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  • May 05, 2019 11:18 AM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    Social Action Committee News

    Annette DeMarco, Chair

    Souper Bowl IV⎯WIN!

    We requested, you provided; 215 soup items for "Souper Bowl lV!!!  We totally surpassed our score of last year, which was 183.  The staff at CFA was thrilled with all the soup so thank you, thank you to everyone who got in the game!! BUT, the shelves at many  of the local food banks are low on stock, so our work is not yet done.  Please read on.

    March Mega Food Drive⎯Mitzvah Madness

    The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is sponsoring a March Mega Food Drive, involving many local synagogues.  Donations will be divided among various food banks in the area.  For Adas Emuno, this is our "Community Purim Basket Collection".  Please bring donations to the vestry room and leave in the decorated baskets.  The JFNNJ considers this part of their "March Mitzvah Madness".  The JFNNJ also says that there are 900,000 people in N.J. who rely on food banks.  So, I say, please, let's do this (and thank you).  If you're planning to attend the Purim celebration, that would be a great time to donate some food.

    Do You Knit or Crochet? New Social Action at Adas Emuno

    Would you like to do so for organizations in need?  If you answered "Yes" and "Yes", please join us on Monday, April 1st, at 7:30 in the social hall.  There is much to discuss, including thoughts regarding meetings and projects.  We already have a "beginning project" but please bring other ideas.  Can't be at the meeting?  Just send me an email (feel free to include suggestions) and I'll let you know what is decided.  A very special thank you to the Rabbi, who has offered to use his discretionary fund to pay for the wool needed for the projects.

    Volunteer opportunities: Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey Great Family Program! Sunday, March 31st, 1pm at the JFNNJ office, Paramus.  The food being collected by the Jewish Federation during the month of March needs to be sorted and organized.  Want to help?  Register at <>. 

    For Nature Lovers

    A different kind of a project you can do on your time.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering listing the monarch butterfly as an endangered species.  What can we do?  Plant orange milkweed, aka butterflyweed, aka butterfly milkweed, etc. Suggestion for our youth: make it a B'nai Mitzvah or community service project.  Do some research then ask neighbors, friends and family members if you can plant seeds in their yards.

    Family Promise⎯Hike or Bike

    Sunday, May 5 th⎯Walk for 3 miles or bike for 3 or 15 miles through Ridgewood.  This event supports the working, homeless families of Bergen County.  There are fun-filled family activities plus food/drinks for all.  Details will be forthcoming regarding events, registration and timing.  Please mark your calendars.  It's a day of fun teamed up with a good cause.

  • May 05, 2019 11:12 AM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    Religious School News

    Cantor Sandy Horowitz, Religious School Director

    What does your child like best about being at Religious School? Is it class debates, discussions, crafts activities? Holiday celebrations? Snack? Is it singing during Tefilah, or listening to the Rabbi’s stories? Is it simply being together with other Jewish kids? What about you as parents: what motivates you to ensure a Jewish education for your children?

    One thing that inspires my commitment to Jewish education is the experience of being together in the sanctuary for Tefilah on Sunday mornings. It isn’t just the music, although as a Cantor of COURSE I LOVE hearing the voices of all your children! Rather, it’s the very experience of being in community⎯students (and sometimes their parents), madrichim, teachers and clergy. Each person has their own unique contribution that makes us the community that we are.

    Our tradition holds high the value of community. One of the central moments for our biblical ancestors was when they stood at Mount Sinai, recently freed from slavery, and received the Ten Commandments, the fundamental laws of our tradition. In that moment, they were transformed from a group of separate individuals into “Am Israel”⎯the Jewish People.

    Today, on Sunday mornings, we get to come together as “Am Adas-Emuno-Religious-School”⎯how cool is that! Based on the laws of our people, we try to instill in our students the value of living an ethically driven life, treating each other with kindness and respect and helping those who are in need. We must never forget that just a few generations ago millions of lives were brutally lost simply for being Jewish; but we’ve survived, we’re still here, and we are doing our best to make sure that the next generation will carry on our peoplehood.

    Speaking of peoplehood, and survival (along with having a good time), the upcoming holidays of Purim and Passover will soon be upon us! Please let us know if you can help out either with the Purim Carnival or the school’s Passover celebration.

  • May 05, 2019 11:02 AM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    A Message from the President

    Michael Fishbein, President

    Most people who are acquainted with me know that I like to bore people by talking about my hobby⎯juggling. So now I am going to use this opportunity to link this passion with another I have⎯Judaism.

    There are many of our faith who juggle and quite a few have achieved legendary status in the juggling community. Israel itself is home to a great many extraordinary jugglers who can be seen on YouTube and other sites that feature videos of jugglers. Watch, for example, Ofek Snir of Israel who set a World Record by juggling 5 balls nonstop for 2 hours 41 minutes and 27 seconds! The annual Israeli Juggling Convention draws about 2,000 jugglers every year, making that gathering the second largest juggling festival in the world.

    A little research establishes that the link between juggling and Judaism goes back at least two thousand years and is actually noted several times in the Talmud. The earliest juggling mentioned in the Talmud speaks of the feats of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel (circa 10 BCE-70 CE), a great sage who was head of the Great Sanhedrin (court) in Jerusalem. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel was a direct descendant of King David and a great-grandchild of Rabbi Hillel. The legend is that, during the festival of Sukkot, Rabbi Shimon juggled as many as eight homemade torches in the courtyard of the Temple before thousands of spectators who had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. While thousands may have witnessed the Rabbi’s juggling, the account is likely exaggerated. Anthony Gatto, perhaps the greatest juggler in history, only managed to juggle seven torches.

    The Sukkot celebration continued even after the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. Levi bar Sissa (circa 150-220 CE), a sage who assisted in compiling the Mishna (the earliest major work codifying Jewish law), juggled eight knives before Sukkot celebrants. Levi bar Sissa later lived in Babylonia where he had a student, Shmuel bar Abba (180-275 CE), who became a great Talmudic scholar. Apparently, Levi and Shmuel had some spare time during which they had fun juggling together; Shmuel bar Abba reportedly could “manipulate” eight cups of wine without spilling a drop. (Shmuel had expertise in science and may actually have used his knowledge to produce this feat.)

    A little later, a Babylonian scholar, Abaye (280-339 CE), reportedly juggled eight eggs before his congregation. (Abaye was a successful farmer and must have also raised a lot of chickens!)

    The last mention of juggling in the Talmud involves a wedding at which the officiating rabbi juggled. He juggled three myrtle branches in fulfilling the mitzvah of “gladdening the bride and groom,” a juggling tradition⎯using modern props like balls, clubs, torches and knives⎯that continues at many orthodox weddings today.

    What we see from these examples of great Jewish sages and scholars is that fun, performance and commitment to a challenging art mixes well with study and teaching.

  • May 05, 2019 10:44 AM | Lance Strate (Administrator)


    Rabbi Barry Schwartz

    I am writing this brief column just days after the loss of my beloved father, Rudy Schwartz.

    As a rabbi I have witnessed the significance of family and community support so many times over the past thirty years, but this time it is personal.

    My father rallied rather miraculously to say goodbye to all his family. In turn, my sister and I, and all six of my father’s grandchildren participated in the funeral service that was such a tribute to his memory.

    The outpouring of support from extended family and from the community in Cherry Hill and in Leonia was gratifying and uplifting.

    We take for granted the importance of family at times of need (though sadly not all share in that blessing and we can often do better in sharing our gratitude for each other), but as a society today we often overlook the abiding contribution of community.

    There is an expression that I often share at our yizkor service that “shared joy is doubled; shared sadness is halved.” It may be nice to post simchas and sorrows on Facebook, but it is no substitute for the person-to-person celebrations and commemorations that happen in real community.

    The synagogue has been around for two thousand years of our history in every place where Jews have lived, and even in our day and age I can think of no better institution for the creation and sustenance of true community. My father, who was the child of penniless immigrants from Eastern Europe, and grew up during the Depression, always remembered his humble and challenging upbringing, and stood in endless gratitude for his family and community. Avi mori, my father and teacher, taught me well, and I echo his appreciation and thankfulness.

