Melysa Sperber (center) moderates a congressional briefing with survivors of human trafficking to discuss solutions Monday. Lawmakers and advocacy groups used the three-hour hearing to shine a spotlight on sex trafficking during major national and interna

Super Bowl XLVIII: Sex traffickers targeted in countdown to big game

NY Daily News (1/31/14)

WASHINGTON — Beyond the bright lights of this week’s Super Bowl parties in New York and New Jersey, sex trafficking will flourish in the shadows, Congress was told Monday.

“In less than a week, New Jersey will be hosting the Super Bowl, and along with welcoming enthusiastic fans, the state also is preparing for a likely influx of both domestic and international traffickers,” Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) said at a House hearing.


Faith communities must be more inclusive

Daily Record (1/23/14)

In February we celebrate the presidents that made our country great. One of our country’s crowning achievements is the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in public life.

Federal laws are in place that protect individuals with disabilities in schools, recreation, employment, and the general public. As a society, we are mandated to provide for the inalienable needs of individuals with disabilities, providing physical accommodations to allow access to public programs and places.

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Human trafficking issues come to forefront as Super Bowl nears

Daily Record (1/12/14)

ith three weeks to kickoff at Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, the voices of those who warn against human trafficking — the modern sex-slave trade — are growing in number and volume.

Everyone from bishops to teenagers are using their platforms to remind New Jerseyans that traffickers are found wherever tens of thousands of tourists assemble.

Holocaust survivor meets her liberator

Holocaust survivor meets her liberator after 68 years

Star-Ledger (12/30/13)

LIVINGSTON — It’s been almost 70 years, but Marsha Kreuzman still remembers the moment she laid outside the steps of a Nazi crematorium wishing she could die.

Kreuzman had already lost her mother, father and brother to the Holocaust, and death seemed inevitable, she said.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

Jewish groups, Jersey City Mayor Fulop slam NRA for Holocaust comments

Star-Ledger (12/17/13)

JERSEY CITY — Jewish groups and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop are firing back at the National Rifle Association over what they say were "offensive" and "disturbing" remarks made by a local NRA official last week.

Fulop recently announced he would ask gun manufacturers doing business with Jersey City to answer several questions before being considered for a city contract. The questions include manufacturers' policies on automatic weapons sales, resales and the use of their brands in video games.

Mountain Lakes League of Women Voters campaigning to abolish human trafficking

Mountain Lakes League of Women Voters campaigning to abolish human trafficking (12/11/13)

Melanie Gorelick, of the Community Relations Committee (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest, was the guest speaker at the Mountain Lakes League of Women Voters November meeting. She discussed the progress being made to abolish human trafficking in New Jersey and the coalition being built to abolish the practice of modern-day slavery.


Denville couple chairs ‘Super Sunday Phonathon’ to raise funds for needy families

The Citizen of Morris County (11/28/13)

DENVILLE TWP. – “Super Su nday,” the annual fundraising phonathon and day of community building in support of the United Jewish Appeal Campaign of Greater MetroWest NJ (UJA), will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. »more
Iran must not be trusted

Iran must not be trusted on nukes: Opinion

Star-Ledger (11/19/13)

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.

Super Sunday total at Wilf Campus

Super Sunday Phonathon at Wilf Jewish Community campus to raise funds for needy

Suburban News (11/17/13)

Super Sunday, the annual fundraising phonathon and day of community building in support of the United Jewish Appeal Campaign of Greater MetroWest NJ will take place on Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Wilf Jewish Community Campus in Scotch Plains and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. »more
Local families celebrated Hanukkah

Local Families Celebrated Hanukkah With J Connection (11/18/13)

Seventeen families gathered together with J Connection, Montclair Area at the Geyer Family YMCA on Sunday November 17  to celebrate Hanukkah!  Children and their parents played in the gym, lit the menorah and sang the blessings, listened to Hanukkah Stories and of course enjoyed yummy snacks! »more
Union Beach's Hard Comeback After Sandy

Union Beach's Hard Comeback After Sandy 

WNBC-TV (10/29/13)

The comeback trail for residents of Union Beach, New Jersey, where the waterfront was literally swept away by Hurricane Sandy, has been anything but easy. Brian Thompson reports. »more
Activists speak out on human trafficking

Activists speak out on human trafficking

Daily Record (10/27/13)

MORRISTOWN — Citizens gathered at the Green Sunday for Stand Against Human Trafficking, a nine-hour consciousness-raising event that lasted from 9:30 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. and featured numerous people — from clergy to students — speaking out on the practice of selling human beings to provide sex or labor. »more
Corey Booker, Steve Lonegan

Booker, Lonegan speak to Jewish voters even after lights go out (10/8/13)

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.

Union Beach home demolition: Contractors are volunteering to tear down Sandy-damaged houses in Union Beach for people who can’t afford the cost.

Volunteers answer Union Beach plea for Sandy demolitions

Asbury Park Press (10/4/13)

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.

Sister Pat Daly and Margot Morris with Catholics for Responsible Investment are part of a group that will visit local hotels prior to the Super Bowl to fight human trafficking as law enforcement expects an influx of prostitution.

Super Bowl 2014 pre-game: Nuns take aim at pimps, prostitution surrounding big night (10/1/13)

Beginning this week, a group of 200 volunteers, including 30 nuns, will be cold-calling or visiting 300 New Jersey hotels to talk about the Super Bowl’s dirty little secret: prostitution. »more

Making Lace and Money

Summer 2013

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.


Even for Sandy's 'heroes,' recovery is still uncertain in Union Beach (8/14/13)

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.


Jewish groups ramping up response to sex trafficking

JTA (8/12/13)

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.

Jake Karp

Local Resident Honored as 1,000th Recipient of a $1,000 'One Happy Camper' Grant (7/28/13)

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.

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Communities lose if donations decrease: Opinion

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.

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jewish summer camp - girl in kayak

MetroWest JCF Receives Record-breaking Jewish Camping Gift (7/4/13)

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.


18 Plagues: The First-Ever Shoah Seder

HuffPost Religion (5/22/13)

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.


Holocaust Seder will honor survivors and victims of all genocides (5/19/13)

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.


Local Synagogues Awarded Synagogue ABLE Challenge Grants (5/8/13)

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.


Summit resident writes and will lead first ever 'Shoah Seder' (5/7/13)

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.

human trafficking

Jewish Leaders to Combat Human Trafficking

Shalom Life (4/30/2013)

Jewish history and Jewish values obligate our community to join the fight against the brutal and epidemic crime of sex trafficking, according to organizers of a UJA-Federation of New York conference last week, including The Jewish Federations of North America National Campaign Chair Susan K. Stern. Trafficking is a contemporary form of slavery which requires moral outrage and a call to action, the organizers argued. »more
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This letter-to-the-editor by Federation Executive Vice President/CEO Max Kleinman appeared on page 12 of the March 27 edition of the Star Ledger.
Letter to Star-Ledger from Max Kleinman
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Community Ramping Up Anti-Slavery Activism

The New York Jewish Week (3/20/2013)

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.

westfield benefit concert

UJA benefit concert to honor Dr. Dorothy and Gerry Cantor of Westfield

Suburban News (3/22/2013)

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.


Union County Seniors Donate Retirement Time (3/18/2013)

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.


Madison officials, local agency, business owner arrange furniture donations for Sandy victims

Daily Record (1/28/2013)

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.

carmel fire

Carmel Fire in Israel Update

JTA (1/22/2013)

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.

First Human Trafficking Awareness Day Shines Spotlight on 'Modern Day Slavery' (1/11/2013)

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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