Thoroughly modern ‘Altina’Close-up of an accomplished life
A love storyCory Booker talks about growing up in Harrington Park, falling in love with Judaism
Pegging your sinsCloster synagogue’s Slichot board offers semi-public apologies
A friend indeedIntergenerational program at JCC enriches seniors, children
Unity from tragedyLocal group goes to Israel to show support, share grief and love
Community stands with Israel at bergenPAC
The Jewish SlanderedBridgegate motives revealed
By the sea in Coney Island, it’s Tzyclonim vs. Lake MonstersJewish Heritage Night at the Brooklyn Cyclone’s MCU Park brings out the kitsch
We don’t know much yet about the findings of the soon-to-be-released survey by the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, but there is one nugget that already has been made public.
Jewish adults hunger to know more. Their desire for Jewish learning continues to grow. Jewish educators and leaders know that to be true intuitively, and that understanding is borne out in the proliferation of programs and institutes around the area.
Until recently, the federation has fed that hunger with its Melton program. For years now, the Florence Melton program has brought its two-year, pluralistic, in-depth lessons to synagogue classrooms across the region. But nothing lasts forever, and the Melton program has now ended locally — as it has, in fact, in many of the other places that once hosted it.
At the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation’s third annual Walk for Life in Memory of Mel Cohen on Sunday, October 26, a 23-year-old Englewood bone-marrow donor will meet his 43-year-old recipient for the first time since the successful procedure was done, more than a year ago.
These emotional meetings are a highlight of the annual walk, Gift of Life’s CFO, Gregg Frances, said. “Every year at these events we introduce a donor who has never, until that point, met the recipient whose life he or she saved. There’s a one-year moratorium from the date of transplant to the date of meeting, as legislated by the United States.”
The principals of six Jewish high schools serving northern New Jersey sent a joint letter to parents urging vigilance in the face of teenage drinking on Simchat Torah, “to guarantee that this special time of holiness will not degenerate into the opposite kind of experience for anyone.”
Nobody is sure how alcohol consumption became a tradition of this holiday, which celebrates the completion of the yearly Torah-reading cycle.
“There are rabbinic sources about drinking wine in the context of the Purim seudah,” or meal, says Teaneck’s Rabbi Michael Taubes, head of school for the Yeshiva University High School for Boys, and one of the six signatories.
Although most yeshiva high school students go to their own shuls on Simchat Torah, do not drink, and go home safely after the dancing has ended, as the letter from six of their school leaders makes clear, some of them do not.
Where do those students go for their evening of drunken revelry?
No doubt to many places, but one great glittering magnet for them seems to be Congregation Bnai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, just a bridge-span away.
Simchat Torah services at BJ, as the shul is called, are unusual, combining reverence, exuberance, and expertly performed and sung music into a potent, fervent, pulsing mix.
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The Eternal Flame Holocaust education program — a pilot project funded by the George and Martha Rich Foundation — got off to a good start this year, using interactive workshops to teach some 20 children about the human costs of intolerance.
The venture — now centered at Valley Chabad in Woodcliff Lake but slated to expand — “is about much more than just teaching,” said Michael Leob, son of George and Martha Rich and a trustee of the foundation, which George and Martha Rich established in 1992.
The nonprofit foundation, he said, was created not only for Holocaust education but also for using that education as a basis for learning to prevent genocide and intolerance at every level and toward any ethnic group.
Is science at war with religion?
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman has devoted his career to showing that not only are those two forces for good in the world not at war with each other, but in fact they work together.
He has founded an institute, Sinai and Synapses, to help connect those two worlds, and to help people see the connection. And he will talk about it tonight when he delivers the 2014 Rabbi Joshua Trachtenberg Memorial Lecture at Temple Emeth in Teaneck.
Rabbi Mitelman, who was ordained at Hebrew union College-Jewish Institute for Religion in Cincinnati, until recently was a pulpit rabbi in New York’s suburban Westchester County. Sinai and Synapses, his brainchild, was incubated at Clal — The National Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership.