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254 Broad Avenue Leonia, NJ 07605 201.592.1712

  • August 17, 2023 8:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aug. 17, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      It’s almost as if the Torah portion this week was written for what is happening here and in Israel right now.

      Two classic teachings open the portion: the first on the need for an independent and impartial judiciary; the second on how even the king must obey the law!

       We'll explore these teachings at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

       And sincere thanks to all those who organized and who attended our annual Gathering in the Garden last Sunday. What a great get-together!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • August 10, 2023 12:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aug. 10, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      We've been so blessed to have student cantor Iris Karlin back for our summer services.
      Alas, our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) will be her last, and we will miss her.
      Fortunately student cantor Joe Flaxman will return on the 25th.
      Whenever we travel we have unexpected encounters, often fleeting but memorable.
       My last trip was no exception, be they of the human or animal kind.
       Since the Torah portion mentions all kinds of animals, especially birds, I'll describe three avian encounters among others.

        Another rite of summer takes place this Sunday, at our annual Gathering in the Garden (4:00 PM).
        I've been told that there will hor d'oeuvres from Hummus which case we are in for a true Middle Eastern treat. 
         Besides other fun activities, there will be a dunking to benefit the ALS foundation, and yes, your rabbi has again volunteered to go under!
         And here's another challenge: I will donate $50 to the ALS Foundation to anyone who can beat me in a game of table tennis (ping-pong)! The table is already set up in the social hall.
        So bring the family and friends and any and all prospective members you know!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • August 03, 2023 8:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aug. 3, 2023

    Dear Friends,
       Whenever we are outdoors we are surrounded by the loveliness of nature, but also exposed to the vagaries of the weather. 
       We've heard so much this summer about floods, fires, and other weather extremes, made worse by humanly induced climate change.
       A chapter from our Torah portion brings a provocative perspective on all this, which we will explore at our third and final Shabbat Evening Service (6:00 PM) on the patio.
       Please feel free to bring your own picnic dinner for after the service (we provide drinks and desserts). 

       We will also enjoy our outdoors at our annual Gathering in the Garden, on Sunday the 13th (4:00 PM).  
       Why not plan to attend with a friend, who might be a potential member, or just for the fun of it.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz

    If the service is moved to the sanctuary it will be livestreamed.
  • July 27, 2023 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    July 27, 2023

    Dear Friends,
       Much of Deuteronomy recounts the previous history of the Israelites in their eventful forty years journey from Egypt, via Sinai, to Israel.
       This week's Torah portion contains a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and Lance Strate will reflect on the "Big Ten" , when he leads our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) with student cantor Iris Karlin.

       We also note that today is Tisha B' Av,  a sad day in Jewish history, when according to rabbinic tradition, a series of calamities befell the Jewish people, from the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE, the second Temple in 70 CE, to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. For this reason some Jews fast a full or half day on the 9th of Av, and selections from the mournful book of Lamentations are read. The newly renovated Holocaust Center at Teaneck High School is open today from 1-3 for special visits.
       A reminder that next week (Aug. 4) is our third and final outdoor patio service (6:00 PM), and you are invited to bring a picnic dinner afterwards.
        Attention: Weed pickers needed! Weeds are growing in the cracks between the bricks on our patio. Do a mitzvah and pick a weed! Anytime before the 4th, bring a knee pad, and thanks!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • July 20, 2023 8:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    July 20, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      Even with all the protests about judicial reform and democracy, a recent article entitled "Israel's Unfinished Exodus" created a stir about another challenge in Israel that is not receiving as much attention as it should.
      What is the subject, and why is it of extra significance to me?
      I'll explain at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM), with student cantor Iris Karlin.

       Our third outdoor patio service is Aug. 4. (6:00 PM); bring your own picnic for after the service.
        Our annual "Gathering in the Garden" takes place Sunday Aug. 13 (4:00 PM)- details to follow.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • July 13, 2023 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    July 13, 2023

    Dear Friends,
       The oldest term for the Jewish people is "Hebrew". 
        It has a most interesting origin, in part illuminated by the use of the word (as a verb) in this week's Torah portion.
        We'll explore a bit of the history of the term at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

         And even though it is not a Jewish holiday, I've been told that we will have some treats in honor of Bastille Day on Friday!

         Our outdoor patio service and picnic was a hit last week.
         We'll do it again once more this summer- mark your calendar for Aug. 4. (6:00 PM).
          And our annual "Gathering in the Garden" takes place Sunday Aug. 13 (4:00 PM)- details to follow.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • July 06, 2023 8:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    July 6, 2023

    Dear Friends,
         Welcome to our second outdoor Shabbat Evening patio service (6:00 PM).
         I'm excited that both student cantors Iris and Joe will be with us.
         And I'm proud to introduce my new book, published this week- Open Judaism: A Guide for Believers, Atheists and Agnostics. 
          Signed copies will be gifted to all who attend!
          It's also BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) following the service- with drinks and dessert provided.
          We hope to see you for singing and eating!

         It would be a shanda for you to miss our next Adas Emuno Book Club meeting on Monday (7:30 PM)- a painful family memoir entitled "Shanda" by acclaimed writer Letty Pogrebin. Conversely, it would be a mechaya for you to join us for this zoom event. 

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz

        PS-  In the event the weather does not cooperate our service will be held in the sanctuary (with livestream) and the picnic in our social hall.
  • June 30, 2023 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 29, 2022
    Dear Friends,
      As Pride Month draws to a close I was unexpectedly drawn into a gender related controversy in the Jewish community this week.
      I'll explain how the culture wars arrived at my doorstep even as I wrote about the subject at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).
      My article, in The Jewish Standard, can be found here:

      FYI- Next week (July 7) is our second outdoor patio service (6:00 PM).
      This especially festive gathering will feature both our student cantors and the launch my new book Open Judaism (signed copies will be gifted)!
       It's also BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) following the service- with drinks and dessert provided.

    Wishing you a meaningful Independence Day holiday.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz

  • June 22, 2023 8:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 22, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      How do you deal with someone you strongly disagree with?
      That is an ever relevant question in our personal and communal lives.
      The question arises in this week's Torah portion.
      The question is also being debated right now regarding how to relate to the new government in Israel.
       Specifically, should American Jewish communities be inviting or boycotting Israeli ministers they feel hold anti-democratic views.
        We'll look at both the Torah portion and the current debate at our Shabbat Evening Torah Service (7:30 PM).

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • June 15, 2023 8:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    June 15, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      I've just returned from visiting some of the great, ancient cities of the famous Silk Road in central Asia.
      Although you may never have heard of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Kiva- they are all UN world heritage sites and boast some of the finest Muslim architecture in the world.
      At the same time they have a fascinating Jewish history, though the Jewish communities there are all but gone. 
      I'll convey a few of the highlights of the trip, which also involved three days of hiking in the remote but stunning Fann Mountains of Tajikistan, at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

       Assuming our 14.5 hour flight back from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is on time, I hope to see you tonight at our Annual Meeting (7:00 PM). The year will be reviewed, a budget will be passed, and refreshments will be served!

       And happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz

Student Cantor

Joseph Flaxman

Religious School Director

Annette De Marco

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