Home February 2024 JLife Extra- February 15, 2024

JLife Extra- February 15, 2024

The parents of a young woman murdered in the terrorist attacks of Oc.t 7 by Hamas will speak about their daughter on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m., at Marlboro Jewish Center.

Jacqui and Yaron Vital will talk about how their daughter, Adi Vital-Kaploun, managed to save her two small children, her husband and her father, who lived two houses away, when the terrorists attacked Kibbutz Holit in southern Israel.

The program will feature the parents speaking via Zoom from Israel with Rabbi Michael Pont conducting the interview from the sanctuary where a screen will be set up allowing those gathered to watch live as a community. A livestream will also be available for those who can’t attend.

Vital-Kaploun, a 33-year-old a dual Israeli-Canadian citizen, was sheltering in her home when terrorists entered and shot her dead in front her two sons, Negev, 4, and Eshel, 4 months. Before she died she was able to text her father and husband not to come home and somehow convinced the terrorists to take her sons to a neighbor’s house.

The livestream will be available by going to the synagogue’s website, mjcnj.com. For information, call (732) 536-2300.

The Jewish Music Forum will present a conversation with pioneering female cantor Susan Mandell on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Rutgers University’s  Kathleen W. Ludwig Global Village Learning Center in New Brunswick. Mandell served as cantor at Temple Emanu-El in Edison from 1964-1978, a time before women were formally ordained.

The program will also feature Cantor Kalix Jacobson of Temple Emanuel of South Hills in Pittsburgh and Gordon Dale, the Dr. Jack Gottlieb Scholar in Jewish Music Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. The Jewish Music Forum is a project of the American Society for Jewish Music. The program is being co-sponsored by the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, Douglass Residential College, the Department of Music and Mason Gross School of the Arts, all of Rutgers; and Temple Emanu-El.

Mandell is a graduate of Douglass College, where she majored in music education, and her foray into Jewish religious leadership was virtually unknown until it was discovered by Jacobson while doing research for her master’s degree thesis. Mandell was discovered by Rabbi Paul Levinson of the newly founded Temple Emanu-El at a performance at Rutgers and asked to audition for the cantorial role.

Mandell has long been active in the local Jewish community. Then a federation president, she oversaw the merger of the Jewish federations of Northern Middlesex County and Raritan Valley into the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, now the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. She has held many statewide and regional leadership positions in the Jewish community.

For more information, go to info@jewishmusicforum.org or (617) 838-7564.

Aleeza Ben Shalom, the star of the Netflix hit show, “Jewish Matchmaking,” will appear Saturday, March 2, at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park along with Rabbi Yisroel Bernath, known as “the love rabbi.” The program, How to Get Married and Stay Married, will begin at 8:30 p.m. A VIP cocktail reception with Ben Shalom will be held at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature her telling her personal story, questions from the audience and live matchmaking on stage.

Ben Shalom has her own matchmaking business operating in the United States and Israel, pairing up compatible couples in Jewish communities.

Bernath is the founder of JMatchmaking International, a network of Jewish dating sites. In addition to matchmaking and being a dating coach, he has authored three books and has many social media and podcast platforms.

The program is being co-sponsored by Ahavas Achim, Congregation Ohav Emeth in Highland Park and Congregation Ohr Torah in Edison. Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased at http://tinyurl.com/edisonhpsingles24. To sponsor the event and attend the VIP reception contact Elliot Frank at elliot.frank@hmhn.org or Jonathan Caplan at ccmi1@aol.com. For more information, contact susanfrank@gmail.com or lsbc1211@gmail.com.

When a fire erupted on the night of Feb. 6 that will likely shutter two beloved kosher restaurants in Highland Park for about six months, the community rallied around its owners. The fire at Jerusalem Pizza also caused extensive damage at adjacent China Lee, both owned by Shalom and Yardena Cohen. The blaze, to which multiple fire departments responded, was ruled not suspicious by authorities. Both restaurants are under the supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley. Jerusalem Pizza, the older of two establishments, has been a fixture in the borough for about 35 years and has catered many Jewish events in the area.

Now to keep the memories alive for the Cohens as they rebuild, community members have set up an e-mail, jerusalempizzamemories@gmail.com, allowing patrons to share their fond memories of the restaurants, along with words of encouragement, recognition and appreciation. The correspondence  will be compiled into a book  to be presented to the couple.


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