Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Garden of Zen

Here are some photos from the latest addition to our Adas Emuno Garden, a Zen Garden! Here are Michael Cohen and Rabbi Schwartz working on the garden, pictures courtesy of Michael Fishbein:

And here is the finished garden, pictures courtesy of Rabbi Schwartz:



The perfect setting for a moment of Zen, prayer, and meditation, or simply a bit of quiet relaxation!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sports Talk Sunday December 6th

Join us on Sunday, December 6th at 10AM in the Social Hall when the Congregation welcomes guest speaker, Dr. David Kristol, who will speak on “Jews in Sports.” 

Lite refreshments served

Sponsored by the Adult Education Committee

Friday, November 20, 2015

From the pages of Kadima, the Newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

Religious School News 


Cantor Sandy Horowitz

Religious School Director

As I write this, we just had our highly successful religious school fundraiser, “Treats and Treasures”—there was wonderful food and wine, a photo booth, cooking demo by Gibson Borelli, and many terrific gifts to bid on. But most of all was the atmosphere of camaraderie and enjoyment from the crowd of Adas Emuno members and friends, including religious school families as well as invited guests. This is what community is all about. Thank you to everyone who was involved in planning this terrific event!

In the meantime, religious school life is thriving. The first Tot Mitzvah program with Doris White was a great success. This year we have eight madrichim to assist the teachers in the classroom. Last month the Seventh Grade class helped to lead our first Family Service of the year, as they led prayers and spoke about endangered species as a reflection on the Noah story. With the new Family Service attendance policy in place, we were thrilled to see so many families of other grades in attendance! It made for a lively evening, followed the next morning by the Bar Mitzvah service of Cole Rosenthal
mazel tov Cole! We are all proud of you. Meanwhile, Confirmation class is also in full swing, as Rabbi Schwartz leads the class in ethics-related discussions of contemporary issues.

The school functions in large part due to the tireless efforts of our Religious School Committee, co-led by Elka Oliver and Michael Raskin with members Susan Grey, Marilyn Katz, Jody Priblo and Sandy Zornek. They handle a wide range of school-related matters from policy and planning to the most mundane and necessary tasks, including organizing parent volunteers and making sure there are snacks for the students each week. I could not do what I do without their help, advice and encouragement.

Dates to remember for November and December:

Saturday, November 7
Bar Mitzvah of Emery Jacobowitz

Friday, November 13
Family Service featuring the Sixth Grade

Sunday, November 29
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 10
7:30 PM
School Committee Meeting

Thursday, December 3
7:30 PM
New B’nai Mitzvah Parent Meeting For Sixth Grade Parents

Friday, December 11
Family Service featuring the Fifth Grade

Saturday, December 12
7:00 PM
Community Outdoor Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Party in the Social Hall

Sunday, December 27
Winter Break

Confirmation Class: Nov. 1, 8; Dec. 6, 20 

Tot Mitzvah: November 8 & December 6

Thursday, November 19, 2015

“Treats & Treasures” A Great Success!

From the pages of Kadima, the Newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

“Treats & Treasures” A Great Success! 

Our fall fundraiser to benefit the Religious School was attended by close to 100 people... it was all we hoped it would be.... and more! With the help of a hard-working core committee (Richard Alicchio, Virginia Gitter, Annette DeMarco, Jody Pugach, Sandy Zornek, Doris White, and Marilyn Katz), October 29th turned out to be a magical evening indeed! 

An extra thank you to Richard for proposing the idea in the first place and for his amazing efforts in spearheading the donations drive! The numbers are still being counted, but we are estimating that we raised close to $6000 for our Religious School!

We are most grateful to Modiani Kitchens in Englewood for donating their beautiful space for this event.

The wonderful array of silent auction items added greatly to the excitement of the evening. Congrats to all of our “winners” who left with some amazing goodies! And thank you to our members who donated goods and services and solicited donations from local vendors.

A delicious assortment of food was enjoyed by all (thank you to all who donated food and desserts and to Samantha Rosenbloom for her help at the food and beverage counter)... but of course the line really started at the working kitchen, where our own celebrity chef Gibson Borelli kept busy cooking up some mouth-watering chicken tacos. Thank you to Gibby for sharing his culinary talents with us... and to his family who donated the food and made sure he got there with all of his ingredients and equipment!

Scott Lawrence was a very popular guy as he presided over the wine & cheese pairings bar! A huge thank you to Scott for his generous donation of wines and to Zabars for the wonderful cheese selection! And to Susan Grey for all her help setting up and keeping things moving!

Thank you to Vince Priblo for donating and running the Pop-Up Photo Booth; to our in-house graphic designers, Michael Scowden and Lauren Rowland for creating the publicity materials and bid sheets; and to Cheryl Alicchio, Fanny Fishbein and others who helped set up and clean up! 

And what would an evening like this be without the presence of Earle Ziff, our master of ceremonies. Thank you Earle for doing what you do best! 

