Home April 2023 Jlife Buzz- April

Jlife Buzz- April

The Hebrew Academy Students Experience the Rewards of
Intergenerational Involvement Community 

    Every Thursday the sixth graders at The Hebrew Academy prepare for their weekly visit to their next door neighbor, Sunrise Assisted Living. The students have the unique opportunity to participate in an intergenerational program where they have a chance to learn about life experiences from their senior companions. “This program enhances and reinforces our educational curriculum, contributes to student learning and personal growth, and enriches the lives of senior adult participants” according to Yoti Golan, Head of School. Weekly activities are both academic and fun. Some of these include bowling, singing, chair yoga, baking and art projects.
    Judaism teaches the importance to educate children and the responsibility to pass on Jewish history to the next generation. The Hebrew Academy offers a program “Mi’Dor L’Dor”—From Generation to Generation, which allows students to share experiences with their grandparents, special friends and relatives. 
    The entire Hebrew Academy Middle School welcomes opportunities to return to their friends at Sunrise throughout the year. For Passover, the Jewish Holiday commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, the students will conduct a model Seder. They will lead the residents through the traditional Passover feast through songs and explanations. “You can actually see the residents remembering their childhood through familiar songs and prayers,” said Laurie Shapiro of the school. For more information please visit https://www.thehebrewacademynj.org/welcome. 

East Brunswick Jewish Center Hosts
Annual Youth Shabbat

  On Saturday, March 11, East Brunswick Jewish Center hosted their annual Youth Shabbat which includes a youth-led Shabbat service followed by a teen lunch. Eight USYers (high school age) three elementary and middle school age children in prayers on the bima. One of the USYers delivered a beautiful D’Var Torah. All youth ended the service together by singing Adon Olam and being blessed under a chuppah during the blessing under the children led by parents. For more information, please visit https://www.ebjc.org.

Kol B’Seder Concert Held at Temple Shaari Emeth

    On Saturday, May 20th, Temple Shaari Emeth (TSE) will be hosting a Kol B’Seder concert at the synagogue, located at 400 Craig Road in Manalapan. The public is invited to join the celebration, as the singing duo Rabbi Danny Freelander and Cantor Jeff Klepper celebrate their 50th Anniversary together. The concert is being held to honor TSE’s Cantor Wally Schaket Briskin on the 25th anniversary of his ordination.
    Rabbi Freelander and Cantor Klepper have performed as the group Kol B’s Seder since 1972. Their melody for Shalom Rav is the most popularly sung in the denominations of Judaism where many prayers are sung rather than chanted.
    “One of the great benefits of the recently completed merger between Temple Shaari Emeth and Temple Rodeph Torah is our ability to continue offering our innovative Rock Shabbat services to the Jewish community,” Fabian Burstyn, President of Temple Shaari Emeth, said. “We can’t wait to share our ruach (spirit) as part of this Rock Shabbat weekend with Kol B’Seder.”
    The concert will start at 7:00 PM, and tickets are $18 per person. Log on to https://www.shaariemeth.org/weekend to purchase tickets and learn more, or call Temple Shaari Emeth at 732-462-7744 for information about purchasing tickets.

Left to right: Event Co-Chairs Roy & Brenda Tanzman and Anne & Adrian Kroll with Anna Millstein, Director, JNF-USA Central NJ

Nearly 200 Philanthropists Celebrate Love of Israel at Jewish National Fund-USA Community Brunch

    On Sunday, March 19, 2023, nearly 200 philanthropists attended Jewish National Fund-USA’s Love of Israel Brunch at Congregation B’nai Tikvah. Co-chaired by Anne & Adrian Kroll and Brenda & Roy Tanzman, the event featured keynote speaker Olga Meshoe Washington and celebrated 75 years of Israel’s independence.
    Washington, a South African Christian, serves as the CEO of Defend Embrace Invest (in) Support Israel (DEISI) and is the National Director for Programming and Engagement at Club Z. Her keynote address focused on the importance of being a vocal advocate for Israel and how she encourages those who support Israel to amplify their voices within their communities.

