What's Happening in West Orange Synagogues?
This week's focus returns to Congregation Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob & David, located at 700 Pleasant Valley Way.
The past month has been an extremely busy one for all of our congregants, here at Congregation AABJ&D.
We have had many exciting and educational programs for each and every age group, ensuring that everyone had a fun-filled February.
This was a jam-packed month for our Youth Department. MishMash (Mishmar on Motzei Shabbat) is our parent-child learning that takes place on three Saturday evenings a month throughout the winter.
This past Motzei Shabbat, we held our last MishMash event for the season, where the children all enjoyed learning, raffles and special snacks. As always this program has been a huge success.
Our children also enjoyed baking Hamantaschen in preparation for Purim. On Sunday, Feb. 17 both the adults and the children enjoyed the Purim carnival. The rides, games, cotton candy and magic show were all a huge hit.
This past Motzei Shabbat, our Men’s Club hosted their Annual Wine Tasting Event. Our congregants were able to enjoy different wines from all over the world with delicious sushi. The Men’s Club is now running a pre-Pesach wine sale. For more information or to order see the Shul website.
Our Adult Education Department has been very busy planning successful, enjoyable and educational programs for us all.
This past Shabbat we had the pleasure of welcoming Scholar In Residence – Rabbi Dr. Harvey Belovski. We had the opportunity to hear Rabbi Belovski speak four times over Shabbat on the topics of “Clarity and Complexity in the Pursuit of G-d,” “The Pope and the Nishmat Prayer: 1st Century Intrigue," “Recovering a Censored Letter: Rabbinical Responses to the Balfour Declaration” and “Frankenstein, Choni HaMa'agel and the Power of Companionship.”
Rabbi Belovski is an Oxford, Gateshead and University of London educated communal rabbi with a reputation for consultative and decisive rabbinic leadership, traditional learning and academic scholarship. A creative and passionate educator, imbued with a love for Torah and tradition, with a persuasive vision for an authentic, tolerant, inclusive and welcoming contemporary Orthodoxy.
Rabbi of the Golders Green Synagogue in London, rabbinic mentor for Chaplaincy, research and teaching fellow and member of the advisory board at LSJS, principal and governor of Rimon Jewish Primary School, rav of Kisharon, rabbi of PaL, rosh of The Midrasha, member of Rabbinical Council of the U.S., relationship counselor, lecturer, writer and advisor to rabbis.
On Motzei Shabbat, Feb. 16, our shul held yet another successful Zayin Adar Melava Malka, where we commemorated the yarhzeit of Moshe Rabeinu, remembered our loved ones, whom we may have lost over the last year and pay tribute to our volunteers, who serve on the West Orange Chevra Kadisha. Chesed that one does for a niftar (deceased) is a Chesed Shel Emes. That's because one cannot expect reciprocation from the dead. The chesed is done with a whole heart and a pure mind without any expectations.
On the night of Zayin Adar, we paid tribute to those among us who dutifully and lovingly prepare our loved ones for burial, an act of true loving kindness.The tireless involvement of the Chevra Kadisha throughout the shiva process, from providing the mourners a simple meal upon their return from the cemetery, to organizing minyanim and seeing that their needs are met is a source of comfort and support to the mourners. We must thank all these special people and support their very important work.
We all enjoyed our guest speaker, Rabbi Dovid Cohen, MSC, senior Rabbi at the Young Israel of the West Side, NYC, speaking on "Moshe Rabeinu: The Self-Effacing and Unassuming Leader."
On Shabbat Zachor we hosted our annual Shabbat Shalem, Shabbat of Inclusion, to coincide with National Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. This year, the Leil Limud program featured five incredible speakers who focused on emotional pain and challenges, on how to help ourselves and help others feel better. Additionally, there were 2 PowerPoint presentations of Megillat Esther, in both our Sephardic Minyan and Beit Midrash Minyan.
As part of increasing our awareness of the challenges to people with hearing impairment, Rabbi Robert Grosberg spoke during Seudah Shlishit of the Halachot that affect people with hearing challenges and deafness.
Together on Tuesday, is successfully providing great programs for our seniors. The program meets every Tuesday. The programs are social, intellectual and educational. Knowledgeable speakers on Judaism, current events, politics and the arts are invited. One needn't be a member of the congregation in order to participate. For more information about our program or schedule or any other information contact Seniors Coordinator, Debbie Druce at (973) 736-1407 x240 or email her at email@example.com.
Over 20 members of our community joined the Rabbi in Washington D.C., on Monday, March 4, at an AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee) Conference. Over 13,000 people joined in on the conference because this is where pro-Israel activists influence policy, strengthen the bond between the United States and Israel, and ensure that Israel remains strong, vibrant and free.
If you ever find yourself with some free time and want to learn a little Torah, please feel free to listen to Rabbi Zwickler’s Web Dvar, which can be found on the homepage of our website, www.aabjd.org, just click on the WebDvar banner to access. Please feel free to browse our website for any upcoming events that may spark your interest.
We are all looking forward to our upcoming 47th Shul Dinner, on Saturday, March 9. Honorees: Shari & David Cherna Rabbi Alvin & Marylin Marcus Keter Shem Tov Award: Rose & Gary Scharlat, Young Leadership Award: Rachel & Joel Segal and Lifetime Achievement Award: Mickey Weiss.