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254 Broad Avenue Leonia, NJ 07605 201.592.1712

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  • June 13, 2024 9:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 13, 2024

    Dear Friends,
       This week we marked Shavuot, the culmination of our ancestors' journey from Egypt to Sinai; from liberation to revelation. 
         Yet we know that the journey is never complete when some are still not free; this is true right now when we were joyful and tearful at the release of four hostages while knowing that more than a hundred still suffer in captivity. 

        At our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30) we celebrate the culmination of another journey, as we bid farewell to Cantor Joe Flaxman. He will be joined by Cantor Iris Karlin. Together they made an indelible impression on our congregation over the last four years. We have been blessed by their presence and in turn wish them and their families only blessings in the next stage of their journeys.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • June 06, 2024 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 6, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      The first of our popular summer monthly outdoor patio services takes place tomorrow.
       Note that this Shabbat Evening Service begins at 6:00 PM.
       It's also Caring Community Shabbat, when we honor the work of the small committee behind the cards, holiday packages and visits that brighten our lives.
       We dedicate this service to the memory of Linda Kowalski, a beloved member of the committee who passed away last month and exemplified its highest ideals.
      (Note-This service is not livestreamed unless the weather moves us to the sanctuary).
         
        On Sunday Gesher Shalom invites us to a pre-Shavuot People of the Book program (2:00 PM). Participants are invited to a give a short (5 minute) talk on a favorite Jewish-themed book. Contact Doris White if you would like to present. You can also just listen...and a kosher ice cream truck will make an appearance!

        Social Action...Gesher Shalom and Adas Emuno will be holding a joint food drive this weekend.  Donations will be given to the food pantry of Jewish Family Services.  Please leave donations on the school porch. If you will be attending the Shavuot program, please bring your donation with you.

         Gesher's traditional Shavuot Morning Service(with yizkor) takes place on Thursday (10:30 AM). 

       We're changing the choice for our next book club meeting in July to And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer, which won a National Jewish Book Award.

         Reminder: Next week we bid a fond farewell to Cantors Joe Flaxman and Iris Karlin. The music will be special!

         Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that today is the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Of the 150,000+ allied soldiers who fought there, only 200 are still alive, and their average age is 100. We remember and honor their service and sacrifice.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • May 30, 2024 8:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 30, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      Why do many of us have such a negative feeling about the student protestors on our college campuses today?
      After all, didn't we support protests for civil rights, and against the Vietnam War, nuclear arms, and apartheid? 
      I'll delve into this troubling issue at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM)

       With the arrival of summer, ready for some summer reading?
       Here are the next three books that will be discussed at the the Adas Emuno Book Club meetings:
    Kantika by Elizabeth Grave (for July 8th), The Wolf Hunt by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (for September 9th),  Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk (for November 11th).

        And speaking of books, Gesher Shalom invites us to a pre-Shavuot People of the Book program at the Temple on Sunday, June 9 (2:00 PM). Participants are invited to a give a short (5 minute) talk on a favorite Jewish-themed book. Contact Doris White if you would like to present. You can also just listen...and a kosher ice cream truck will make an appearance!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • May 23, 2024 8:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 23, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      I was fortunate to join a special tour of The New York Times last week, and it was fascinating, including from a Jewish point of view.
      I'll share some of the experience at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM). 
      Of course, it is also Memorial Day Weekend, and we will pay tribute to those who have fallen in defense of our country.

       Torah study and religious school have now ended for the academic year, and we enter the quieter rhythm of summer. But keep in mind that our Shabbat evening services are year-round, and our partners Gesher Shalom offer a Shabbat morning service at 10:30 AM every week, that includes a kiddush luncheon afterwards.

       Also note that the first Shabbat evening of the summer months will be an early, outdoor service (6:00 PM) on our patio- those dates are June 7, July 5, and Aug. 2.
       And don't forget our farewell service to Cantor Joe on June 14.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • May 16, 2024 8:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 16, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      Kurt Roberg turns 100 today!
      Mazal tov to Kurt on this amazing feat.
      We will call Kurt up to the bimah tomorrow in honor of his milestone birthday.

       Owen Beckerman, Kale Dennis and Leo Avidon will celebrate their Confirmation, also tomorrow, at our Shabbat Evening Family Service (7:30 PM) 
       Mazal tov to Owen, Kale and Leo and their families!
       These graduating students will share their Confirmation essays, and the full class will help lead the service, with the Cantor, Adam Kohane and the Dennis family all adding to the uplifting music.

