Op-ed by Max Kleinman, Federation Executive Vice President/CEO
The Western world was euphoric after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich waving the treaty that secured “peace for our time.” The media frenzy and public exhilaration betrayed the fact that the treaty was a complete fraud.»more
The 50 or so people who turned up to hear the two major party U.S. Senate candidates this afternoon at the headquarters of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest New Jersey were literally in the dark.
Minutes before Republican Steve Lonegan showed up, a storm knocked out the building’s power. But the event went on, with Lonegan, and later Democrat Cory Booker, addressing the crowd without microphones and only a few halogen lamps running on auxiliary power.»more
The contractors and their workers rolled out of bed early and rolled into Union Beach with excavators in tow — big machines that crush and pick apart houses.
And they were doing it to be kind.
These contractors are volunteering their time and equipment to tear down Sandy-damaged houses for people who can’t afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to tear them down.»more
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Federation was looking for a way to assist residents living in northern Israel. The notion of collaboration with a non-Jewish population was raised and found intriguing. The Druze village of Hurfeish, now one of Federation’s seven partner communities in Israel, was considered a natural choice in light of the shared values and history that bind the Druze minority and the Jews in Israel.
Natalie Elgrabli, Federation’s Israel Center Associate, recently visited Hurfeish. Her experience is chronicled in the summer issue of Lilith Magazine.»more
UNION BEACH – A structure on fire. A building collapse. Another structure floating away.
These are some of the harrowing words Gigi Liaguno-Dorr recalled hearing on the police radio as she sat in Union Beach borough hall during Hurricane Sandy, waiting for the storm to pass so she could get down to the waterfront and assess the damage to her restaurant, Jakeabob’s Bay.»more
NEW YORK (JTA) — It started when she was 13.
“Sarah” became involved with a man 10 years her elder. He began setting her up with his friends for sex. She knew they would sometimes pay him, but she always thought she could trust him. He became her world.»more
Jake Karp of Livingston became the 1000th local recipient of a $1,000 One Happy Camper grant toward his first summer at Jewish overnight camp. One Happy Camper grants have been awarded since 2007 to new campers across the Greater MetroWest NJ Federation area (Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset counties) for more than 50 different Jewish overnight camps across North America. The grants, which are available again for Summer 2014, have been previously awarded to 49 campers from Westfield.»more
Federation worked with our partner agencies to make sure the public is aware of this urgent issue.
Read this op-ed which appears in the July 12 issue of the Star Ledger.
The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF), the planned giving and endowment arm of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, will house the largest endowed community-based Jewish camp program in North America, thanks to a $5 million gift and other support aimed at ensuring that generations of local children attend Jewish overnight camps.»more
Eighteen, or chai, the Hebrew word for 18, is a number that signifies life. Eighteen plagues will be recited, 18 drops of water spilled as part of the Shoah Seder, a ritual of remembrance and redemption.
Most people associate a seder with Passover, the holiday that commemorates the liberation and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in biblical times. More Jews celebrate Passover than any other Jewish holiday; it is increasingly being observed by Christians as well.»more
HANOVER — As the number of Holocaust survivors continues to dwindle, leaders in the Jewish community and their friends are looking for new ways to ensure the Nazi genocide during World War II is not forgotten.
One idea that has started catching on in the past year or two is the Holocaust Seder, a hands-on, participatory, round-the-table service inspired by the traditional Passover Seder.»more
Summit Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim in Cranford, and Temple Sholom in Scotch Plains, in collaboration with Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim and Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains, are four out of eight congregations across Essex, Morris, and Union counties that have been awarded Synagogue ABLE Challenge Grants by MetroWest ABLE to promote inclusion in synagogue life for individuals and families with special needs. The announcement was made by Mort Bunis of Livingston and Eta Levenson of West Orange, MetroWest ABLE chairs.»more
Whippany — Eighteen plagues will replace the usual ten. Water will be spilled because wine wasn’t available during the war. Bitter herbs will be eaten, symbolizing the grass people ate to survive. Milk and honey will represent redemption and the Promised Land.
The first ever Shoah (Holocaust) Seder will take place on Sunday, May 19, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany, 901 Rt. 10, Whippany. Inspired by the traditional Passover seder, the interfaith and intergenerational program is being sponsored by the Holocaust Council of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.»more
The international crusade to end slavery — whose best-known face is the trafficking of women in the forced-sex trade — has attracted in recent years a disproportionate number of Jewish organizations and individuals.
“Jewish people have been victims of violence throughout our history; we understand unfairness and injustice and intolerable treatment,” said Laurel Bellows, who as current president of the American Bar Association last year created an ABA Task Force on Human Trafficking. “I have made the fight to combat human traffick ing one of the key priorities,” said Bellows of her ABA presidency.
The audience will be treated to an eclectic mix of musical traditions when the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and David Krakauer, guest solo clarinetist, perform at the 16th Annual UJA Benefit Concert at 3 p.m., on Sunday, April 21, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. A community dessert reception will precede the concert at 2. This year’s honorees are dedicated UJA supporters Dr. Dorothy and Gerry Cantor of Westfield.more
Two Union County seniors are logging long hours at their advanced age to give back to their community.
Their names are Bill Goldfischer and Eddie Michaelis. They are 89 and 90 years old, respectively. Each weekday they put in hours in the kitchen at the YM-YWHA of Union County, which is a Jewish Community Center.more
EAST BRUNSWICK — The parking lots were so full Saturday at the Value City furniture store on Sixth Street in the township that when owner Simon Kaplan arrived, he had to park across the street.
But Kaplan didn’t mind. He was happy to see so many superstorm Sandy survivors at the store, choosing new furniture to replace items lost during the storm.
Kaplan’s donation of $78,000 worth of furniture, most of it clearance items from his stores, was the latest in a series of efforts spearheaded by the borough of Madison, partnering with the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, based in the Whippany section of Hanover.
In December 2010, 44 Israelis were killed, 5 million trees were consumed, and more than 15,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the wake of the devastating 86-hour fire that destroyed over 12,000 acres of Israel’s Carmel Forest.
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ (then UJC MetroWest and Jewish Federation of Central NJ), through the generosity of the community and together with its overseas partners — JDC and the Jewish Agency for Israel — helped to provide emergency shelter and support to the evacuees and trauma counseling for families who lost loved ones and homes in the fire, deployed local Emergency Response Teams, and worked with Israeli youth movements to open day camps for children and students evacuated from the imperiled area.
Two years later, as Tu B’Shevat (the Jewish New Year for Trees), the forest is being reborn. Read more in this JTA article.
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Senator Nellie Pou joined with the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking to host the first Human Trafficking Awareness Day Rally on the steps of the Statehouse [Friday].
“One of our best defenses against this scourge is awareness,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This trade thrives in the shadows, unbeknownst to many, in neighborhoods and businesses right in our own back yards. In addition to toughening our law enforcement approach, we need to educate everyone in order to help rescue the innocent victims of human trafficking, many of whom are women and children.''
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