  • January 22, 2019 1:25 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    Social Action Committee News

    Annette DeMarco, Chair

    Mitzvah Mall–Held December 2nd

    The Adas Emuno Mitzvah Mall was a great success!  The Jewish Family and Children's Services of Northern New Jersey/Kosher Meals on Wheels, Tenafly Nature Center, Jewish Federation Emergency Relief Fund, and Hackensack Riverkeeper, were the four recipients of the funds raised.

    Mitzi (a barred owl) and her human Alex visited the Mitzvah Mall to teach us about the Tenafly Nature center. Rabbi Schwartz and Lauren Rowland grabbed a photo opportunity.

    Thank you to everyone who worked to put this program together. A special shout out to Lauren Rowland for lending her artistic talents to create our beautiful cards and charity inserts and to Sandy Zornek for never giving up on having the nature center bring our very special guest.  To our school staff and director, Cantor Horowitz, for relinquishing classroom time to attend this event and to everyone who shopped at the mall!  The major THANK YOU here goes to our students [and their parents] for the exuberance they showed throughout the presentation, their insightful questions their generosity in buying "gifts which keep on giving" in order to bring tikkun olam to the world.  Those whom you bought for received some very meaningful gifts.  And, todah rabah to Rabbi Schwartz for once again matching all mitzvah mall donations.  This is generous and appreciated by us and by the recipients!


    During the month of January, please bring soup of any brand and variety, any packaging and any size, to the vestry room. We collect through Super Bowl Sunday (February 3rd ). Donations will be delivered to the Center for Food Action in Englewood. It's Team A.E. vs. Team Hunger and we haven't lost a game, yet!  Thank you ahead of time for getting in the game and ensuring a win!

    Volunteer Opportunities:

    New Jersey Conservation Foundation
    Works to preserve/reverse wildlife decline by cleaning up/protecting habitats
    Contact Lauren Ramos: 908-234-1225 x 102 or lauren at

    Friendship Circle (for our teens)
    Opportunity to work with children with special needs in social, Judaic and educational experiences
    Orientation: Sunday, January 13th 10:30 AM [with adult]
    Contact: Zeesy Grossbaum at 201-262-7172 or Zeesy at
    Yeshivat Heatid, 1500 Queen Anne Rd., Teaneck

    Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy 2019!


    social action at

  • January 22, 2019 1:13 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    Religious School News

    Cantor Sandy Horowitz, Religious School Director

    As I write this column we’re still coming off of the excitement of December’s Chanukah Family Service, featuring the 5th Grade. The students did a great job as they not only led us in the regular Shabbat prayers and music and put on a Chanukah skit, they also lent their voices to some classic Chanukah songs.

    Family Services are always a lot of fun, and they are for all ages and all generations. We love seeing the sanctuary filled with parents and siblings, friends, board members, frequent Shabbat attendees and occasional visitors alike. It may be cold outside, but Shabbat warmth is a thing to be experienced, especially when we come together as a school and temple community. Save the date for the next Family Service led by the 4th graders on January 25.

    Meanwhile, soon we will also be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, known as the “New Year of the Trees”. Our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder is generally known as a congregational event – rather than a school event – but some of the families and children who have attended in the past will tell you that it’s a lot of fun for all ages. Taking place on January 18 this year, the seder (shorter than a Passover seder, I promise!) takes place in the social hall following a brief Shabbat service. There are special foods, special songs and special stories that pertain to this holiday, and you get to experience it all at the seder.

    Dates to note for January and February:

    Friday, January 18
    7:30 PM–Tu B’Shevat Seder

    Friday, January 25
    7:30 PM–Shabbat Family Service led by Grade 4

    Sunday, February 17

    Friday, February 22
    7:30 PM–Shabbat Family Service (theme to be announced)

  • January 22, 2019 1:06 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    A Message from the President

    Michael Fishbein, President

    As Rabbi Schwartz often explains, Adas Emuno is a house of worship, a house of learning and a house of gathering. But there is something special about Adas Emuno—it is also a house of joy. For members who limit their participation to the High Holy Days, Adas Emuno is a house of spiritual renewal and a house of remembrance. These devoted members take inspiration from the wisdom of Rabbi Schwartz reflected in his service, leadership and sermons; their spirits are uplifted by High Holy Day melodies chanted so beautifully by Cantor Horowitz. What they are missing, however, is the joyful occasions that are part of Adas Emuno’s year-round observances.

