A firebomb attack on a synagogue in Rutherford is being investigated as an attempted homicide and a hate crime, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced on Wednesday.
“You’re looking at 40 to 50 years in prison,” said Molinelli, addressing the “person or persons who are doing this act” at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“Turn yourself in and end this now,” he said. “We will ultimately solve this crime and make arrests.”
Around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, several Molotov cocktails were thrown at Congregation Beth El, an Orthodox synagogue on a quiet residential street in Rutherford. One entered the second floor bedroom of the congregation’s rabbi, Nosson Schuman, and ignited his bedspread.
A special Holocaust media technology center will be added to the library of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, thanks to funds being donated in memory of Holocaust survivors Morris and Ruth Kotek.
In the new resource room, students, faculty, and parents will have access to the library’s print and digital collection of resources about the Shoah, as well as to materials from around the world to which they can gain access online. They also will be able to engage with testimony of Holocaust survivors, using the iWitness program hosted by the University of Southern California.
The commission’s goal is to enhance the economic and trade relations between New Jersey and Israel. Its 77 commissioners, appointed by the governor, heard presentations from Israeli and state political and business leaders.
The commission was established in 1989, a year after Israel and New Jersey signed a sister state agreement, and it was made permanent in 2008. For years it operated with a staff of two, but in 2010 Governor Chris Christie cut that line from the budget, saving the state $120,000 and drawing protests from Democrats.
Religious leaders and social service providers came together in Hackensack last week for an interfaith discussion of affordable housing spearheaded by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.
“It’s a problem that goes across every religious and ethnic line in our community,” said the council’s chair, Rabbi Neal Borovitz. “What are we the people going to do about it?”
Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Hindu religious leaders also participated in the discussion, which was called “Fighting Poverty With Faith: Building Opportunity Through Affordable Housing for All.”
“Emerging adulthood” is how Jen Kraus Rosen refers to the young adults who have graduated college but not yet married and settled down with families.
It’s a population that is the focus of Rosen’s work as chief operating officer of Moishe House — an organization that seeks to foster Jewish community among that demographic by getting young adults to run Jewish programs for their peers in exchange for rent subsidies. Residents in the Moishe Houses commit to running a certain number of Jewish programs each month — from Shabbat dinners to movie nights to yoga classes — in exchange for their rent subsidy.
In theory, Moishe House would be a great fit for Hoboken, which is home to a large but transient population of young professionals who are priced out of New York City and not yet ready for a mortgage.
Take one whiteboard, five classrooms, and 80 enthusiastic teachers.
What do you have?
On Sunday at the Yavneh Academy in Paramus, the answer was: a very successful “un-conference,” only the second of its kind for Jewish educators.
When the doors opened at 9 a.m., the event dubbed JEDcampNJNY had no agenda — only a whiteboard featuring a grid in which four time slots and five rooms allowed for 20 possible sessions. It was up to participants — teachers and administrators from day schools in Bergen County and beyond — to fill in the grid with a session they wanted to lead or a discussion they wanted to have.
The Moriah School in Englewood is laying off 19 faculty and staff members as its leaders focus on “tuition sustainability and sustainable excellence” in the face of declining enrollment.
The school projects its enrollment to shrink slightly next year to 790 students from its current 804. But that is a significant fall from its peak enrollment of 1,000 back in 2000.
The decrease in enrollment comes as newer Orthodox schools, including Yeshivat Noam and Ben Porat Yosef, both in Paramus and both founded in 2001, continue to grow — those two schools have more than 1,000 students between them.
What does it take to top Newsweek’s list of most influential rabbis?
For Rabbi David Saperstein, 65, who headed the list in 2009 (this year he ranked number 2), the answer is: A solid institution.
Saperstein, who heads the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, will be in Wayne Friday night. He will deliver the Rabbi Israel Dresner Tikkun Olam lecture at Temple Beth Tikvah, honoring the synagogue’s rabbi emeritus.
Saperstein said that unlike those rabbis who were on the Newsweek list “because of personal attributes and individual personal accomplishments, some of us are on simply because we are associated with significant influential institutions.” His consistently high ranking on the list, he said, “is a real validation of the Reform movement’s efforts in social justice.”