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1990 thru 1992 Jerry Ostrov, President Not Rated Yet


Jerry Ostrov, President 1990-1992
"My recollections as Past President revolve around the building of the Activity Center [Chernow Activities Pavilion]. I remember it first as a dream --- the "strategic plan" to address the needs of all the area of the EBJC as well as our community obligations. I remember it slowly becoming a reality. The dis­appointments in our outreach to other Jewish institutions to join us in our construction. The initial impossibilities of raising the money. The negotiations within the EBJC, with the banks, with the township, even up to the opening just moments before Rosh Hashanah began. What would we have done with the overflow of 800 people?
But now, every time I drive up to the EBJC I get a feeling of happiness and satisfaction that a lasting benefit has been provided to the com­munity. There is always an event going on involving people with many different interests.
The happiness surrounding the Chernow Activities Pavilion also sets off my hopes and concerns regarding the future of our institution, the very same concerns that drove me during my term as President. With the expanded capabilities and responsibilities of the EBJC, how can we support the structures and, more importantly the people who will guide our future? The work involved the hiring of the Associate Rabbi was contemplated long ago, and will hopefully now become a reality. But this thought again triggers the greatest frustration of my Administration: How do we generate the sense of commitment and belonging that will get the broadest scope of the membership to become active to support the EBJC spiritually, personally and financially.   We are still a Con­gregation with a core of participants and supporters, and could be so much more effective if only everyone wanted to share the joy and the burden. If everyone who enjoys the Chernow Activities Pavilion, or Services, or Youth Group, or Senior Citizen activities or any other of our services became committed to give back, then the EBJC could fulfill its complete potential and redouble its value to the Community.
My years as President seemed unending when I served. Today they are recalled as a short passage of time during which I was privileged to serve my community.
Finally, I extend my gratitude to the Rabbi for his willingness and commitment to endure the pressures of leadership year after year."
In December of 1991, many EBJC families once again journeyed to Israel together. This was a remarkable trip as the bar mitzvahs of Andrew Wininger, Fred Wininger, Seth Lutsky, Jason Lieberman and Jason Schwartz were celebrated at the Western Wall as each bar mitzvah read a portion of the torah that morning. The Bat Mitzvahs of Rebecca Mermelstein and Keren Rivlin were celebrated on top of Masada. Everyone partied that night at the hotel. The most remarkable thing of all was that it snowed in Jerusalem that week! Ours was the last plane out of the airport before it shut down due to weather.
Florence Melton Adult Mini School
A new Approach to Jewish Learning
Under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Raiffe School of Judaic Studies, Florence Melton (a philanthropist) endowed a program to re-invent adult education programs in Jewish Studies. The East Brunswick Jewish Center in the years 1990-1991 was selected as a site to offer this unique program that was being sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Middlesex County, The American Jerusalem Academy of Contemporary Judaic Studies and the Hebrew University. Esther Schwartz and Joel Littman, Co-Chairpersons of the EBJC Adult Education Committee coordinated the program.
The unique nature of the program resided in the fact that participating adults needed to commit themselves to two years of instruction (30 two-hour evening sessions per year) to complete the curriculum. The prescribed curriculum package introduced the learners to the heritage of the Jewish people through readings, text analysis, discussion, and various exercises.
The major curriculum areas included:
  • The Vocabulary of Jewish Living

  • The Dilemmas of Jewish Living

  • The Purposes of Jewish Living

  • The Rhythms of Jewish Living

  • The Ethics of Jewish Living

Over the two years of implementation, the instructors included Rabbi Chaim Rogoff, Mr. Steven Solomon (Principal of the EBJC Religious School), and Ms. Debbie Miller (former Head of School of the Solomon Schechter Day School of the Raritan Valley).
There were 62 participants who started the program, and 44 of them completed all the requirements by the end of 1991 to earn the Hebrew University’s Certificate of Jewish Studies.
Marlene Entin and Dale Tyroler, Sisterhood Co Presidents, 1991-1992. Sisterhood lost a true friend when Marlene passed away during her term in office. We knew her for only six years, but we all benefited for having her with us.
May 1992. The mitzvah of Siyum Torah, the ceremony of completing the writing the Torah, is always a major event. When we could coordinate it with the celebration of Rabbi Rogoff's thirteenth year at the EBJC and the dedication of our Chernow Activities Pavilion it was triply blest. One of the two Torahs was dedicated as Torah Zvi in loving memory of Harvey Flug.
Howard Entin, Men’s Club President 1991-1993: I took the helm of the Men’s Club at a time of great activity. While the Club continued its many and varied activities there was a need to bring the Club closer to its members, and its members closer to each other and the greater shul. We invested considerable effort into building and strengthening the Men’s Club brotherhood. On personal note, I came to benefit from this brotherhood as the Men’s Club came to my support when my beloved wife Marlene (the Sisterhood co-president) passed away during my time in office.
During my tenure in office the Men’s Club sponsored a trip to Ellis Island attended by nearly 100 persons; held our Annual Fallsview weekend and New Years Eve Party; played basketball on Sundays; ushered during the High Holy Days and prayed with our sons and daughters; fielded racketball and softball teams; expanded the Yom Hashoah Candle Program to college students; provided financial and programmatic support to the Sephardic Weekend; and helped to write a Sefer Torah.

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