Friday, September 9, 2011


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

From the desk of                    
 Rabbi Barry Schwartz


I am truly grateful to be with you as your new rabbi.

I am grateful to be in partnership with our new student cantor, Luke Hawley, with our veteran educator, Jennifer Goldstein, with our devoted board of trustees, and with all of you. Together we are engaged in the ongoing sacred task of creating kehillah k’dosha, holy community, or in the words of our 19th century founders, adas emuno, a congregation of faith.

At its best, a congregation represents “a family of families.” So by way of introduction in this first column, let me tell you a little bit about my family. Before doing so, however, let me add that I look forward to getting to know you and the hundred or so families that comprise our congregation. We are not large, and I hope there are opportunities to meet all of you during this coming year.

I grew up not that far from here, in the Hudson Valley community of Peekskill, NY. My wife Debby is from the mid-west (Sioux City, Iowa), but we met and married in Israel 30 years ago. Debby is an occupational therapist specializing in hand rehabilitation and travels around the world teaching therapists for Orfit Industries of Belgium. Our oldest son, Nadav, recently moved to Manhattan and works for Altfest Personal Wealth Management. Our daughter, Talia, is a speech pathologist in Philadelphia at Temple University Hospital. Our youngest, Noam, is a junior finance major at Rutgers. My parents, Barbara and Rudy, live in Cherry Hill, NJ and look forward, like my children, to being frequent visitors.

 In my continuing capacity as director of The Jewish Publication Society (the 120 year old publisher of Jewish classics),  I work the beginning of each week in Philadelphia and the balance from my new home in Leonia. We are already comfortably settled in on High Street and enjoying lovely walks through the neighborhoods of Leonia and hilly bicycle rides along the Hudson. Debby is already a regular swimmer and Israeli dancer at the JCC.

 I look forward to continuing the long journey of Congregation Adas Emuno together: as a community that is welcoming, inclusive, down-to-earth, haimish, spiritually audacious, intellectually searching, and committed to social justice.

From my family to yours, warm wishes for a new year of health, peace and all manner of blessings.

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