Aside from a few buckets to catch water where the roof leaks, Congregation B’nai Jacob in Jersey City, N.J., looks much as it did 40 years ago, when 900 people would show up for High Holy Day services and the Hebrew school was packed with 175 students. But the Hebrew school has been closed for years, and the Conservative synagogue’s aging membership, though still devoted, has dwindled to about 90 families, most of them elderly.
Two years ago, an MBA student whom I mentored wrote her thesis on how major Holocaust organizations were planning to deal with the inevitable — the fact that soon, all too soon, there would be no survivors.
When Denise Eger assumes the leadership of this region’s local rabbinic association, she’ll be making history — twice over.
In 1897, two New York policemen disrupted a public ceremony marking the Blessing of the Sun and dragged a rabbi down to court for failing to have a permit. More than a century later, on the opposite coast, government officials are not only giving a similar ceremony their blessing — they are also putting money behind a new environmental program in its honor.
After months of relative passivity, Egypt effectively declared war in mid-April on Iranian-backed terrorist groups operating in its backyard, executing an unprecedented wave of arrests of alleged terrorists, smugglers and arms-makers linked to Hezbollah and Hamas.