         Rachel Capote, Deb Fein, Dan Pasky, Lauren Roland, and Karen Sherwood will celebrate their adult b'nei mitzvah at our Shabbat Morning Service (10:00 AM).
         Mazal tov to the class and their families!
         They will read from the Torah and also share their B'nei Mitzvah essays.

          To cap off this remarkable weekend, our Religious School will end the academic year on Sunday, with games and picnic. Thank you to the partnership of students, parents, and teachers that once again has made for an eventful year.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • May 09, 2024 8:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 9, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      The fact that Israel is so beleaguered is all the more reason to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut and her 76th birthday. We will joyfully do so at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

       Our annual Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) comes to an end this week, as we offer concluding thoughts on our year-long survey of Jewish belief.

         Israel will also be celebrated at our Sunday Religious School when we recreate a "shuk (market) and students will be able to go on an Israeli shopping spree.

        On Monday (7:30 PM) the Adas Emuno Book Club discusses what I consider to be one of the great Jewish American classics: The Assistant by Bernard Malamud. (Ask Doris or Michael Fishbein for the Zoom link.)

         Next week is very special and here are several reminders:
         Our Shabbat Evening service will be led by the Confirmation class, and a music ensemble.
         Kurt Roberg will be called up for his 100th birthday!
         Our Shabbat morning service will be led by our five adult b'nei mitzvah!
         Religious School will conclude with outdoor games and a picnic.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • May 02, 2024 8:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 2, 2024

    Dear Friends,
       Soon after Pesach each year are two significant Jewish days not from the Torah but from our own day.
       The first is Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day.
       As the survivors themselves become fewer and fewer it is up to us to preserve their memory.
        We will do so at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) with music and remarks appropriate for this solemn time.

      The events of modern Jewish history have led some denominations to make changes to traditional Jewish prayer, which in turn has led to debate. We'll examine some of the innovations and ensuing arguments at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM).

      Saturday is also Leonia Day- we'll have a table at Wood Park (12-4) and will be happy to see you drop by. 

      On Sunday Joe Flaxman and Iris Karlin will be ordained as cantors at a ceremony at Temple Emanu-el in New York. Mazal tov to Joe and Iris on their richly deserved accomplishment! 

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • April 25, 2024 8:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apr. 25, 2024

    Dear Friends,
    Here are three nice ways to mark the end of Pesach:

    Poetry Shabbat-  Our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) will feature members of our Poetry Garden group interspersing some of their favorite poems throughout the service.

    Pesach Stories- Our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) will discuss the original account of the Exodus and other stories inspired by the holiday.

    Pesach Picnic- Join us on Sunday for an Earth Walk and Picnic (12:15 PM) at Overpeck Park, bringing your own lunch, with contributions to benefit Hackensack Riverkeepers. 

    Shabbat shalom and Hag Pesach Sameach,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • April 18, 2024 1:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    April 18, 2024

       This Pesach will be different- it is an excruciating time for Israel, and celebrating the Festival of Freedom when so many are still being held hostage and Israel is still under attack is so challenging but necessary.
      
        Come in-person on this Sabbath to once again show your solidarity with Israel, as we all sing Am Yisrael Chai and Hatikvah. 
        
        The Sabbath before Pesach is traditionally known as Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath.
         Our K-1 class will help us enter the holiday spirit  and make it great at our Shabbat Evening Family Service (7:00* PM- note the earlier start time to accommodate our youngest students). 
       
         Our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) will continue our discussion of prayer, including some thought provoking examples from new Haggadot.
         Yet at the same time we always find a way to talk about important current events....

         On Sunday both our Tot Passover (9:30 AM) and Religious School Pesach Program will also enhance our celebration.

          Wherever and whenever you are gathering, we wish you a joyful and meaningful holiday, even as we pray for Israel, her soldiers, citizens and captives.

    Shabbat shalom and Hag Pesach Sameach,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • April 11, 2024 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apr. 11, 2024

    Dear Friends,
      Evidently our student cantor is a fan of "Curb Your Enthusiasm", because he is going to speak at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) on "Larry David as a modern day Talmudist". 
       Who knew?
       The show, by the way, ended last Sunday, after 12 seasons spread over 25 years. 

        Joe is also going to lead our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) by examining the Haggadah with an eye toward "making a meaningful, and short, Seder".

        Thank you to Joe in advance for covering for me; I'll be leading a scholar-in-residence weekend in Las Vegas... at a congregation, not a casino!
         
    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
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Student Cantor

Joseph Flaxman

Religious School Director

Annette De Marco

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