Olga Meshoe Washington (guest speaker),
Drew Fromkin (event sponsor)

    “At Club Z, we challenge our young people, our Jewish young people, to be proud of who they are,” Washington said during an exclusive VIP Meet & Greet for Jewish National Fund-USA partners (donors) giving $5,000 or more to the current campaign. “There is no reason to apologize for being Jewish, to apologize for the State of Israel, when you understand who the Jewish people are and what they mean for the world.”
    The event also highlighted how Jewish National Fund-USA built, and continues to build, a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education and supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south.
    For more information contact Anna Millstein, Director, Central NJ at amillstein@jnf.org or 973.593.0095 x826. 

Congregation B’nai Israel Hosts Eleanor Reissa

    On Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 PM, Daughters of Israel of Congregation B’nai Israel (formerly Congregation Sons of Israel), 33 Gordons Corner Road, Manalapan, NJ, will proudly host Eleanor Reissa.
    Eleanor Reissa is a Tony-nominated director, Broadway/television actress, director, prize-winning playwright, author, host of the Yale University/Fortunoff Video Archive podcast: “Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust.”
    She will introduce her memoir, “The Letters Project,” about her journey to unravel her parents’ Holocaust experience. She was nominated for “Best Author Performance for an Audio Book” by the SOVA awards! She will also perform some of her signature songs! For more information please visit https://cbi-nj.org.

Rabbi Eliot Malomet and USYers after the congregation “paid for his release” as a fundraiser for USY’s SATO (Social Action Tikkun Olam) fund.

HPCT-CAE Welcomes the Rutgers Community for Its Annual Rutgers Shabbat; Mazel Tots’ to Hold Chocolate Seder

    The Rutgers community were honored at HPCT-CAE’s annual Rutgers Shabbat on April 1. A special “red and white” Kiddush will be enjoyed following services.
    Families involved in HPCT-CAE’s innovative monthly mazel tots program enjoyed a pre-Passover chocolate seder on April 2. Visit the HPCT-CAE website (https://www.hpct-cae.org) to register your “mazel tot” (children under six) for other special Shabbat and holiday programs.

Discover Congregation Torat El’s “Meet the Author” Series

    The final event of the series’ 6th season will be held in person on Sunday May 7th at 301 Monmouth Rd. Oakhurst, NJ at 11:00 AM. The author, Meira Cook, will be speaking about her book, “The Full Catastrophe.”
    “The Full Catastrophe” is the story of Charlie Minkoff and his grandfather and best friend, Oscar, a Holocaust survivor. Since Oscar never had a Bar Mitzvah, Charlie tries to arrange for a joint Bar Mitzvah for himself and his Zeyde, not expecting to encounter obstacles along the way. This is a touching story of an unusual family, a boy with physical challenges, the impact of secrets, the value of friendship and a grandfather’s wisdom, and the importance of love on the journey to becoming a man.
   Meira Cook is the award-winning author of several novels and five poetry collections. She won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. Cook also served as Write in Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.
    Prepaid reservations are available at https://www.torat-el.org or for $15 ($20 at the door). A light homemade brunch will be served.
    This ongoing series has been made possible by a grant from the B’nai Sholom/Beth El Foundation. 

Join Congregation B’nai Tikvah for Israel’s 75th Year of Independence

    Congregation B’nai Tikvah is proud to lead this year’s milestone celebration of Israel’s 75th year of independence. In partnership with Jewish Federation in the Heart of New
Jersey, B’nai Tikvah will host a community-wide celebration on Sunday April 30, 2023.
    The celebration will feature a PJ Library Birthday Bash, Israeli Gift and Advocacy Fair, and will culminate with a concert, featuring the music of Shorashim and Israeli singer, Magda Fishman.
    Whether or not you have been to Israel or have family who live there, as Jews we must not take our connection to Israel for granted. It is incumbent upon us to recognize the important role that Israel has played and continues to play for the Jewish people. Israel is our homeland, and we must support Israel in any way we can.
    During the PJ Library Birthday Bash event, children will have the opportunity to not only
celebrate Israel, but to experience Israel through stations simulating various aspects of Israel and Israeli life. The hope is to create in our children an interest in, and love for, Israel for all it has to offer from a religious, historical, and cultural perspective.
    The Israeli Fair will feature and promote Israeli food, Israeli owned products/businesses,
Israel advocacy, such as organizations that promote travel to Israel and Social Action
towards Israel.
    The 75th celebration will culminate with the Shorashim-Magda Fishman concert at 4:00 PM.
    Tickets will be available for purchase soon.
    As it gets ready to host this year’s community celebration of Israel at 75, Congregation B’nai Tikvah is dedicated to advocating how we as American Jews can support, advocate and remain connected to Israel.
    For more information, please visit https://tikvah.org.

