Home APRIL_2024 A Shul for You- Temple B’nai Shalom East Brunswick, 15 Fern Rd,...

A Shul for You- Temple B’nai Shalom East Brunswick, 15 Fern Rd, East Brunswick

The famous TBS Purim Spiel Players

Background: Temple B’nai Shalom, then known as the Reform Temple of East Brunswick was incorporated In December 1972. During its formative years the Temple rented space in various East Brunswick Public School buildings, moving to its current location in August 1978. By the High Holy Days few months later, the Temple had grown to 250 families and in the early 1980’s the Congregation changed its name to Temple B’nai Shalom. The Temple was a founding member of the East Brunswick Area Clergy Association and, with its Daniel Pearl Education Center, has been active in local ecumenical life.
    The Daniel Pearl Education Center at Temple B’nai Shalom is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of understanding and cooperation—those principles that are part of the legacy of the late Daniel Pearl. Pearl, the Southeast Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered by extremists in Pakistan on February 1, 2002.
President is Steven Zweig
Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer received his ordination from Hebrew Union College
Cantor Andrew Edison
www.bnaishalom.com  (732) 251-4300

Rabbi Eisenkramer and
Cantor Edison join in the fun

What are the most popular of your synagogue’s programs and/or services?
    At Temple B’nai Shalom, we are a welcoming, uplifting, and inclusive Reform congregation dedicated to enriching the lives of our congregants through worship, education, community, social action and support of the Jewish people and Israel. We love music at TBS and celebrate Music Shabbat Services, join together for our world-famous Purim Spiel, and special concerts and events. Every June we gather for Shabbat Under the Stars, and our annual Beach Havdalah in Monmouth Beach is always great fun!

Rabbi Eisenkramer with participants of the TBS Café Europa Holocaust Survivor Program

What programs and/or services do you think capture the synagogue’s underlying philosophy?
    At Temple B’nai Shalom we are a hamishe Temple family.  Every week we gather for Shabbat and enjoy the oneg. Our Shabbat Minyan and Lunch brings us together for prayer and community. Our Sisterhood, Men’s Club and the Daniel Pearl Education center offer engaging and meaningful programs.  We celebrate the good times in life together, and we support one another in times of need. We are also great supporters of Israel and our Jewish State. We continue to pray for the safe and speedy return of the hostages and for the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Israel. Am Yisrael Chai!

What is the most unique aspect of your synagogue?
    At Temple B’nai Shalom, we pray together in nature and appreciate the beauty of the world. Two of our special Shabbat services are Shabbat Under the Stars and Beach Havdalah. In June, we gather in the Temple backyard for an outdoor Shabbat service followed by a delicious BBQ Shabbat Dinner. In August, we gather in Monmouth Beach for the TBS Beach Havdalah. We celebrate the end of Shabbat with the beautiful ritual of Havdalah while soaking in the view of the ocean and the shore. The Daniel Pearl Education Center at the Temple offers guest speakers and programs, along with a yearly free student trip to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

Rabbi Eisenkramer with the Purim Tot Shabbat celebrants

Have you implemented any changes based on the COVID experience? What is the most unique aspect of your synagogue?
Since Covid arrived, we have become a synagogue that has embraced both in-person and virtual services and programs. All of our Shabbat Services are available on Zoom, along with our adult education classes, Sisterhood Book Club, and other speakers and programs. This way, all can stay connected to each other and to our Temple.

Are there any other challenges you’ve overcome that you’d like to share, so others can learn from your experience?
    As Covid lifted, it was a challenge to continue to balance in-person and virtual attendance. We have encouraged our Temple members to come back in-person to foster deeper connections and a sense of community, while also continuing to offer Shabbat Services and programs virtually. We have found a nice balance of welcoming our Temple members both in our building and online.

What would you say to encourage someone to join your synagogue?
This year we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Temple B’nai Shalom. We are grateful to have been a haimeshe Temple family for 50 years and we welcome all to come join us for many more years of simcha, prayer and Jewish community. To learn more about Temple B’nai Shalom, come join us for Shabbat and visit our website:
    We would love to meet you!

Joann Abraham began chronicling Jewish life as editor of Monmouth County’s Jewish newspaper, now defunct, and has written for national and international publications. She is a contributing writer to Jlife Magazine.



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