Hudson Jewish Community Forum


The mission of HudsonJewish is to nurture and support Jewish life in Hudson County, NJ, which has been rediscovered in the early 21st century by a new wave of Jewish arrivals to the area. Learn more about our local community and our innovative efforts to connect its diverse people and groups, by exploring this website. Join our Facebook Group by clicking here . Click here to see a great example of the revitalized Jewish community.

Welcome E-mail

Dear Friends:   

I am writing this to you while still feeling a sense of wonder and pride after our recent Stop The Sirens rally, held in Hudson County at United Synagogue of Hoboken, last week on July 23rd. The event was the brainchild of Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of Temple Beth Am of Bayonne, who just recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he witnessed the horrors being experienced by those living there as a result of missile attacks by Hamas. Upon his return from his trip overseas, he immediately sent out an email to HudsonJewish leadership, along with other areas Rabbis from different congregations in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, and North Bergen asking for our help in doing "something, anything" to address this issue. There was an instant response, with everyone contacted saying yes, and how can we help. Over the next 10 days we managed to put into place an incredible rally and prayer vigil, attended by over 250 people from all around the County and beyond, along with religious leaders of all faiths, and elected officials and dignitaries. Speeches were well presented and poignant, musical contributions were made by the USH choir, Rabbi Marsha Dubrow, and local entertainer Peri Smilow. Media coverage was vast, both before the rally and again after it was over. 

I want to publicly acknowledge and thank all of the leadership who took part in making this rally such an overwhelming success, and the first of its kind to be held in Hudson County. The success is measured by the amount of attendees, the involvement of interfaith clergy, media coverage, donations received by the Jewish Federation to be sent to Israel, as well as the impact that this had in bringing together what has previously been a rather fractured Jewish community in our area. This proved that we can and will work together, regardless of affiliation or non-affiliation, religious beliefs, nationality, or location, to work toward an important common goal. It was with enormous pride that I viewed all of those who gathered in USH's sanctuary that Wednesday evening, despite the short notice, the rain, and the intense heat, to show clearly that we stand with Israel, for Israel, and support Israel at this most difficult time. 

Please join me in making a donation to JFN's Stop the Sirens campaign, where monies collected are earmarked solely and specifically for aid to Israel and its citizens during this crisis. It is simple to make a donation, either via JFNA's website, at: , by texting 51818 subject Israel, or by mailing a check to JFNA, Att: Ed Finkel, 25 Broadway, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10004-1010. Please don't wait - give your support to this most critical cause TODAY. Thank you again to all those who helped plan, participated, and attended this event. We stand together in making publicly known our support for Israel and its residents.

As always, if we can be of assistance or if you have an idea for a program or event, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  . 


Michelle Levine, Chairperson 
Hudson Jewish Community Forum, A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation having 501(c)(3) status
"HudsonJewish: Connecting Our Community" 



Dr. Marsha Dubrow, Cantor and Spiritual Leader of Congregation B'nai Jacob of West Side Avenue in Jersey City, is now officially Rabbi Marsha Dubrow. Having received Rabbinic Ordination - Semicha - in mid-July from JSLI, the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, a non-denominational seminary headquartered in New York City, Rabbi Dubrow has now been bestowed with this important title. For the past nine years, Rabbi Dubrow has served B'nai Jacob as its Cantor, and for the past seven years as its sole Spiritual Leader. Since July, she has assumed the role of Rabbi formally with the official sanction of JSLI's Bet Din. 

An award-winning composer of sacred Jewish music, Rabbi Dubrow has been featured in the Boston Jewish Music Festival, as well as published and recorded by the Shalshelet Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music. She is the recipient of numerous composer grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. A Resident Scholar at the Center for Jewish Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, Rabbi Dubrow has authored numerous papers and articles in the field of Jewish Studies, and lectures frequently at academic institutions and synagogues. Her most recent article was published in late 2013 in YIVO's collection of essays from the Milstein Conference entitled, New York and the American Jewish Communal Experience. Additionally, she has presented many scholarly papers at the Association for Jewish Studies conferences in recent years. 

Rabbi Dubrow has been active in the Hudson Jewish community since arriving in 2005. She has been the sole pulpit leader of Congregation B'nai Jacob for the last seven years and will now continue to serve her congregation as she did previously, officiating at all life cycle events, leading services, reading torah, leading torah study, delivering sermons, and providing pastoral care. Since arriving at B'nai Jacob, Rabbi Dubrow introduced music on the bimah during Shabbat services and has herself composed much of the Friday night liturgy for the Friday Night Live! Musical monthly services at CBJ. Rabbi Dubrow holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, a M.A. from New York University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. A former Fellow at Harvard's Weatherhead Institute for International Affairs and Brandeis University's Summer Institute in Israel Studies, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations World Food Program and the International Women's Forum. 

The board and congregation of B'nai Jacob are delighted to continue their longstanding relationship with now Rabbi Dubrow as its Spiritual Leader. Her official Rabbinic Installation will take place on Sunday, September 14, at 2 PM. The Hudson Jewish community is invited to attend this simcha for the entire B'nai Jacob community which will be followed by a community celebration featuring Metropolitan Klezmer. Congregation B'nai Jacob is excited about this next chapter in its institutional history.


PJ Library of Hudson County presents their Pre-High Holiday Buzzzzz Off, a family event for all families raising Jewish children. This event will be held on Sunday, September 7 from 10am - 2pm at the Liberty Science Center (222 Jersey City Boulevard, J. City). 