Chhange Commemorates Genocide Awareness Month

Kwibuka: International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
Tuesday, April 11 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM at
Brookdale Community College
Register at www.chhange.org.
    In 100 days in the spring of 1994, 900,000 Rwandan people were murdered, many by friends and neighbors. Consolee Nishimwe, a teenager at the time, struggled to survive the genocide. Her father, brothers and friends were murdered.
    Consolee will share testimony about her life in Rwanda, her experience during the genocide, and reflect upon how she and her mother each faced life following genocide.
   Now living in New York City, Consolee is featured in the Rwandan section of Chhange’s exhibit, “Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience.”

Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day
Monday, April 17 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
at Brookdale Community College
Register at www.chhange.org.
    For its 2023 Yom HaShoah Commemoration, Chhange will be joined by Dr. Elizabeth Anthony, Director of Visiting Scholar Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Anthony will share the research she conducted for her book, “The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust,” which explores the motivations and expectations that inspired Viennese Jews to reestablish lives in their hometown after the devastation and trauma of the Holocaust.
    Chhange’s annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration includes music provided by the Marlboro High School Choir & Quartet, as well as a candle lighting ceremony led by local Holocaust Survivors. Survivors are accompanied by service members from Naval Weapons Station Earle.

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Monday, April 24  from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Zoom
    For this year’s Armenian Genocide Remembrance Program, Chhange has invited Dr. Christina Maranci, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University, to present her research. Dr. Maranci will discuss erasure of cultural heritage sites as an aspect of genocide, particularly pertaining to the destruction of Armenian churches and monasteries in Eastern Turkey, Azerbaijan and Artsakh.
    There is a long history of cultural genocide in these regions—but it is also an ongoing threat for Armenians and many other at-risk communities around the world. Join Cchange to learn more about this understudied element of genocide, and the critical work being done to preserve Armenian culture and historical sites.

East Brunswick Jewish Center Dance and Sing to music of Eric Lipper

    On March 16, over 50 seniors gathered at East Brunswick Jewish Center to enjoy lunch, dance, sing and listen to the music of Eric Lipper. Lunch was provided through Jewish Family Services and Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ. For more information, please visit https://www.ebjc.org. 

“An Aspiring Cantor and a Retired Broadway Performer Walk into a Shul”

    Spring is here, the Pesach dishes have been put away, and it’s time to sit down, relax and enjoy yourself. What better way than with music? And what could be better music than a show called “An Aspiring Cantor and a Retired Broadway Performer Walk into a Shul?”
    Inbar Goldman, mezzo soprano and aspiring cantor, and Ladd Boris, Broadway, screen and opera performer, will get together for an afternoon of Israeli music, chazzenut, Broadway, and popular standards at Temple Beth El of Somerset on Sunday, April 23, starting at 2:00 PM. Admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door; premium seating is available for $50. Checks should be made out to Temple Beth El of Somerset, and sent to the temple at 1489 Hamilton Street, Somerset, NJ, 08873.
    For further information please visit https://tbeonline.weebly.com/our-calendar.html or contact the temple at (732) 873-2325.

Temple Beth Miriam Presents Its Cobra Kai Purim Spiel

    Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon, NJ presented their Cobra Kai Purim Spiel on March 5. It was written and directed by Cantor Marnie Camhi and performed by religious school students.
    Cantor Camhi has been writing original Purim Spiels for many years—including “Frozen” “Star Wars,” “The Little Mermaid” and many more. Her spiels have been performed in synagogues and day schools all over the USA, as well as Canada, England, Austria, Australia and South Africa. She has been called “The Spielberg of Purim Spiels” by ReformJudaism.org and she has been featured in Tablet magazine.
    Her spiels are available for a donation to Temple Beth Miriam. For more information, please visit https://templebethmiriam.org or email Cantor Camhi for more information at cantor@bethmiriam.org. 

