For the last 13 years, Rabbi Ron Hoffberg has been on a journey that was meant to last a week.
“There was an emergency situation,” he said. “They needed someone in Prague in a hurry, just for a week. That week turned into a year, and that year into 13.”
Hoffberg, spiritual leader of the Masorti (Conservative) community in the Czech Republic, has found that time both exciting and challenging. He will speak about his experiences — and the area he serves — when he visits the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel this weekend as scholar in residence.
Shalom. It is an honor to be here with you in Jerusalem, and I am so grateful for the welcome that I have received from the people of Israel. I bring with me the support of the American people, and the friendship that binds us together.
Over the last two days, I have reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres. I have borne witness to the ancient history of the Jewish people at the Shrine of the Book, and I have seen Israel’s shining future in your scientists and entrepreneurs. This is a nation of museums and patents, timeless holy sites and ground-breaking innovation. Only in Israel could you see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the place where the technology on board the Mars Rover originated. But what I’ve looked forward to the most is the ability to speak directly to you, the Israeli people – especially so many young people – about the history that brought us here today, and the future that you will make in the years to come.
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.