We are grateful to all who supported this event, both from within the Congregation and the community. Thank you to our School Director, Cantor Sandy Horowitz and to our school committee, Elka, Michael, Jody and Susan, for reaching out to our families, and to our board members who made calls and spread the word! Kudos to all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Garden Concert on a Blustery Day

September 20th turned out to be a blustery day, posing many challenges, but in no way deterring the Bergen County Chapter of the American Recorder Society from treating us to a concert in our garden once again treated (see last year"s post, Recorder Concert Coming Up!).

Here are some images from that windy but lovely autumn afternoon:

And that concludes our photo essay. We'll post more on the garden soon! 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Spirit of '76


From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

The Spirit of '76

I think just about all Americans know that the year 1492 holds special significance, as the year that Columbus “sailed the ocean blue” and arrived at the western hemisphere. We used to say he “discovered the new world,” but now we view the event from a less innocent and less positive perspective. Moreover, for the Jewish people, 1492 represents one of the greatest tragedies in our history, the year we were expelled from Spain.

But this isn’t about 1492. And there may be other years in American history that most of us recall, 1812 for example (because of the war named for it), maybe 1929 for the stock market crash that marked the beginning of the Depression, maybe 1941 for the attack on Pearl Harbor, maybe 1945 for the end of the Second World War.

v But the year that especially resonates for us as Americans is 1776. Even through the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, 1776 is year of our Declaration of Independence. That’s why we consider it the year that the United States of America was founded, never mind the fact that the Revolutionary War didn’t end until 1783, that the 13 states were considered individual sovereign entities in a loose confederation until the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, and arguably were not completely united until the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865.

But this isn’t about 1776. This is about a year on a slightly older calendar, the year 5776. That, of course, is the year that just began on Rosh Hashanah evening, this past September 13th. The year 5776 holds no special significance in Jewish tradition, of course. Unless we choose otherwise.

So let's choose otherwise. Let's make 5776 a year to remember. A year to look back on. A year that we can be proud of. Let's create the Spirit of 5776 here at Adas Emuno. And that means getting active, getting involved, participating. In our social action initiatives, our adult education programs, our religious school, our fundraising and fun-raising events. And what would the Spirit of 5776 be without including a measure of spirituality itself. On Shabbat, Friday evening services, Saturday morning Torah study, and our festival and holiday celebrations?

When we think of 1776, we think of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, in the words of Abraham Lincoln. And along similar lines, Congregation Adas Emuno has a government that is of our members, by our members, and for our members. You can embrace the Spirit of 5776 by getting involved in our shul's governance, by volunteering, by serving on committees, by stepping up and making yourselves available for temple leadership positions. In 1776, the Continental Congress announced our Declaration of Independence. In 5776, wouldn't it be fitting if Congregation Adas Emuno proclaimed our Declaration of Interdependence. If we acknowledged that we depend upon each other to form a Jewish community, to support each other as members of that community, to maintain our 4,000-year-old, ever-evolving tradition.

We can't do it alone. We can't be fully Jewish by ourselves. We can't survive in isolation. We need each other. We need to join together as a congregation.

Renewing our commitment to our synagogue, declaring our interdependence as a congregation, establishing the Spirit of 5776. Maybe it's a revolutionary notion? Maybe it's an idea whose time has come? Are you ready?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Social Action in Action

From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:


A Report from Annette DeMarco
Social Action Committee Chairperson


During the month of October, the Social Action Committee, along with the Religious School, collected school supplies for Mitzvah Day. Thank you to all of our congregants who made this a successful project! Special thanks to School Director, Cantor Sandy Horowitz, for reaching out to school families and to the parents who helped by transferring donations left at the school to the Social Hall.

We recently cooked for and served 110+ folks at the shelter in Hackensack. Volunteers cooked extraordinary amounts of delectable dishes and graciously served the hungry guests. (Many of congregants who helped out had also worked on the "Treats & Treasures" event just days earlier!) To all who cooked, served, shopped and/or schlepped, please know that your culinary skills were greatly appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed by those who partook of the meal, as those of us serving witnessed. Thanks so very, very much to Jody, Randi, Archer, Pearl, Ron, Virginia, Kim M., Claudine, Lauren, Doris, Carol, Sandy Z., Norman and Michael F. Special thanks and recognition go to Ethan Irby and Tate Irby as the "youngsters" on our team. You represented Adas Emuno, as well as yourselves, with a presence to be proud of. And to Marilyn, who set this up with Family Promise and responded to my emails and phone calls with a" contagious calm"; your work each year regarding this dinner has been and continues to be invaluable; a very special thanks!

Coming up: Winter Clothing Drive, December 20th-January 17th. All winter clothing in good condition, from infant sizes on up. To be donated to the thrift shop in Bergenfield, run by the Council of Jewish Women. Please leave donations in the back of the social hall. Thank you!

Food drive is ongoing. Please leave in vestry room. Shalom,


Social Action Chairperson   ­ acheryl21 at