Shteeble People."
And then the calls and even more music: "Save Maftir for Me."
And then more calls, followed by Dov Shurin with the latest news from Israel.
We kicked off the second hour with some Kivi & Tuki music: "A Very Special Man."
Up next: Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss and his gevaldigeh divrei Torah
And just as quickly as it began, it ended!

Have a wonderful rest of the summer. Join us again in the city for The Country Yossi Show, and Country Yossi Family Magazine. Find out more about them right here as events warrant!


Awards Ceremony Held at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

[BETHEL] – Hundreds of people attended the two hour Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 11, as almost $150,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to winning communities throughout Sullivan County.  The ceremony returned to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, this time in the Event Gallery.

The Phillipsport Community Center received the Golden Feather, a $25,000 grant presented by NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  It was given to one of five large community projects that exhibited the highest level of excellence by incorporating beautification as part of a long-term strategy.  The Village of Jeffersonville received the second place Silver Feather Award of $10,000.  The Rock Hill Fire Department and the Rock Hill Business and Community Association got the $5000 award for the community’s planning efforts.

The winner of the $10,000 Community Mitzvah Award went to Camp Bnos Ahavas Israel in Liberty for beautifying its facility.  Second place award of $5000 went to Khal Divre Chaim Bungalow Colony in Kauneonga Lake; while third place of $3000 was awarded to American Theological Camp in Kiamesha.  Camp Simcha in Glen Spey received a special $5000 “Award of Excellence” as a role model for all institutions in Sullivan County.  This contest included ten camps and bungalow colonies in Sullivan County.  The three judges from outside the county were: Rabbi Joel Schwab of Middletown, Mary Lewis of Cornwall and Country Yossi Toiv of Brooklyn.

Flower awards went to eleven communities this year. 

Dynamite Youth Center was recognized with the “Best Overall Showing of Flowers Award” of $5000.  Judges were impressed by the overall number of gardens, planters and displays; an abundance of color, texture, unique combinations and liberal use of Sullivan Renaissance 2014 collection; innovative designs, including vertical plantings, and the scale of gardens that were appropriate for the size of the buildings and wall spaces; the appropriate mix of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees to create a year round appeal while encouraging pollination for sustainability; good use of native and non-invasive plants; and thoughtful and reflective signage that entices the visitor to explore and enjoy the multiple gardens.

Other communities receiving $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards for flowers included: CCE Master Gardeners for  the “Best Use of the Sullivan Renaissance Collection;” Liberty United Methodist Church for the “Best New Garden in an Urban Setting;” Long Eddy Renaissance for “Best Innovative and Historical Community Display” and St. Peter’s Regional School for the “Best Creative Use of Color.”

A special “Best Showing of Flowers Award – Maintenance” of $5000 was given to Narrowsburg Beautification Group – for “wowing the judges” with its multiple gardens.   Judging criteria was based on an abundance and variety of colorful flowers, number of gardens, complexity of design and the variety of plants used.  A $3000 award for the “Best Single Garden” went to the Sullivan County Visitors Association. 

Four other communities receiving $1000 Judges’ Choice Awards – Maintenance included: Callicoon Business Association for “Vibrant Use of Color in the Business District;” Hurleyville-Sullivan First for “Beautification Efforts in All Aspects;” Livingston Manor Renaissance for “Consistently Maintained Gardens” and Neversink Renaissance for “Unifying Their Community with Flowers.” 

Grants – ranging from $1000 to $25,000 – were awarded to projects in Categories A, B and C.  Some projects were also recognized with Special Awards for history, youth engagement and environmental stewardship.  All of the communities that completed projects received a grant based on the size of their category, as well as certificates of recognition from Sullivan Renaissance and area legislators.

Category A projects are made up of single elements such as a new sign or hanging baskets.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of WVOS/WSUL.
First place ($3000)
• Swan Lake Fire Department – Firehouse Sign Garden
Second place ($2000)
• Roscoe Presbyterian Church – Church Landscaping
Third place ($1000)
• Lake Huntington Fire Department – Memorial Garden

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Sullivan County Democrat
Best Youth Engagement ($1000)
• Liberty United Methodist Church – Church Landscaping (Phase III)
Historic Preservation ($250)
• Liberty Museum & Arts Center – Museum Façade Enhancements

Category B projects are made up of multiple elements such as park enhancements.  This category was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of Thunder 102/Bold Gold Media.

