Hudson Jewish Community Forum

Hanukah on the Hudson - Honorees from Eight (!) Synagogues Print E-mail
Written by HudsonJewish   
HUDSON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, December 11, 2007:  The Bayonne Jewish Community Center, in conjunction with the Hudson Jewish Community Forum (“HudsonJewish”), proudly announces the honorees for this year’s “Hanukah on the Hudson – A Celebration of Lights, Latkes and Live Music.”  The event is set for Tuesday, December 11, 2007, starting with a children’s program at 6PM.  The adult/family program will begin at 7PM, with candle lighting at 7:30PM sharp.  Rabbi Gordon Gladstone of Temple Beth Am of Bayonne will officiate, assisted by honorees from the following eight local synagogues:

1.  Temple Beth El of North Bergen:  David Kronick.  Former New Jersey State Assemblyman and long-time community activist in North Hudson.  Founder of the North Hudson Friendship Council and Jewish War Veteran.

2.  United Synagogue of Hoboken:  Marilyn Freiser.  Former synagogue president, choir member, leader of Friends of the Hoboken Public Library and teacher at the USH kindergarten for the past two decades.  Active member of United Synagogue of Hoboken since the 1970s, when she and husband Joel were among the first “newcomers” at the vanguard of Hoboken’s Jewish revival.

3.  Congregation Mount Sinai of Jersey City Heights:  Ann and Mordechai (“Muttsie”) Blaustein.  Married in 1951, Ann and Muttsie were once the youngest couple at Mount Sinai; today they are its senior members and pillars of the community.  An indefatigable “doer”, Ann has served as President of the Talmud Torah Women’s Auxiliary and assisted Jersey City immigrants from Russia, Argentina and Iran.

  Congregation B'nai Jacob of Jersey City:  Lenore Berkowitz, Pauline Danton, Minnie Natovitz.  Gracious and welcoming presences at B’nai Jacob, Lenore, Pauline and Minnie are mainstays of the synagogue and among its most active members.  They are recognized for their hard work, selfless efforts, and dedication to the future of Jewish life in Jersey City and beyond.

5.  Temple Beth-El (Jersey City):   Karen & Jay Edelman and their children Juliana and Adam.  Long-time members of the synagogue and recognized as representative of the future of Jewish life in Hudson County.

6.  Congregation Ohav Zedek (Bayonne):  Fay Berlin.  Member of the synagogue with her late husband, Arnold (who served as Treasurer).  Member of Hadassah and tireless volunteer whose assistance in the kitchen is always appreciated.  Fluent in Spanish, Russian and Hebrew, Fay teaches at Bayonne High School and has 9 grandchildren.

  Temple Emanu-el (Bayonne):  Francie & Gary Turner, and their children Brian & Rebecca.  Natives of Bayonne and West New York, respectively, Francie and Gary are rearing another generation to Jewish adulthood in Hudson County.  The family has been instrumental in encouraging community unity, including the all-community Tashlich ceremony on Rosh Hashana, and Shabbat Across America.

8.  Temple Beth Am (Bayonne):  Joyce Nestle.  Retired English teacher, 31-year member of the synagogue, and cantorial soloist, whose musical programs at the Bayonne JCC are enthusiastically recalled by many in the community.

Hanukah on the Hudson will feature traditional potato latkes and other light refreshments, music, socializing and tours of the JCC facility.  Instructor Miriam Handler will teach Israeli dance and Hoboken’s multi-cultural folk/rock band, “The Gordys” will perform Israeli and klezmer numbers.

“Hanukah on the Hudson is shaping up to be the largest community-wide local Jewish event in many decades,” says event organizer Michelle Levine, who serves on the Bayonne JCC’s Board of Directors as well as the HudsonJewish volunteer working group.  Explaining the impetus for the celebration, Ms. Levine continued, “The idea came up at a meeting of the Hudson Jewish Community Forum in October, when someone suggested that a Hanukah event would be a perfect occasion to introduce our region’s many Jewish ‘newcomers’ to the long-time residents who kept the Jewish flame alive here for so many years.  Honoring each of them and their synagogues with a candle at Hanukah is great way to say ‘thank you’ and ‘welcome’ at the same time.”

Dr. Neil Davis, a HudsonJewish volunteer from Jersey City, added:
  “Holding this event at the Bayonne JCC sends a message to everyone that whichever synagogue they may or may not attend, there is definitely a time and place when all can come together.”  Annette Hassell, a HudsonJewish volunteer from North Bergen, echoed the sentiment: “Hudson County is the smallest county in New Jersey, but our Jewish population is growing quickly.  It just plain makes sense for everyone to meet each other, and the best way to do that is to get everyone in the same room for a celebration.”

The Bayonne JCC is located at 1050 Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne and is easily accessed by Light Rail.  A free shuttle bus will run continuously between the JCC and the Light Rail station at 45th Street in Bayonne.  A bus will run from Temple Beth El of North Bergen.  (Call 201-868-4755 for details or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).  A bus will also run from United Synagogue of Hoboken, where Hebrew School classes will end early.  (Contact the synagogue office to confirm space:  201-659-4000).  Carpools are being formed at other local synagogues; a directory is available at

Advance registration is requested.  Call the JCC at 201‑436‑6900, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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