Perrineville Jewish Center Welcomes Author Gershom Gorenberg

     It is no secret that Israel is in turmoil as perhaps never before. Internal tensions have come to the fore, and relations with the diaspora are being sorely tested as well. What is happening to Israel’s legal and judicial system? Is a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict still possible? Is it desirable? What should be the role of religion in a Jewish state, and can a Jewish state remain a democracy? All of these extremely important questions and more call for discussion.
    Join the Perrineville Jewish Center as it hosts internationally renowned journalist and author Gershom Gorenberg as he helps unpack current events.
    American-born Israeli author and analyst Gershom Gorenberg is one of Israel’s leading social and political analysts. He is the author of several highly-praised books:“On the Temple Mount,” “The Settlement Movement in the Occupied Territories,” “Israeli Culture,” and most recently “Nazi Efforts in the Middle East.”
    Gorenberg is a regular contributor to The American Prospect and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism.  
    Come to the shul in Perrineville or zoom in to join the discussion with Gershom Gorenberg on April 26, 2023 at 6:30 PM. For more information, please visit https://www.pjcmillstone.org.

Temple Emanu-El’s Celebrates Its 41st Annual Spring Concert  

    Temple Emanu-El’s Spring Concert showcases two special voices “From Bima to Broadway.” “It will be unique and exciting,” gushed Cantor Emily Simkin, on the subject of Temple Emanu-El’s 41st annual Spring Concert, Saturday, April 22. Cantor Simkin and Rabbi Vicki L. Axe, also a cantor, will share their gifted voices in a program they created together.
    “It will be fun for our Congregation to hear music other than the religious prayers and psalms they’re used to,” noted Rabbi Axe. The concert will consist of two sections, music of Jewish liturgical sources, and Broadway tunes that are tied to a Jewish theme or written by Jewish composers. For example, the concert will include selections from “Fiddler on the Roof,” “West Side Story,” “Yentl” and “The Fantastics.”
    “The program is designed to create a sense of awe and wonder when there are no words to express your feelings and prayers,” added Cantor Simkin. She received a degree at Berklee College of Music and her Masters of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College (HUC)—Jewish Institute of Religion. She was ordained in 2020 from HUC’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. Previously, she served as Student Cantor at synagogues in Honolulu, Baltimore and Short Hills, NJ. In addition to her Cantorial and Rabbinic ordinations, Rabbi Axe earned the Doctor of Music and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Hebrew Union College. She has served at the North American Choral Festival since 1997. Notably, she was featured on programs of Jewish interest with jazz great Duke Ellington and composer Marvin Hamlisch. Additionally she sang in the premier performance on Dave Brubeck’s “Gates of Justice,” a sacred service on civil rights.
    The Spring Concert will feature Alex Pryrodny, piano accompanist and part of a jazz trio, as well as Temple Emanu-El’s choir. The Temple is located at 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison. To purchase tickets, go to https://www.edisontemple.org/form/From-Bima-to-Broadway.

Renowned Biblical Scholar Robert Alter Comes to Rutgers

    Robert Alter, Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, will introduce the stunning poetry and prose of the Hebrew Bible, shedding light on the nuances and complexity of these texts as a way of better appreciating their meaning and artistry. His in-person talk, “The Art of Biblical Narrative,” will examine a variety of distinctive conventions and techniques that are unlike what is found in other narrative traditions. An eminent scholar, Alter published an English translation of the complete Hebrew Bible in 2018, a magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarship and winner of the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation.
  Free and open to the public, the talk will be held on Wednesday, April 19, at 7:30 PM at the Douglass Student Center, located at 100 George Street New Brunswick. Free campus parking is available with online vehicle registration. Light refreshments will be served following the talk, which is presented by the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. For more information and to register, visit: BildnerCenter.Rutgers.edu.  