First place ($10,000):
• Dynamite Youth Center – Landscaping and Sign Garden
Second place ($7000):
• St. Peter’s Regional School – School Landscaping
Third place ($5000):
• Roscoe Rockland Chamber – Revamping Main Street

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by The River Reporter
Best Youth Engagement ($500 each)
• Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners – Centennial Entrance Garden
• Dynamite Youth Center – Landscaping and Sign Garden
• Roscoe Rockland Chamber – Revamping Main Street
• St. Peter’s Regional School – School Landscaping
Environmental Stewardship ($500)
• Roscoe Rockland Chamber – Revamping Main Street

Category C projects are at multiple locations that incorporate beautification as part of a long-term community wide strategy.  Awards in the category were presented by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

Golden Feather ($25,000 grant):
• Phillipsport Community Center – Phillipsport Beautification
Silver Feather ($10,000):
• Village of Jeffersonville – Backyard Park Enhancements
Planning Award ($5000):
• Rock Hill Fire Department/Rock Hill Business Assoc. – Firemen’s Field Beautification

SPECIAL AWARDS – Sponsored by Kristt Company
Best Youth Engagement ($1000)
• Rock Hill Fire Department/Rock Hill Business Assoc. – Firemen’s Field Beautification
Environmental ($1000)
• Long Eddy Renaissance – Hamlet Beautification
Historic Preservation ($1000)
• Swan Lake Renaissance – Stone Castle Garden

The Phillipsport Community Center project will be on display during a “Golden Feather Celebration” on Saturday, August 23.  Contact Sullivan Renaissance for more details.

Sullivan Renaissance beautification projects were judged for aesthetic improvement, collaboration, youth involvement, permanence and an ability to be maintained.  The team of eleven judges from outside Sullivan County included: Diane Blair, Nicole Franzese, Donna Harrison, Michael Newhard, Linda Onofry, Peter Patel, Nancy Proyect, Odette Sabourin-Dumais, Karen Schneller-McDonald, Ann Smith, Deborah Sweeton and Michael Sweeton.

Before introducing the communities in the Maintenance Support Program, horticultural coordinator Diana Weiner introduced members of the design panel that reviewed gardens during the application process.  This year’s panelists included: Marietta Beanland, Peg Berg, Maureen Charde, Kathy Davidoff, Caroline DeWilde, Susan Dollard, Gay Donofrio, Kathy Fielding, Kate Honders, Jarna Maniguet, Laurie McFadden, Denise Patti, Nancy Schunk, Danuta Skorulska, Irene Stover, Barbara Sush and AnnaLise Vogel.

Diana Weiner also recognized the garden centers and nurseries that sold the Renaissance Collection of plants.  They were: Delaware Valley Farm Home & Garden in Callicoon, Laurel Grove Greenhouse in Port Jervis, Liberty Home Garden & Pet, L & M Greenhouses in Bethel, Manza’s Family Farm in Montgomery, Monticello Farm Home & Garden, Monticello Greenhouses, Inc. and Vita’s Farm & Garden in Jeffersonville.

The Maintenance Support Program provided financial support and technical assistance to established groups with a history of Sullivan Renaissance projects.  Participants received up to $1000, a Merchant Discount Card, Flower Dollars, Bulb Dollars, assistance in organizing volunteer help, additional funding for infrastructure improvements, and other technical and gardening help. 

Eleven participants had multiple garden locations: Callicoon Business Association, Hurleyville-Sullivan First, Liberty Community Development Corp., Livingston Manor Renaissance, Mountaindale Action Committee, Narrowsburg Beautification Group, Neversink Renaissance, White Sulphur Springs Sullivan First, Woodbourne Action Committee, Woodridge Kiwanis and Wurtsboro Renaissance.

Eleven participants had single garden locations: Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department in Bethel, Town of Mamakating Park in Bloomingburg, St. James’ Episcopal Church in Callicoon, Sullivan County Visitors Association in Ferndale, Highland Lake Fire Department, Sullivan County Historical Society in Hurleyville, Bethlehem Temple Church in Monticello, Hudson River Healthcare in Monticello, Yeshiva Zichron Meir in Mountaindale, YMCA of Sullivan County in Rock Hill and Woodridge Housing Authority.

The Sullivan County Community College Foundation awarded two full time scholarships of $1000 to volunteers involved in Sullivan Renaissance projects who are attending SUNY Sullivan.
• Brittany Fuller of Livingston Manor – SUNY Sullivan
• Madison McCormack of Jeffersonville – SUNY Sullivan

The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties awarded eight Sullivan Renaissance scholarships to volunteers who made a significant contribution to a Sullivan Renaissance project.  These scholarships to the college of one’s choice are of various amounts up to $2000. 

