Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Questions for the New Year


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

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Questions for the New Year

For students, teachers, and parents, September signals the start of a new school year. And for Jews all around the world, it is a reminder that our New Year is right around the corner (although this year a bit further down the bend than usual).

It's a busy time of year, the end of summer, the beginning of autumn, but then again, maybe it seems like we're busy all year around? That every day of the week is filled with activities? That we fill every moment of every day with some obligation or entertainment or distraction?

Do you feel saturated? Do you think you may be over-stimulated? And importantly, are you satisfied?

Do you allow yourself much time to let your mind wander? To daydream? To get lost in your thoughts? To just be alone with yourself? To meditate? And yes, to pray?

Do you find time to spend with others, with family, friends, community, without an agenda, without pressure to get something done or get somewhere on time, open-ended time just to relate to one another, engage in real conversation, heart to heart, or join together with others in ways that take you out of your routines and expectations?

What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is it that you really would like to accomplish? In the short term and the long term? Are you doing what you need to do to reach those goals? Or have you maybe attained them already, and just keep going anyway? What are your priorities? What should they be? What is it that really matters, in the end?

What is the legacy that you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered, by family, friends, and your community?

What does being Jewish mean to you? What did it mean to the generations that came before you? What will it mean to your children, and the generations to come? What would you want them to know and learn about our tradition? What kind of example are you setting for them?

What does Congregation Adas Emuno mean to you? What role does it play in your life? What role should it play in your life? What can you do to make more room in your life for all that our congregation has to offer, for spiritual communion, education, and social action?

How can we join together to make things better, for our congregation, our community, our world?

The answers to these questions will undoubtedly vary from one person to another. And they will also change over time. But what is most important is to ask the questions in the first place. Asking questions, what could be more Jewish than that?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

“Don’t Know Much About History”

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

From the desk of …                    
 Rabbi Barry Schwartz


Those are the opening words, of course, of the classic Sam Cooke song “Wonderful World”.

Cooke was writing a love song, and it’s a great one at that. In a love song, history is not so important. In a love song, one can crow about not knowing much else. Ignorance of the past is almost a badge of honor.

But in real life, history matters. Ignorance is not bliss. As George Santayana said famously, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”

The Torah is preoccupied with remembering history. Judaism certainly subscribes to the notion that to know where you are going you need to know where you have been. And not only are we commanded to know our history, but we are likewise directed to teach it to our children.

This year we will be devoting our Shabbat morning Torah study to history. Not ancient history, but the modern Jewish experience that has shaped who we are. Our year­long subject is entitled The History of Reform Judaism. We’ll begin with an introduction that looks at the profound impact of Spinoza,
Baruch Spinoza
Mendelssohn, and the French Revolution
Moses Mendelssohn
on the Jewish community. From there we will look at the fascinating rise of Reform Judaism in 19th century Germany. The second half of the year will chart the growth of Reform Judaism here in the United States.

What do we believe, and why? What events have shaped our community? What does it really mean to say we are American Reform Jews? I invite you to learn with me and with your fellow congregants and wrestle with these questions each Shabbat morning (10:00­-11:30 AM) beginning on Sept.10.

A number of special sessions (including a four session history of the Holocaust by a guest scholar) will take place, so a full schedule will be posted on our website.

Don’t know much about history? Here’s your chance to do something about it!

With warm wishes for a wonderful and knowledgeable New Year,

    Rabbi Barry Schwartz


Friday, September 9, 2016

September Social Action Update

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


A Report from Annette DeMarco
Social Action Committee Chairperson


Hello to All!

I would like to begin this "end of summer" column by sincerely thanking everyone who donated food for our "children friendly" food drive this summer. Two deliveries were made to the Center for Food Action in Englewood and judging by the many empty spaces on the shelves, donations were quickly put to good use! As in the past, we will be handing out grocery bags after Rosh Hashanah services with a list of items needed most by CFNA, to be delivered through the end of October.

And again from the Center for Food Action... they are sponsoring a program on September 11 (National Day of Service and Remembrance) where volunteers will pack weekend snack bags for children of low income families. This project is open to everyone; no age limitations. Please check the email you received from this congregation on July 31st. Or visit to register, and please indicate that you are with Congregation Adas Emuno!

Thinking ahead, acting now... Adas Emuno will once again cook/serve dinner at the shelter in Hackensack on Sunday, October 30th. Since this date comes just days after the Jewish holidays, preparations have already begun. The menu will be made up of meat loaf, mixed vegetables and potatoes. We begin setting up at 4:00 PM, then serve and clean up by 6:30. We can use lots of cooks, as we have been told to expect 150 people. If at all possible, please let me know if you will serve &/or cook by Monday, SEPTEMBER 26TH. Anyone 14 and over can serve. Please use the email at the end of this column. Many thanks!

A grape juice/challah delivery program will soon begin. Members who are home­bound will receive juice and challah for Shabbat, once a month.

In conjunction with the Religious School, we will be collecting school supplies from September 25th through October 25th for Mitzvah Day. Donations can be brought to the school or placed in the box at the back of the Social Hall. We will deliver them in time for Mitzvah Day, which is November 6th.

Stay tuned for some new, as well as some not so new, social action programs which have been planned for the coming months! And feel free to join us at our next meeting on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:30 PM.


Social Action Committee Chairperson

acheryl21 at

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Beginning of School Year Notes

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

Religious School News 


Cantor Sandy Horowitz

Religious School Director

At family services and bnei mitzvah ceremonies we sing, “Al shlosha devarim ha’olam omed: al haTorah, v’al ha’Avodah, v’al Gemilut Hasadim”–“The world stands on three things: Torah (learning), service (prayer), and acts of kindness.”

These three pillars of Jewish tradition represent our themes for the school year.

Learning: We strive to cultivate the mind through interactive learning, artistic expression, questioning, and discussion as students engage with learning about bible, history, holidays, traditions and more.

Prayer: Students learn to read, recite, chant and sing prayers in English and Hebrew, as they explore the ways in which prayer expresses our ancestors’ and our own deepest feelings and heartfelt gratitude.

Acts of Kindness: Along with learning to think and feel Jewishly, we also strive to “do Jewish” by cultivating a commitment to tikun olam–repairing the world
as students are encouraged to become more aware of how they can incorporate the values of kindness, fairness and compassion into their daily lives.

As we begin a new religious school year, I hope that we can inspire in our students an ever-growing spark of connection with Jewish tradition, which can continue throughout their lives.

Shana Tova! May we be blessed for a sweet new school year!



Thursday, September 8
7:30 PM School Committee Meeting

Sunday, September 11
9:00 AM First Day for Kindergarten through Grade 7
Parent program from 9-10:30

Sunday, September 18
First day of Confirmation Class

Friday, September 23
7:30PM Shabbat Family “Back-to- School” Service with make-your-own ice cream sundae oneg!

Sunday, October 2
No School in Session

Monday, October 3
2:00 PM Family/Children’s Service for Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, October 12
2:00 PM Family/Children’s Service for Yom Kippur

Thursday, October 13 
7:30 PM School Committee Meeting

Friday, October 14
7:30 PM Shabbat Family service with 7th Grade Class participation–all school students & families welcome!

Saturday, October 15
10:00 AM Bar Mitzvah of Hudson Borelli

Celebrate Sukkot & Simchat Torah!

Friday, October 21
7:30 PM Shabbat Service & Sing-Along in the Sukkah

Sunday, October 23
*Pre-K Sukkot program with the “big kids” (K-1)!
*School wide Sukkot program
*6:00 PM “Subs in the Sukkah”
*7:00 PM Erev Simchat Torah Service & Consecration of new Religious School students