Friday, June 21, 2013


I know there was a meeting the other night I couldn't attend but I suppose this was what it was about. It's really exciting, even if it doesn't seem to be to anyone else but those of us in Glen Rock using the Jewish Center. We've been involved in the camp/preschool for exactly 2 years now and have seen that part of the center grow immensely in that short amount of time. We've had such a good experience with GRJC- with the staff of the nursery school, the program, and really, the community that we've become a part of there. It's a community feel I never had as a kid or growing up, even in another small Bergen County town. I think the difference was that there was no nursery school in our temple to draw you in for the long haul.

I've never been religious and am fairly certain I never will be. But I just love the sense of community, the coolness (word?) of all the other parents we've met and become friendly with, the nice kids E has become friends with, and that they not just allow, but encourage you, as a preschool family, to do other activities with the temple. So if you don't join, when your child ages out of preschool, I think you actually feel a real sense of loss. They don't need strong-arm tactics or hardcore rules to get you to join. They let you become part of the family, so to speak so that you WANT to continue being a part of that.

As a kid going to synagogue wasn't "fun". I remember it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Services were very serious, even the ones where kids were there. I have a short attention span as it is. Not being religious, the idea of sitting for any service makes my foot twitch like mad. But we went to the Saturday night Purim service this year. It was packed with parents and kids. On Saturday night! And while it IS a Conservative temple, it's so not what I remembered "Conservative" being like. As the Rabbi was doing the Purim story with his own words to the tune of "Call Me Maybe", I looked around and I was just so impressed. I was impressed that every person there looked like they really wanted to be there. I don't recall ever having that feeling in religious services. And yes, Purim is more of a "fun" holiday but even still. Most people would rather be doing something else on Saturday evening.

So, I'm not surprised that GRJC is trying to do their best to expand. If you're going to be part of a religious house of worship, I think the word-of-mouth is that it is a very cool synagogue for families. It's a very young congregation, lots of children, and Rabbi Tow & his wife, also a Rabbi (Rabbi Rachel Schwartz) are just very cool, down to earth people. She's come into our store a few times and I just really like her.

Anyway- this is the email I just got so I'm passing it on:

Glen Rock Jewish Center Announcement
                The Future Begins Today!               
To: All in our Glen Rock Jewish Center Family:
The Executive Board of the Glen Rock Jewish Center is happy to report to you that his week we have taken a monumental step in planning for the future of the Glen Rock Jewish Center. We have agreed in principle on the purchase of the property next door to the Synagogue-664 Harristown Road. 
We are immediately forming a committee to begin the process of raising funds, for both the short term goal of defraying acquisition costs and the long term goal of creating additional facilities for our future needs.   Our first meeting will be this Monday, June 24 at 8pm in the Glen Rock Jewish Center Social Hall. All in the GRJC family, including members, nursery school families, and members of our Moving On group are welcome to join this committee.
Shortly after this meeting, we will begin reaching out for the financial support of all in our GRJC family, as well as others who have an interest in strengthening our Jewish community.
This is an exciting time for our synagogue... our membership is increasing; our nursery school is one of the most successful programs in our area,  with attendance at capacity, and a waiting list of additional prospective families. Our religious school is thriving at a time when we have seen neighboring schools face difficulties with enrollment.  With future expansion, we hope to provide the programs and services that will continue to attract more families to our congregation.  We have already heard from a number families who are excited about this expansion and who have pledged their financial support to this venture.  
We hope to see many of you on Monday, and that you will make a financial commitment to help  achieve our goals.
We look forward to working together towards a bright future for our families!!

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