Friday, November 18, 2016

An Ecumenical Thanksgiving

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

From the desk of …                    
 Rabbi Barry Schwartz


When I recently asked members of my Confirmation class to name their most important holiday, several mentioned Thanksgiving “because the whole family gets together.”

Upon discussion, it emerged that for many of our interfaith families, it was the only time that Jewish and non-Jewish members of the extended family gathered together.

Indeed, Thanksgiving has always had an intriguing ecumenical appeal. As a civil holiday for all Americans, it has been a natural gathering time not only for families, but community. Such is the case right here in Leonia. Our annual Community Thanksgiving Service represents the sole meeting of our various houses of worship.

While I look forward to participating in this ecumenical event each year, I have to admit to being a bit dispirited by the diminishing support for this celebration. Part of this has to do with the decline of the faith community in our town. As some of you know, the Lutheran Church in Leonia has closed its doors; its lovely building was recently razed, and my colleague Rev. Peggy no longer serves its pulpit. Over at the Catholic Church, dear Sister Pat, who kept the ecumenical flame glowing there, has retired. Rev. Deborah, of the Presbyterian Church, who kept us Leonia clergy organized, has also retired.

But Pastor David of the Methodist Church, Rev. Dean of the Episcopal Church and I are committed to maintaining our interfaith collegiality. And we are happy to welcome interim pastor Leah of the Presbyterian Church as a new colleague. In fact, we have asked her to preach at this year’s Thanksgiving service, which we will host on Monday, Nov. 21 (8:00pm). Cantor Horowitz and talented vocalists from all our participating congregations will add to the celebration.

I invite you to join us not only to show that we are good hosts, but also to show your support for the ecumenical spirit this service represents. While there are some other occasions when we may get together with other residents of our town, they are purely civil events. Thanksgiving represents a true ecumenism of shared worship and fellowship. And for that I think we should be truly thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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!

On Sunday, Oct. 30th, volunteers from Adas Emuno served dinner to 150 people at the shelter in Hackensack. A most sincere "thank you" to all who helped with the planning and shopping as well as to those who gave up time on a Sunday to cook, deliver, set up, serve and clean up: Andrea Feinstein, Julie Segal, Judy Aronson, Kerri Klein, Amy Chartoff, Lisa Klein, Randi and Sean Irby, Lauren Rowland and Aaron Fischer, Pearl and Ron Waxman, Cheryl and Richard Alicchio, Virginia Gitter, Carol and Jerry Bodian, Fanny and Michael Fishbein, Sandy Zornek, Jody Pugach, Rachel Capote and Norm Rosen. A very special thank you to Marilyn Katz for coordinating with "Family Promise" and for being involved throughout the process.

Our High Holy Days food collection brought in approximately 50 bags of groceries. What a wonderful showing by our very generous congregants! Thank you also to Norm Rosen for picking up the bags [donated by Shop Rite] and for his help in attaching the list of needed grocery items. Please remember also that we will collect food items when we host the Leonia Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on November 21st.

Monday, November 6th is Mitzvah Day. This committee, along with the religious school, collected school supplies to be given to children in need.

New Program Coming to Adas Emuno

On Sunday, December 11th, tables will be set up in the social hall, each one representing an organization working to "heal" the world. For each donation of $1.80 and up (your discretion), you will receive a blank greeting card (beautifully designed by Lauren Rowland) along with a small, business-sized card, stating that a donation was made (in honor of whomever your recipient is) and to which organization. These make very special gifts from a child to a family member, for the person who has everything, as part of a larger gift, etc. It's a win, win for everyone! Also, the program is taking place just before holiday time. Please plan to shop with us. Students from our religious school will be attending at 11:30. They will be met with a short presentation. Parents are asked to join them. We hope that YOU will join us, too. Please stop by between 12 noon to 1pm (ish). Thanksgiving Day is oh so close. May yours be filled with loved ones and lots of stuffing!


Social Action Committee Chairperson

acheryl21 at

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What’s New at Adas Emuno Religious School?

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

Religious School News 


Cantor Sandy Horowitz

Religious School Director

So what’s new at Adas Emuno Religious School?

First and foremost, this fall we welcome three new students to the Adas Emuno Religious School family: Naomi Slater is our newest Kindergarten student; Vera Lin-Alter is in first grade, and Shane Feinstein has joined the second grade. We’re so happy to have you with us!

This year I began implementing a series of regular emails to the school families, so that almost every week you can learn something about what is going on at the school
—whether it relates to school activities, to our various social action efforts, or as a way of asking for your help with a particular effort or project.

Another new effort is taking place in the classrooms. This year, each grade will be helping to lead a special holiday program. For Sukkot, our fifth graders worked with both their Hebrew and Judaics teachers as they prepared a presentation for the other grades: they built model sukkahs, learned the special Sukkot blessings as well as how to shake the lulav, and prepared trivia questions relating to the holiday. Then on the Sunday of Sukkot they visited each of the other classrooms and shared what they had learned. A good time was had by all! Next up: the seventh grade will be learning and then teaching about Thanksgiving as it relates to the Jewish concept of gratitude, and our K-1 class will help lead the upcoming school Chanukah program.


Thursday, November 10
7:30 PM School Committee Meeting

Friday, November 18
7:30PM Shabbat Family Service led by Sixth Grade

Sunday, November 27
No School–Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 1
7:30 PM B’nai Mitzvah Parent Meeting

Saturday, December 3
7:00 PM Talent Show!

Thursday, December 8
7:30 PM School Committee Meeting

Sunday, December 11
“Mitzvah Mall”

Friday, December 16
Shabbat Family Service led by the Fifth Grade

Saturday, December 24
7:00 PM Community Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Party at Adas Emuno

Sunday, December 25
No School–Winter Recess

Confirmation Class meetings: November 13, 20, December 4, 11

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Winter is Coming

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

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Winter is Coming

If you're familiar with the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, then you no doubt know that the phrase, winter is coming, is the motto of the much-beleaguered Stark family. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, I imagine that you still understand the sense of that sentence. Winter is coming, so we better prepare for it, and we better get ready to hunker down.

When the weather report says a blizzard or hurricane is coming, many of us go to the supermarket to stock up on food and water, just in case. Maybe you make sure you have candles and flashlights ready, in case the power goes out. Some of you may have even bought generators, just in case there's no electricity.

We hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Just in case. The old Jewish saying, always keep one bag packed, may not seem all that relevant for us, living in 21st century America, but over the past two decades we have also borne witness to events that have been entirely unanticipated and without precedent. The future is always unpredictable, but maybe now a little bit more than before?

Maybe you saw the 2005 movie, March of the Penguins? What is striking about the documentary is the way in which

they huddle together to survive temperatures close to 80° below zero, protecting their eggs, and taking turns bearing the onslaught of the cold. In the Antarctic, winter is always coming.

The lesson is one of cooperation. Everyone contributes to the survival of the group. Strength comes from community.

We don't know whether the next winter will be a mild one, or one that is exceptionally cold, or how much snow will accumulate. But we know that winter is coming, and we know that some winters are worse than others.

This may all sound uncharacteristically gloomy. Usually I go on about all the wonderful things that Congregation Adas Emuno has to offer, all of our achievements, triumphs, and celebrations. And indeed these remain truly significant reasons why our congregation deserves your support. Let us count our blessings, and show our gratitude in any and every way possible.

But let us never forget that, in addition to all of the good reasons for us to choose to be affiliated with a shul, to be members of Adas Emuno, and to contribute to its survival and success, there are also reasons why we need our congregation. There are reasons why we need the warmth and the light that only Adas Emuno can provide for us. Because, sooner or later, winter is coming.