    Consider our annual Sukkot celebration that begins with “pizza in the hut” and continues with singing in a packed social hall. What a fun evening that is! Songs from Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones fill the room, brought together with the musical accompaniment of accomplished guitarist Peter Hays. Thank you Cantor Horowitz, Elka Oliver, Skyler Oliver, and Stella Borelli for sharing your lovely voices with us.

    I’m pretty sure everyone who attended that evening is looking forward to next year’s Sukkot celebration. What is more lively than our monthly Family Services? These Shabbat evenings feature one of our Religious School grades leading us during the service. It is a delight to see these young students demonstrate their knowledge and enthusiasm. The students, their teachers, and the Cantor always lead us in robust songs of Shabbat. The joy is real—and contagious.

    How about our Hanukkah party? It begins with the lighting of the menorah in front of our temple, a couple of songs and a joke or two courtesy of the Rabbi. Later, we kindle our 118-year-old menorah. This year, we feasted on delicious latkes made by several of our members and Debby Schwartz. Back by popular demand, Elana Fishbein led improv games with the participation of both young and old.

    On Friday, January 18, we will hold our Tu B’Shevat Seder, a fun occasion on which we celebrate the “New Year of Trees.” We eat various types of fruit and nuts, and drink both red and white wine (or grape juice)—all in a specific order. This seder is based on Kabbalistic ideas and was developed during the 16th century in what is now Safed, Israel.

    Coming up in March is the celebration of Purim, highlighted by our annual Purim Shpiel. Previous shpiels featured creative scripts and songs written by Lance Strate, our immediate past president. Who knows what the next shpiel will bring? I know one thing—it will be fun. Consider joining as a cast member and you, too, can become an instant Adas Emuno star.

    Now that the dark days of winter are here, it’s a good time to introduce extra light into every week. Come to Friday night Shabbat services; attend the Rabbi’s popular Saturday morning Torah study group; be inspired at Family Services; enjoy the Tu B’Shevat Seder; laugh and make noise during the Purim merriment. Don’t wait for the next High Holy Days to come to your house of worship, your house of learning, your house of gathering—and, yes, your house of joy.

  • January 22, 2019 12:46 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)


    Rabbi Barry Schwartz

    A striking tapestry of Jewish art now hangs in our social hall. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to go downstairs the next time you are at the Temple. It is unlike anything you have seen before.

    The tapestry was created from eleven hand embroidered Ethiopian Jewish panels. Nine of the panels depict scenes from the Bible. The other two depict an Ethiopian Jewish synagogue gathering and a celebration of the unique Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd.

    These embroideries, originally pillow covers, were made in the 1980’s when the Ethiopian Jewish community waited to make aliya to Israel. Many had already left their tiny villages in the Gondar province and were living in a compound in Addis Ababa awaiting their fate. The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry organized this project to help provide a means of support, and an expression of pride, under the most trying of conditions.

    The embroideries are astonishingly intricate (some 40,000 stiches per piece) and vividly colored. I collected several of them when they were first made and used them as pillows at my Pesach seder each year. Recently I acquired the remaining Bible scenes and had the idea to turn them all into a tapestry. Fortunately my wife Debby had the skill to turn vision into reality!

    The Jews of Ethiopia trace their origin all the way back to the union of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. They remained Jews through century after century of isolation and discrimination. They always dreamed of living in Israel. That dream was finally realized in two great airlifts, Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1991 that brought some 25,000 individuals to Israel under extraordinary circumstances. Today that community has grown to 140,000 souls, 50 percent under the age of 19.

    I also was a new immigrant to Israel in 1985 and had the opportunity to work with the newly arrived Jews of Ethiopia in Haifa, and to serve in the Israeli army with them. It is an experience I will never forget. So the story behind the tapestry is deeply personal for me even as it represents a shining moment in modern Jewish history.

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Student Cantor

Joseph Flaxman

Religious School Director

Annette De Marco

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