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Co-Presidents Denna Oren and Eric Pelofsky

Presidents' Report - February 2019

We are Sixty and Fabulous…We've only Just Begun!

We will be honoring Rabbi Pivo and Cantor Larry, our dynamic duo, at our 2019 Gala. They have invigorated EBJC and are propelling us forward to the next fantastic 60 years.


Ad Mea V’Esrim (עד מאה ועשרים), live long and prosper (until 120)

This is our biggest fundraiser event of the year and we intend on making it a big success. We will be creating a full-size ad journal as  a great way to honor our clergy who are making a wonderful shul even more wonderful. Eric and I are calling on all members, especially those who own businesses, to participate in this great advertising vehicle to benefit EBJC and your business. It is a win win and our most successful way of increasing our revenue and holding our membership dues. This is your shul, it must have doors open, staff to cater to our needs, electricity to heat and light our way, a truck to plow snow from our paths, and clergy to warm our hearts, serve our membership, and instill spirituality and the love of God in our souls. EBJC is here to serve God and the community. EBJC is grounded in three pillars of Judaism. As Shimon Hatzadik said, Pirkei Avot 1:2 the world stands on three pillars: Torah, Avodah and G’milut Hasadim.  Torah  - study, learning and being better Jews; Avodah (literally translated work) - worship, service and prayer; and G’milut Hasadim -  doing good deeds, being kind to others. Let's make sure EBJC continues these important missions here, for us, for our children and for our grandchildren.

We will have an amazing comedian, Modi, (We hear he brings people to tears) as the main attraction at the gala. It will be dinner and a show, without the hassle of going to Manhattan, with friends and family, celebrating our community and our professional spiritual leadership. Invite your friends and your family to join ours. It's going to be fabulous!

Presidents' Report - January 2019

  In December, we held a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course designed to help prepare in case of an active shooter situation and for other public acts of violence. The attendance and response of the membership was very positive. Members learned that it is imperative to get as far away as possible from the location of violence and only if not possible, then it is better to find cover. Only try to defend yourself as a last resort. Please watch emails for upcoming congregational meetings in late January or early February, on a Sunday afternoon, to summarize the active shooter training given by the EBPD and show how our new security system enhancements and procedures will be implemented and integrated with the CRASE objectives.


We have installed the electronic key combination lock on the front door of the synagogue. If you do not yet know the combination, please call the office; they will verify that you are a member and tell you the code. Please share it only with other members. If you know of non-members that need access (e.g. Mah Jongg, Israeli Dancing), please have them speak with the organizer of their activity who has been instructed by Steve Zeidwerg on how to share the information with their attendees. Please DO NOT send the code via email, as we know all emails are not secure. For those that prefer not to use electronic codes on Shabbat; the Rabbi approved a mechanical code combination lock on the outside door next to the bridal room. The code is the same as when it was on the front door. The security guard has been instructed not to let people in, as he does not know our members. Registration for personal codes and fingerprint access is forthcoming.


The Grand Pavilion project update: The Board of Directors has approved a dedicated bank account which has been opened. Actual work will not begin unless all funds are secured. Our first major donor has agreed to have the money go towards the architectural plans, structural engineer and permits as these are necessary to move forward. Rabbi Pivo has assembled a fundraising team consisting of four members. Watch for parlor meetings in the month of January.  Steve Zeidwerg, VP of Operations, has volunteered to run the project, while Hayley Migdal, Financial Secretary, will oversee the bank account. The Board of Directors will receive monthly reports on the progress.  This creates proper controls.


We will be holding a dinner in memory of Uziel Sason on Jan 25th with a Sepharadi Shabbat catering and services. On Jan 26th, Shabbat morning, we will honor Adela and Raymond Sasson on their retirement. On February 2nd we will be saying an emotional thank you to Gale Dillman. Please join us in celebrating these individuals and their contributions to EBJC.

We are sixty 60 and Fabulous...We've Only Just Begun!

We will be honoring Rabbi Pivo and Cantor Larry, our dynamic duo that have invigorated EBJC and are propelling us forward to the next fantastic 60 years. Ad Mea V’Esrim (עד מאה ועשרים , until 120), live long and prosper.


Deena Oren

Eric Pelofsky




Presidents' Report - December 2018

The Tree of Life massacre was horrific and painful. As a result, EBJC reluctantly has made additional security enhancements and sped up some of the features already in progress, like locking down the doors when we are inside. We joined together as a community, East Brunswick and Old Bridge, Jews and non-Jews alike, to stand in solidarity. This coincided with our Artist-in-Residence week with Mordechai Rosenstein. He created a beautiful piece of artwork in commemoration of the attack and as a shared expression of the solidarity of all the East Brunswick and Old Bridge Jewish organizations. This work of art will be presented to the Tree of Life community soon. Thank you, Rabbi Pivo, for coordinating the community gathering and to Mordechai Rosenstein for being with us and easing the pain by bringing us together. We are not alone and as Jews we will be united against hate in all its horrible forms.

We have been focusing all our efforts on security. Your board has voted to have armed guards stationed in front of the entrance way/s when we are congregated. Additionally, all doors will be locked when we are inside and when the children are present. This means we will speed up the implementation of the plan that was already in place to have every member, teacher and parent have their own biometric access to the building. Additionally, we are holding active shooter response training from the EB Police Department. Thank you to our amazing volunteer, Steve Zeidwerg.


We are moving full speed ahead on the Pavilion project. The Board of Directors has authorized the opening of a restricted bank account. This means monies dedicated by donor to this project will never be co-mingled with operating expenses or any other project. The administrator of this account, i.e. the person to assure the financial rules are followed, is Hayley Migdal. Any check received for any purpose, from now on will have a clear designation of the funds, whether as dues, as participation in event, a donation to Rabbi or Cantor discretionary accounts or to the Pavilion project. This is also a requirement of the outsourced bookkeeping services we have engaged, Kesef Accounting Service (


Additionally, we have engaged the database company, ShulCloud ( It’s a cloud-based database for accounts receivables, web site, smart scheduling and events, membership and donation tracking, member communication, and online portal. Watch for an email requesting each member unit to set up their own user access and verify and enter valuable data, such as emergency contact and Jewish names.

Your board and EBJC staff are hard at work all the time. Please be understanding and forgiving of mistakes and differences of opinion. Deena remembers growing up in Israel within the Orthodox public school system and being admonished as a Conservative Jew by her fellow Grammer School classmates, because they didn't agree or respect other ways. Let's be better than that. Let's always assume the best in people; ואהבת לרעך כמוך

(V'ahavta l'reacha kamocha) love your friend as yourself.


Deena Oren

Eric Pelofsky



Thu, October 21 2021 15 Cheshvan 5782