• Taylor Goudreau – Wurtsboro/Mamakating – Binghamton University
• Meaghan Hazen – Lumberland – SUNY Brockport
• Andrea McKerrell – Lumberland – SUNY Cortland
• Jordan Mirch – Long Eddy – Delaware Valley College
• Amanda Rosenberger – Callicoon – SUNY Oneonta
• Kane Sauchuk – Swan Lake Renaissance – Binghamton University
• Peter Vorstadt – Highland Lake Fire Department – York College of Pennsylvania
• Mathew Young – Mamakating Town Hall/Historical Society – SUNY Plattsburgh

The 2014 interns are: Joseph Aiken, Hannah Bisland, Celina Castellano, Blake Costa, Collin Frost, Britanny Fuller, Taylor Goudreau, Jane Hyman, Matthew Kerendian, Madison McCormack, Jordan Mirch, Ronj Padu, Sabrena Smith, Djani Torres and Manual Valentin.  Program assistant Jennifer Avila helped to coordinate the intern program.

Volunteer coordinator Cara Kowalski introduced members of the Sullivan Renaissance Volunteer Corps.
• First Year Members: Debra Cortese, Tamara D’Antoni, Melissa DeMarmels, Margaret Dryer, Ray Evans, Karen Kerendian, Regina LaCatena, Beth Mastro, Kelly McCowen, Steve Melendez and Rosemary Sherman.
• Second Year Members: Melinda Cormier, Marjorie Evans, Michelle Guidera, Mary Mancuso, Daniel McCormack, Meaghan McCormack, Diane Moss, Margaret Rubin and Eric Schramm.

The ceremony began with the playing of “Do Something Good” by Barry and Ken Somerville.  Sandra Gerry recognized dignitaries and thanked participants for the work they are doing.  Sullivan County Legislative Chair Scott Samuelson thanked everyone for their contributions.

Project recipients received certificates of excellence from Sullivan Renaissance, as well as individual certificates from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representative Chris Gibson, NYS Senator John Bonacic, NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, NYS Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and the Sullivan County Legislature. 

As groups accepted their certificates, photographs of each project were displayed in a power point presentation created by Colleen Emery, using photographs taken by Jason Dole and the Renaissance staff or submitted by the participants.  Photographer Jonathan Hyman captured the award presentations on film.  The event was planned by Saraid Gonzalez, who also created the program with design help from Helen Budrock.

Before the ceremony, attendees viewed displays of the projects and enjoyed the music of the Somerville Brothers.  Refreshments included desserts supplied by Erin Lipsky and staff at Granite Associates. 

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  For information about Sullivan Renaissance, contact 845-295-2445 or

Country in the Country 20140810


It's the penultimate Country in the Country show, and tonight Country Yossi welcomed back the music in a big way now that Shabbos Nachamu has come and gone, but not before we give you this important reminder:

You're invited to honor the volunteers who are improving communities throughout Sullivan County at the 2014 Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony tomorrow, Monday, August 11. The event is being held in the Events Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments; the program begins at 6:45 p.m.

The Awards Ceremony will recognize all of this year’s projects and award additional grants between $1000 and $25,000 to those judged the most successful in completing their beautification efforts. The winner of the contest for seasonal communities will receive Community Mitzvah Awards of $10,000, $5000 and $3000. Country Yossi will announce the Community Mitzvah Award winners on our last show of the summer next Sunday night.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, FisherMears Associates, Kristt Company, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, Thompson Sanitation, and WSUL/WVOS.
For information visit

Out first hour featured a plethora of Country Yossi music interspersed with phone calls. We heard: "Seven Little Kids," "Hello Mameh," "Nebich of the Shteeble" and "Phantom of the Shteeble."
And the ever-popular "Kurrybone."
In hour two, a special request from your humble podcaster (who wrote the lyrics,) "Is This the Way to Monticello" by Marc Hoffman and the Bungaloafers. Listen to it right here and download it for free by clicking the song title below: 

Then some more Country Yossi and the Shteeble-Hoppers music: "Tick Tock."
And from Country Yossi's latest album with The Shteeble-Hoppers, "I'm Proud to be a Part of Am Yisroel" and later in the show, "Elan Elan."
Our broadcast would not be complete without a visit from Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss and his gevaldigeh divrei Torah.
After that, a final sprint of quickie calls before we called it quits. And you called it a miracle.

Join us next week for one more summer show, if you can stand it.

Country in the Country 20140803


Wednesday is Judgment Day! At least for the five finalists in the Sullivan Rensaissance Community Mitzvah Award contest, and they are:

  • American Theological, summer camp in Kiamesha
  • Camp Bnos Ahavas Israel, summer camp in Liberty
  • Camp Simcha, summer camp in Glen Spey
  • Khal Divre Chaim, bungalow colony in Kauneonga Lake
  • Skolya Bungalows, bungalow colony in South Fallsburg
Allen Frishman, who manages the Seasonal Demonstration Grant Program for Sullivan Renaissance, stopped by at the top of the show to remind us that on Wednesday, August 6, a panel of judges will select the winner of the Community Mitzvah Award from ten summer camps and bungalow colonies.