Temple Shalom of Aberdeen Welcomes New Choir Director and Accompanist John 

   John Balme has joined Temple Shalom of Aberdeen as the Choir Director and accompanist. He has been a conductor, opera manager and pianist.
    He served as general director of Boston Lyric Opera from 1979 to 1989 and the Lake George Opera Festival from 1988 to 1992. He has participated as conductor, assistant conductor, and/or producer in over 300 productions and has appeared as a guest conductor throughout the United States. As a pianist, Balme has accompanied many singers, including at recital performances. He has conducted at opera companies throughout the US and the world.
    He attended Oxford University, the Royal College of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University. Balme has served on the faculties of the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Connecticut, New England Conservatory of Music and Northeastern University.
    Balme is now the main piano teacher at Brookdale and teaches in the Humanities department. He is the music director for Christ Episcopal Church in Middletown, New Jersey where his duties involve playing the organ, the piano and directing the choir. He and his wife also run the Brookdale Concordia Chorale, a chamber choir. He maintains a teaching studio for piano, violin, viola and other instruments in Belford, New Jersey. For more information please visit https://templeshalomnj.org.  

Anna Martinez and her assistant Sapana Shaw, a former Council woman, in the front row. Behind them are several members of the NCJW who attended.
and Paul Dorsey. Seated in front Deba Biderman

The NJ Department of Children and Families Come Together with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Metro-Jersey

    On January 22, Anna Martinez the Director for the Division of Women in NJ Department of Children and Families, was the special guest of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Metro-Jersey Section. She spoke about how her department works including violence prevention, human trafficking, civil rights, and victims’ rights, and how they affects all of us. For more information please visit https://www.ncjw.org.  

Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah Holds Its Spring Awakening Gala

    The members of the Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah are looking forward to a gala celebration, a “Spring Awakening” on May 24th at the Salt Creek Grill in Rumson. Danielle Mason will be honored for her outstanding leadership and commitment to Hadassah and the Jewish Community.
    Funds raised that evening support the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), which was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. HMO spreads healing and hope to millions of people today in Israel. A recent Newsweek survey ranks Hadassah Hospital among top hospitals in oncology, cardiology and smart technology worldwide. Leading edge treatments and protocols have been developed there to treat various neurological diseases, including ALS, Parkinsons and Multiple Sclerosis. And as a leader in women’s health, Hadassah has made significant gains in educating women on the risks of heart attacks, and how symptoms differ for women. For example, when a woman experiences pain in her stomach, she may brush it off and take an antacid instead of going to the hospital for potential treatment. 
    In addition to HMO, Hadassah supports Youth Aliyah—Youth Villages in Israel that nurture and educate thousands of children at risk. In our own country Hadassah has lobbied for gender equality in medical research and access to reproductive planning.
    As the foremost women’s Zionist Organization in the world, membership in Hadassah represents a love for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. For more information please visit https://www.hadassah.org/chapter/red-bank or contact Barbara Fleischer, bfleischer@verizon.net, (732) 842-4644.  

Temple Beth Ahm’s Social Action Committee Holds Its Annual Coat Drive 

    Temple Beth Ahm’s Social Action Committee has been organizing its annual coat drive through the One Warm Coat Organization since 2014, and it has been a resounding success. The drive benefits the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission in Asbury Park, NJ and has grown tremendously over the years. What started as a small local effort has now grown into a large community-wide event, with more than 1,000 coats being collected every year. Since 2014, the drive has collected over 10,000 coats, providing warmth and comfort to those in need.
    This wonderful achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many individuals and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to make the drive a success. The efforts have been led by a dedicated volunteer, Janet Kaplan, who has shown tremendous leadership and commitment to the project. Her unwavering dedication has inspired others to join in, making the drive a true community effort.
    The “One Warm Coat” drive is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to support a common cause. The drive has not only provided much-needed warmth to those in need, but it has also brought people together, fostering a sense of community and helping to build stronger relationships between individuals and organizations.
    In conclusion, the “One Warm Coat” drive at Temple Beth Ahm is a shining example of the positive impact that can be made when people come together to support a common cause. The temple is proud to be part of this wonderful effort and look forward to continued success in the years to come. For more information please visit https://www.templebethahm.org.


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