Say you begin with the assumption that just about everything in life demands a balance — between work and pleasure, home and office, family and friends, saving and spending, responsibility and heedlessness, tradition and change. That’s just part of being an adult. Maybe you can call it the balance between pleasure and pain.
But what about children? What about adolescents? What do they have to balance? What do we as their parents have to balance for them?
That’s what Rabbi Joseph H. Prouser’s latest panel, “Preserving Youthful Innocence…or Teaching Adult Responsibilities… What Do We Owe Our Children?” will explore.
Rabbi Prouser, who heads Temple Emanuel of North Jersey in Franklin Lakes, said that we — parents, educators, leaders, and the community in general — have two very different sets of responsibilities toward our children. “One is to teach them adult responsibilities, to help them grow up,” he said. “The other is the critical responsibility to protect and preserve their innocence, to keep them as children so they can have a full, wholesome experience of childhood.
The loss of Yvette Tekel will be keenly felt throughout our community and beyond its borders.
Indeed, the words family, friends, and colleagues — across communities, across organizations — used to describe Ms. Tekel — who recently moved to Fort Lee from Haworth — paint a picture of a woman who brought joy and inspiration to all who knew her.
“She was a five-foot giant,” said her husband, Louis, singing the praises of his nearly 90-year-old wife to Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, who conducted Yvette’s funeral on May 20 at Temple Emanu-El of Closter. The couple had been married for 68 years.
Lou, who worked in the linen business and was a decorated hero of World War II, “was chairman of the Yvette fan club,” Rabbi Kirshner said. “He supported her and stood by her side” in all her many charitable endeavors.
Less than two years have gone by since Rachel Samitt noticed a suspicious mole under the wet hair on her dad’s sunlit scalp after a swim in the family’s Woodcliff Lake pool.
Though Mark Samitt immediately made an appointment with his dermatologist, the skin cancer his daughter saw took his life on May 6. He was 52.
Mr. Samitt’s tragic death makes this Sunday’s cut-a-thon all the more poignant — and vital. Mark the SPOT, a program he launched with his wife, Gayle, and daughters Rachel and Danielle, in partnership with the Melanoma Research Foundation, will be held at six Pascack Valley-area salons. Its goal is to teach hairstylists that “If you spot something, say something.”
Mark the SPOT educates stylists about how to identify possibly cancerous marks on their customers’ heads or necks and how to communicate their findings in a way that does not panic but encourages the customer to seek medical attention. The first salon to host a training session was Mania Hair Studio in Park Ridge. Owner Phil Mania lost his own father to melanoma at a young age.
Daniel Nachum of Tenafly, 17, recently became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.
This is remarkable, given that less than 10 percent of Scouts achieve this milestone.
Even more remarkable is that Daniel survived a childhood bout with cancer and decided to dedicate his Eagle Scout community-service project to pediatric oncology patients at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.
“For me, this decision was a no-brainer because I was treated there for leukemia and remain a patient there at Cure and Beyond,” said Daniel, who has lived in town all his life and is now a junior at Tenafly High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 86.
The relationship between Israel and the United States might be somewhat strained right now, so at least 1,500 concerned Jews from around the area traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to plead Israel’s case.
Many of the members of that Norpac delegation are from Bergen County.
“It was very gratifying,” said Norpac’s president, Dr. Ben Chouake of Englewood. Norpac brought 33 buses to the nation’s capital on May 13.
“We cut off registration on May 4, the deadline date,” he said, noting that while the organization has been known to extend the deadline, this year, as the number of would-be attendees steadily grew, that was not possible.
“The turnout was really impressive,” said Dr. Chouake, adding that the large number of legislators who cleared time in their calendar to meet with members of his group was impressive as well.
Maybe you think that we fought the Civil War to stop slavery.
Maybe you think that the causes of the war were entirely economic, and had nothing to do with slavery.
Maybe you think that good and evil were clear in the Civil War, and that the North — that would be us — represented unsullied virtue.
Well, you’d be wrong, according to Rabbi Eric Wisnia of Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction. The North was as morally culpable as the South in the great vice of slavery. There were no angels. He will discuss his understanding of American history at length and in detail during Kabbalat Shabbat services at Temple Emeth in Teaneck on Friday, May 29, at 8 p.m., in a talk he’s called “An Impartial Jewish View of the War of Yankee Aggression.” The talk coincides with the 150th anniversary of the war’s end.
It makes sense, really. There was music everywhere. They were a family immersed in music, four sisters who sang together for years, a talented songwriter, and dreams for the future that always included music.
What else could the Glaser sisters do?
“I always wanted to be a singer in a band,” said the eldest sister, Faige Glaser Drapkin, 34, who, with her sister Chaya, one year younger, helped make that dream come true.
Chaya, too, wanted music to be “a big part of my life.”
Much of it had to do with the link between music and family. “When I saw the Mamas and Papas on Ed Sullivan, I actually thought they were a family,” she said. “I loved their harmony, spirit, and colors, and it looked like they loved what they were doing! I knew that I wanted in on that beautiful fun too.
It’s a neat trick, but Alexander Grodensky pulls it off.
At just 32, he manages to be an entirely singular person, with a life that has taken a number of unpredictable turns, and at the same time a walking, breathing symbol of Jewish life in Europe today.
How’d he do it? And what does he symbolize?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Mr. Grodensky — who will become Rabbi Grodensky in August, when he is ordained by the Abraham Geiger College, part of the University of Potsdam — is in Ridgewood through the end of May. He’s here for a six-week stint shadowing Rabbi David Fine of Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center in Ridgewood. Rabbi Fine teaches at both Geiger and the new Zacharias Frankel College, also at the University of Potsdam.