The three experts include individuals with horticultural, planning, community and international knowledge. 
  • Mary Lewis – Founder of the garden design firm Barncroft, she served as a Sullivan Renaissance judge for nine years and a garden design consultant for two years; past president of Garden Club of Orange and Dutchess Counties, past Zone Representative of Visiting Gardens Committee for Garden Club of America (GCA), and co-chairs GCA flower show “A Woman’s Hardy Garden” in Beacon.
  • Rabbi Joel Schwab – Religious leader of Temple Sinai in Middletown, NY since 1982; President of the Greater Middletown Interfaith Council, where he helped create a winter Warming Station for street people; honored by Orange County Human Rights Commission (2007), United Way of Orange County (2009) and METNY Region of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism (2011).  
  • Yossi Toiv – “Country Yossi” is the name of an English-language Orthodox Jewish magazine, radio show, collection of musical albums and children's books created, composed, authored and published by Yossi (Joseph) Toiv; the radio show has been on the air continuously since 1986; the monthly magazine has printed over 3 million copies since 1988.
Community Mitzvah projects are judged for cleaning-up and maintaining their grounds and beautifying the look of the facility.

Winning communities will be announced at the Sullivan Renaissance Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 11 in the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments; the program begins promptly at 6:45 p.m. 

Community Mitzvah Awards of $10,000, $5000 and $3000 will go to the seasonal communities that best cleaned up and beautified their grounds.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Sponsors include Bold Gold Media Group/Thunder 102, FisherMears Associates, Kristt Company, Robert Green Dealerships, Sullivan County Democrat, The River Reporter, Thompson Sanitation, and WSUL/WVOS.

For information, visit

After that bit of excitement, we heard some Three-Weeks appropriate Country Yossi music: "These I Remember."
Then some calls and the latest news from Israel with Dov Shurin.
Then some more calls to take us to the top of the hour.

We kicked off Round Two with some more a cappella music: Country Yossi's own "Deaf Man In The Shteeble" by Lev Tahor
A call or two, and then even more a cappella music! "Shalom Aleichem / Yesh Tikvah (Medley)"  by Ari Goldwag [feat. Moshe Dov GoldwagFrom the Album A Cappella Soul 2
And keeping things all in the family, we had a well-dressed phone visit with the inimitable Murray Goldwag! Who? You may know him better as Murray the Sockman or the owner of Murray's Kosher Sox in South Fallsburg. And if you don't, you should!

We also had summer Sunday visit from Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss and his gevaldigeh divrei Torah.

And that was that. Have an easy fast, and we'll see you next week!

Country in the Country 20140727


After a brief table of contents, we kicked things off with some Three-Weeks-friendly music: "Mimkomcha"  from the album Eli Gerstner & the Chevra: Sing Acappella

Then a little more a capella music while Country got the bugs out of the phone lines. (Is there a mashgiach in the house?) Another one from The Chevra: "V'hayu Limsheesa"
Next we heard from Dov Shurin with the latest news out of Israel. You can find his latest writings in The Jewish Press.

Then in our second hour, a return visit from R' Yoel Brill, and Ronny Biderman from A Hope to Heal.

If you forgot what you learned last week, here's a reminder about what they do from their website:

Our primary mission is to alleviate the short-term financial burden for adults and children stricken with acute serious illness by subsidizing their health insurance premiums. Other services include Health Care Advocacy, Medical Advocate Services, Support Programs, Health Awareness and Education.

Once again, please visit to learn more and find out how you can help. We were also joined by Rabbi Shais Taub, the keynote speaker at AHTH's inaugural ladies luncheon

A few calls (including a long distance one!) before a little more a capella music: "Am Echad" by Ari Goldwag from the Album A Cappella Soul 2:
And still more a capella from who else but AKA Pella and "Etz Chaim"
And that slammed the lid on things for today! What will happen on next week's show? You'll have to tune in and find out!

Off The Wall: Proportionality

While I was watching and listening to the gnashing of teeth and wailing and moaning about mighty, powerful Israel’s disproportionate response to the current, ongoing campaign of terror being waged against it, by the poor, downtrodden Arab civilians, it suddenly occurred to me… they are right!
Let’s examine the situation logically. This latest madness began in earnest with the kidnapping and brutal murder of three innocent young Yeshiva boys, involved in nothing more dastardly than trying to get home to their loving families for Shabbat.
What is the impact on the Jewish people of these horrific crimes – crimes which are only one step on the road towards the oft-unambiguously-stated ultimate goal of annihilating the State of Israel along with the entire Jewish world population?
Well here’s where the math comes in.
The total number of Jews in the world is approximately 14,000,000, whereas the total world Muslim population stands at 2,080,000,000.
So if we were to respond proportionately, for every Jew killed, we should kill 149 Muslims. (1 divided by 14 million times 2.08 billion.)
As of this writing 27 Israelis have died. If we responded proportionately there would be 4,023 dead Muslims.
Everyone for proportionality – raise your hands.