Ongoing events from 10am-2pm will include apple & honey tasting station; make your own Shofar; decorate cards for seniors; LSC Beehavin' Show at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm & 3pm; LSC Bee exhibit included; sign up for PJ library, and refreshments available. Scheduled activities include; 10am Storytime; 10:30am Sing-a-long; 11am Shofar blowing; 11:30am LSC Bee Presentation, 12pm LSC Bee Presentation; 12:30pm Sing-a-long; 1pm Shofar blowing; 1:30pm storytime. 

PJ Library of Hudson County is a Jewish family engagement program providing free monthly Jewish books to families raising Jewish children ages 6 months to 8 years old. This program is appropriate for both current PJ families and those interested in signing up. $10 per family online in advance at  or $15 per family at the door. Full admission to Liberty Science Center after the program at reduced admission fee $7 adults, $5 children. Science Center parking: $7. Call 201-653-8666 for information. Join us and Bee Ready for a Sweet New Year! 

Hudson County PJ Library is funded by: PJ Library, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, HudsonJewish, Temple Beth-El of J. City, United Synagogue of Hoboken, United Jewish Appeal of Hoboken, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judiasm, and the Violet Zall Hordes Foundation.


Since July 7, Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists have fired more than 2,600 rockets on Israel, reaching deep within populated civilian centers. Three-quarter of Israelis -- five million Jews, Christians, Muslims and many others -- live under constant threat of rocket fire, no one is immune to the effects of being a nation at war. Every time a rocket is fired into Israel by Hamas terrorists, a siren blares. Many Israelis are given 15 seconds to make it to safety. As a result, Israelis live their lives between sirens, in and out of bomb shelters. Trauma care providers report a 300 percent increased need for services to help Israelis manage anxiety, fear and stress-especially among the most vulnerable. 

In a demonstration of support for Israel, approximately 250 members and friends of the Jewish community of Hudson County gathered at the United Synagogue of Hoboken ("USH") to join a national campaign to "Stop the Sirens" and help Israelis. "Stop the Sirens" is a community-wide effort responding to urgent needs in Israel, coordinated by Jewish Federations of North America ("JFNA") on behalf of Federations across North America; and in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities. The event attracted 6 local rabbis: Rabbi Jacob Benzaquen of Temple Emanu-El of Bayonne, Rabbi Marsha Dubrow of Congregation B'nai Jacob of Jersey City, Rabbi Debra Hachen of Temple Beth-El of Jersey City, Rabbi Shlomo Marks of Congregation Mount Sinai of Jersey City, Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of Temple Beth Am of Bayonne, and Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of United Synagogue of Hoboken, whose congregation served as host to the gathering. In a remarkable display of community support, they all stood together, expressing solidarity with Israel and pledging to do what they can to help. The evening was co-sponsored by numerous local Jewish organizations including HudsonJewish. Local entertainer Peri Smilow sang the national anthem. Framing the gathering in terms of international as well as local community solidarity, Rabbi Salkin observed: "This is a great show of solidarity at a time when our people needs it the most-when we have witnessed anti-Semitic attacks in Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, and most recently, in Calgary, where there was an attempted lynching of a pro-Israel activist. This evening is not only about Israel, though it is certainly about Israel. It is also about you, the Jewish community of Hudson County. By being here, we have shown ourselves what we are capable of doing together." 

Rabbi Marks, a London-born rabbi who lived with his family in Israel before immigrating to the United States, shared his very personal words as one who has lived through previous rocket attacks on Israel: "As an Anglo-Israeli my perspective on the sirens is a little different. Some of you may remember Gulf War One. Well, my family actually lived through it. At the time my wife and I were parents to children who were 10, 8, 4, and 2. I remember sitting in our salon at 2:35 in the morning when the first siren went off. We gathered up the children-the older ones got the smaller into a mask and a tent respectively-and we put on our gas masks and sat there for 4 hours. The hard part for me was knowing that anything but a full chemical warfare suit was all but useless if they dropped Sarin gas." 

Local elected officials also showed up-some of them to speak-in support of the Jewish community and of Israel. In the words of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, "The loss of life on all sides is tragic, but Israel has an obligation to defend her citizens just as our nation or any other nation would do. I stand in solidarity with Israel during this difficult time." Other elected officials in attendance included Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, and New Jersey State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who delivered a strong statement in support of Israel's right to defend itself. Statements of support were also read on behalf of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, United States Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Bill Pascrell. 

Perhaps the most moving presence at the synagogue was that of Father George Greiss, an Egyptian Coptic priest from Saint Abanoub and Saint Antonius Church in Bayonne. Father Greiss, whose own Christian community has recently been subject to oppression in Egypt, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the many rabbis in attendance, as he expressed hope that peace would soon prevail in the Middle East: "I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today re-affirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century," Father Griess said. Andrew Gross, Advisor to the Israel Consulate General in New York, spoke on behalf of the State of Israel, addressing such themes as the country's right to defend all of its citizens-Jewish, Muslim, and Christian alike-from Hamas's rocket attacks and cross-border "terror tunnels." 

Summarizing the proceedings afterward, Rabbi Dubrow, who supplied musical accompaniment during the rally, placed the event in a broader context: "People in Hudson County and throughout the world of all Abrahamic faiths must pray for a cessation of the bloodshed and a lasting peace. Our Stop the Sirens Rally, attended by more than 250 Hudson County citizens, including numerous municipal, county and state elected officials, as well as Jewish and non-Jewish clergy alike, attests to the unified voice with which we speak in support of humanitarian solutions and an end to Hamas' reign of terror." 

Contributions to JFNA's dedicated "Stop the Sirens" campaign can be made on the JFNA website, at: , by texting 51818 subject Israel, or by mailing a check to JFNA, Att: Ed Finkel, 25 Broadway, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10004-1010. 


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